We have stayed at this site many times thanks to family being in the area and are visits have mostly been over Christmas. Our most recent was in December 2017.
Firstly, access. Straightforward, however it is worth following the directions given by the club rather than your SatNav. Cherry Hinton High Street is not a friendly place for a caravan thanks to a number of speed reducing measures added over the years – nicknamed Noddyland by locals and very unpopular when first implemented. Approach should always be from the Queen Edith’s Way end of Lime Kiln Road. Our Site Arrival Video shows two options – from the M11/A11 and A14.
There is just one set of wardens here so arrivals are from 1pm giving then time to have lunch.
The site is set in an old quarry, so rather than one big open space, pitches are separated into areas all of which are cul-de-sacs so it’s advisable to go and have a walk to see what is available and where you fancy. The site currently has 67 pitches including 48 hard standing but development work is being carried out early in 2018 to increase the number of hard standings as well as the to redesign the entrance. Why not check out our Slide Show to have a look around.
There are a number of service points dotted around the site and one facilities block – this was refurbished a few years ago and in our numerous visits we’ve always found it immaculate and never had to wait even when the site has been busy. The information hut is by the barriers and was well stocked with leaflets as well as menus for local eateries and bus timetables for Cambridge city centre and beyond.
The site is quiet at night, however there is a little noise to be had from the nearby school at certain times – we never found it intrusive though.
Getting connected – we picked up TV without any problems – or an aerial amplifier – but hook ups are available and may be welcome in areas of the site that are more sheltered. WiFi is rated Gold by the club but we found the connection speed to be similar to other club sites – around 1Mbps download with upload at around a quarter of that. 4G was available on all the major ‘phone networks but again, this may vary depending on when you are located on site.
There is a dog walk on site – but just across the road you will also find the East Pit – now opened as a nature reserve and the adjacent Spinney. A little further away, the grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall provide a great space for a run around too.
Out and about there are no shortage of things to keep you busy. Bus stops are barely five minutes walk from the site – one located conveniently by a pub – which may be of interested on your way back! Cambridge city is without doubt the highlight here and rightly so. A day will barely scratch the surface but as a starting point I would recommend a climb up the tower of Great St Mary’s Church by the market square. It’s only a few minutes walk from where the bus will deposit you and will help you get your bearing and give a great view of the city too.
From here head along Kings Parade past Kings College. You could carry on here in to Trumpington Street to the excellent and free Fitzwilliam Museum, or then turn right down Silver Street and take a walk along ‘the backs’ – Queens Road – which will give you fantastic views of a number of the colleges that make up the University of Cambridge including the iconic and world famous view of Kings College Chapel.
Punting along the river Cam is a must – and gives you an entirely different perspective on the city. You might be tempted to have a go yourself – but it isn’t easy and most opt to have a ‘punter’ who will also give you some history of the city.
For lunch, the Pickerell Inn on Magdalene Street is handily located and reputed to be Cambridge’s only pub. Just a few yards away, by Magdelene bridge is one place from which you can hire a punt.
You can look around some of the colleges – however it depends on the time of year and whether it’s term time. Some charge and some don’t. Normally you can have a nose in the quad though. A little out of the city centre but on the bus route, the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens may be of interest too.
Shopping wise, there is the aforementioned Market Square with it’s traditional canvas topped market stalls operating six days a week. There are plenty of independent shops to help you empty your wallet or purse and the Grand Arcade houses all the usual chain store suspects – and a Tesla dealership too! A second shopping area – the Grafton Centre is a ten minute walk away from the Market Square.
Cambridge could easily keep you occupied for several days, but there is plenty in the surrounding area worthy of your attention too. The Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley may not be an obvious tourist stop off but it is very popular – and the seasonal hop on/hop off bus tour stops here too.
Five miles from Cambridge just off the A14 is Anglesey Abbey – a National Trust property and gardens well worth a few hours of your time. Even in December it was popular and the Winter Garden was stunning.
A little further afield and around 15 miles away is the city of Ely – reached via the A10, by bus, or train from Cambridge station. In many ways like a smaller version of Cambridge, however motorists are positively welcomed – unlike Cambridge – with free parking available in the majority of car parks. The stunning Cathedral is the draw here but why not head down to the riverside too? In season there are great boat trips to be had along the River Great Ouse. You can get evening trips along to riverside pubs too.
We’ve barely scratched the surface with this review as there is so much more to do – Audley End House and the delightful market town of Saffron Walden, Duxford Imperial War Museum and Newmarket – the home of horse racing – are just a few.
All this exploring will no doubt work up an appetite. If you don’t fancy cooking, the Robin Hood pub is a short walk from the site as is the Red Lion. There is Tesco Express in the High Street and a Superstore a few minutes drive away towards Fulbourn. Information on these and more can be found in the hut on site.