When it comes to places to visit in Cambridgeshire, everyone jumps to the thought of the University of Cambridge.
Who doesn’t want a snap of themselves at the famous Cambridge Colleges to post all over their social media? But there are more Cambridge photo spots for you to capture and make memories of, some more famous than you think.
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This is why I created this guide to the best photo spots in Cambridge.
Whether you’re a Cambridge photographer looking for some inspiration or a tourist looking for some Cambridgeshire points of interest to check out, this guide will help.
If you are snapping on your phone, check out these editing apps for smartphones to add a little something more to your images.
Cambridgeshire Scenery – What Makes it Special?
Does Cambridge have a Cathedral? No, but it has a lot of churches for you to take photos of. Why do I ask? Traditionally to achieve a city status Cambridge would need a cathedral.
But the beautiful churches in the area that are lined with amazing stained glass and unique exteriors are more fun and diverse anyway.
This city offers exquisite gardens and streets to roam for the perfect shot, a street photographer’s dream.
Cambridge’s hallowed streets have seen many notable figures pass through. It was where Newton first thought of the concept of gravity and where Stephen Hawking attended college.
The Best Spots for Photography in Cambridge
Here are a few must-visit places for photographers in Cambridgeshire with the city giving you ample opportunities to get an old Cambridge photo aesthetic.
Along these sidewalks are some must-see notable buildings that belong to the world-famous University of Cambridge. Pembroke College has a beautiful facade with a chapel next to it, taking you back in time to the Georgian period.
This is the first building that was built by Sir Christopher Wren, the man who designed and supervised the building of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
This street is a must to capture incredible images that will act like a time-capsule and take you back in time when looking at them.
Snap a few images of the main entrance to Fitzwilliam Museum and Hobson’s conduit that runs along the street.
The best time to take photos would be at golden hour, the shoulder period after sunrise and before sunset. Otherwise, head through late morning to miss the commuters and the streets quieten down a little.
Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge
Sitting on Trumpington Street is the Fitzwilliam Museum, the art and antiquities museum for the University of Cambridge.
This is a must for all the art and interior design lovers who want to take photos of the styled and glamorous rooms inside.
Holding one of the best collections of modern art in Western Europe, the neo-classical building could itself be classified as a work of art.
The grand main entrance staircase is the place to take photos with plenty of other rooms inside that will have you filling up memory cards quickly.
It is best to go before 12:00pm to avoid the large crowds and to take advantage of the natural light that fills the interior in the morning.
Market square has been in the city center since the Middle Ages and is home to a number of traders, selling a wide range of goods.
You have to visit the square to immerse yourself into the market life before eating delicious food and taking some amazing street photography images.
Consider taking environmental portraits of the traders going about their business while in this square surrounded by stunning houses.
A general market runs from 10:00am to 16:00pm, Monday to Saturday with Sunday’s being for the food, art and craft market.
During the week, early afternoon is the perfect time to go and enjoy the afternoon light and relaxed atmosphere in this outdoor market.
This glorious building is best taken in while walking its grounds and meandering along the banks of the River Cam.
The college offers the chance for taking incredible landscape images while exploring the 500-year-old campus.
Add a Hogwarts feeling to your images with some of the most iconic buildings in Cambridge.
Their design and lush green lawns make them a beautiful place to spend a few hours and take some photos for your Instagram.
This is one of the top Instagram spots in Cambridge. It is a functioning college so the best time to visit would be on weekends.
For one of the most photographed scenes in Cambridge, you need to visit Queens College and take a walk to the Mathematical Bridge.
The Wooden bridge as it is officially known as, connects the old and new halves of the college over the River Cam.
While it is best viewed from the Silver Street bridge, you can walk along the River Cam to get a different perspective. It is a famous location for photographers in Cambridge so expect it to be busy almost all the time.
The River Cam
What better way to spend an afternoon than taking in the sights and sounds by walking along a majestic river? The River Cam offers stunning views and little spots to stop and take a few photos.
Stop at the Virginia creeper at St’ John’s College in Autumn when the ivy that covers the New Court Building becomes a fire red.
Take a walk to the lower river and you will see people rowing past the banks of the river which is lined with different boathouses.
Among them, the Cambridge University Goldie Boathouse, is the oldest and was built in 1882. This is a remarkable view to take in during the latter part of the day.
Top Tip: Bring a tripod to help you capture sharp images over a longer exposure time.
Want to take a snapshot of the ancient architectural history of Cambridge that will be Instagram worthy? Then head to Trinity Lane, one of the Cambridge points of interest.
It is also famous for being in the opening scene of, The Theory of Everything, with Stephen Hawking and his friend riding bicycles down the lane.
Wait for a bicycle to come past to replicate that famous scene and then take your shot. The best time to visit is in the afternoon as the sun is setting with the light hitting the tall archaic buildings.
If you only had the time to see one thing, Trinity College is the place to visit in Cambridge. It is the most prestigious Cambridge College and is famous for being the place where Sir Isaac Newton sat under an apple tree and developed his theory of gravity.
Apart from wanting to take a photo of yourself replicating that moment in that very spot, there is the awe-inspiring Wren library to explore, home to over 55,000 books.
This is a photo playground with so many diverse locations from the sweeping Great Court to the statue of Henry VIII who holds a table leg that student pranksters put there.
It is busy year-round so expect to see a lot of students as well as tourists.
Cambridge University Botanical Gardens
For any nature lover, and most Cambridge photographers, the botanical gardens are a beautiful place to lose yourself in for a few hours.
With incredible landscape photos on offer and over 8,000 plant species adding different colours throughout, what could be better?
The highlight for any photos is the tropical greenhouse in the gardens. This glass structure will be the focal point of any image, both from the outside and inside.
The best time to go is in spring but there are flowers that will bloom at different times in the year.
Bridge of Sighs
Do you have time for another special location? It is famous for being Queen Victoria’s most loved spot in the city.
This bridge was named after the Bridge of Sighs in Venice and is one of the main tourist attractions in the area.
It’s best viewed by renting a boat trip up the River Cam which will take you under the bridge where you can capture as many photos as you want.
Alternatively, you can pay to enter through St. John’s College and walk to it. It will be pretty busy year-round so you might have to wait a little to get the perfect shot.
King’s College Chapel
This giant and relatively imposing Gothic style structure is an iconic building of Cambridge and is instantly recognisable.
You have to go inside to take photos of the ornate painted glass windows and intricately decorated roof that surrounds the glorious organ that is front and center as you walk in.
On the outside, take in the Gothic style structure with landscape images.
It is open year-round but holds a lot of functions and events so check their website before going to ensure that you are able to go inside. This is still a place of study so there will be a lot of students around.
Ahh, to be transported back in time to a winding lane of quaint British stores, Rose Crescent will take you there.
With intriguing architecture and lanterns above many shops, it has a lot of charm on offer for your photos.
It feels like Diagon Alley and even has a magical Harry Potter experience store to take your picture for Instagram. It is normally busy with people going about their daily shop but don’t let that deter you.
This little cobbled street is a quaint little road that is normally lined with bicycles and has stunning restaurants to stop at between taking photos.
Hanging between the buildings are different banners and even fairy lights, making it a beautiful palace to be at night.
Go in the evening as the sun sets to get those golden hour shots and a few nightscapes with the magical lighting.
Considered one of the prettiest streets in the city, the streets are towered over by mostly three storey houses on both sides with attractive bay windows.
Stop at the top of the road and look down, it almost looks like a tunnel that ends at the Jesus green.
It is stunning to visit at any time of day, but the evenings in particular are worth it to capture the golden glow bathing the buildings and green.
Riverside Walk on Quayside
This is one of the most popular places to visit in Cambridgeshire, with all the punt tours available to take you along the River Cam and food stalls.
This is the best spot to take a walk along the river and take photos of the buildings making up the riverbank and all the unique activities. Did someone say a floating bar?
Document the beauty and the vibe that comes with the different landscapes you will travel through, from the meadows to the buildings along the river.
Summer is the best time to go but it will be busy all the time with it being so popular amongst locals and tourists alike.
A small and stylish camera bag is a good idea to keep your camera safe while also leaving some room for any goodies you may get.
For more of a Downton Abbey feel, this palace is stunning. The contrast of long green lawns and the controversial new Court known as the ‘typewriter’ because of its tiered design make it different and a unique photo opportunity for your tour of Cambridgeshire photos.
The mornings would be the best time to visit but it is a functioning college so expect students around.
Great St. Mary’s Church
This noble church from the Middle Ages is famous for its Tower and elegant stained-glass windows.
The inside of the church offers a chance for dramatic images with the high roof and organ being bathed in light from the surrounding windows.
It is a popular attraction so expect it to be busy throughout the day. Visit in the early morning to witness the golden glow flow through the windows.
Senate House Passage
This small alleyway has an amazing perspective that will leave you with some remarkable landscape images.
The Senate Gate is a must see with its unique style and the vantage point at the top of the road giving you a view of the Caius Court of Senate House.
The ivy-covered walls are the perfect spot for a few portraits but be quick if you get your chance as this alley is busy all the time.
Head over in the evening to capture the tall buildings being lit up compared to the moody alley beneath.
Will You Go on Your Cambridge Photography Adventure?
There is so much to see in this city with photo opportunities everywhere. For the photographer, let your creative side flourish and play around with the different spaces or just get a few cheeky pics on your phone while walking around.
If you want to do Cambridge justice and capture its beauty but don’t have a camera yet, this guide to the best mirrorless cameras for beginners will be a massive help on your journey. These are great Instagram spots to visit.
So, when are you going to go on a photographic journey of Cambridge?