On this page, you will find information on a range of activities and events which are happening throughout the winter break in Cambridge. Just because you might be staying in Cambridge during the festive period doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a break and explore this beautiful city!
This page will be regularly updated throughout the winter break, so make sure to check regularly for updates!
If you have any suggestions for events you would like to be included, please submit them by clicking this link.
Staying in? Why not try...
Make your own Christmas wreath or decorations. Lots of inspiration for easy decorating can be found online. For example, Host students put together a list of 5 ways to decorate a student flat using recycled materials which you can access here: 5 DIY Christmas decoration ideas for your student flat
Watch a festive film in your pj's! This website has put together a list of what they think are the best Christmas films to watch, ranging from classics to Christmas horror movies there will be something to suit everyone! Find the list here: 40 Best Christmas Movies of All Time
Food and Drink
Christmas has generated some of the best (and worst) music out there, and Christmas gives you an excuse to listen to all your festive favourites a month earlier than is normally socially acceptable. Here is a list of some festive Spotify playlists; simply click on the hyperlink to start listening!
If you are going to be in Cambridge over the holiday period and are interested in seeking out some short-term volunteering opportunities, then check out the following web pages:
Do It - Do It is a social network website which features volunteering opportunities. You can enter the location and type of commitment length which suits you best and see a list of available opportunities. Click here to use the search facilities: Connecting people to do good things
Cambridge Mutual Aid Facebook Group - This is a public Facebook group which brings together people in the community who are able to offer support to those in need. To find out more or join the group, click this link: Cambridgeshire Mutual Aid
Whether you are staying in Cambridge or are further afield, you can also volunteer your time virtually. Check out some opportunities below:
Be My Eyes - Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers for visual assistance through live video calls. Find out more about the app and how to volunteer here: Be My Eyes - See the world together
ZSL Instant Wild - This platform helps you to take part in vital conservation work by bringing you live images and videos from all around the world. Imagery is posted on the website for volunteers to tag. Instructional videos are also available. Find out more here: https://instantwild.zsl.org/
Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Centre - By becoming a digital volunteer for the Smithsonian, you can help make historical documents and biodiversity data more accessible whilst also gaining skills in transcription. Find out more and access guidance here: Smithsonian Digital Volunteers
In and around Cambridge
Cambridge Botanic Gardens
Entry is free to students at the University of Cambridge, and you can either pre-book or walk in. At the gardens, you can explore gorgeous grounds with autumnal leaves and a lovely tea room. For more information, click here: Welcome to Cambridge Botanic Garden - Find Out More
Is a grassy mound which was originally an Iron Age fort. Climbing to the top, while exhausting, offers gorgeous views of Cambridge, with even Ely Cathedral being visible on a clear day! To access the google maps location details to the mound, click on this link: Castle Mound Directions.
These are gorgeous meadows which wind along the river Cam, with a footpath that takes you out into the Grantchester village. If you’re lucky, you might spot the film crew filming the detective drama Grantchester! There are a couple of pubs en route and at the end of the footpath: The Blue Ball and The Red Lion
For google maps location details, click here: Grandchester Meadows Extend your walk along Grantchester Meadows and take a full walk to Burwash Manor (check in the previous section!). Once you pop out of the footpath by the Red Lion pub, take a right turn and walk along the street. When it forks by the Rupert Brooke restaurant, take a left and walk along this road until you get to a road on the left called Bridle Way. Here’s the beginning of the Burwash Manor walk. Along the way, you’ll pass the Cambridge Gin Distillery Showroom, which is supposed to be very exciting!
The manor has lovely grounds with independent shops that sell home decorations, wine and craft ale, delicatessen food, gifts, jewellery and a lovely cafe! Instructions for the 3.5-mile/6k walk from the town centre to Burwash in the walks section!
Welcome to Burwash Manor
Visit the market for a huge variety of tasty food, hot drinks, fresh vegetables and increasingly more festive produce!
Perfect for a wintry punt along the river cam. Go with friends from your household and a flask of mulled wine or tea to keep you company and keep you warm!
Punting Cambridge with Scudamore's
Festive Punt Tours
Cambridge What’s On guides
Whilst we have highlighted a variety of activities and events for you to attend within this guide, it is not possible to list every activity happening in this vibrant city. Therefore check out the following links for more information on free and ticketed events happening across Cambridge this month!
Places to study
Here are some possible study space options for use over the winter period. Please note you may need to contact these venues regarding festive opening times.
Helpful links and Support
Student Advice Service - The Advice Service provides free, confidential and independent advice and support for all students. For more information, visit this webpage: Cambridge SU Student Advice Service. The Advice Service is open Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm, inside and outside of term time however, they will be closed for the winter break from midday on Friday, 23th December, reopening on Tuesday, 3rd January.
Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) - The ADRC can provide disabled students with support throughout their studies. They have a range of useful resources on their website, which are found here: Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre | ADRC
The resource centre opening times are found here: Opening Hours and Staff list | Disability Resource Centre
University Counselling Service (UCS) - The University Counselling service offers a range of services. For further information on how to access support, please visit: University Counselling Service | Student Counselling. Please check the UCS website for any closure periods.
The Careers Service is open in the run-up to Christmas and can help students in a huge variety of ways in terms of thinking ahead for summer work, internships or work experience. Access their website here: Careers Service
The service is open Monday to Friday, 9am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm out of term time however, please check the website for any closure periods.
Check out this blog post about 5 ways to support your career planning this Winter Vacation here: University of Cambridge Careers blog - 5 ways
Out-of-hours support - To access a range of out-of-hours help and advice line information, please visit this page on the SU website: Out of Hours Support
Emergency Accommodation - Please see below for the details for some charities which provide resources and helplines in regard to homelessness and emergency accommodation:
Here is a list of Facebook groups put together by your sabbatical officer team. To access a group page, simply click on its title below:
There are 7 campaigns within Cambridge SU; they are communities within the student membership. Each group has its own committee, events and campaigns. For more details, click on the campaign web pages below:
SU Women's Campaign (advocates for female and non-binary students): Women's Campaign
SU LGBT+ Campaign: LGBT+ Campaign
SU BME Campaign: BME Campaign
Class Act Campaign (supports those having experienced educational, economic, cultural or social disadvantage such as but not limited to being working class, state-comp educated, low-income, first-generation, estranged, precariously housed, young carer or care leaver students): Class Act Campaign
Disabled Students’ Campaign: Disabled Students' Campaign
International Students’ Campaign: International Students' Campaign
Ethical Affairs Campaign Ethical Affairs Campaign
FLY is a Cambridge forum for women and non-binary students of colour: https://www.facebook.com/FLYcambridge/
UCU for academic and academic-related staff representation: http://www.ucu.cam.ac.uk/