Cambridge, known for its prestigious university, iconic architecture, and rich history, becomes a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. With a multitude of options for thoughtful gifts and unique experiences, this guide will help you find and give the perfect Christmas presents found in Cambridge, and help you make the holiday season truly magical.

Shopping in Cambridge

Let’s jump straight in with the easy bits; shops in Cambridge you can visit to pick out something special.

Just a short walk from University Arms is the Grand Arcade, award-winning shopping centre in the city-centre. With over 60 premium and high-street retailers, this is the perfect place to get started with your Christmas shopping.

Local Shops

Cambridge is home to various independent local shops perfect for Christmas gift shopping. Stroll down charming streets like King’s Parade, Benet Street, Trinity Street, Green Street, and Magdalene Street, and you'll , from handcrafted jewellery to artisanal chocolates, all ideal for gifting.

Trying to find a gift for a book enthusiast? Take a visit to the in St Edward’s Passage, where you can locate a treasure trove of rare and antique books.

And don't forget Cambridge Satchel known for its stylish and durable satchels, making for an ideal gift for someone special this Christmas. These satchels are not only fashionable but also highly functional, making them a thoughtful and practical present.

The city also boasts a magical Harry Potter connection, and for fans, a visit to the independent at 17 Rose Crescent is a must. You'll find a plethora of wizarding wonders that are perfect for those who love the enchantment of J.K. Rowling's world.

A gift of wine is timeless and appreciated by many. At the , you can explore a vast selection of wines, making it an ideal place to find a gift that warms the heart. Whether it's a bottle of fine wine or the perfect hand-warmer, mulled wine, the Cambridge Wine Merchants offers a delightful selection to cater to various preferences. This gift is not only a treat for the palate but also a symbol of celebration and togetherness during the holiday season.

Christmas Markets

Cambridge's Christmas markets offer a festive shopping experience like no other. Beyond the usual high-street stores, these markets provide an opportunity to find unique, locally-crafted gifts and gourmet delights.

All Saints Garden Arts and Crafts Market: Located on Trinity Street, this charming market showcases the work of local artisans. It's the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts, such as handmade pottery, jewellery, and artwork. By purchasing from local artists, you're not only giving a unique gift but also supporting the local creative community.

Cambridge Central Market Square: This bustling market is particularly lively on Sundays leading up to Christmas. Here, you can find independent stalls offering everything from handmade candles to specialty foods. These unique items are sure to delight your loved ones.

Ely Christmas Market: A short train journey from Cambridge will take you to the cathedral city of Ely. Their Christmas Gift & Food fair, held from November 16-18, is a fantastic opportunity to explore gifts from neighbouring regions. Look for artisanal food products, handcrafted accessories, and more.

A Trip Away in Cambridge

One of the most cherished gifts is the opportunity to create lasting memories. An overnight stay or is a thoughtful and memorable present, and means we can all share our love of this wonderful city. And where better to stay than the luxury spa hotel, . Here's why it's an excellent choice as a gift:

: With 189 luxury rooms and suites, you can enjoy opulent surroundings with stunning views of Parker’s Piece, historic Regent Street, and the hotel’s inner courtyard. The classic Edwardian interiors create an ambiance that's both elegant and cosy, making it an ideal setting for a romantic retreat.

: A stay at the University Arms includes an extensive buffet breakfast and a three-course dinner in the quintessentially British brasserie, Parker's Tavern. It's not just a getaway; it's a culinary experience.

Room Selection: You can choose from a range of room types, including cosy, classic, superior, superior king with park view, suite, and terrace suite, ensuring a personalized and luxurious stay.

A great way to gift a hotel break is our . Enjoy an overnight stay for two that includes one night’s accommodation in one of our Edwardian-designed bedrooms, an extensive buffet breakfast and a three-course dinner in the quintessentially British brasserie, . All from only £335.

Explore Cambridge

And why not plan or book some fabulous activities around Cambridge to add to your gift? Here are some of our favourite things to do around the city. 

City Tour: Delve into the city's rich history with a guided tour. It's an unforgettable experience for those new to the area, and with both walking and bus options, you’ll find it no trouble picking one to suit you and your loved ones.

Ice Skating: Planning a winter trip? Embrace the winter wonderland in Cambridge with a visit to the on Newmarket Road. Ice skating is the epitome of wintery fun, and this spacious arena provides ample room for you to showcase your best triple salchows and toe loops. For those seeking additional entertainment, you can try your hand at curling or enjoy watching ice hockey. It's advisable to book your session in advance to secure your spot.

Punting: Don't let the colder temperatures deter you from one of Cambridge's quintessential activities—punting. Book your punt with and experience the charm of a winter punt along the serene River Cam. Punting is a timeless Cambridge tradition that takes on a magical quality during the Christmas season. Wrap yourself in the warm blankets provided and feel the mist gently brushing your cheek as it rolls in off the river. Whether you're accompanied by a loved one or exploring solo, punting becomes one of the most romantic things to do in Cambridge at Christmas.

If you’re looking for more ideas for your festive visit, check out our recent article for .

Luxury Meal & Food Vouchers

Food is a universally appreciated gift, and Cambridge offers some delectable options right here in the University Arms:

: Treat someone special to a whimsical Afternoon Tea at Parker's Tavern with our voucher. This experience is inspired by the city’s literary legacy, making it perfect for book lovers. Amidst bookshelves and shades of Cambridge blue, they can enjoy an array of savoury treats and delightful cakes. From £35.

, the English Brasserie: A voucher for a three-course dinner from the à la carte menu at Parker's Tavern Restaurant and Bar is a gourmet gift that will please any food lover. The restaurant's classic British fare is a culinary journey not to be missed. From £100.

Cambridge Spa Treatments

For the ultimate in relaxation and pampering, consider treating your loved ones to spa treatments. At the University Arms, the offers an array of indulgent choices from only £60. Aromatherapy Associates, a renowned British brand, specialises in harnessing the natural healing powers of essential oils to enhance physical, mental, and emotional well-being. A is a gift that pampers the body and soothes the soul, making it a thoughtful choice for relaxation and self-care.

Handmade in Cambridge

Why not get creative this Christmas? Join one of Cambridge's amazing workshops or classes to create personalised and handmade gifts this Christmas:

: Discover the art of calligraphy and add a personal touch to your Christmas cards and gift tags. This beginner-level workshop includes a brush calligraphy pen, calligraphy paper, and gift tags for you to practice your newfound skills at home. A handmade, personalised card or gift tag is a unique and heartfelt addition to any present.

: Attend a luxury festive wreath-making workshop with Emily Tallulah Flowers in the ballroom. Creating a traditional mossed wreath base with scented blue pine, adorned with dried fruits, cones, dried flowers, feathers, and seed heads, is a delightful and hands-on gift idea. Plus, participants receive a discount at Parker's Tavern for added value.

Cambridge, providing Christmas Gifts for the whole family

Cambridge offers an array of magical experiences and thoughtful gift options to make your Christmas truly special. Whether you're shopping for unique finds at local markets, savouring culinary delights, enjoying a weekend getaway, pampering with spa treatments, or creating personalised gifts, Cambridge has something for everyone. And if you can't decide, we offer a which gives your loved ones the freedom to choose their perfect experience at either the University Arms, or Parkers Tavern restaurant. Or check all other gift vouchers available .

Make this Christmas a time of cherished memories and heartfelt surprises, with the perfect gift picked out from the city of Cambridge.