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Cambridge's oldest hotel is also one of its classiest and most luxurious. Built as a coaching inn in 1834, the University Arms had a major revamp in 2018 which added a statement-making coach gate with elegant soaring columns at the entrance. This stately grande dame echoes the city's cultured atmosphere -not surprisingly, as it resembles a Cambridge college both inside and out - but without any hint of stuffiness. Its inviting brasserie-style restaurant, Parker's Tavern, looks out over the vast green common of Parker's Piece near the city centre and is a sociable spot for British classics and afternoon tea. Its stylish rooms are spread across four floors, many painted in Cambridge blue, and the library-like lounge is a place you'll find hard to leave.

Your expert reviewer

Mary Novakovich
Travel journalist
An award-winning travel journalist based in Hertfordshire, Mary writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Telegraph and the Times. She is also the author of My Family and Other Enemies: Life and Travels in Croatia's Hinterland, which was shortlisted for the 2023 Edward Stanford Travel Book of the Year.



It's easy enough to walk from the railway station yet close enough to the city centre, and, if you're driving, there's underground parking.

This city-centre hotel overlooks Parker's Piece; it's a 10-minute walk from the market square and within easy reach of the museums and colleges.
By car: The hotel is a 2-hour drive from London and a 1 hour 45-minute drive from Birmingham.
By train: Trains from Kings Cross to Cambridge take around 1 hour, trains from Birmingham take around 3 hours. The hotel is a 5-minute taxi ride from the station.

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Style & Character

Perfect for people on a city break who want a classy and comfortable base in a central location. You'll love the feeling of being gently cosseted in quietly luxurious surroundings.


We love the delightfully old-fashioned bicycles you can borrow to explore the city, and curling up with a book in that gorgeous library.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Fitness centre
  • Library
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free bikes


We love the Hawking suite, with a bay window looking out over Parker's Piece, and being in a hotel room where every convenience has been thought of, even basics other hotels miss such as handy sockets and coat hooks.

Cosy Room, Classic Room, Superior Room, Suite
Facilities include: ensuite shower or bath with complimentary toiletries, hairdryer, TV, Wi-Fi

Food & Drink

The extensive breakfast buffet had exceptionally good-quality sausages, bacon and expertly cooked eggs. Tristan Welch does a chef's theatre dish of spaghetti flambéed in a wheel of cheese and finished with apple brandy and truffles. Sublime.

Parker's Tavern: brasserie-style, dishes include Norfolk seafood and suckling pig. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mains from £16.
The Bar: drinks and cocktails.

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