Walks index

Shopping in Cambridge


This page attempts to show where the main shopping areas are in Cambridge. It describes what types of shops are in the different areas, and some of the alleyways and passages to reach the different areas.

Cambridge City Centre
The Kite (Grafton Centre, Fitzroy St, Burleigh St)
Beehive Centre
Cambridge Retail Park
Mill Road
Well known shops in Cambridge

Click on a red outlined area to go to a more detailed map.

Cambridge City Centre shopping map The Kite shopping map Beehive Centre Cambridge Retail Park Mill Road

Map of Shopping in Cambridge


Cambridge City Centre

St Andrews Street King Street Kings Parade Sussex Street Green Street Market Hill The Market Petty Cury Rose Crescent St Edwards Passage Castle St Regent Street Grand Arcade Lion Yard Map of Shopping in Cambridge city centre There is a scale at the top of the map. 100 metres is similar to 100 yards and 400 metres is about a quarter of a mile. The bright blue shows where the shops are (roughly). Click on the red street names for a photo of the street.

Click here for a larger scale map of the central area. That map will give the street names, and it will also give lanes and passages, where you can find your way round the centre dodging crowds.

Central Cambridge has two important roads, running roughly north to south, starting at Round Church corner. These streets keep changing their names, but end up as Trumpington Street and Hills Road (see bottom of map above). Hills Road turns into St Andrews Street, and this is the main shopping street. The big shops are here, so are entrances to the two shopping malls, the Grand Arcade (which is rather grand) and the Lion Yard, next door. Further north, there is a Marks and Spensers (clothes one side of the road, food the other), Boots, and further on, Sainsburys. For smaller shops, try the northern part of the centre, starting at Castle Street, Green Street and surrounding area, Rose Crescent (off the Market), Sussex Street (leading to Kings Street), Kings Street itself, and of course, the market. There are also smaller shops along the northern end of Trumpington Street, where it is called Kings Parade, Trinity Street and St Johns Street. There are secondhand book shops in St Edwards Passage (off Kings Parade). The shops along Regent Street towards the railway station are small, but not particularly interesting.

Here are some interesting or useful shops:-
Market: fruit and veg, other food, many other stalls
Books: Heffers, Cambridge University Press, The Haunted Bookshop, Davids
Food: Sainsburys, Marks and Spensers, Fitzbillies (cakes),
Department store: John Lewis
and of course, endless clothes shops, mobile phone shops, coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, banks, ...
For people who like shopping malls: Grand Arcade and Lion Yard.

Below are some Cambridge city centre shopping streets, which gives you some idea of their character. Click on the photos for a bigger version.

Streets with small, interesting shops

The Market
The Market

Kings Parade
Kings Parade

Rose Crescent
Rose Crescent

Sussex Street
Sussex Street

Green Street
Green Street

King Street
King Street

St Edwards Passage
St Edwards Passage

Castle Hill
Castle Street

Busier streets

Market Hill
Market Hill

Petty Cury
Petty Cury

St Andrews Street
St Andrews Street

Regent Street
Regent Street

Grand Arcade entrance in St Andrews St
Grand Arcade entrance
in St Andrews St

Lion Yard entrance in Petty Cury
Lion Yard entrance
in Petty Cury


Grafton Centre Grafton Centre Napier Street Fitzroy Street Burleigh Street

Map of Shopping in the Kite

The Kite

The Kite is an area of Cambridge so-called because it looks like a kite! This contains Cambridge's third shopping mall, the Grafton Centre, plus two pedestrianised shopping streets, Fitzroy Street and Burleigh Street.

On the map to the left, click on red names for descriptions and pictures. The bright blue shows where the shops are (roughly).

The Grafton Centre has normal shopping mall style shops. Hawkins Bazaar has cheap and fascinating toys - well worth visiting! There is also a cinema, and a foodhall with a few eating places. There is a multi-story carpark. The Grafton Centre has two main entrances, one at the junction of Fitzroy Street and Burleigh Street, and the other on East Road. There is two small entrances to the north of the Grafton Centre, Wellington Street and Napier Street. Napier Street also has Cobble Yard - a small collection of specialist shops and a Post Office. Click here for more about the Grafton Centre.

Grafton Centre
Junction of Fitzroy Street
and Burleigh Street
Grafton Centre
East Road

It is possible to walk right round the Grafton Centre, although the walk is not particularly attractive!

Paths round Grafton Centre Paths round Grafton Centre Paths round Grafton Centre

Both Fitzroy Street and Burleigh Street are surrounded by a residential area (apart from the Grafton Centre), so parking can be difficult, if not impossible. Use the Grafton Centre parking. Even better, most of the Park and Ride buses stop at the Grafton Centre (East Road entrance).

Fitzroy Street is pedestrianised (apart from delivery vehicles). The road is on a slope, with New Square at the bottom, and the Grafton Centre at the top. Fitzroy Street has small shops, with quite a turn-over. There is a small Waitrose. There is also usually a fruit and veg stall in the middle of the road.

Fitzroy Street Fitzroy Street Fitzroy Street

Burleigh St is also pedestrianised apart from the end near East Road. There is a Primark for cheap clothes, and lots of charity shops for even cheaper clothes! There are fun shops such as a Party shop and a shop selling comic, film and TV products, especially sci-fi, plus plenty of other small shops, and a small Tesco round the corner in East Road.

Burleigh Street Burleigh Street Burleigh Street


The Beehive Centre Vera's Way Beehive Passage Cycle Bridge Cambridge Retail Park Cambridge Retail Park Tesco paths Riverside Cycle Bridge

Map of Shopping in Beehive and Cambridge Retail Park

The Beehive Centre and Cambridge Retail Park

These two shopping centres are close together. They both have large stores belonging to national chains. There are large carparks next to them.

On the map to the left, click on red names for descriptions and pictures. The bright blue shows where the shops are (roughly).

The Beehive Centre

The Beehive Centre has large warehouse-style shops. It is so-called because there used to be a large Co-op here and the beehive is a symbol of the Co-op. This has now been replaced by a large Argos instead. There are also stores of home furnishings, furniture, and other shops. In the centre of the stores, there is free carparking, but there is a time limit. So if you park too long, your car may be clamped! However, if you are disabled, or genuinely shopping in the area and had reasons for a long stay, then you may be able to appeal to the centre management.

The main entrance to the Beehive Centre is off Coldham's Lane, but this is mostly for cars. Pedestrians can get to the site through two passages. One is off Sleaford Street (railway side of York Street/Ainsworth Street) and is called Vera's Way, in memory of a woman who used this passage to visit Asda to buy food for her elderly neighbours. The passage goes down quite a steep slope, then turns left to arrive in the carpark. This end is being redeveloped at the moment. Hopefully the passage will survive, as it is extremely useful, if not very pretty!

Vera's Way Vera's Way Vera's Way

The other passage doesn't have a name so I've called it Beehive Passage. This starts from York Street, off a backalley called the Rope Walk. You can also get to this passage from St Matthews Gardens.

Beehive Passage Beehive Passage Beehive Passage

The Beehive Centre is really next door to Cambridge Retail Park, but divided from it by Coldham's Lane, one of Cambridge's busier roads. There are two passageways from the Beehive Centre carpark onto Coldhams Lane.

Passage to Beehive Centre from Coldhams Lane Passage to Beehive Centre from Coldhams Lane

There is a pedestrian crossing across Coldhams Lane. The cycle bridge across the railway line next to Coldhams Lane is on your right at this point.

Crossing on Coldhams Lane Coldhams Lane cycle bridge


Cambridge Retail Park

Cambridge Retail Park is an unlovely sprawl of warehouse-style large shops on Newmarket Road, mostly to the south of the road, but some on the north side. They include DIY stores, electrical products, furniture, etc. There is somewhere to eat, and enormous carparks in front of the shops, which are free. Nearly all the parking is only accessible from Newmarket Road (which is possibly the worst road inside Cambridge), but pedestrians can cross Coldhams Lane from the Beehive Centre (see above) and walk the length of most of the stores while keeping a reasonably distance from Newmarket Road (see below). You can, of course, access the stores from Newmarket Road if you wish - just be prepared to dodge traffic!

Cambridge Retail Park Cambridge Retail Park

There is a big Tesco on the north side of Newmarket Road, set back from the road. There are footpaths from Newmarket Road to get to the supermarket. One is alongside the entrance road, and the other runs from the gas workers war memorial square.

Path to Tesco Path to Tesco Path to Tesco

There are also path from Tesco to Riverside. These go either side of the supermarket and join to make a single path down to the river. The Riverside Cycle Bridge is not far from here, which you can use to cross the river to Chesterton.

Path to Tesco Path to Tesco Riverside Cycle Bridge



Mill Road

The other shopping centres on this page are either pedestrianised, or have alleyways and passages to avoid traffic or explore. Mill Road does not. It is an old-fashioned shopping High Street, complete with a narrow, very busy main road. So all you can really do is walk down it. The pavements are mostly quite broad, and the shops are worth investigating. There is a wide range of food shops and restaurant from Cambridge's various ethnic populations, plus other small, interesting shops. Once a year before Christmas, Mill Road has a street fair, when the road is closed to traffic, the shops do special deals and there are Molly dancers in the middle of Mill Road railway bridge!

The bright blue shows where the shops are (roughly). Click here for more about Mill Road.

Mill Road

Map of Shopping in Mill Road

Mill Road
Mill Road from railway bridge, looking east

Mill Road
Mill Road from railway bridge, looking west

Mill Road
Mill Road shops

Mill Road
Mill Road shops

Molly dancers on Mill Road
Molly dancers on Mill Road bridge
during the annual fair


Well known shops in Cambridge

Heffers

Heffers

Books. This shop is much larger than it appears from the outside!

There is a children's book shop at the back.

Trinity Street

John Lewis

John Lewis

Large department store selling practically everything (except food). It used to be known as Robert Sayles

Corner of St Andrew's St and Downing St

Fitzbillies

Fitzbillies

Yummy cakes, especially Chelsea buns

Trumpington St, near end of Silver St