Cambridge Commons ride by Vanessa Kelly

Cambridge Commons ride by Vanessa Kelly

Vanessa Kelly

Vanessa Kelly is a Cycling Projects Officer for Cambridgeshire County Council, and one of Cycling UK's 100 Women in Cycling for 2018.

The ride starts at Quayside, an area bustling with tourists and punt touts. As you head south along Bridge Street, you’ll go past ANPR cameras which mark the beginning of the motor traffic restrictions in the City Centre.

At the Round Church turn right into Trinity Street where you’ll pass Heffers Bookshop and Newton’s apple tree outside Trinity College. Obviously it’s not the actual tree but a descendant of one from the garden of Newton’s mother’s house in Lincolnshire, where he did see an apple fall from a tree.

The road opens out at Great St Mary’s Church, which in the early 13th Century was the very first home of Cambridge University, and more recently where Stephen Hawking’s funeral took place.

Head along King’s Parade, with King’s College and its famous Chapel on the right, and just past the Corpus Clock with its strange beetle on the left, you’ll see an opening within the building on the right with two bollards. Turn in here, and very soon the passageway opens out into Kings Lane, then turn left into Queens Lane, right into Silver Street and left into Laundress Lane at the corner of the Anchor pub.

Go round into Granta Place where in the distance past the hotel you’ll see the start of Coe Fen. Watch out for large brown cows and cowpats as you go!

Go straight over Fen Causeway, and you’ll quickly reach Vicar’s Brook and the jumble of lights at the junction of Trumpington Road and Brooklands Avenue. Follow the route along Brooklands Avenue - Shaftesbury Road - Fitzwilliam Road - Glenalmond Avenue and under the flats (with the ten pillars) and an immediate right to reach the Guided Busway.

Head south to Long Road and back towards town on the recently constructed Hills Road cycleway with its floating bus stops and side road priority for cyclists. Over Hills Road Bridge and right into Glisson Road, one of many examples in Cambridge of two-way cycling in one way streets.

Take Lyndewode Road – St Barnabas Road – Gwydir Street and you’ll find yourself in an area of good food and drink! Follow Sturton Street - Abbey Walk – York Street – Abbey Street and over Newmarket Road into Abbey Road and down to the river Cam.

Midsummer Common and Jesus Green are off on your left, and just beyond that the Maypole pub – a great place to finish!

Coffee and beer recommendations

Fitzbillies - famous for its Chelsea buns

Hot Numbers Coffee

The Kingston Arms

Calverleys (Note: only open on certain days)

The Cambridge Blue pub

The Maypole free house 


Level of ride 
Beginner cyclist
Type of bike