Five riverside pubs in Cambridge that are the perfect place to spend a sunny weekend

People in a beer garden on a hot day
-Credit: (Image: The Plough)


It's been a long time coming but it looks like summer may have arrived at last. And as the sun comes out here in Britain, there's only one thing for it - beer garden.

Chilling out at the weekend with friends or family within the peaceful surroundings of a beer garden is a great way to spend the day. And here in Cambridge, we are very lucky to have some beautiful pubs on the banks of the River Cam.

If there's one thing that tops a beer garden, it's a beer garden with a nice view. And what could be more relaxing than watching the world go by (and the ducks)?

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With temperatures set to reach the mid 20s over the weekend, we've put together a list of five riverside pubs that make for the perfect summer drinking locations. Let us know in the comments if you think there are any we have missed.

The Green Man

The Green Man in Grantchester is 400 years old, and its reopening last year after a 3 year refurbishment has brought a long-beloved pub back to the village. It's a 45 minute walk from Cambridge city centre but the scenic walk makes it enjoyable and well worth it. The pub has a lengthy beer garden is the perfect place to refresh and relax on a hot summer’s day.

The village itself has a real countryside feel, despite being close to the city, and the pub looks rather picturesque. The beer garden itself backs onto Grantchester Meadows with the river slightly beyond. The Red Lion, another pub just across the road also has a beer garden which is complete with a kids play area.

Pickerel Inn

The Pickerel Inn, on Magdalene Street, Cambridge
The Pickerel Inn, on Magdalene Street, Cambridge -Credit:CambridgeshireLive

Mere metres from the River Cam, the Pickerel Inn is a local favourite. With a cosy interior and charming back courtyard, it is a lively but laid-back setting to enjoy a few pints.

The pub is believed to be Cambridge's oldest and also serves great food, as our reporter Matt Senior found out when he paid a visit last month.

Located in the heart of Cambridge city centre, the Pickerel has a lovely little courtyard that is a great place to enjoy a drink. It makes a great starting point for a pub crawl or night out. It's also not too far from where many of the punts pick up and drop off, so its perfect if you need a refresh after being out in the sun.

The Plough

The riverside beer garden at the Plough pub in Fen Ditton -Credit:The Plough
The riverside beer garden at the Plough pub in Fen Ditton -Credit:The Plough

Just a 20 minute cycle ride or a 15 minute drive from central Cambridge, is The Plough in Fen Ditton. It's a tranquil hideaway that makes the perfect city escape on a sunny afternoon.

If its chilling by the water that you are craving, then this spot is just what you're after. The pub sites right on the banks of the River Cam, meaning that its beer garden enjoys lovely views of the river.

Along with refreshments, the pub also serves up a great range of food, whether you're after a big lunch or an evening meal.

The Anchor

The Anchor Pub, Cambridge -Credit:Cambridge News
The Anchor Pub, Cambridge -Credit:Cambridge News

The Anchor is right in the heart of the city and enjoys glorious views across the river, and towards one of Cambridge's commons. It also happens to be right next to one of the city's punting hotspots, making it great for a bit of people watching.

The pub is very popular, and is one of Pink Floyd’s old haunts, so it can be difficult to get a table outside here. But while you wait, you could always hop across the road to The Mill, grab a takeaway drink and take it over to the common. This way, you are free to sit as close to the river as you wish.

The Anchor also have live music every Friday evening, making for a great evening destination with friends.

The Granta

The Granta Pub has some gorgeous views -Credit:Cambridge Newspapers Ltd 2003
The Granta Pub has some gorgeous views -Credit:Cambridge Newspapers Ltd 2003

Situated on the Mill Pond, this pub enjoys three outdoor terraces. Views of punters, cows and willow trees make time here a quintessentially Cambridge pub experience.

Despite being only a stone’s throw away from the city centre, the Granta retains the relaxed countryside atmosphere of pubs much further afield. They also have popular quiz nights every Monday.