Cambridge, known for its historic university and picturesque river, is also home to several beautiful parks and green spaces that offer tranquility, natural beauty, and opportunities for outdoor activities.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a hiker, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from city life, Cambridge’s parks have something to offer. In this guide, I will introduce some of the best parks in Cambridge, detailing their features, hiking trails, amenities, and what makes each park a special destination for visitors and locals alike.

1. Parker’s Piece

Location: Parkside, Cambridge CB1 1NA 

Overview: Parker’s Piece is one of Cambridge’s most famous parks, known for its historical significance and wide-open spaces. It covers 25 acres and is located near the city center, making it easily accessible to both residents and tourists. The park has a rich history, dating back to 1613 when it was donated to the city by Edward Parker, hence its name.

Features and Highlights

Parker’s Piece is characterized by its expansive grassy fields, which are perfect for picnics, sports, and leisurely walks. The park is also home to several notable landmarks and features:

– The Reality Checkpoint: A small marker near the center of the park, known for its quirky appearance and local folklore.

– Sports Facilities: Parker’s Piece is famous for its association with football. It is believed to be the place where the rules of modern football were first established in the early 19th century. Today, the park has football pitches, tennis courts, and a cricket pitch, providing ample opportunities for sports enthusiasts.

Hiking Trails

While Parker’s Piece is more of an open green space than a traditional hiking park, it offers pleasant pathways and grassy areas ideal for a leisurely stroll. Visitors can explore the park’s perimeter or simply relax on the grass and enjoy the surroundings.


– Public Toilets: Available near the central area of the park.

– Playground: A children’s playground with swings and climbing frames.

– Cafes and Restaurants: Nearby options for refreshments.

Why Visit?

Parker’s Piece is not only a beautiful green space but also a significant part of Cambridge’s cultural heritage. Whether you’re interested in sports, history, or simply enjoying a sunny day outdoors, Parker’s Piece offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city.

2. Jesus Green

Location: Jesus Ln, Cambridge CB5 8BL 

Overview: Jesus Green is another popular park located along the River Cam, offering scenic views and a variety of recreational activities. The park covers approximately 15 acres and is named after Jesus College, which overlooks its eastern side.

Features and Highlights

Jesus Green is known for its riverside location and vibrant atmosphere. Key features include:

– The River Cam: Jesus Green borders the River Cam, offering beautiful views and opportunities for punting and boating.

– Outdoor Swimming Pool: The Jesus Green Lido is a historic outdoor swimming pool, open during the summer months and popular with locals and visitors alike.

– Sports Facilities: The park has tennis courts, a bowling green, and open spaces for various sports activities.

Hiking Trails

The park has paved pathways and riverside walks that are ideal for both casual strolls and longer walks along the riverbank. The paths offer picturesque views of the river and surrounding greenery.


– Jesus Green Cafe: Located within the park, offering refreshments and light snacks.

– Toilets: Public toilets are available near the cafe area.

– Children’s Playground: A playground with equipment for kids to enjoy.

Why Visit?

Jesus Green is perfect for those looking to combine outdoor activities with relaxation by the river. Whether you want to take a dip in the outdoor pool, enjoy a game of tennis, or simply unwind with a riverside walk, Jesus Green offers a serene escape from the bustle of the city.

3. Grantchester Meadows

Location: Grantchester, Cambridge CB3 9NF 

Overview: Grantchester Meadows is a peaceful rural area located just outside Cambridge, known for its scenic beauty and literary connections. The meadows cover several acres along the River Cam, providing a tranquil retreat away from the city center.

Features and Highlights

Grantchester Meadows is celebrated for its natural landscapes and cultural significance. Key features include:

– The River Cam: The meadows offer stunning views of the River Cam, making it a popular spot for picnics, walks, and riverbank activities.

– Literary Connections: Grantchester Meadows was frequented by notable figures such as Virginia Woolf, Rupert Brooke, and Lord Byron. The area inspired poems and works of literature, adding to its charm and allure.

– Wildlife: The meadows are home to diverse wildlife, including birds, insects, and occasional grazing cattle.

Hiking Trails

The meadows have well-maintained footpaths that wind through fields and along the riverbank. Visitors can explore the area on foot, taking in views of the river, meadows, and surrounding countryside.


– The Orchard Tea Garden: Located nearby, offering refreshments and traditional English cream teas.

– Public Access: Grantchester Meadows are open to the public year-round, providing a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Why Visit?

Grantchester Meadows offers a quintessential English countryside experience just a short distance from Cambridge. Whether you’re interested in literature, wildlife, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the Cambridgeshire landscape, Grantchester Meadows provides a serene and picturesque setting for hiking and relaxation.

4. Wandlebury Country Park

Location: Gog Magog Hills, Cambridge CB22 3AE 

Overview: Wandlebury Country Park is a nature reserve and historic site located southeast of Cambridge, covering over 110 acres of woodland, meadows, and ancient earthworks.

Features and Highlights

Wandlebury Country Park is known for its natural beauty, historical significance, and diverse habitats. Key features include:

– Iron Age Hill Fort: The park is home to an Iron Age hill fort, dating back over 2,000 years. Visitors can explore the earthworks and learn about the area’s ancient history.

– Woodland and Meadows: The park has several walking trails that meander through woodlands, wildflower meadows, and open spaces.

– Wildlife: Wandlebury supports a variety of wildlife, including butterflies, birds, and rare plant species.

Hiking Trails

The park offers a network of well-marked trails suitable for hikers of all abilities. Trails range from short, easy walks to longer routes that explore different sections of the park. Popular trails include the Iron Age Trail and the Gog Magog Trail.


– Visitor Centre: Provides information about the park’s history, wildlife, and walking trails.

– Picnic Areas: Designated picnic spots with tables and benches.

– Parking: On-site parking available for visitors.

Why Visit?

Wandlebury Country Park is ideal for those seeking a blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient ruins, spotting wildlife, or enjoying a peaceful hike through woodlands and meadows, Wandlebury offers a rewarding outdoor experience close to Cambridge.

5. Milton Country Park

Location: Cambridge Rd, Milton, Cambridge CB24 6AZ 

Overview: Milton Country Park is a spacious nature reserve located just north of Cambridge, offering a range of outdoor activities and habitats.

Features and Highlights

Milton Country Park is known for its diverse ecosystems and recreational facilities. Key features include:

– Lakes and Ponds: The park is dotted with lakes and ponds, providing habitat for waterfowl and aquatic plants.

– Woodland Trails: Milton Country Park has several woodland trails that wind through mature woodlands, offering shade and tranquility.

– Play Areas: The park has designated play areas for children, including playgrounds and natural play features.

– Cycling Routes: Milton Country Park is popular with cyclists, with designated cycling paths that connect to wider networks.

Hiking Trails

The park offers a variety of walking trails that cater to different preferences and abilities. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll around the lakes or a longer hike through woodlands, Milton Country Park has options for all.


– Visitor Centre: Provides information about the park, wildlife guides, and maps of walking trails.

– Cafe: Offers refreshments, snacks, and outdoor seating.

– Toilets: Public toilets available near the visitor centre.

Why Visit?

Milton Country Park is perfect for families, nature enthusiasts, and outdoor adventurers alike. Whether you want to spot wildlife, enjoy a picnic by the lake, or explore the park on foot or bike, Milton Country Park offers a peaceful and scenic retreat just a short distance from Cambridge.

Cambridge’s parks and green spaces offer a delightful blend of natural beauty, historical interest, and recreational opportunities. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient landmarks, enjoying riverside walks, or simply relaxing in tranquil surroundings, Cambridge has a park to suit your preferences. From the historic Parker’s Piece to the serene Grantchester Meadows and the diverse ecosystems of Wandlebury and Milton Country Park, each park offers a unique experience for visitors looking to connect with nature and unwind.

Next time you visit Cambridge, take some time to explore these beautiful parks and discover the natural treasures that await just beyond the city center. Whether you’re hiking, picnicking, or simply enjoying the views, Cambridge’s parks promise an enriching and memorable outdoor experience for all.