The Tab’s guide to shopping in Cambridge

Cheque out this retail paradise

Turns out that Cambridge is a shopping haven which may come as bad news to your bank account. Here’s The Tab’s guide on how to spend those dollars.

The Grand Arcade in central Cambridge is a great place to start (both shopping and for this guide). The highlights of this fine establishment include all your favourite shops like Office, Next and Topshop; a Hotel Chocolate and Millie’s Cookies if you feel like indulging yourself/have no self restraint like me; an Apple store for when you drop your iPhone in the toilet; and also a Tiger to tempt you into making more unnecessary yet irresistible purchases.

Grand by name, grand by nature (if you’re judging it on the number of chain stores you can fit in one location).

Right opposite the St Andrews Street entrance to the Arcade is a huge Zara. This place is what dreams are made of and possibly my favourite place in Cambridge (no I’m not sponsored, unfortunately). It’s proximity to Sainsbury’s causes huge temptation to me and a potential splurge every time I go to stock up on easy pealers and cookies. It is an attraction not to be missed.

No sight makes my heart beat faster.

The market opposite The Guildhall has an amazing waffle stand (which tends to sell out so don’t leave it too late in the day!) and some lovely independent jewellery and clothes stalls for those who like to avoid the more mainstream options available in the Arcade.

If that interests you then you should definitely take a trip to Jemporium Vintage on Burleigh Street (you can check out it’s stock online). It’s opposite The Grafton Centre which helps justify the trip slightly out of town as the Centre offers many of the same chain stores (Claire’s, H&M, New Look etc) as The Grand Arcade, plus a Primark which is ideal for when you’re shopping on a budget (as most of us are quite quickly into term!).

The other key shopping centre is John Lewis which has a brilliant beauty floor for any make-up junkies out there, including a MAC, ideal for anyone else who has a propensity to lose their favourite lipsticks in Cindies (just me?!). It also comes with all the classic benefits of an old-school department store with stock spanning from homewear to kidswear.

For anyone who likes to get spendy on skincare there is also a Kiehl’s near Market Square, as well as a Crabtree & Evelyn and Neal’s Yard.

It is impossible to cover everything in one article but I can assure you that Cambridge has pretty much every big-brand chain store so you can take your preferences from home with you. There’s Boots and Superdrug for cosmetics and toiletries, Ryman’s and WH Smith for stationary etc. etc.

But what about food shopping? Don’t worry, there is a Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer centrally, plus an Aldi a little further out. Plus Aldi does an amazing and super cheap delivery service for whenever you desperately need some study snacks but don’t have time/can’t be bothered to leave the library. The market is another place where you can stock up on fruit and vegetables, and there is also a whole stall dedicated to sweets (which is more suited to my preferences).

Who wouldn’t want this view whilst picking up their fruit and veg? What an aesthetic.

Surely that’s enough to make your local high street pale in comparison? Either way, you’re going to struggle to get round all these shops if you’re planning on doing your degree this year.

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