Guide: The best spots to study in Cambridge

A round up of the *best* study spots that aren’t your college library


A new term, and for many Cambridge students a new lease of life with the easing of restrictions (if the COVID higher powers spare us from a return to last year).

Therefore, we thought that this would be the perfect time for a rundown of the best study spots around Cambridge to get you out of your room and college. Of course, there are libraries all over Cambridge including college libraries, departments libraries and the University Library, however, we thought we’d take you to some more unusual study spots in this article!

1. Waterstones:

One of the most recommended places to study was Waterstones Cafe on the 3rd floor. Matilda Head, a third-year from Selwyn, said, “the Cambridge Waterstones is probably my fave place in Cambridge. With four floors, it’s a book lover’s heaven.” The cafe is located up several flights of stairs, but there is an accessibility lift for those who need it. Additionally, Waterstones run a student scheme that gives 10% off and a points reward system to help with all the book purchasing temptation!

Where: 20 Sidney Street, Cambridge CB2 3HG England

2. Pret a Manger:

Made incredibly popular last year with their drink subscription, the Pret a Manger on Market Street, is rarely without a busily working Cambridge student. Pret isn’t the quietest of cafes to work in due to its popularity and central location, but is ideal for bumping into friends and people watching alongside working. The drink subscription makes it a cheaper option for studying, and if you’re an early bird it’s open from 7:30 am right up until 6 pm.

Where: 22 Market Street, Cambridge CB2 3NZ

3. The Eagle:

The Eagle has been a staple to the Cambridge experience since the 14th Century. During the evening it becomes a bustling pub with students talking and drinking at the oak tables. It is open in the day, however, and is a quieter atmosphere perfect for studying (and a cheeky pint) particularly if you’rere needing inspiration from students past.

It is also right next door to Jack’s Gelato which is the perfect way to treat yourself after a successful study session. The pub opens at 11:00 am, and if you time your visit well enough you could progress from studying to a pint with friends!

Where: Bene’t StreetCambridgeCB2 3QN

4. Hot Numbers:

Hot Numbers, on Trumpington Street, is opposite the Architecture and History of Art department, full of these arty students it’s the perfect place to go to make you feel creative. The food and drinks are a bit more expensive, but really good, especially the brunch and baked goods! There’s also an outdoor seating area at the back.

No. 4 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1QA

5. Cambridge Public Library:

Located in the Lion Yard shopping centre, Cambridge’s public library allows an alternative to the college and faculty libraries, and is a good option if you’re needing to stay focused without bumping into many people! It is worth noting that the library is open later (until 7 pm) on a Wednesday.

Where: Cambridge Central Library, 7 Lion Yard, Cambridge, CB2 3QD

6. The Locker Cafe:

The Locker cafe has a no laptops policy downstairs, so is the perfect excuse to take a screen break, and do some good old paper studying or essay reading! They do, however, allow laptops upstairs, and its a popular spot to study. My personal highlight is their brunch menu which is served all day and is perfect for a special occasion or particularly bad hangover! In the summer they often stick tables on the street which feels particularly European and a lovely spot to people watch and study.

Where: 54 King Street, Cambridge CB1 1LN England

Good luck with the next academic year (and finding your perfect study spot!) 

Cover Image: Poppy Robinson