The Cambridge Belfry review | UK Staycations

Calm, charm and countryside mix on the edge of the picture-postcard university city.

Cambridge Belfry bedroom

by Katharine Wootton |

Looking for a cosy bolthole from which to explore the historic colleges and bustling streets Cambridge? We went to visit The Cambridge Belfry, the lakeside four-star hotel and spa.

Where is The Cambridge Belfry?

Just seven miles out of Cambridge city centre, The Belfry sits in a picturesque lakeside location in the village of Cambourne.

Cambridge Belfry outside view

You’ll definitely need a car to get around here, but the good news is you’re only 15 minute’s drive away from punting on the River Cam, strolling round the beautiful Cambridge Botanic Gardens or getting lost in the charming architecture of the world-famous Kings College. Just a few minutes off the A1 and M11, it’s also easy to find whatever direction you’re arriving from.

Where will I sleep?

We stayed in a Penthouse Suite which came with a comfortable bedroom, a luxury bathroom with a powerful rain shower and huge bathtub and even a separate living space so you could happily spread out. The rooms were light, airy and came with everything we needed, from a flat-screen TV to tea and coffee making facilities and mini bar.

The bedding was so cosy that if it wasn’t for the promise of breakfast, I could have happily never left it. There was also ample storage space with a full-size wardrobe, complete with fluffy robes for the spa and pool.

Penthouse suite in Cambridge Belfry

Best of all, despite the hotel boasting 120 bedrooms, it was incredibly peaceful and we couldn’t hear any other noise which made for such a relaxing weekend.

What is there to do at The Belfry?

Well, if you love a spa break, you’ve come to the right place. The Belfry offers a range of treatments from skin-clearing facials to muscle-reliving body treatment as well as spa days for you to enjoy on your own or with a friend.

The Belfry swimming pool

There’s also a swimming pool that is a real oasis of calm. It’s not the biggest of pools but even on a hectic Friday night, there was only a couple of people in there when we went in. We loved that there were poems about Cambridge painted on each end of the pool so you could get lost in the words as you swim. The jacuzzi, steam room and sauna also added to the ‘time to switch off’ mood.

But if you can pull yourself outside the doors of the hotel there’s also lots to discover, only a few miles away.

If you’ve never been to Cambridge before, it’s definitely worth a visit. From the sweet little streets lined with quirky independent shops to a majestic walk along the Backs – the picturesque area at the back of the university colleges, there’s so much to see and experience in this unique university city.

Wimpole Hall

Alternatively, if you fancy something a little quieter, drive to nearby Grantchester (yes, this was the inspiration for James Runcie’s mysteries and the drama series of the same name) and visit the much-loved Orchard Tea Garden for a spot of tea and cake. Or, if you fancy stretching the legs in a beautiful historic location, go to Wimpole Hall, which boasts an impressive mansion, majestic parkland, gardens and even a Home Farm complete with characterful goats and pretty little piglets (depending on the time of year you go).

What is there to eat?

Whether you’re been working up an appetite in the pool or pounding the pavements of Cambridge, The Belfry offers a chance to refuel with a hearty meal at its Bridge Restaurant.

Belfry steak

There was plenty to choose from on the menu, from classic burgers to grilled fillet of sea bass. In the end I chose a filling chicken and leek pie while my partner had the steak. I’m often disappointed by hotel restaurant food but this definitely wasn’t the case here as both of left with plates licked clean and very full bellies.

Final thoughts?

The Belfry offered a home-from-home bolthole in which we felt free to just kick back, relax and enjoy a moment of real peace and quiet. Sitting just outside the edge of the city, we felt far enough away to be able to just enjoy everything the hotel had to offer, from brilliant food to a lovely swim, while also knowing that we were just a stone’s throw from all the city of Cambridge or the sprawling local countryside had to offer when we were ready to start exploring.

Belfry reception

To find out more about The Belfry, Cambridge, including booking a night’s stay call 01954714600 or visit thecambridgebelfry.co.uk

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