More highlights from my post-shop wander along the quaint cobbled streets of North Cambridge, taking in the only actual “High Street” in the city.

Who knows how many of the eight pubs and bars along the 0.8 mile route will survive the Lockdown.


Mark C will recall I did this walk, in reverse, in 2015 to prove that the public transport option encouraged by local CAMRA was a bit pointless.  Quite a thin blog post, but I’d only just learnt to write at that stage.

Nearly five years on, you get photos of another gorgeous Spring day, and all the pubs. Now that’s what I call progress.

Chapel Lane, Chesterton – I started work here
St Andrews

2 months ago I’d have touched the doors of all eight, but that would be frowned upon now.

A) The Haymakers

Run by Milton Brewery for the pizza and pashmina crowd.  GBG regular. I saw Allo Darlin play here a decade ago.


Your best bet for a pint of Marcus Aurelius 7.5%

B) Polonia Club

Polish members club, never been but I worked with someone who has and it sounds wonderful.  Lech served on gravity, possibly.

My Dad used to supply veg to the large Polish community and bring home Polish sausage

C) The Old Spring

The smart Greene King pub for ladies who lunch, and IT blokes. Beer was pretty good here in 2018, when the Punk IPA was £6 a pint (not a misprint).


D) Thirsty (top)

Off-licence-cum-Craft Bar that I thought I’d spend more time in than I actually have when it went Uber Craft a couple of years back. Cambridge goes Camberwell.

I celebrated City winning the League here in 2018.

Murk, 2018

E) The Waterman

Closest pub to the bridge and the Cambridge beer festival.  Used to be the “Jolly” Waterman when a tremendously plain corner boozer, but City Pubs Co (think an urban Brunning & Price) changed all that. I saw David Thomas Broughton play here, oddly.

GBG shoe-in anywhere but Cambridge

F) The Portland Arms

More Greene King student pubbery, but this is the best live venue in town for folk who hate Coldplay AND Mumford and Sons. Actually, quite a decent boozer as long as you don’t get fobbed off with a plastic glass.

I saw Mammoth Penguins play here in 2017. (there’s a theme emerging).

Your best bet for those Nene Valley cans

G) The Graduate/Firkin/Tivoli/tbc

Truthfully, my favourite Spoons in the whole of Timdom before it, er, burnt down a few years back.

I spent Christmas Day lunch here with the family in 2014.

It’s looked like this for 5 years;


Coming back as another City Pub Co place, apparently

H) The Boathouse

“No results” says the search engine on my blog.  I saw some local folkies murder Richard Thompson tunes here in 1988, and I don’t think it’s changed since then.

Greene King are certainly preparing for the worst with their boarding up, aren’t they ?

DON’T park in the car park next door

There you go.  If/when they return, there’s eight pubs, at least six of them meeting Stafford Paul’s purity requirements. In truth, I’d start just off Mill Road.


    1. Yes, gigs even less likely (and attractive, bluntly) than pubs. You’d find the Portman with its dark wood and proper seating pleasantly unchanged (bar the TV) but the Waterman is a different pub.


  1. Not quite sure why Greene King have battened down the hatches quite so much more dramatically than others, but it’s a gloomy sight.
    We visited the Polonia Club in 2016 and I recall it being an impressive building. I was worried I’d be thrown out for being far too scruffy for the place and my hapless pronunciation when picking my beer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, first hand experience. Anything interesting in the Polonia ? I spent Christmas in the Polish university town near Katowice and there were some wonderful bars and beer there.


    1. Hi Mike.

      The next pubs you’d come to would have been the Dog & Pheasant (now closed after being a Chinese restaurant), the Green Dragon down by the Cam, and the Pike & Eel also by the river which is now housing. Wrestlers is over the bridge on Newmarket Road.

      Actually, only military sounding pub that springs to mind is the Volunteer in Trumpington. Plenty of Dukes and Princes and Lords !


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