Home of one of the most prestigious and celebrated universities in the world, Cambridge is a beautiful historic city. Millions of tourists flock to the esteemed destination to view the beautifully preserved academic buildings or take a punt on the river.
Around the magnificent architecture of the colleges and churches are quaint cobbled streets lined with independent stores that seem a million miles away from the high street chains.
Whether you are looking for something fun for yourself or want to combine your day trip to Cambridge with a chance to finally sort out those birthday or early Christmas gifts, we can guarantee that this glorious city has everything you could wish for.
Here are ten of the very best boutiques stores that you must visit in Cambridge!
Established in 2001, Ark is a boutique that is best known for its wonderful array of unusual and quirky products with many being hand made in the UK. From interesting fashion and accessories to books and toys that you won’t find anywhere else, a trip to Ark is truly an original experience to make a shopping trip to Cambridge memorable. Even better, if you come home regretting not picking up that quirky item while you were there, you can always hop onto their website and order something online, complete with free next day delivery!
Ark, 1-2 Peas Hill
2. The Cambridge Satchel Company
An internationally famous brand, The Cambridge Satchel Company is listed in The Telegraph’s Best of British. The shop is spread across two levels, filled to the rafters with the latest bags and accessories for both men and women. Find classic satchels, doctor’s bags, briefcases, and backpacks. Every item is handcrafted from the finest materials and each style has a distinctively Cambridge ‘twist’. Bags can be personalised with initials and other decorative details. Accessories include notebooks, key charms, and even luggage trunks.
Cambridge Satchel Company, 2 St. Mary’s Passage
3. Cuckoo Clothing
There is something endlessly special about an independent clothing store and Cambridge’s Cuckoo Clothing fits the bill perfectly. It was named as one of the 50 Best Boutiques in Britain in The Telegraph’s Stella magazine. Located right next door to the Cambridge Satchel Company, this women’s fashion hub offers an eclectic and on-trend range of clothing and accessories, to fit all types of budgets and all types of occasions. You will find everything at Cuckoo Clothing, from cutting edge city fashion to more traditional but beautiful countryside-inspired garments. You can buy an entire outfit for top to toe as they sell shoes and accessories or find that special statement piece. There’s also a small range of perfumes made in England.
Cuckoo Clothing, 4 St. Mary’s Passage
Podarok is a beautiful gift and accessories boutique that has been dubbed by some as ‘quintessential British madness’. Stepping through the doors of this store really is like walking through the looking glass. The dedicated staff and owner specialise in cultivating the very best and most interesting in local creations, from handbags to homeware and everything in between. Lots of shops like to state that they are one of a kind, but in the case of Podarok, this really is true. Their commitment to sourcing and promoting local designers and artists is second to none, and the many independent awards that the shop has won over the course of its history is testament to its standing and reputation within Cambridge and beyond.
Podarok, 12 Bene’t Street
5. Seven Wolves
Seven Wolves is a men’s fashion boutique that sets itself apart from the rest. With a comprehensive range of high quality, high calibre menswear, the boutique states that it is aiming for the more ‘mature customer’, helping to prove that fashion and caring about your appearance isn’t just something that is reserved for the young and youthful! The store stocks items from celebrated brands like Oliver Spencer, Norse Projects, Folk Clothing, and even Vivienne Westwood.
Seven Wolves, 4 Bridge Street
All this shopping calls for refreshments and Cambridge has a wealth of boutique cafes and coffee shops. A favourite is Aromi. Occupying a corner spot with windows that beautifully display the delicious looking offerings, Aromi is small with a cosy intimate feel. The rustic décor is the ideal setting for the authentic Sicilian food that is served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Traditional techniques are applied to the finest ingredients to produce tempting treats. Specialities include handmade sourdough and arancini. Naturally, the coffee is a special blend.
Aromi, 1 Bene’t Street
7. Boudoir Femme
Boudoir Femme was once described in the Telegraph as “the boutique for every Cambridge woman’s little black book”, and we can’t say that we disagree! This beautiful store showcases the very best in elegant womenswear and accessories, stocking brands like Ganni, Maison Scotch, American Vintage, and Selected Femme. To finish off the look of whichever garments you select, Boudoir Femme also stock an amazing array of boutique jewellery by Danish designers Pernille Corydon and Hultquist and a selection of unique fragrances by British perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek.
Boudoir Femme, 2 King Street
If shoes are your thing, then a trip to Modish is an absolute must. The owner, Sarah Decent, is a self-professed footwear addict, and her passion for shoes is clear to see in her wonderful store. Sarah hunts down the most beautiful and unusual shoes from all around the world to create a collection that is truly unlike any other. You will find plenty of Italian and Spanish creations, along with a long list of quirky brands like Fly London and Geox, as well as more mainstream lines such as Skechers.
Modish, 3 Green Street
9. Della Kaur
If jewellery is your true passion, then Della Kaur is your destination boutique in Cambridge. Owner Della Gould sources material and designs from all over the world, with a special focus on India and Asia. Stepping into the shop, you will be greeted with a treasure trove of classic and contemporary jewellery, handmade and finished with exquisite skill to the very highest standards. You will find a wonderful mixture of both British and European designs, along with stunning accessories including silk scarves, leather bags and pure pashminas.
Della Kaur, 31 Magdalene Street
10. Arjuna Wholefoods
One more culinary addition to finish! Arjuna Wholefoods is regarded as being ‘the’ health food shop in Cambridge, and with society’s increased awareness of both health and environment, its popularity is only set to continue soaring. Run as a worker’s co-operative, you can find anything and everything in Arjuna from groceries to cleaning products to extra special things like Vegan wines. It is a great place to visit to pick up a takeaway lunchtime snack that you know is not only delicious but also good for your health. The store also donates a percentage of profits and goods in kind to local charities and community groups.
12 Mill Road, Cambridge
The boutique shops of Cambridge present a welcome that is totally in keeping with the warm atmosphere of the university city. Wander the rambling streets to find unique stores with items you’ll want to fill your bags with and keep coming back for more.