Key to the City™, Cambridge.
Free Parks and Gardens: Inner City (Westside)

Tick 9.1

The Backs

Queen's Road, Cambridge. CB3 9ET • (01223) 457000
King's College from The Backs, Cambridge
King's College from The Backs, Cambridge

The Cambridge Backs is a stretch of reclaimed land that runs along the back of the riverside colleges alongside the river Cam. The name 'the Backs' refers to the backs of the colleges. Several famous bridges cross the river including the Mathematical Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs.

It provides stunning views throughout the year, and is covered with a blanket of daffodils and crocuses during the spring. The view of King's College Chapel is a tourist favourite. You need to take to the River on a punt to get the closest views of the college buildings and bridges though.

Trinity College offers good views of the River and free access to the rear of the college is available via the Punting Gate on Garret Hostel Lane. Colleges from north to south are Magdalene, next to Magdalene Street bridge, St John's and the Bridge of Sighs, Trinity, Trinity Hall, Clare, King's and Queens', featuring the Mathematical Bridge.

The Backs is a Grade I Historic Park. St John's College consulted English landscape architect Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, who laid out a 'wilderness' on the college side of Queen's Road that still exists today.


Free Entry.

No easily accessible wifi. Smoking allowed.

Opening Times:

Open at all times although access via Trinity College is restricted to the day only. Free admission.


Advance booking is not required.


Located west of the city centre and the River Cam along Queen's Road. Access from the city centre is via Garret Hostel Lane or Silver Street.

Getting There:

National Rail Cambridge railway station: 25-30 minutes walk.


Parking available nearby - payment required.

King's College from The Backs, CambridgeKing's College from The Backs, Cambridge
Trinity College from The Backs, CambridgeTrinity College from The Backs, Cambridge
River Cam from Garret Hostel Lane, CambridgeRiver Cam from Garret Hostel Lane, Cambridge
The Backs, CambridgeThe Backs, Cambridge
The Backs, Queen's Road, Cambridge. CB3 9ET • (01223) 457000

Last Updated Thursday 28 April 2022

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