Cambridge is distinctly not car friendly, with the impending congestion charges due, instead favouring bicycles and pedestrians, so if you’re visiting the university city, we will show you the best options for free parking in Cambridge without restrictions.
4 places to park for free in Cambridge (2024)
If you’re familiar with Cambridge, you will know that driving around the city isn’t for the faint hearted. As a city that prioritises cyclists and pedestrians, getting around Cambridge often feels like a stressful experience.
Not only this, if you do manage to find a suitable car park close to the city centre, you will find that parking charges are higher than other cities you might have visited before.
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to find a free parking spot close to Cambridge city centre, although there might be a 15-20 minute walk or a short bus ride involved.
You can park for free in Cambridge at the following locations:
These free parking spots are all around 1 mile away from the city centre, so you can expect a 15-20 minute walk or you can hop on the regular bus service that will take you right into Cambridge.
What to know about parking free in Cambridge
When using one of our recommended free parking spots around Cambridge, please be considerate of others:
- Ensure you don’t block any driveways
- Tuck your car as close to the kerb as possible.
- Don’t double park as you may be parked on a bus route
You should always check for any newly installed restriction signs before leaving your car.
Free Parking near Cambridge University
Cambridge University is right in the centre of Cambridge, which is difficult for cars to navigate due to the amount of restrictions.
For free parking near Cambridge University, you can park on the following streets; Rosemary Lane, Norman Way, Chalmers Road and Ward Road.
Free Parking near Cambridge Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens offers some solace away from all the hustle and bustle of the city, with plenty of colourful flowers to see and green space to enjoy. There is no parking on site, but there is free parking nearby on Eltisley Avenue which is a 15 minute walk.
Alternatively, you can use Trumpington Park and Ride (CB2 9FT) where parking is free, but you will need to purchase a bus ticket to get to Botanical Gardens.
The journey takes just 14 minutes and buses runs every 10 minutes.
Cheapest all-day parking in Cambridge
We found the cheapest car park in Cambridge to be Newmarket Road Tesco car park, which you can book even if you are not a customer – but it must be pre-booked.
You book this car park all day (9am – 5pm) for just £10, so it’s a great option for commuters or those visiting Cambridge for the full day.
Cheapest monthly parking in Cambridge
We found the cheapest car park for monthly parking in Newmarket Road Tesco car park, which costs £80 per month, making it ideal for commuters.
You can use this car park 7 days a week, including overnight, and leave and re-enter the car park as many times as you need to, although you must pre-book.
Cheap Parking at Grand Arcade Cambridge
If you would rather park your vehicle in a secure car park, Grand Arcade Car Park in Cambridge is a multi storey car park located just a stones throw away from the main attractions in Cambridge.
You can benefit from cheap parking at the Grand Arcade Car Park between 7pm and 8am which costs just £1.20 per hour. This is the ideal option if you’re visiting Cambridge in the evening for a meal or to see a show.
Free car parks in Cambridge
You can park for free in Cambridge on Sundays at Gwydir Street Car Park. You can also park for free at Sun Street Car Park in Cambridge between 5pm and 8.30am.
Adam and Eve Street Car Park and Castle Hill Car Park in Cambridge are free between 7pm – 8am daily and Sundays before 10am.
Between 1st Nov and 31st March, free parking is available between 4pm and 9pm (when the car park closes) at Lammas Land Car Park.
|Adam and Eve Street Car Park
|Adam and Eve Street, off East Road, Cambridge CB1 1DX
|7pm – 8am and before 10am Sundays
|Castle Hill Car Park
|Castle Hill, off Castle Street,Cambridge CB3 0AT
|7pm – 8am, Saturday before 9am, Sundays before 10am and after 5pm
|Gwydir Street Car Park
|Gwydir Street, off Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 2LW
|7pm – 8am, Saturdays before 9am and all day Sunday
|Lammas Land Car Park
|The Driftway, Newnham Road, Cambridge CB3 9PA
|4pm – 9pm (November to March)
Free parking at Cambridge Park & Ride Sites
Cambridge has five park and ride sites, with one accessible from every corner of the city. The benefit of using a park and ride car park is that you can be in Cambridge within 20 minutes and you don’t have to worry about battling through traffic.
Parking is free at Cambridge Park & Ride sites for the first 18 hours, but after this point, an additional charge is applied (18-24 hours – £10, 24-48 hours – £20, 48-72 hours – £30).
You can use the car parks free of charge providing you use the bus to get into the city. The busses are very equipped, with Free WiFi, USB charging and air conditioning.
|Park and Ride Site
|Milton Park & Ride
|Anglia Ruskin, Midsummer Common
|Newmarket Road Park & Ride
|Cambridge United FC, Anglia Ruskin
|Babraham Road Park & Ride
|Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge University Botanical Gardens, Fitzwilliam Museum
|Trumpington Park & Ride
|Cambridge University, Botanical Gardens, Fitzwilliam Museum
|Madingley Road Park & Ride
|University of Cambridge, Grand Arcade
Cambridge Park and Ride Bus Ticket Prices
|Adult Day Rider
|Adult Day Return
|1 Adult, 2 Children
|5 Adults (Group)
Free overnight parking in Cambridge
If you need to park your car for free overnight, you can use any of the following car parks around Cambridge free of charge after 7pm and until 8.30am:
- Sun Street (from 5pm)
- Adam and Eve Street Car Park
- Castle Hill Car Park
- Gwydir Street Car Park
Alternatively, if you are parking slightly outside of the city centre, the following streets have un-restricted free parking; Rosemary Lane, Norman Way, Chalmers Road and Ward Road.
Motorhome parking in Cambridge
If you’re travelling in your Motorhome, you won’t be able to drive your vehicle into Cambridge with ease, but Grafham Water (PE28 0BH) allows Motorhome parking. There is a charge, but the facilities are an added bonus.
From here, you can travel to Cambridge Park & Ride – Trumpington (CB2 9FT) as there is no height restriction and jump on the bus into Cambridge.
Coach parking in Cambridge
If you’re travelling by coach to Cambridge and looking for parking or drop-off, you should use Queens Road (by the Backs) to drop passengers off, but must park elsewhere, so it’s recommend you take advantage of the Park & Ride on Madingley Road which costs £10 for the day.
Free disabled parking in Cambridge
If you have a Blue Badge, you are entitled to park in the following car parks in Cambridge free of charge for up to 3 hours:
- Castle Hill Car Park
- Riverside Car Park
- Adam and Eve Street Car Park (2 hours)
- Gwydir Street Car Park (2 hours)
- Grafton East car park
- Grafton West car park
- Grand Arcade car park
- Park Street car park
- Queen Anne Terrace car park
Free Motorcycle parking in Cambridge
If you are visiting Cambridge city centre by motorcycle or moped, you might want to plan where you are going to park. The following car parks have dedicated motorcycle parking bays that are free of charge to use:
- Park Street Car Park (ground floor)
- Queen Anne Terrace Car Park (ground floor)
- Adam and Eve Street Car Park
- Lammas Land Car Park
Residential permit parking in Cambridge
If you are a resident in Cambridge where permits are required, you can apply for a residents parking permit.
In order to apply, you will need to prove you are a resident, so will be required to provide proof of address and proof of vehicle. You can also apply for visitor parking permits too which cost around £12 for 5 visits.
About Cambridge, UK
The city is home to one of the world’s most famous and prestigious universities – Cambridge University.
Cycling is a very popular pastime in Cambridge and an excellent way to see what the city has to offer. There is an excellent network of cycle paths so it’s really easy to get around.
If the weather is good, one of the most enjoyable things to do is go punting down the River Cam.
If architecture is your thing, you will not be disappointed with what Cambridge has to offer. The Kings College, home to the Choir of King’s College who feature on the Christmas Eve broadcast.
The Fitzwilliam Museum is home to some spectacular art so ideal for a meander if you have a few hours spare.
Other towns and cities nearby
If you’re visiting the area for a short trip or just looking for things to do nearby, you can explore these towns and cities that are near to Cambridge:
About the Author
Hi, my name is Amber and I’m here to help find you suitable free parking in towns and cities across the UK.
When I visit new towns and cities, I always take note of where you can (legally) park for free, whether this be on-street parking bays or council run car parks, which offer free parking during certain hours of the day.
Although I take every effort to ensure this information is up to date and correct, if you notice an issue, please get in touch so I can rectify it for everyone.
Information was last updated on January 8th, 2024