This year marks the 41st year of Cambridge’s famous Strawberry Fair, when Midsummer Common will once more become a festival of vitality, music and colour. It begins with a parade that wanders around the city centre from 10.30am, and then returns to Midsummer Common for the start of the fair at midday. There will be over a dozen stages, marquees and areas of entertainment, continuing all day until the festival finale at 10.30pm.
Down by the River Theme
This year’s theme is “Down By The River” and each area of the fair will be taking its own angle on this idea: from a cruise ship, to the Amazon. (A previous theme included a world-record breaking gathering of fairies a few years ago.)
This year’s fair is on Saturday 6th June, and on Sunday 3rd May the festivities will continue with Strawberry Sundae at The Portland Arms: A family-friendly day of entertainment and activities, including traders, music, dance, workshops, food, ales and beer.
Arrive by Narrowboat
If you really want to honour the “Down By The River” theme have you considered arriving by narrowboat this year? Travelling south down the River Cam from Fen Ditton you’ll pass the many college boathouses which line the north bank to Victoria Bridge and beyond. You’ll also notice Stourbridge Common, which is the former site of Stourbridge Fair and used to last for three weeks, from 7th September! On the edge of the common, Garlic Row and Oyster Row take their names from former wares sold at the fair.
Mooring your boat
After a group of houseboats your cruise will take you onwards through Midsummer Common itself and then past the Fort St George; a riverside pub. The River Cam then flows under Victoria Road bridge reaching Jesus Green and the limit of the navigation. There are public moorings at Jesus Green Lock. Some mooring is also permitted between Stourbridge Common and Jesus Lock but check the local signs for details. There is also a 48 hour visitor mooring opposite the pump-out at Jesus Green. Motorised craft are not allowed to travel upstream of Jesus Lock from 1st April to 30th September.
If you’ve never been to Strawberry Fair, book now to hire a boat for Strawberry Fair 2016, and enjoy a scenic journey through stunning Fenland and picturesque villages on your way from March to Cambridge. Even if you don’t travel when the fair is on, there’s plenty to see and do in Cambridge!