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Beautiful little UK city stuffed full of more independent shops than any other

Despite being more well-known for its world-renowned university, Cambridge has more independent shops than anywhere else in the UK.

Located on the River Cam, the beautiful little city has a population of 145,000 and is dominated by university colleges 

It also is home to the most independent shops in the country, with 35 shops per every 100,000 people, according to South Western Railway in 2022.

The sector with the highest number of shops is bicycles. Cycling is very popular in the city as it is very flat and has an extensive cycle route network.

Cambridge’s Magdalene Street has been named one of the country’s best roads to shop independent on, with everything from a trendy vintage clothing shop to a cheerful florist.

Other things to do in the city are go punting on the River Cam under the Mathematical Bridge, visit the university colleges, enjoy one of the many parks, or have a wander around one of the many museums like the Fitzwilliam.

In the nearby area are National Trust site Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge Botanic Garden,  Victorian home Audley End and a number of nature reserves.

Cambridge can be reached by train from London, Brighton, Ipswich, Norwich and Birmingham and by car via the M11, A14 and A10.

Here are the cities in the UK with the highest number of independent shops (shops per 100,000 people)

  1. Cambridge – 35

  2. Brighton – 24

  3. York – 22

  4. Norwich – 18

  5. Exeter – 17

  6. Bristol – 17

  7. Cheltenham – 16

  8. Bath – 15

  9. Ipswich – 14

  10. Preston – 14