After Hours: Find plenty of diversions on reclaimed land in Cambridge
CAMBRIDGE — It’s a common narrative that has emerged in cities across America for years now. A blighted, rusty industrial area is infused with development dollars and turned into a glistening retail mecca, or condos or a blend of the two.
With the country’s small size, the Brits are pretty adamant about not building on undeveloped land, and the resurrection of abandoned land has blossomed in some areas.
Take the Cambridge Leisure Park, at the corner of Cherry Hinton and Hill roads, just south of the rail station.
For 20 years, the land sat unused and decrepit as an old cattle market.
But after extensive renovation, the leisure park was open for business a few years ago.
But the site isn’t a leisure park in name only. There are a ton of diversions for whatever you fancy.
The strip is anchored by the nine-screen Cineworld movie theater, a massive multi-story affair that also has a fitness club inside.
Right across the way is the music experience known as The Junction, basically the place to go for live music in Cambridge.
The venue was refurbished with the latest developmental flurry, and now hosts touring bands, comedy nights and various theater troupe activities.
Even if nothing’s officially on, the joint is always a swinging place to get your dance on each Friday and Saturday night.
Right next to the movie theater sits Nusha, fast becoming a number-one destination for specialty cocktails. They even have a killer karaoke night on Sunday.
If you’re hungry, chain restaurants also abound.
There’s Nando’s, a pretty tasty chicken joint that can get you reasonably fed for 6 pounds. There are also Mexican, Italian and Asian offerings. There’s even a Pizza Hut and Subway.
To round out the things to do, there’s a bowling alley and what looks to be the nicest Travelodge in the entire kingdom.
The whole affair is set in a plaza-like atmosphere, and when the weather is warmer, students and those with time to kill congregate on the grassy patches.
There are parking ramps nearby, so if you feel like getting a bit of Cambridge nightlife without navigating deep into the city center, check out the Cambridge Leisure Park. With so many options, it should be enough to satisfy every member of your partying crew.
See previous After Hours reviews here.
Cambridge Leisure Park
A redeveloped tract of land at the corner of Hill and Cherry Hinton roads in Cambridge, about a 15-minute walk south from the city center.
Among the highlights:
Nine-screen cinema28-lane bowling alley10 bars and restaurantsFor Internet mapping purposes, the best address to use is Cambridge Leisure Park, Cambridge CB1 7DY.