Travel from Manchester to Cambridge
Getting to Cambridge from Manchester by public transport can be difficult. There is a direct train, but it takes a long time and is at an inconvenient time.
Probably the simplest way to get to Cambridge is to take the direct train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston, take the tube from Euston to Kings Cross and then take the train from Kings Cross to Cambridge.
You can buy a train ticket from Manchester to Cambridge including the tube fare. As usual with UK rail travel, booking a ticket early will get you the best discount. Tickets are available from the National Express website. You can either opt for the tickets to be sent to you, or you can pick them up from a "fasticket" machine at Manchester Piccadilly station before you depart - if you choose the latter option you will be sent a booking reference by email and must remember to take the credit/debit card you bought the ticket with to the station as the fasticket machine will need it as a security check.
On the National Express website, enter MAN as your departure station (or type Manchester Piccadilly) and CBG (or type Cambridge) as the destination. Pick the time you want to leave, whether or not you want a return journey and then click "Search"
The next page allows you to select the trains based on time and/or ticket price. Remember to book early for the best discounts and that trains leaving Manchester before 9am are very expensive. Journey time to Cambridge is about 4 hours. There is a fast train to London Euston every 30 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly.
There are direct flights from Manchester International Airport (terminal 3) to London Stansted Airport, from where you can catch the train to Cambridge. Flights are operated by Eastern Airways and take about an hour.
You can also opt to fly to London from Manchester and then take the train from Kings Cross to Cambridge. If you are arriving in the UK in London and flying up to Manchester, this will probably be the most sensible option. You can book train tickets online at the National Express website. In this case your starting station will be KGX (or type London Kings Cross).
Finally, you can drive from Manchester to Cambridge. Example directions are here. Driving time is about 3 hours, depending on traffic.