Clare College, Cambridge

Two different sites offering a variety of comfortable rooms which are available during University vacations and only a short distance from the town centre.

Customer rating: Average: 4.0 (952 ratings)
View comments

Availability in Clare College


Select your dates




Your promotion code:

Old Court and the River Cam


  • 17th century buildings
  • 20th century buildings
  • 21st century buildings
  • Breakfast included
  • Public car parking for a charge (nearby)
  • Minimum age 16
  • B&B
  • Historic Property


  • Free broadband access (wifi)
  • Shared gardens
  • Luggage storage
  • Linen included
  • Towels included

Food and Drinks

  • Continental breakfast (included)
  • Cooked breakfast (included)

Nearby recreations

  • Pub (walking distance)
  • Museums (walking distance)
  • Historic houses
  • Gardens
  • Golf course (a short drive)
  • Tennis courts (a short drive)
  • Recommended restaurants (walking distance)
  • Theatre (walking distance)

Clare College is Cambridge second oldest College boasting 17th century architecture and gardens just a 5 minute walk from central Cambridge with sites either side of the River Cam

Accommodation is located in Memorial Court on Queens Road or at our Chesterton Lane site.

Offering single and twin rooms with either ensuite or shared bathrooms in comfortable student accommodation during vacations.

Important notice: We are unable to accept bookings for stag and hen parties or similar.

History to the present day

Clare College is the second oldest of Cambridge thirty-one colleges. It was founded in 1326, and generously endowed a few years later by Lady Elizabeth de Clare (Lady de Burgh), a granddaughter of King Edward I (1272-1307.

The College was founded in 1326 and was the first of the Oxford and Cambridge foundations to provide for a Master, Fellows and Scholars in a single community. It remains today a society of teachers and students brought together by a common interest in learning, teaching and research.

In 1336 King Edward III (1327-77) granted licence to his cousin Elizabeth de Burgo to establish a collegium (the word originally meant a corporation of scholars). Although it was in the first instance referred to unspecifically as the House of the University of Cambridge, it became known as Clare Hall as early as 1339.

In 1326 Clare College acquired the land under the shadow of historic Castle Hill and this is where the Chesterton Lane site stands today.

In 1889, 22 acres of this site were leased to a Reverend Lewis and his wife and Castle Brae was built. Mrs Lewis and her sister, Margaret Gibson were leading figures in the emancipation of women who used their personal wealth to make an architectural statement about their own aspirations. They were also keen travellers and accomplished scholars and made some internationally recognised discoveries.

In 1990 the then Master of the College described the site as; In a very real sense, the Colleges third court.

Food and Drinks

A full English breakfast is served for guests staying at Memorial Court in the Old Court Buttery (self-service cafeteria) each morning from 7.30-9.30am. The Buttery is a 5 minute walk from Memorial Court.

Continental breakfast is available for guests staying at Chesterton Lane from 7.30-9.30am and is served in the Castle End dining room. Please note, on days where there are few people staying at Chesterton Lane, you may be given a voucher for breakfast at a nearby cafe.

Grounds and gardens

The gardens of Clare College are some of the most admired in Cambridge and reflect a beauty and repose which belie their position, situated as they are in the middle of the city. Sited on the ancient fenland and bounded on three of its four sides by dykes and on the fourth by the River Cam, the garden stands as a fine example of a twentieth century English garden.

Our gardens are open from the end of March to the end of September and all of our bed and breakfast guests are welcome to enjoy them free of charge.

Other facilities

Free wired and Wi-Fi broadband in bedrooms.

Parking is available a 7-10 minute walk from Memorial Court and approximately 20 minutes walk from Chesterton Lane. Please select the parking upgrade. You are welcome to drop luggage at the College before parking at the sports ground.

Arrival information and how to find us

Address: Clare College, Memorial Court, Queens Road, Cambridge, CB3 9AJ, United Kingdom

Check in: From 3.00pm. Check out: By 10.00am

Please check out promptly. If you do not check out of your room by the time shown above, Clare College reserve the right to charge you for an additional night stay. This charge will be made to the card which was used to book your room and you will be notified by email.

On Arrival: Visitors register at the appropriate Porters Lodge, where a room key or access card will be issued. Rooms will be available from 3.00pm on the day of arrival.

Please note delegates should register at Memorial Court or Chesterton Lane and not at Old Court, Trinity Lane. Please note a £20 charge will be made to your credit card if your room key is not returned.

Security: The main site gates at Memorial Court and Trinity Lane will normally be locked at midnight but the Memorial Court Porters Lodge is staffed 24 hours a day. It is strongly recommended that delegates lock their rooms at all times. The College is not insured for loss or theft of any items belonging to visitors to the College. Chesterton Lane porters lodge closes at 11.00pm.

Parking: Parking is available a 7-10 minute walk from Memorial Court and approximately 20 minutes walk from Chesterton Lane. Please select the parking upgrade. You are welcome to drop luggage at the College before parking at the sports ground.

The post code for the car park is CB3 0EQ. If you require parking, please choose the parking upgrade. If this upgrade does not appear on the day you have selected, unfortunately this means none is available.

Cycles: There are cycle racks at the front of Memorial Court where delegates are welcome to leave their bicycles. Please note that the College cannot accept any responsibility for bicycles and delegates should ensure they use a secure lock. Cycles may not be taken through the College grounds or courts.

How to Find Us:

By Rail: Cambridge Station is about a 25 minute walk from Clare, but buses run every 8 minutes into the centre of Cambridge and taxis are available for hire at Cambridge Station.

By Road: Cambridge is linked to London and the M25 by the M11 motorway. Exit at junction 12 for Barton Road or Junction 13 for Madingley Road.

By Coach: There are frequent services between London Victoria Coach Station and Drummer Street Bus Station in Cambridge. Most services will terminate from Cambridge Bus Station, from here it is only a 5-minute walk to Clare Old Court.

NB: If taking a taxi from the city centre, be sure to ask to be dropped off at Clare College, Memorial Court in Queen Road or Chesterton Lane. Not Trinity Lane.

Please note if you are using a sat nav the postcode for Memorial Court will take you to the rear of the College where parking is prohibited. Please do not park in the University Library car park. Once you get to Queens Road just follow that along the backs until you reach a black and yellow sign saying Clare College, Memorial Court. This is the main entrance.

More photos of Clare College, Cambridge

You can be assured of a warm welcome The Fellows Garden Autumn at Clare College Chesterton Lane bedroom Castle End Scholars' Garden Memorial Court Avenue in Spring Clare Bridge The Great Hall Fallen Warrior Chesterton Lane Porters' Lodge People by the River Cam Breakfast is served in the Buttery

Customer reviews

We guarantee that all our feedback is genuine and can only be submitted by people who have booked through our websites.

Porter working on the weekend of 19/20th August & college staff were very helpful, informative & friendly. Rooms were nice, quiet & clean.
Miss Philippa A

The porter, Peter, was welcoming and helpful. He told me of points of interest in town, was passionate about the local history and was a great host. The next day an equally helpful and pleasant porter was on duty. Exceptional people.
Miss Susan F

We loved it. We already had similar experience with Trinity College in Dublin and the Old Railway Station in Auckland/New Zealand.
Dr Alf K

A good experience which suited our requirements very well. As we arrived on cycles, the ability to store bikes in a secure compound close to the room was an unexpected bonus. College staff were very helpful too.
Mr Simon W

The porters at Clare College are a delight, so helpful and extremely courteous. Thank you.
Mrs Evelyn L

Porters all very friendly and helpful. Nice peaceful room. Breakfast coffee could be improved - but vegan sausages and fresh fruit much appreciated!
Ms Frances B

A very good stay at an historic venue - thank you.
Mr Michael B

I booked a room for my parents. They were very happy for the room, service, breakfast and price. Next time they're coming to visit Cambridge I'm sure they'll try to stay in Memorial Court again.
Mr Michele M

It was honestly brilliant staying at Clare College, Cambridge. The college itself is unbelievably beautiful. My room was in the Memorial Court, which is the new(er) part of the college. The porters were super nice and they went out of their way to assist me with everything. Shout-out to Alan for being super helpful with everything.
Mr Menelaos M

Room comfortable (bathroom too essential), good wi-fi, efficient and kind personnel. Excellent facilities for conference and very good food for coffee break and lunch.
Dr Angela B

Cambridge Residences

Details of colleges in Cambridge.

Customer reviews

Read comments from previous customers.

Visitor information

Travel information and things to do.


Cambridge history and interesting facts.

Local Events

Events in the local area.