Downing College, Cambridge

Downing College, dating from the early 1800s, has a unique setting amidst 20 acres of grounds in central Cambridge, minutes from museums, shops and River Cam.

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West Range


  • 19th century buildings
  • Breakfast included
  • Free car parking (on site)
  • No smoking
  • Minimum age 16
  • Historic Property


  • Free broadband access (wired)
  • Free broadband access (wifi)
  • Shared gardens
  • Tennis court
  • Gym
  • Television
  • 24 hour security
  • Linen included
  • Towels included
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Hair dryers
  • Central heating

Nearby recreations

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

Downing College, dating from the early 1800s, has a unique setting amidst 20 acres of lawns and trees. While the college environment itself is quiet and peaceful, the museums, shops and River Cam in the very heart of Cambridge is only a few minutes’ walk away. Downing College is an ideal location for visitors on a leisure break or in Cambridge on business. 

Our spacious bedrooms are fully equipped for the modern day traveller, with facilities such as a flat screen television, a spacious desk and free wifi. A telephone, alarm clock, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities are also provided, and bedrooms are cleaned daily by our College Domestic Assistants. We have free car parking available within the grounds, subject to availability; please request when you are making your booking. 

Please note: We are unable to accept bookings for children of 16 years and under, or for Stag and Hen parties. Guests of 16 - 18 years must be accompanied by an adult (21 or over). 


History to the present day

Did you know?

Cambridge University and Downing College have been the starting place for many well-known actors, artists and politicians, trace the footsteps of some of Downing's famous alumni including John Cleese, Quentin Blake, Trevor Nunn, Thandie Newton and Mike Atherton.

When a door of No 10 Downing Street London was replaced in the 1960's, the original was donated to Downing College and is now the door of the College Office.

Food and Drinks

Full English breakfast is served in the Hall between 8am -9am.

At certain times of the year a breakfast service may not be available so we offer a  'Room only'  rate during these periods. 

The Lord Butterfield Cafe offers snacks and drinks during weekdays 8am-4pm and on Saturdays between 8am - 2pm.  

The College is located on Regent Street where there are many restaurants and bars offering a wide range of cuisine.

Grounds and gardens

Downing is set amidst 20 acres of lawns, trees and gardens for visitors to enjoy during their stay. 

Visitors can enjoy such activities as punting on the River Cam, taking a guided walking tour of the city which is compact and easy to walk around or attending Choral Evensong in King’s College Chapel.

The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is just 20 minutes walk from the College where you can discover plants from all over the World in 40 acres of beautiful gardens and glasshouses.

Other facilities

The Heong Gallery - Downing College opened the new public Art Gallery on 5th February 2016. Architects transformed the original edwardian stables into the new gallery space which is dedicated to modern and contemporary art. Please visit our web-site to find further information about the Heong Gallery and current exhibitions. 

Opening Hours:  Wednesdays: 10am – 8pm
                           Weekends and bank holidays: 10am - 6pm

Take a tour of the Classical Downing Architecture. Pick up one of our Architecture Tour leaflets from the Porters' Lodge to learn all about the buildings on the Domus and the history of the college.

The College has a small but modern gym facility, located behind the Howard Theatre, which may be used by guests. Please speak with the Porter's Lodge for further information and access.  

There are two outdoor tennis courts situated by the Singer Building. These may be used by arrangement with the Porters Lodge. The College does not hire out sports equipment so if you would like to use these facilities, please bring your own equipment.

A wifi code allows you access to the University of Cambridge wireless network and will be offered to you when you check in at the Porters' Lodge.

Arrival information and how to find us

Address: Downing College, Cambridge, CB2 1DQ, United Kingdom

Address: Downing College, Regent St, Cambridge CB2 1DQ

Check In: From 2pm Check Out: By 10am

Guests should check in and out at the Porter’s Lodge, located at the entrance to the College on Regent Street. It is possible for guests arriving before 2pm or departing after 10.00 to leave a small amount of luggage at the Porters' Lodge.

On arrival all Guests are required under the Immigration (Hotel Records) Order 1972 to complete a registration form giving full name and address and nationality. Non UK guests will also be required to provide the number and place of issue of their passport, their nationality and their next destination. These records must be kept for at least 12 months and be available for inspection by any police officer. 

How to Find Us:

By Train: Downing College is situated about ¾ of a mile (15 minutes walk) from the station and is served by regular buses and taxis.

By Bus: Cambridge's main bus station, Drummer Street is only a 5 minute walk from the College.

Parking on site is free but is subject to availability, so please ensure you add a parking request to your reservation at the time of the booking in the "Additional information" section of the booking form. If parking isn't available we will contact you to suggest alternative parking facilities.

Cancellation Terms

Cancellation fee as percentage of booking value depending on when the booking is cancelled.
More than 14 days notice: 0 % of booking value for night in question plus a single £10.00 admin fee
Number of days notice: from 14 to 8 days: 25 % of booking value for night in question plus a single £10.00 admin fee
Number of days notice: from 7 to 1 days: 50 % of booking value for night in question plus a single £10.00 admin fee
Trying to cancel for same night (or if they don't show up): 100 % of booking value for night in question

More photos of Downing College, Cambridge

The Maitland Robinson Library & N Staircase The Hall Set up for a Formal Dinner The Hall Exterior The Rose Garden The Master's Lodge The Heong Gallery at Downing College The Heong Gallery at Downing College Superior Twin En Suite in N Staircase Snowfall on the Domus Il. Col. Anderson Gym Springtime on the Domus Wildlife in the College Gardens Wisteria on the East Range

Customer reviews

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

Excellent location, staff and breakfast. Would happily use again. Thanks
Mr Robert C

Very clean, comfortable and spacious accommodation, good choice available for breakfast, very welcoming and helpful staff. The building where I stayed is very modern, with an eco-friendly design, while the college grounds and older buildings create a sense quietness and history, away from the bustle of the near-by city. I would definitely recommend it and would stay there again.
Ms Janet T

Staying at the college was a great experience.
Mr Maximiliaan M

Fantastic accommodation. Better than some 4 star hotel I've stayed in. Highly recommended.
Mr Usha G

A gem of a place with parking in the centre of Cambridge
Mr Raymond M

Our stay was first class. The only slight problem was the street noise by students celebrating their A Level results until 3.30 a.m. Not a fault of the university at all. The location of the college was excellent as I have some disability. We look forward to visiting again in the future. Many thanks.
Mr Ray P

I was there with 200 Red Hat ladies and the college coped extremely well with the numbers and I, and I think everybody else, thoroughly enjoyed the Downing College experience.
Ms Hannah E

Amazing place to stay
Mrs Jeanne J

The tea & hot chocolate were nice. Grounds beautiful.
Ms Patricia H

From the porters, to the remaining members of staff from all departments, standard was superb. Everyone was a good team member and a credit to the College.
Miss Jennifer P

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