Cambridge visitor information
An introduction to Cambridge
With Cambridge, the word unique takes on a new meaning. Founded as a University in 1209, the city today has preserved much of its outstanding beauty and original character as a quiet place of thought.
Visit Cambridge to wander among its narrow medieval streets or “The Backs”, the outstanding series of college gardens and grounds that lead down to the river. Study architecture of every period and of almost every century, and inspect the University’s many important literary, artistic, and scientific treasures. Some ideas include ghost walks, MP3 guided walks, visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum and of course, no visit to Cambridge is complete without punting down the River Cam!
“Such a balance of garden and building, of shape and form, of peace, quiet and constantly changing scene is only achieved once in the world” (R Tibbs, 1972).
It should be understood that colleges are designed primarily for students: not for children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the colleges do meet level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Dates of Cambridge's academic vacations
Rooms are mainly available during the academic vacations.
Easter: mid-March to mid-April
Summer: mid-June to mid-October
Christmas: beginning of December to mid-January
Getting to Cambridge
From London: the best options include train or bus. Trains leave every half an hour from London Kings Cross or London Liverpool St (enquiries: 08457 48 49 50; www.nationalrail.co.uk). The approximate journey time is one hour and the return fare is £15.00 to £17.70 depending on time of travel. The walk from the station to the centre of Cambridge takes about 20 minutes, or you can take a taxi from the rank at the front of the train station, the approximate cost of which is £5-£6.
Parking: Cambridge is generally not very car friendly, with pedestrianised zones and one-way systems. Some colleges (including Churchill, Downing, Fitzwilliam, Jesus, Lucy Cavendish, Murray Edwards) offer on-site parking facilities, or alternatively there are large car parks in the city, with more information here. We would advise against using the Park and Ride services as they don't allow overnight parking.
If travelling from an airport to Cambridge, the best options are either hiring a car or taking a coach: www.gobycoach.com.