On our tour, we will explore the beautiful centre of Cambridge on this architectural and historical tour of the town and its world-famous University. We will discover some of England’s most treasured buildings and follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest minds that have ever lived, from Charles Darwin to Sir David Attenborough.
Avoid the Crowds
Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group
Written by a Cambridge-based archaeologist
Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour
Bridge of Sighs, Trinity College, and King's College
Remote Tour Included
As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home
- Quayside - Across the centuries, the University of Cambridge has acquired an architectural splendour unrivalled almost anywhere else in England, alongside a treasure trove of scientific artefacts and artworks and nurtured amongst its cohort some of the greatest minds of the ages. From here, however, we will consider the early development of the town in Roman and Saxon times, before the foundation of the University.
- Church of the Holy Sepulchre - We continue towards the centre of town along the ancient thoroughfare now known as Bridge Street and stop the ‘Round Church’, one of the oldest in Cambridge.
- St John’s College - We will now turn back towards the river and although we won’t be able to see it from the street, we are roughly following its course. Many of the University colleges were deliberately built along its banks so as to be able to easily retrieve supplies from the river boats. First on our list, St John’s, a college of great renown and one of the largest in Cambridge.
- Bridge of Sighs - This is perhaps the most photographed bridge in Cambridge. Bearing little resemblance with its namesake in Venice, this romantic addition to the Cam was said to be a favourite view of Queen Victoria’s and is still the primary way for students to get from one side of the college to the other.
- Trinity College Great Gate - At Trinity College, we can consider the role the Monarchy has played in the development of Cambridge University; we will see here a most infamous representation of the monarch, Henry VIII, who does not look quite as resplendent as originally intended!
- Trinity College Queen’s Gate - From here we can view the Great Court, where students still live and work, following in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest thinkers. Trinity alumni have won a total of 37 nobel prizes, more than any other college at Cambridge or Oxford and a haul that would place them fifth globally above Russia, Sweden and Japan in terms of prizes won by nation states. Great thinkers from Isaac Newton to Lord Byron have studied here and the college continues to be one of the most prestigious at Cambridge.
- Senate House Passage - Introducing some of the finest neo-classical buildings in Cambridge, we will see where many students go for lectures and where degree congregations and celebrations are held.
- Great St Mary’s - The largest parish church in the city centre, Great St Mary’s remains a central landmark for locals and students, serving the needs both of the University and the Town, whilst also contributing to a unique piece of English musical history.
- King’s College - Amongst the most renowned of Cambridge Colleges, not least for its chapel. First we will discuss its foundation and discover which King it is named after.
- King’s College Chapel - The most iconic building in Cambridge and one of England’s most recognizable monuments, King’s College Chapel is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and attracts millions of visitors a year.
- St Bene’t’s Church - We now come to the oldest building in the entire city, this a thousand year-old building is tucked away from the grandeur of the later university buildings but is no-less special considering its age.
- Queens’ College - Famous for its Mathematical bridge, we will dispel a few myths about its construction and discover the impact of the dynastic Wars of the Roses on the foundation of the College here.
- Mill Pond - The relaxed buzz of pub drinkers and punt goers is a far cry from the Mill Pond’s original place at the beating heart of commercial Cambridge, busy with traders’ barges, laundrettes and mills.
- The Back’s - Undeniably the most enduring vista in Cambridge, the view from the ‘back’ of the University Colleges is one of the most recognisable in Britain.
- Garrett Hostel Bridge - At the end of our tour, we will pause on the only public bridge crossing the River Cam between the Colleges and admire for a second time the view of King’s and Clare colleges and reflect on the extraordinary place Cambridge holds in the history of England.