There are lots of Colleges to visit in Cambridge; thirty-one to be exact. Naturally, as a visitor to Cambridge you will want to visit at least one of these iconic sites, but choosing which ones to visit is harder than the entrance exams! Don’t worry, we at Footprints Tours have compiled a list of the top 5 best Colleges to visit at Cambridge. It will also tell you about opening times and costs to ensure your visit to the colleges goes ahead without a hitch.
If you fancy having a student guide along to explain the historical significance of your chosen College and to clarify the workings of the college system, why not book a Private Tour with us?
1. King’s College
There was no question which College should be on the top of our list. Not only is King’s stunningly beautiful, with the most recognisable building in Cambridge – King’s College Chapel – but it is also centrally located and full of fascinating history. For instance, five different Kings were involved in the construction of the chapel, due to all the turbulence caused by the War of Roses. Moreover, the Chapel itself has the largest span of fan vaulting in the world!
This should be at the top of your list to kick off a visit to Cambridge, and you can enter this college on our Cambridge University & City Tour.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 9.30 – 15.30. Saturday: 9.30 – 15.15. Sunday: 13.15- 14.30
However these may vary depending on the time of the year, so it is best to check ahead of your visit on their website.
2. Pembroke College
Pembroke is indisputably one of the top colleges to visit at Cambridge. It is the third oldest college of the university (founded in 1347) and it is also one of the largest (with over 700 students). One of the reasons we recommend Pembroke College is because of its splendid architecture. They managed their assets well over the years and now they have a building from nearly every century since their foundation! Their college chapel was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who designed St Paul’s Cathedral.
Opening times: They are generally open every day from 10am to 5pm, but if you are travelling far it is always best to check in advance
3. Trinity College
Trinity college is arguably the most famous college in Cambridge. Not only is it favoured by Royals but it also boasts 34 Nobel Laureates and 4 Field Medal winners. Their best known alumnus is perhaps Sir Isaac Newton. Outside of his old room’s window there is an apple tree which is a descendant of the famous tree, which supposedly led Newton to create his law of gravitation.
Trinity is also home to the world-renowned Wren Library. It holds over 70,000 volumes including Newton’s own copy of his Principia Mathematica and A. A. Milne’s manuscripts of Winnie-the-Pooh.
Opening times: They are generally open Monday-Sunday from 9am to 5pm. For the opening times of the Wren Library, please visit the website.
4. Corpus Christi College
The full name of the College is actually “The College of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin Mary”, but that is a bit of a mouthful, so in true Cambridge fashion we will refer to them simply as Corpus. Notably it is the only College founded (in 1352) by townspeople, however they have been wealthy from the beginning as they were established by the Guilds to train priests. They are the proud owners of a rather peculiar giant timepiece, called the Corpus Clock, which should also put the College on top of your Cambridge to do list!
Opening times: They are generally open every day from 10am to 5pm
Entrance fee: £2.50/adult
5. Newnham College
At last but no least Newnham College! While it is not centrally located like the others on the list, their gardens and gorgeous architecture definitely make the trip worthwhile. They are the second women’s college to be founded (in 1871) during a time when educating women at Cambridge was still a radical idea. So much so that a group of men famously besieged the college’s original entrance, the Pfeiffer Arch. Learn more about the College’s fascinating history and the outstanding female academics it hosted on one of our private tours!
Opening times: They are generally open Monday-Sunday from 9am to 5pm
Entrance fee: Free
ENTER OXFORD UNIVERSITY ON OUR OXFORD UNIVERSITY & CITY TOUR
You can find out more information of this site, and some of the most iconic sites in the city, on our Oxford University Walking Tour!
For more information, click here