The Story of Cambridge's Colleges

2 nights starting from
£599

  • Stay in Christ’s College Cambridge for an authentic experience 

  • Dinner in the dining hall at Christ’s College

  • Guided walking tour of the city

  • A chauffeured punt on the Cam

  • Specially arranged visit to Emmanuel College with Julian Humphrys 

Immerse yourself in the life of a Cambridge student on this superb tour. Join Emmanuel College graduate and popular Travel Editions’ lecturer and guide, Julian Humphrys to explore the ancient past (as well as his own more recent time there) and present of this beautiful city and its famous colleges.  Accommodation is in Christ’s College so that you are within a few footsteps of all the main sights – a dinner here in the sumptuous dining hall will replicate a Cambridge student institution. You will also be joined on the tour by Dr Nicola Tallis, an independent historian and researcher who will give a talk on Lady Margaret Beaufort and her strong connections to Cambridge and Christ's College. 

Available Departures

From

21 - August - 2024 £ 599.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive independently at Christ’s College from 15.00.
This evening there will be a welcome reception, talk from Julian Humphrys in the Lloyd Room of Christ’s College and private dinner with wine in the Dining Hall.

Day 2: Walking tour of the city, King’s College and Kettle’s Yard. 
Our day starts with a walking tour of the beautiful and historic city of Cambridge with a Blue Badge guide who will show you some of the 31 colleges dotted around the city’s beautiful centre. This afternoon, we visit King’s College, one of the grandest and oldest colleges which was founded in 1441 by Henry VI. The college is an architectural gem and widely regarded as one of the greatest examples of late Gothic English architecture. It is famed throughout the world for its chapel whose stained-glass windows and wooden chancel screen are some of the finest from their era. Our final visit for the day is to Kettle’s Yard Art Gallery and House. It is the University of Cambridge’s modern and contemporary art gallery, whilst the historic house is home to the remarkable collection assembled by Jim and Helen Ede, who lived here from 1958 until 1973. This evening we have a talk in the Lloyd Room of Christ's College by Dr Nicola Tallis - 'Uncrowned Queen: The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch', before you have the rest of the evening at leisure to enjoy dinner in one of the host of restaurants in the city centre.

Day 3: Emmanuel College, punting on the Cam and Fitzwilliam Museum. 
Our day starts with a tour of Julian’s old college, Emmanuel, with an anecdote or two to entertain about his time here where his lifelong fascination with history was forged and some behind the scenes visits not normally available to the general public. The college was founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Elizabeth and its 1677 chapel was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Time free for an early lunch (not included) before a chauffeured punt trip on the Cam, without which no visit to Cambridge is complete. Finally, our last visit is to the superb Fitzwilliam Museum with its superb collection of art, comprising some 1700 paintings from the 13th to the 21st centuries. Its myriad collections also includes coins, ceramics, armour, manuscripts, including the original draft of Keats’s Ode to a Nightingale and antiquities. Return to Christ’s College for approximately 17.00.

All tours are conducted on foot, so a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required for this tour.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour managers' discretion.

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 48 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Two nights’ bed and breakfast accommdation at Christ's College based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • First night private three-course dinner with wine at Christ’s College
  • All talks, guided tours and admissions
  • Tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Single supplement 
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Extra nights on a bed and breakfast basis 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc 
  • Porterage and gratuities 

HOTEL

Christ’s College, Cambridge

Stay in one of the city’s most famous and oldest colleges, established in 1437, in a modern, clean and comfortable student room with private bathroom. They do not have hotel facilities such as TV and telephone but breakfast is served in the college and they have free wifi. Please be aware that the College has no lift.

Parking: There is no car parking available at Christ’s College. The closest multi-storey car park to the city centre, colleges and riverside is the Grand Arcade Car Park on Corn Exchange Street. There is another car park on Park Street which is a 10-minute walk into the city. There are also five park and ride sites around Cambridge which permit overnight parking. 

College Website

MORE INFO - Please click here for more information on this tour

Your Guides and Speakers

Julian Humphrys 
Julian read history at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, has worked at historical sites both in Britain and overseas and is now a trustee of the the Battlefields Trust and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has a very infectious enthusiasm for history and has published numerous books on castles and battles. He currently leads more than a dozen tours for Travel Editions and imparts his extraordinary historical knowledge with wit and panache, making a tour led by him both an educational and entertaining experience.


Dr Nicola Tallis 
Dr Nicola Tallis is an independent historian and researcher, who has also worked as a curator and lecturer. She received her doctorate from the University of Winchester in 2019, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Nicola has worked with Historic Royal Palaces and the National Trust, and has appeared on BBC’s Countryfile, Who Do You Think You Are? and Booktalk. She is also a regular contributor to history magazines and radio. Nicola has given talks at the Emirates Literature Festival, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, the National Archives, and the British Library to name but a few. She is the author of four critically acclaimed books: Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey, Elizabeth’s Rival: The Tumultuous Tale of Lettice Knollys, Countess of Leicester, Uncrowned Queen: The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort, Tudor Matriarch, and All the Queen’s Jewels, 1445-1548: Power, Majesty and Display.

UK Tours

Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.  

You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day. 

For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation. 

The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 6pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date. 

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Review by Anonymous who travelled 16-August-2023


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Julian good, as ever; Nicola excellent

Review by Anonymous who travelled 16-August-2023


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Very enjoyable short break; lot of walking but brochure made very clear it would be so.

Review by Diwell who travelled 16-August-2023


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I believed the picture in the Brochure, and expected to stay in an old room overloking a court..... The Courts were indeed lovely, but our accommodation was approached through a complicated bulding site; my room offered a view of a modern street with double decker buses passing at just the right height to look in (no Nets or blinds, only heavy curtains ) The other window looked out onto scaffolding. the room was bleak, I had to improvie a bedside table by removing and stacking two drawers from the wardrobe. The kettle was a boon. The bathroom had no shelves. Poor maintainence- one curtain track falling off its supports, broken plug chain in bathroom. The College Porters were helpful and a builder escorted me through the mazelike building site. The rest of the visit was good, interesting talks, good trips around the colleges and a jolly Punt voyage. Kettle's Yard was a joy.

Review by Wheeler who travelled 16-August-2023


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A lovely tour. Made me want to stay in more colleges.

Review by Jackson who travelled 16-August-2023


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Review by Potts who travelled 16-August-2023


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I really enjoyed the tour, we certainly covered a great deal of ground! Julian and Nicola were knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. My only complaint is that the room was uncomfortably hot. I think also that tavellers should be warned that to reach a ground floor room (which I had thank you) it is still necessary to climb quite a long flight of steps.

Review by Smith who travelled 16-August-2023


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Absolutely loved the tour: staying in Christ’s was a very special occasion; I could pretend I was a student…!! Julian and Nicola were wonderful guides, speakers and historians. I have so much to think about that my brain hurts. I’ll always think of Julian when I eat lemon drizzle cake. Can’t wait for my next trip!

Review by Hawkes who travelled 16-August-2023


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I graduated from King's College Cambridge in 1966. I took this holiday because I wanted to see some of the other colleges and parts of the university which I did not see while I was an undergraduate. This holiday succeeded in those aims. Julian and the other guides were all very knowledgeable and interesting. I was pleased with the accommodation at Christ's college. Like most of the colleges, it is very central. I was delighted to meet the college cats, Finch and Baines. As senior members of the college, they are allowed to walk on the grass. They used that privilege to keep a cautious distance from me, but never mind. We were in many rooms adorned with paintings, but there is a gloominess in the colouring of most of these old paintings. Maybe one year, in rag week, undergrads will swap the paintings of one college for another. I wonder how long it will be before anybody notices. My parents loved it when I took them punting. They said it was the only time they ever saw me working. This time I was happy to sit back and watch the scenery go by.

Review by Gorman who travelled 16-August-2023


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Review by Cook who travelled 16-August-2023


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 16-August-2023


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