Open Cambridge (13-15 September) is a chance to explore Cambridge’s heritage through a series of interactive events.  Many of these events are family friendly and almost all are free.  Places are still available for some activities, while others are run on a drop-in basis.

We are delighted that Open Cambridge is so popular with the local community

Sue Long, Organiser

Places are booking up fast for next month’s Open Cambridge, the annual weekend of events and activities now in its sixth year. Bigger than ever, the programme allows visitors to explore the natural, cultural and industrial histories of this ancient city through talks, walks, tours and exhibitions – all offered free of charge, with the exception of the Bridge the Gap charity walk.

Between Friday, 13 and Sunday, 15 September, libraries, gardens, museums and buildings that normally restrict public access will be open to visitors wishing to participate in a range of activities. Places and buildings hosting events include the ADC Theatre, the Institute of Astronomy and Cambridge University Library.

“We are delighted that Open Cambridge is so popular with the local community. Bookings this week have been very high, but we have lots of really amazing drop-in events on Friday, 13 and Saturday, 14 September,” said Sue Long, organiser of Open Cambridge.

Below are some tips for events that are not yet full or do not require booking.

Tour of Lucy Cavendish College – Friday, 13 September, 2.30pm-3.45pm

On Friday, 13 September, Lucy Cavendish College, an all-women college for undergraduate and postgraduate study, will host a tour of its buildings and grounds. Visitors will also be given an overview of its remarkable history as a Cambridge College for women aged 21 and over.

Founded in 1965 as an experimental female academy, its private surroundings provide a calm place in which to live, study and relax. Visitors will be able to see the George Perry Memorial Garden and the Music and Meditation Pavilion. A visit to the top floor of the college library concludes the tour, where visitors can gaze out over the grounds. Places are filling up fast, so be sure to book soon.

To book visit, or telephone 01223 766766

The Civic Insignia and Royal Charters – Friday, 13 and Saturday, 14 September, 11am-12.15pm

Despite the ubiquity of the Cambridge University coat of arms, few know about its background, how it came to be awarded to the university, or why it, and certain other objects, are so significant. This event, held on Friday and repeated on Saturday, will explore the history of Cambridge’s insignia, as well as afford visitors the opportunity to see the original charter depicting the coat of arms.

Other items on display will include the Mayoral throne and a collection of silverware gifted to the City Council throughout the past few centuries. It will be held in the Guildhall, a listed building in the heart of the city, used for everything from live music shows and weddings, to craft fairs. Be sure to book early to avoid disappointment.

To book visit, or telephone 01223 766766

It will all come out in the wash – Saturday, 14 September, between 10.3am and 4.30pm

How white are your whites – Saturday, 14 September, between 10.30am and 4.30pm

To celebrate its new exhibition of Cambridge Laundries, the Cambridge Museum of Technology will be hosting a drop-in event on the history of local laundering. As well as a talk on the history of Cambridge laundering and a photographic exhibition, there will be the opportunity to get to grips with the old-fashioned laundry process by making and removing stains. There will also be the chance to  join the audience for mini-performances by local women’s group, the Freudian Slips.

In conjunction, the Museum of Cambridge (formerly the Cambridge and County Folk Museum) will be hosting 'How White are your Whites?', a treasure hunt of white-themed objects which can then be matched against a palette of whites.

No booking required.

Bridge the gap Charity Walk – Sunday, 15 September, 9.30am-2pm

To round off Open Cambridge, visitors are invited to participate in a five-mile charity walk. This year’s route will take participants through many colleges, including St John’s, King’s and Pembroke, the Scott Polar Museum, and past many other City landmarks. This year, Bridge the Gap is aiming to raise £50,000 for Arthur Rank Hospice and Press Relief.

To register for this walk, go to , or sign up on the day at the start of the walk on Jesus Green. There are three start times: 9.30am, 10am, 10.30am.

For more information about this story, please contact Sian Jones, Tel: 01223 748174,

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