Tickets go on sale next week for the city’s hugely popular heritage weekend, Open Cambridge, which runs from 8-9 September and is celebrating its tenth year with the biggest and most ambitious programme of events ever.

Tickets go on sale next week for the city’s hugely popular heritage weekend, Open Cambridge, which runs from 8-9 September and is celebrating its tenth year with the biggest and most ambitious programme of events ever.

The annual city-wide festival, co-ordinated by the University of Cambridge Public Engagement team, showcases a diverse range of hidden architectural gems and stunning spaces that are normally closed to the public or which usually charge for entry.

Part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme, the aim of Open Cambridge is to celebrate the fantastic history, architecture and culture of the city. It offers everyone, residents and visitors alike, the opportunity to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are free to explore.

This year, the programme, which can be found in venues across the city or online ( boasts a range of fantastic events.

For those who love to take a peek behind the scenes, there are a number of well-known venues opening their doors for special Open Cambridge tours and talks. Some of these include the Fire Station, the Cambridge Mosque, the Cambridge Boathouses and the Senate House.

There will also be a chance this year to get a look behind the scenes at the city’s newest district in the North West of Cambridge. Open Eddington will feature tours of the new residential area and a look into its innovative design.

Cambridge is a city of contrasts; a city steeped in history but firmly based in the present with a constant eye on the future. A range of talks during this year’s Open Cambridge offer the chance for people to learn more about the city, past, present and future, including talks about Anglia Ruskin University, the Scott Polar Institute and the Cambridge Mayoralty and Charter.

Further talks and exhibitions will be held as part of the India Unboxed series of events being held to mark 150 years of connections between Cambridge and India. This will include a day of events called Mill Road Celebrates, featuring talks, dance, poetry, music and storytelling.

A major highlight of the Festival each year is the Open Cambridge dinner. On Friday 9 September, visitors can enjoy an exceptional fine-dining experience at Corpus Christi College. The evening begins with pre-prandial drinks before the three-course dinner is served in the splendour of the 19th century dining hall.

Tour highlights include a chance to see behind the scenes of the iconic, David Attenborough Building. Those who have green fingers or simply love to wander through beautiful spaces can join several walking tours of the College gardens including Clare, Newnham, Robinson, Selwyn and Wolfson Colleges.

Exhibition highlights this year include aspects of the India Unboxed events which include a Behind the Scenes at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. This gives visitors a chance to see some of the extraordinary South Asia collections and find out more about the objects not currently on display in the museum. Meanwhile, to mark the bicentenary year of Jane Austen’s death, King’s College Library is displaying first and early editions of the author’s much-loved works alongside the autograph manuscript of her unfinished novel Sanditon.

Speaking about Open Cambridge 2017, Sue Long, Festival Coordinator, said: “This year, we have a fantastic programme of around 100 events, offering a unique insight into our incredible city. We are particularly pleased that the brand new Eddington community will take part for the first time in the Open Eddington events.

“Each year, we welcome thousands of people to a wide range of heritage and cultural events on offer and we very much look forward to welcoming them again in September. There really is something for everyone and anyone curious to know more about this rather amazing city.”

Open Cambridge is a busy weekend and many of the events require pre-booking. Bookings open on Monday 14 August.  Visit or call 01223 766 766. The phone- lines are open between 11am – 3pm, Monday to Friday. There are also plenty of drop-in events for people to enjoy.


Further information.

For regular updates, Open Cambridge can be found on Twitter @OpenCambridgeUK  #OC2017.

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