CambridgeshireCAMBRIDGEGreatStMary(jeanchristophebenoistCC-BY-SA3.0)1 JeanChristopheBenoist

Churches or colleges : which came first?

We are following the latest Covid19 guidelines, which can vary across the UK with local restrictions in some areas. Please do contact and keep in touch with your Experience host to check how these may affect your trip. 

  • St Bene’t’s, the oldest building in Cambridgeshire, built around 1020, with an original Saxon arch

  • Gothic revival decoration by Frederick Bodley and stained glass by Charles Eamer Kempe installed in Little St Marys and St Botolph’s churches in the 19th century

  • Latimer’s pulpit in St Edwards church, Hugh Latimer was an alumnus of Clare College and one of the three Oxford Martyrs burned at the stake in 1535 for preaching protestant reform

Little St Mary's, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2 1QG


Our start time is 10.30am and the tour lasts approximately 2 hours


£15 per person for groups of up to six, after which a group price applies.

£120 for a group of up to 20 people for 2 hours.

25% (£30 for each tour booking) will be donated to the churches, meaning that your Experience directly benefits the preservation of these incredible buildings.

Please get in touch for larger group prices.

Who can come

The tour is appropriate for adults and young people, but not very young children

Group size

1-5 5-10 10-25

A walking tour of six medieval churches in Cambridge city to find out more about their history and links with the development of the University of Cambridge.

The beautiful city of Cambridge is located in East Anglia, north of London and on the eastern edge of the flat, marshy landscape known as the Fens.

The city grew up along the river Cam and became an important and wealthy trading town that attracted the growth of monastic orders, who were dependent on the affluent tradesmen. The river also brought several invasions from Europe: the Anglo Saxons, the Danes and the Normans all left their mark on the churches in Cambridge. 

On this walking tour we will take you to six of the churches that existed in the centre of town before the first college was founded over 800 years ago. These churches had, and continue to have, strong links to the University and the colleges that were founded during the medieval period. Don’t worry about having to walk too far, the whole tour is less than 0.5 mile (1km). 

We will have time to look at the architecture, talk about the history, hear about the people who have made a difference and reflect on why so many churches exist in such a small town!  These churches have been renovated, restored and maintained, there are so many changes that have happened across the centuries for you to see. 

If you are in Cambridge for the day, or longer, there will be time for you to enjoy other aspects of the city, be it the University buildings, punting on the river, or wandering through the market to the Grand Arcade.

Many visitors come to Cambridge to see the University buildings, but this tour will take you to the Cambridge churches that played an important role in the development of the city and the colleges.


Additional details

This tour is organised and managed by Cambridge City Tours.

The tour is appropriate for adults and young people. Young children unlikely to remain interested for 2 hours.  There are no opportunity for ‘hands on’ activities. We offer tours for a maximum of 20 people. If the group is larger, additional guides will be identified and the cost of the tour doubled/trebled, depending on the number.

Our start time is 10.30am and the tour lasts approximately 2 hours.

We start outside Little St Mary's church, Trumpington Street, Cambridge. We will finish at Michaelhouse, St Michael’s church, Trinity Street, Cambridge.

This walking tour requires comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather. Cambridge can be very cold in the winter, so wrap up well.

Please let us know if you would like this tour delivered in another language. Most European languages as well a Russian and Chinese can be offered. 

Facilities & refreshments

There are no toilets available at the start of the tour or during the tour. Michaelhouse has facilities and an accessible toilet at the end of the tour. Visitors can access public toilets if they leave the tour.

The tour ends at Michaelhouse, where there is an excellent cafe, serving delicious homemade lunches and snacks. There are many other alternative venues in the centre of Cambridge.

The best option when visiting Cambridge is to use the Park & Ride car pack on the edge of town and then bus to the city centre.

However, there are paid car parks near the start and end point. The closest is Lion Yard car park, Corn Exchange Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QF.


The tour is on foot throughout. We will be able to sit in the churches.

All the churches in this tour are accessible, apart from St Botolph’s, which requires visitors to be able to manage one step down into the building. Please contact us for details.


Contact your host

Cambridge City Tours

07917 097531

inspiration, for planning your adventures

Explore our regions, stories, themes and trails


If feeling the earth beneath your boots or bike is your thing, you are in for a treat!


National Parks

Discover beautiful churches in our most breath taking and treasured landscapes.


Pedals & Pipes

by John Norman Mozart called it ‘the King of Instruments’. Discover fascinating church organs, with an intro by Huw Edwards.