FAQs

Please read through our FAQs below

If you can’t find the answer to your question, please email us on sales@cantabtours.com.

You can access our Covid-19 statement here.

About Our Tours

Our walking tours include our daily public tours of historic Cambridge and the colleges (most colleges are currently closed to the public).

You can also arrange a private tour for your group at a time to suit you and also tailored to your interests.

Anyone can join a public tour although they are best suited to individuals or small family groups/couples. Public tours only run at scheduled times and have a set itinerary.

Private tours are organised specifically for your party, so you will have the guide to yourselves and can choose the time, meeting place and have the content tailored to your interests, age group, mobility.

Your tour will be conducted by a professionally trained guide who holds a Blue or Green Badge awarded by the Institute of Tourist Guiding, the national professional body. Your guide will also be a member of the Society of Cambridge Tourist Guides who organise regular continual professional development training to ensure members have up-to-date knowledge.  Membership of this society also ensures that guides hold the correct and current insurance policies.

No, although a number of our guides are members of the University of Cambridge.  The part-time course required to become an official Cambridge guide takes almost a full academic year to complete, which would be impractical for anyone currently studying for a Cambridge degree.  (The University of Cambridge actively discourages undergraduates from taking on any employment during term time and most students are not allowed to stay on in college accommodation during vacations.)

Most tours are suitable but we ask that you let us know in advance so that our guide(s) can plan any necessary adjustments to their route(s) and we can arrange for any special entrance arrangements.

Only assistance dogs are permitted on tours.

Private Tours are available in a range of foreign languages.

We can offer tours in: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese.

Please note that there is a limited number of guides who can speak certain foreign languages so we might not always be able to provide enough guides for the whole party.

Our English-speaking guides are always happy to work with foreign language interpreters (but these must be provided by the client).

Our tours don’t normally have a set itinerary but we can give an outline of the things which will be covered. Cambridge is a busy and lively city, with many events taking place throughout the year. There are certain sights which we try to include on most tours but on very busy days your tour guide might have to adapt the route and show you these places in a different order or may agree with the party leader that it’s more rewarding for the group to watch special events such as graduation processions even if this means a slightly shorter time spent on other sights.

The main points of interest include:
– The Guildhall/Market Square (general history, Cambridge as a market town)
– Free School Lane/ the site of the original Cavendish Laboratory (scientific achievements)
– the Eagle, pub (a historic pub with the RAF bar with WWII graffiti, also where Watson and Crick announced the discovery of DNA)
– Corpus Clock (a sculptural clock designed and funded by a former Cambridge student)
– King’s Parade and King’s College and Chapel
– Great St Mary’s (the University Church)
– Senate House and the Old Schools (the ceremonial and administrative heart of the University)
– exteriors of some of the oldest, most historic colleges (for example: St Catharine’s, Corpus Christi, King’s, Gonville and Caius, Trinity, St John’s).

If you are booking a longer tour with a college entrance, a combined walking and punting tour, or you wish to finish the tour at a specific location, the itinerary will be adapted accordingly.

Currently colleges are closed or have entrance restrictions and our public tours will not include entrance, we hope this will change in the near future.

Entrance to King’s College may be organised for private groups of 5 people or less, depending on availability

All our public tours meet in front of the entrance to Great St Mary’s Church on Senate House Hill – CB2 3PQ. If you have the What3Words App then we are, wants.patch.dated

Walking tours don’t include punting, but we can recommend a punting company.

Booking Your Tour

You can book public tours online or in person from the Tourist Guide. We recommend advance online booking to avoid disappointment.

To book a private tour please e-mail your requirements to sales@cantabtours.com

Public tours are limited to a maximum of 20 per tour, the minimum number for a tour is one person – so don’t worry if you are the only one booked onto a tour, it will still go ahead!

Private Tours can be booked for groups of 1-250+ and we will supply 1 guide for every 20 people.

If you book a public tour online or over the phone, your ticket and receipt will be e-mailed.

If you book a private tour your confirmation will be e-mailed.

We do not send confirmations out by post.

You do not need to print your tickets, if you are able to please save them onto your smartphone or tablet, as you may be asked to present them to your tour guide.

For public tours children under 3 go free and tickets for children aged 3 – 16 years are £12 per child.

Private tours are charged at a flat rate for up to 20 people including any children in your party. 

Click here to see our current prices.

For public tours all sales are final and tickets are non-refundable. Tickets may be transferred only at the company’s discretion.

Private tour bookings can be cancelled up to 5 working days before the tour date. Please email sales@cantabtours.com to cancel.

On the Day of Your Tour

No special equipment is required, be prepared to be on your feet for 90 minutes, remember that the British weather is unpredictable and don’t forget your camera!

Public tours meet in front of the entrance to Great St Mary’s Church on Senate House Hill – CB2 3PQ

The most popular meeting points for private tours are:
– Queen’s Road coach setting-down point – for groups arriving on coach just in time for their tour;
– Front of Guildhall, Market Square, CB2 3QJ – a convenient central location for larger groups and evening tours;
– Front of the entrance to Great St Mary’s Church on Senate House Hill – CB2 3PQ

The guides can also meet you at your preferred location, i.e. hotel or restaurant, as long as it’s within reasonable walking distance and fits in with the practical requirements of your tour duration.

The nearest car park is located in the Grand Arcade shopping centre (Corn Exchange Street, Cambridge CB2 3QF).

Other central car parks include Queen Anne Terrace Car Park (Gonville Pl, CB1 1ND) and Park Street Car Park (Park St, CB5 8AS).

There is very limited on-street parking in Cambridge and almost no free on-street parking within at least a mile of the city centre.

We recommend you arrive 10 minutes before the tour is due to begin.

Guides will be at the agreed meeting point at least 10 minutes ahead of the tour and will make themselves known to individuals or groups who arrive at the designated place around the expected time. They will also wear the official Green or Blue Badges to show they are qualified guides.

Left luggage can be booked through a company called Stasher.

Public tours – The guide will begin the tour promptly at the advertised time. The will start with an introduction at the meeting point which usually lasts around 5 minutes, after that the tour will begin. If you are too late I’m afraid you will not be able to join the tour (See “Will I get a refund if I miss my public tour” below)

Private toursGuides will wait at the agreed meeting point for 30 minutes, if the group have not arrived the guides will leave and the tour will be cancelled. The tour fee will still be payable.

If the tour leader contacts the guides or Cantab Tours to advise of late arrival guides will wait longer for the groups, however the tour will still finish at the original time unless an extension is agreed and a supplement paid.

A maximum of 1 – 1.5 miles.

Tours finish in central Cambridge, no farther than a few minutes’ walk from Great St Mary’s Church. The guides are more than happy to give you directions back to the starting point or any other location in the city centre.

There are no public toilets on the route of our public tours. Public toilets are available in the Lion Yard and Grand Arcade shopping centres, less than 5 minutes away from Great St Mary’s Church. 

Yes, we go rain or shine.