Cambridge is a student city in England that is famous for its history, the University of Cambridge and student colleges such as Trinity.


Cambridge, England (East)

Population: 122,700

University students: 31,470 (25.6%)


Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin

Cambridge University's Trinity College Library

A university city brimming with history

Students travel in Cambridge by bike or foot although may rarely venture into town because social life centres on university colleges.Cambridge's historic, narrow city streets are often only accessible by bike or foot.Cambridge has been a student town/city since the 13th century when Cambridge University was founded. Scholars from Oxford chose the quiet town of Cambridge as a suitable location for study. It largely remains that way, although the small city is seldom quiet due to a constant flow of tourists.

The city has had two universities since 1992 when Anglia Ruskin University, which originated from Cambridge University's School of Art, was given university status.

Student life revolves around the colleges, with students often staying there for the duration of their studies.

1. Geography and climate

Cambridge is about 50 miles north east of London in an area of level and low-lying terrain. The River Cam flows through the city and is bordered by watery fields and residential development.

Like most cities, Cambridge has many suburbs and areas of high-density housing. The city centre most contains businesses, historic buildings, and large green areas. Many of the roads are pedestrianised.

Located in the driest part of Britain, rainfall is around half the national average. Cambridge tends to  be warmer than more westerly regions of England, partly due to being low-lying and inland. Temperatures range from an average minimum of 6.2°C (43.2°F) to an average maximum of 17.0°C (62.6°F).

2. Accommodation

Student accommodation at Cambridge University includes rooms at King's College. King's College, Cambridge UniversityAnglia Ruskin University has fairly typical accommodation services. It has halls of residence on and off campus, and manages share-houses close to the Cambridge campus. Students generally have to find private accommodation in Cambridge City after their first year. Annual fees are about £3,700 for a standard room.

Cambridge University, on the other hand, has residential colleges that offer a lifestyle and social setting for students throughout their studies. The university guarantees most students college-owned accommodation for three years, and many colleges provide for fourth-year students as well.

Cambridge University accommodation options include a purpose-built block outside the main college site or shared college-owned flats or houses. Each college has a common room and bar. Sports facilities include playing fields, courts, boathouses and gyms. Fees vary significantly among the many colleges, but are usually in the range of £5,000 to £6,500 per year.

3. Transport

Bike riding is exceptionally popular in Cambridge due to the city's flat terrain and crowded roads. Compact city roads are very congested, making bike riding and walking attractive or necessary options for many.

There are several bus services, including routes linking the city to Park & Ride sites - a way to encourage motorists to park near the city's edge.

Rail is the primary method of inter-city travel for Cambridge. The railway station has direct rail links to London some 50 miles away.ff

4. Attractions

Summer fairs are a chance for Cambridge University students to take a break from study and enjoy the picturesque surrounds of the city.Strawberry Fair is a prominent event on the Cambridge City calendarFrom a student perspective, most of interesting activities at Cambridge happen within the boundaries of the university colleges. The city itself is the stronghold of tourists, with many shops and over a 100 pubs.

The colleges themselves are tourist attractions and many charge visitors for entry to college grounds.

Fairs and festivals

Several fairs and festivals take place in Cambridge, mostly during the British summer. The Midsummer Fair, an annual funfair that dates back to 1211, is held over several days around or close to midsummers day. Strawberry Fair is a free music and children's fair with a market stalls. The Cambridge Beer Festival is Britain's second largest beer festival outside London.

Other festivals include the Cambridge Folk Festival, the Cambridge Summer Music Festival (an annual festival of classical music) and the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival (an eight-week season of open-air performances).

5. Recreation and sport

In addition to cycling, other notable recreation activities happen on the River Cam. Cambridge University has a rowing club - Cambridge University Boat Club - and most of the colleges have boathouses on the river. Cambridge is also known for its university sporting events against Oxford, especially the rugby union varsity match and the Boat Race.

6. Universities

Students of King's College in Cambridge have access to excellent teaching and recreational facilities.Students of King's College, Cambridge UniversityCambridge has two universities and it seems unfair to put them side by side. Anglia Ruskin suffers from comparisons with its prestigious neighbour. Graduates rate the university's courses below average, with a satisfaction rating of 0.4 / 5.0. This is across both its Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses, which have a combined enrolment of 21,600 students. The university charges undergraduate international students £9,800 per year in tuition fees.

In contrast, Cambridge University has one of the higher course satisfaction levels in the UK, with an overall rating of 4.6 / 5.0. It has close to 20,000 students and charges international students upwards of £13,662 per year for tuition. It is commonly identified as one of the top five universities in the world.