Cambridge University in a Nutshell

Disability access information for visiting colleges of the University of Cambridge.

Please click on the links on the left for information on each Cambridge College. Alternatively, scroll down the alphabetical list on this page.

For more detailed information, see also Cambridge University Disability Access Guide (also produced by me).

King’s College

  • Address: King’s Parade, Cambridge, CB2 1ST
  • Tel: 01223 331 100
  • Website:
  • General: Any guide book will give you the run down on this famous college’s history and claims to fame. The main attraction is the chapel, which looks more like a Cathedral. Between October and March anyone is free to walk through the grounds, although you must still pay to enter the chapel. During spring and summer, however, there are custodians in large purple gowns outside the main entrances and in the chapel to control the hordes of visitors. Unless you are a local resident or member of Cambridge university, you must enter King’s through the chapel North Gate and pay an entrance fee. The custodians are generally very friendly and will help you with any questions or needs. There are no toilets or refreshments in King’s, and the nearest public ones are in Lion Yard: you can leave and re-enter but it’s best to plan in advance! No drinks, food or music are allowed in King’s, and no photography in the chapel. There is a small shop in the chapel itself, selling a host of King’s and Cambridge souvenirs
  • Wheelchair Access: Yes, through North Door ramp. Exhibition not wheelchair accessible. Entry for disabled free of charge
  • Visual Impairments: Rather dimly lit. No large print or Braille leaflets. Audio guide available to borrow
  • Hearing Impairments: Induction loop in chapel kiosk. No hearing enhancement system in the main chapel
  • Disabled toilets: In College bar – ask for assistance
  • Parking: Disabled bays on King’s Parade

Magdalene College

  • Address: Magdalene Street, just over Magdalene Bridge, Cambridge, CB3 0AG
  • Tel: 01223 332 100
  • Website:
  • General: Notoriously Conservative college (the last to admit women, and the only college that still insists on white tie for its May Balls). Beautiful courts and riverside location. Home of the Pepys Library, where Samuel Pepys deposited a large proportion of his diaries and other books. sually 9am-6pm daily. Library opening times restricted, usually 2.30pm-3.30pm Monday to Saturday, and in summer 11.30am-12.30pm as well. Call in advance
  • Wheelchair Access: Level entrance from Magdalene Street, which is very busy. Courts now have temporary wooden ramps to cover several steps up and down. Paved pathways. Chapel is up one large step, but speak to porters about a temporary ramp. Access to library is difficult – up a flight of winding unmarked wooden stairs, with handrail but no lift. Library itself is small but spacious, carpeted and on one level
  • Visual Impairments: Chapel is extremely dimly lit, and steps and stairs are unmarked in both the chapel and library
  • Hearing Impairments: Generally quiet inside. No loops
  • Disabled toilets: No, and no other public toilets either. Closest are RADAR toilets on Quayside
  • Parking: Park Street multi-storey is the closest parking for the public

St. John’s College

  • Address: Trinity Street, on the corner of Bridge Street, Cambridge
  • Tel: 01223 338 600
  • Website:
  • General: St. John’s is enormous as a site, and currently has around 135 Fellows, 530 undergraduate and 300 graduate students. It was founded in 1511 by Lady Margaret Beaufort, the mother of Henry VII, and the St. John’s ‘Lady Margaret’ boatclub is named after her. The chapel is spectacular, with a huge domed ceiling, and the choir is second only to King’s – it’s well worth attending Evensong here on a Tuesday or Saturday at 6.30pm. Visitors in summer pay GBP2.50 an adult, GBP1.50 a concession or GBP5 a family to take a set route through the college building and grounds, while a leaflet in tiny script points out places and people and pictures of interest. In winter, the set route doesn’t apply and you can stroll about fairly freely. Hand-held cameras are allowed, but nothing more
  • Wheelchair Access: Entrance to the college itself is ramped. The stone paths inside are slightly uneven but not dreadful, and you can avoid cobbled areas everywhere except in the court next to the Bridge of Sighs. If you are easily tired, think twice about visiting John’s, as it is enormous and there are very few places to stop and rest. Where there are steps on the set route, these have alternative ramps. The famous Bridge itself is ramped, but very steep and uneven. The chapel, unfortunately, has three large stone steps and a very heavy door to enter
  • Visual Impairments: The chapel is rather dimly lit, and the information leaflets are written in such tiny script that it is hard to find anyone who can actually read what they say
  • Hearing Impairments:
  • Disabled toilets: No
  • Parking: Lion Yard or Park Street multi-storey

Trinity College

  • Address: Trinity Street, Cambridge
  • Tel: 01223 338 400
  • Website:
  • General: One of the most renowned (and richest) Colleges in Cambridge, founded by Henry VIII in 1546. Trinity has produced more Nobel Prize winners than France, as it never stops reminding us. Contains the famous Wren library. Punts can be hired in summer between 10.30am-5.30pm, for GBP8 an hour plus a GBP30 deposit. Entry is free between 30 October and 12 March. All other times, GBP2.20 for an adult, GBP1.30 for concessions and GBP4.40 for a family. Open 10am-5pm most of the year round except 16-22 June and 30 September-4 October. Wren library opening hours restricted – usually noon-2pm Monday to Friday and 10.30-12.30 Saturday in university full term, but check in advance
  • Wheelchair Access: Level access from Trinity Street through a heavy wooden door on the right. Sometimes the main gates are open, but beware the unexpected step down. Fairly steel ramp down into great court. Pathways are paved and not too bumpy if you avoid the cobbles. Chapel is ramped, but very steep and with a heavy door which has to be held open. Space for a wheelchair at services, but you would stick out quite a bit. Hall is up nine unmarked steps with handrails at the far sides, but no ramp or lift for the public
  • Visual Impairments: Guide dogs allowed. No large print or Braille information currently. Chapel and Hall are both very dimly lit
  • Hearing Impairments: No loop systems
  • Disabled toilets: No accessible, or other, public toilets
  • Parking: Lion Yard or Park Street multi-storey