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Go cultural in Cambridge

Highlights of the 2016 Cambridge cultural calendar


Visitors to this historic city have a plethora of festivals and cultural events from which to choose and a great Cambridge hotel to stay at. From exploring the many museums after dark, to music workshops and street theatre at the interesting range of festivals on offer, there’s plenty to do if you’re planning a trip to Cambridge in 2016.

2016 highlights:

Fitzwilliam Museum bicentenary (4 February onwards)

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge’s neo-classical treasure house of art and antiquities, celebrates its 200th birthday in 2016. With a year-long programme of events, including major exhibitions, concerts and a new history of the museum, there is something for everyone. An exhibition in the Octagon Gallery (from 4 February) will explore the Museum’s past, present and future. The two major exhibitions of the bicentenary year celebrate two of the richest and most popular of the museum’s collections:

Death on the Nile: Uncovering the afterlife of ancient Egypt (23 February – 22 May 2016)

COLOUR: The art and science of illuminated manuscripts (30 July – 30 December 2016)

Access to the collections is free of charge.

Twilight at the Museums (17 February 2016)

This popular, family-friendly and free evening of after-dark explorations is now in its tenth year, and there’s an exciting array of activities and themed trails across 10 locations. Spot the difference between Arctic and Antarctic animals at The Polar Museum, watch out for dinosaurs lurking in the shadows of the Sedgwick Museum and take a walk through dry deserts, alpine landscapes and lush tropical rainforests at the Botanic Garden’s illuminated glasshouse. And don’t miss the ‘Horrible Histories’ music performances and daredevil fire jugglers at the Cambridge Museum of Technology!

Cambridge Literary Festival (Spring Festival, 5-14 April)

The Cambridge Literary Festival is a staple of the city’s cultural calendar and the Spring Festival takes place in various venues including The Cambridge Union Society, The Divinity School, The Fitzwilliam Museum and The University Library. Visiting authors include Ruby Wax, David Hare, Tracey Chevalier and Edmund de Waal. Highlights of the children’s programme include Horrible Science and Peter Rabbit. Tickets from £6 per person.

Cambridge Folk Festival (28-31 July)

One of the most prestigious folk festivals in the world, the Cambridge Folk Festival is renowned for its eclectic mix of folk styles. Held amongst beautiful parkland at Cherry Hinton Hall, this family-friendly festival offers much more than performances from renowned folk, country, blues and roots artists. There are also music workshops, street theatre, real ale bars, kids’ ceilidh and storytelling. Tickets from £26.50 per person.

Cambridge Film Festival (September – date tbc)

The annual Cambridge Film Festival (the third longest running film festival in the UK) is a celebration of film – past, present and future. Expect memorable outdoor screenings in unusual places, including Grantchester Meadows, Jesus Green Lido and even the River Cam.

Cambridge Jazz Festival (17-27 November)

Last year saw the first jazz festival take place in Cambridge since the 1960s. This year’s line-up will include over 180 international, national and local musicians performing at over 18 venues including The Cambridge Corn Exchange, West Road Concert Hall and Clare College Cellars. As well as gypsy jazz, Latin, soul and funk, there will also be jam sessions, films, speakers and workshops. Some gigs are free, while ticketed gigs cost from £5 per person.

Stay at Hotel Felix – a Victorian villa with 52 spacious bedrooms set in three acres of gardens less than a mile from Cambridge city centre. Renowned locally for its excellent food, its award-winning Graffiti restaurant serves delicious, inventive, modern British cuisine.

Lead-in price: A one-night stay at Hotel Felix costs from £220 per room (two sharing) including breakfast, parking and WiFi. To book, call Hotel Felix on 01223 277 977.

For more information, visit


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