Sneak peek at Open Cambridge's 2022 programme of events

Open Cambridge returns from September 9 to September 18.

Open Cambridge returns from September 9 to September 18. - Credit: Supplied by Open Cambridge

Open Cambridge returns in September with a programme of 100 free events and here's a sneak peek at some of them.

One of the region’s biggest festivals of history and culture, Open Cambridge is set to take place from September 9 to September 18.

The full 2022 programme is released on Monday, August 8, with bookings opening on the same day. 

Open Cambridge

Open Cambridge - Credit: Supplied by Open Cambridge

Culture lovers can look forward to a series of free walks, talks, tours, and online events.

The aim is to celebrate the heritage, community and history of one of the world’s most iconic cities.

The 10-day event is part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme, which has chosen the theme 'astounding inventions' for 2022 – a perfect fit for the city of Cambridge.

Whether resident or tourist, Open Cambridge is for everyone. It offers tantalising glimpses into the city’s hidden places, traditions and stories, and a wealth of opportunities to experience new things. 


Most Read

So, what’s on offer at Open Cambridge for 2022?

Fish collected by Charles Darwin on the Voyage of the Beagle on display at the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge.

Fish collected by Charles Darwin on the Voyage of the Beagle on display at the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge. - Credit: University of Cambridge / Julieta Sarmiento Photography

Why is there a fin whale skeleton in Cambridge? What can we learn from a Dodo skeleton?

What did Charles Darwin collect here and on the Voyage of the Beagle, and what can these collections tell us about him and his ideas on evolution?

Visitors can hear these and other fascinating stories on a guided tour around the Museum of Zoology, From Darwin to Dodos, on September 9.

Cows at Cambridge University Farm.

Cows at Cambridge University Farm. - Credit: Zoe Smith

To your average passerby Cambridge University Farm may look like your usual farm, complete with over 200 cows and a similar number of sheep, but there is far more to this farm than meets the eye.

Find out more during the hugely popular and exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Cambridge University Farm on September 10.

Cows at Cambridge University Farm.

Cows at Cambridge University Farm. - Credit: Zoe Smith

On the same day, there is another fascinating guided tour of the less well-known World War Two airfield at Bottisham.

Visitors will also see the collection of artifacts telling the personal and often heart-rending stories of some of those based at the airfield.

Bottisham was the only airfield to host three different Air Forces during WWII.

Bottisham Airfield Museum

Bottisham Airfield Museum - Credit: Supplied by Open Cambridge

On the following day, September 11, visitors can pop into Magdalene College and have a look around the fascinating library of Samuel Pepys.

You can see some of the selected art items at the Robert Cripps Gallery, during a special, one-off tour of the Pepys Library and Robert Cripps’ Art Collection exhibition.

Pepys Library at Magdalene College.

Pepys Library at Magdalene College. - Credit: Supplied by Open Cambridge

During the tour, Dr Jane Hughes will talk about Samuel Pepys, who served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament in the 1600s.

Pepys is most famous for the diary he kept for a decade, which reveals a political scandal or two.

Professor Tom Spencer will then show and discuss selected works from the art collection acquired by Mr Robert Cripps.

For those who have a fascination for the peculiar, the Green Badge Guide walk, 'Cambridge, the irrelevant and the irreverent', takes place on September 11-12 and September 17-18.

This walk around Cambridge centre looks at some of the city’s lesser-known characters, as well as some odd facts and stories about the city.

Do you know why there is a dog on the master’s lodge at Corpus Christi College, who helped bring meditation into Britain, or who wanted to liberate our toes and get us all wearing sandals?

Or perhaps banned books take your fancy?

Whipple Museum.

Whipple Museum. - Credit: Supplied by Open Cambridge

From September 12 to September 17, the Whipple Library showcases an exhibition of previously banned books, part of their rare books collection, during the event,Prohibition of science: Banned books and the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

An event that will excite many of the city’s residents who walk past it every day is the rare opening of one of Cambridge’s oldest buildings, the Grade I-listed Leper Chapel, on September 18.

The Cambridge Leper Chapel, also known as the Chapel of St Mary Magdalene.

The Cambridge Leper Chapel, also known as the Chapel of St Mary Magdalene. - Credit: CambridgePPF

The Chapel dates from 1125 when it was built as a place of worship for lepers at an adjacent hospital.

The building has 900 years of fascinating history, in that time being used for animals, but also as a bar, warehouse, dwelling and a place of worship.

You don’t have to go far in Cambridge to stumble across historical buildings and monuments.

Hobson's Conduit Head

Hobson's Conduit Head - Credit: Supplied by Open Cambridge

One such is the Hobson's conduit monument, which visitors can see inside on September 16-18 during a guided walk.

The Conduit Head monument is a listed and scheduled building dating from the early 1600s.

It stood in Cambridge Market Place near the Guildhall and was the fountain providing Cambridge's principal public supply of good clean water for over 250 years.

It was then replaced with a new fountain and moved to its current position at the junction of Lensfield Road and Trumpington Road.

And finally, paying homage to this year’s Heritage Open Days theme, the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Cambridge will reveal 'Astounding inventions: which ones feed the world?' on September 15.

This event will look at the technologies that contribute to global food security, some of which were invented in Cambridge, and all of which play a part in ensuring we have food on our plates.

Open Cambridge

Open Cambridge - Credit: Supplied by Open Cambridge

Open Cambridge manager Hannah Jackson said: “This is just a small selection of what’s on offer during this year’s programme, which we are particularly excited about.

"There is such a huge breadth of events that should appeal to residents and tourists alike, whilst many of the events are suitable for all ages.

"I would encourage everyone to check out the programme as soon as it becomes available on Monday, August 8 and book events as soon as they can as many of the events get booked up very quickly.

"We’re very much looking forward to welcoming everyone to this year’s Open Cambridge.”


For further information, or to browse the programme and book events, visit the website at www.opencambridge.cam.ac.uk