Living in Cambridge

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Cambridge life

Cambridge has a lot to offer those who live and work here. It's a compact and cosmopolitan city, well served by excellent schools and good public transport.

The city has a higher than average concentration of Christian communities, with 80 churches and chapels, around half of which are Anglican.

Like all cities, Cambridge has its downsides – the traffic would probably feature in any list of disadvantages. As a medieval city, it wasn't built for cars! That said, it is a stunning place to walk or cycle around on your daily business. The beauty of its medieval streets, college courts, gardens and bridges over the river Cam are hard ever to take for granted.



Ridley seeks to encourage sustainable approaches and activities which help reduce CO2 emissions, congestion and reliance on the motor vehicle. Car parking is very restricted at the college, and by far the best way to get around Cambridge while you are here is to cycle or walk.

The following information will help you get around the city more sustainably while saving money at the same time. For information on travelling to Cambridge from elsewhere in the country or from overseas, see our Getting here page.


A bicycle an almost obligatory accessory in Cambridge! If you are coming as a residential student, you may wish to bring one with you or to buy one when you arrive (and don’t forget your bicycle lock and cycle helmet). There are many new and second-hand bicycles for sale around Cambridge and we usually hold an annual sale of refurbished bikes passed on from previous students. We provide covered cycle parking spaces for students and staff on site (see the college map).

Further information on cycling in Cambridge

Plan your cycle route for Cambridge and further afield with CycleStreets. Another useful website is the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, set up in 1995 to campaign for the rights of cyclists and to promote cycling in and around Cambridge. For information on cycle park locations in the city and the best routes around Cambridge visit the City Council's page on Cycling and Walking.

Cycling safely

Every year cycle accidents happen in Cambridge that are avoidable by taking some simple steps to keep yourself safe. But with the roads in use by drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike, unavoidable accidents do happen, and our biggest piece of advice is please do wear a cycle helmet whenever you cycle – head injuries can be life-changing.

CTC, the national cycling charity has tips on their website for cyclists, including how to gain confidence riding in traffic. The University of Cambridge Students’ Union Advice Service has also provided a helpful page on Cycling safety in Cambridge.


Cambridge is a great place to get around on foot because it is relatively compact – all the libraries and lecture venues you will need are within walking distance, although you will save time with a bicycle.

Ordinands are attached to a parish or University college chapel throughout the training, and we ensure those without their own car are placed at a church within walking or cycling distance of Ridley.

The Cambridge Walk It website will generate your route, journey time, calories burned and CO2 emissions saved. It also includes options to choose the most direct route or quieter routes.

Taking the bus

The Universal bus runs every 15 minutes from Mondays to Fridays, and every 20 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays and stops at Silver Street, which is just around the corner from Ridley. The route also stops at the University Library, the Town Centre and Addenbrookes Hospital, and offers reduced travel for University Card Holders.

You can find up-to-date timetables on the University of Cambridge’s Catch the Bus webpage.

Driving and car sharing

We ask students who are resident outside of college wherever possible to walk or cycle into college, as parking at the college is limited.

Parking spaces within the zones marked for students are available on a first-come first-served basis and cannot be guaranteed. At the beginning of each academic year all students and staff who would like permission to park in the college are given a parking permit, which allows you to park in college on specified days as required, but does not guarantee a space.

CamShare is a free online car sharing scheme, enabling users to save money while reducing congestion in the city. It's a free service set up for all those who live, work and travel in and around Cambridgeshire. The site matches you up with potential partners as a driver or passenger, for a one-off trip or a regular journey.



Residential students with children will no doubt want to talk with other parents who have experience of their children being at local schools and this is best done during conversations that will take place when you visit Ridley as a prospective student.

Information publicly available can be found at:



Your accommodation during your time at Ridley will depend on whether you are coming as a full-time residential student (and with or without family members), or for block week teaching, or as a guest on our Refreshment programme. For more information on the accommodation arrangements likely to be applicable to you, follow the links on our Programmes page.

Cultural and social life

Cultural and social life

The city is teeming with the opportunities to participate in social, cultural and leisure activities. With a significant number of concert and recital venues which attract world-class performers, there are chances to enjoy music all year round.

Cambridge is home to a number of well-established festivals, including:

The city has the country's highest concentration of internationally important collections outside London:

We are fortunate at Ridley to be located just a couple of minutes’ walk from what is widely thought of as the best park in Cambridge for children. Lammas Land has it all in the summer – plenty of space to kick a ball around in or fly kites, climbing frames, slides and swings, a free paddling pool, the river where you can feed the ducks and geese, a little nature reserve, and parking and toilets on site.

Further links with Cambridge information

Further links with Cambridge information

There is a wealth of information on the internet on visiting and living in Cambridge. The sites below cover just about every topic of interest to residents and visitors alike.

  • Cambridgeshire County Council
    Information on Cambridgeshire local services and places of interest
  • Cambridge City Council
    Local Council's guide to visiting and living in Cambridge
  • Cambridge Online
    An online guide to everything from where to eat, where to stay, and what to do, to jobs, schools, and maps
  • Cambridge Online City
    A directory to online resources that will help you enjoy Cambridge to the full
  • Visit Cambridge
    Tourist information for visitors to Cambridge
  • Cambridge University online map
    An interactive map showing the location of the colleges, departments, research institutions, main libraries, lecture theatres and administrative offices of the University of Cambridge.