Cambridge is an extremely vibrant city: there is always something to do and something going on, making it the perfect place for an international study program. Whether it’s a going to a concert or the theatre, visiting the parks, museums, and colleges, or getting stuck into the local events and festivals, you can never get bored. As this year draws to a close, we look forward to all the exciting things that will be going on in Cambridge throughout 2014…
January: Prince William studies in Cambridge
Students in Cambridge will be hoping to bump into royalty over the next ten weeks. It was recently announced that Prince William is starting a full-time agricultural management course at Cambridge University. This is in preparation for when he takes over the Duchy of Cornwall from his father, the Prince of Wales, who also studied at Cambridge University. The royal family have long-standing links with the city of Cambridge, which you can read about here.
February: Lent Bumps
One of the things Cambridge is most famous for is rowing. The Lent Bumps are the annual rowing races on the River Cam. Held over five days, the Lent Bumps first started in 1887. Crews come from each of the Cambridge colleges, as well the university’s Veterinary and Medical Schools, and Anglia Ruskin’s Boat Club, and there is real collegiate spirit as students support their team.
March : Cambridge Science Festival
Cambridge is a centre of scientific excellence and many groundbreaking discoveries continue to be made there. Celebrating its 20th year, the festival opens up Cambridge Science to the public, welcoming 30,000 visitors last year. It is made up of lots of different events, including debates, demonstrations, films, and hands-on activities, the Festival offers something for everyone interested in exploring science.
April: Cambridge Wordfest
Cambridge Wordfest is a literary festival held in the Spring and Winter each year, and celebrated its 10th year in 2013. All sorts of guests, from poets to scientists, novelists to editors, politicians to children’s authors, are invited to give talks, join debates, and meet their readers.
May: Eat Cambridge
This festival celebrates the food, cafes and restaurants of Cambridge. There will be a range of events, from a market filled with mouth-watering locally-produced food, to cookery lessons, talks from chefs, and deals on restaurant meals. This festival may be a nice break for students at Cambridge University, who will be revising and sitting their end-of-year exams in May. Students from our summer camps all enjoy exploring the wonderful array of locally-produced food on offer from the year-round market, and eating at the many fabulous restaurants in the city.
June: May Week
It is a bit confusing that May Week is actually in June. Originally held the week before the end-of-year exams began in May, now it is a celebratory week held after exams and the academic year are over in June. It is filled with social events, from gardens parties to June Events and, most importantly, May Balls. For a May Ball, colleges are completely redecorated inside and out, usually to fit to a theme, and dress code is black tie. There is endless food (think hog roasts and chocolate fountains) and entertainment (think bouncy castles, dodgems, crazy golf, musicians performing, anything and everything) which last throughout the night.
July: The Tour de France
One of the greatest sporting events in the world, the Tour de France, will visit Cambridge in 2014. The third stage of the event will start in Cambridge on July 7th, before moving through the country to finish on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace in London. This isn’t the first time Cambridge has had a role in a major sporting event – in 2012, the Olympic Flame passed through the city.
August: Cambridge Folk Festival
2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Cambridge Folk Festival, making it one of the longest-running folk festivals in the world. Regularly drawing an audience of 10,000 people, the festival includes a range of different kinds of music, from more traditional folk, to gospel, bluegrass and jazz to name but a few.
September: Open Cambridge
Cambridge is a city steeped in history and culture, and this Open Cambridge event gives the public a chance to explore everything the city has to offer. There are opportunities to go on special walks, tour colleges and their usually closed grounds, visit faculties and museums, and attend talks and exhibitions.
October: The Festival of Ideas
The Festival of Ideas promotes engagement with the arts, humanities and social sciences, and is filled with lots of, mostly free, events such as talks, performances and exhibitions. It is also a great way for members of Cambridge University and the public to meet and discuss ideas.
November: Fireworks Night
Bonfire Night is celebrated across England on 5th November. Traditionally recalling Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 5th November 1605, it is now generally an evening filled with fireworks. Cambridge has a big firework display from Midsummer Common, accompanied by a fair with lots of rides and food, both very popular with students.
December: Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Last week’s blog was all about the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, held in King’s College Chapel, and one of the most-loved British Christmas traditions. People queue for hours to attend this service which is held in the chapel on 24th December, Christmas Eve. However, it is also broadcast on radio stations around the world, and marks the start of Christmas for many families.
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