things to do in cambridge

Henry VIII’s Chair Leg

The Great Gate at Trinity College has a statue of Henry V111 that dates back to early 1600. The statue originally showed Henry holding an orb in one hand and his sword in another.

For many years it was believed an irreverent student swapped the sword for the chair leg sometime in the nineteenth century. Only recently did we discover that it was actually a window cleaner who places the chair leg in the hand of the statue.

The window cleaner noticed that the sword was missing around 30 years ago, he assumed that the Cambridge Night Climbers, a group of students who are known for scrabbling up the University’s buildings, must have taken it.

He decided to replace the sword with a chair leg, which is still there today.

things to do in cambridge

King Henry’s Chair Leg – Things to do in Cambridge

Football Born in Cambridge

Football was played on Parker’s Piece in the 1800’s. Believe it or not, Cambridge University was vital to the development of Football. For the full story of how Cambridge changed football forever, click here.


No dogs allowed

The famous poet Lord Byron was a great lover of animals, but his choice of pet while studying at Cambridge University was a little unusual.

In 1805, Lord Byron became a student at Trinity College, the only problem being that pet dogs were banned. He was so annoyed by this that he decided to have a tame bear as a pet instead.

He argued that as bear weren’t specifically mentioned in their statutes, the college had no legal grounds for complaint.

Oliver Cromwell’s Head

Oliver Cromwell the Lord Protector studied at Sidney Sussex College.

When he died in 1658 he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Three years later Charles 2nd exhumed his body and beheaded it.

In 1960 his head was buried in a secret burial that only a few people know the location of, in Sidney Sussex College.

Want to know the whole story? Click here

Sidney Sussex College - Things to do in Cambridge

Sidney Sussex College – Things to do in Cambridge

Winnie the Pooh

Cambridge University has over 100 libraries. The Wren Library at Trinity college has the manuscript of Winnie the Pooh and Isaac Newtons notebook with a lock of his hair.

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Wren Library – Things to do in Cambridge

Cambridge DNA

Francis Crick and James Watson announce their discovery that DNA contains genetic information at The Eagle Pub on February 28th, 1953.

The window in the courtyard is always left open. 300 years ago the pub caught fire and all were saved except for a young barmaid who couldn’t get out of the window. Since then the window remains open.

Cambridge DNA - Things to do in Cambridge

Cambridge DNA – Things to do in Cambridge

The Fab Four

One of the greatest bands the UK ever produced, The Beatles performed in Cambridge twice, on both occasions at the Regal.

The first time they performed was on Tuesday 19th March 1963, when they were performing as a support act for Chris Montez and Tommy Roe. Their playlist on the night consisted of:  Love Me Do, Misery, A Taste of HoneyDo You Want To Know A SecretPlease Please MeI Saw Her Standing There.

The Fab Four returned later that year on Tuesday 26th November, this time headlining the night. People queued outside the Regal from 10:00 am and the famous four had to be escorted into the building by police. Records show that over 4,000 people turned up on the night. Their set list included: I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To YouAll My Loving, You Really Got A Hold On Me, Roll Over BeethovenBoysTill There Was YouShe Loves YouMoney ( That’s What I Want ) and Twist and Shout.

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The Regal – Things to do in Cambridge

The 14 Stones of Clare College

Clare College boasts 14 stone balls, well almost 14. Rumour has it that the college believed the builders did a poor job and therefore decided to pay them less. In retaliation, the builders removed a quarter of one of the stones, so there are really only 13 and ¾ stones.

things to do in cambridge

14 Stones, nearly – Clare College – Things to do in Cambridge

The Famous Sign

There is a famous sign in Portugal Place that tells bike riders not to leave their bikes against the railings, otherwise, it could be removed or destroyed.


The famous sign – Things to do in Cambridge