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Open Cambridge prepares for a feast of events

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Cambridge’s much-loved festival of history and culture, Open Cambridge, returns this September with an extended programme of free live and digital events for everyone to enjoy.


Open Cambridge, which is supported by the Cambridge BID, takes place from 10 to 19 September. This year, the event has extended its usual run of three days to 10 days of tours, walks, films, talks and a host of activities that bring together local people and visitors to celebrate the unique heritage, culture and community of Cambridge.

With local stories at its heart, everyone will have the opportunity to see hidden places and try out new experiences that bring to life this unique city. Over the 10 days, the public will be able to access places that are normally closed to the public or charge admission, as well as other community events which is a free event as part of the national Heritage Open Days scheme.

The University of Cambridge Public Engagement team, the organisers of Open Cambridge, are keen to ensure it is a city-wide celebration. Alongside the many live and digital events on offer, they are asking people to get involved on social media by sharing their own stories that highlight the city’s culinary heritage and culture under the Heritage Open Day’s theme #EdibleEngland  

Anyone can share their knowledge and experiences of the city, and, whilst there is a theme, organisers are keen to stress that social media posts do not have to be focussed just on food either. It could be anything from a secret, hidden part of the city they love to visit, their favourite building, a forgotten recipe, best places to forage for wild food, an interesting, little-known story about the city’s past or present, or perhaps a tale or two of some of the many fascinating people and characters who have lived in Cambridge.

Past Open Cambridge events have included a wide range of walks, talks, tours and exhibitions at numerous locations, including a peek behind-the-scenes at the Cambridge Mosque and the ADC Theatre, a rare tour of the Parker Library, and fun and games at the Cambridge fire station. Specialist guides have offered tours of Cambridge University Colleges’ exquisite gardens, museums, galleries, and libraries. Mill Road History Society has led walking tours and talks, bringing the rich history of the city to life by introducing visitors to some of the people and places that have made the city the powerhouse it is today. This year promises to be much the same and more.

Speaking ahead of the event, Open Cambridge Coordinator Sue Long, from the University of Cambridge Public Engagement team, said: “The team are truly delighted to be hosting a live, in person event this year, alongside an extended digital offering. Cambridge has so much to offer as a foodie city, so the theme this year is very fitting. As it is completely open to interpretation, we are expecting a range of intriguing events that really bring the city’s uniqueness and ‘flavour’ to life.

“We are also really looking forward to the whole community embracing the theme and sharing their own memories and old photos on our social media sites.”

For more information about Open Cambridge visit the website here.

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