We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Round Church Guided Walks

Cambridge, United Kingdom
More
About Round Church Guided Walks
Round Church Guided Walks combine engaging tours of historic Cambridge with tantalising intellectual history to create a truly unique experience of one of the world's oldest university cities. Weaving together stories about major figures in the history of the University, our well-informed guides cover a range of subjects. These include the rise of the University from Christian monasteries, the relationship between science and faith, the abolition of slavery, and the Protestant Reformation. Tours depart from the Round Church and include entrance into the Round Church Visitor Centre. The cost is £12 (£10 for students) - offering great value for money for a tour which delves deep into Cambridge's unique past. Private tours may also be booked online.
Read more
Closed Now
Hours Today: 11:00 AM - 4:30 PM
See all hours
Tours and Tickets by Round Church Guided Walks
from $12.30
Overview
This tour is a great choice for history fans. Learn about Cambridge’s past and how it became the world-class University city it is today. Save time waiting in long visitor lines by having a ticket to the Round Church included. You’ll explore the historic church which dates back to the 12th century, before walking into the center past Cambridge University colleges. See the Senate House, the Cambridge University Press bookshop, the Cavendish Laboratory, and many of Cambridge’s most interesting sights in one day.
129Reviews2Q&A
Traveler rating
  • 121
  • 6
  • 1
  • 1
  • 0
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Brian M wrote a review Aug 2022
Charleston, South Carolina10 contributions2 helpful votes
Our very knowledgeable guide, Ian, managed to cover a lot of territory both literally and figuratively in this excellent tour. HIs encyclopedic knowledge of Cambridge and its history, linked with an understanding of worldview shifts over time and the important contributions of Christianity to the western world, provided excellent context for the sites we saw. He made a particular effort to find links in the history that would relate to the various people on the tour, who were from South Korea, France, Italy, Slovakia, and the U.S. It was very well done, and the movie in the Round Church before was a great introduction. Very highly recommended!
Read more
Date of experience: August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Helpful
Share
Response from RoundChurchCambridge, Manager at Round Church Guided Walks
Responded 4 weeks ago
Thanks Brian, we are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed Ian's tour so much!
Read more
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Carlos wrote a review Aug 2022
Oviedo, Spain4 contributions2 helpful votes
The best tour of Cambridge I have gone on to date. The guide, Paul, was absolutely delightful. We learnt so much about the history of Cambridge thanks to him. He was a true expert in the field - you could tell he loved his job and shared his knowledge with passion. He managed to explain everything in an extremely dynamic way, keeping us engaged for the whole duration of the visit. Definitely recommend!!
Read more
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Helpful
Share
Response from RoundChurchCambridge, Manager at Round Church Guided Walks
Responded 4 weeks ago
We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your time with us! Thank you for the positive feedback, we will be sure to pass that on to the guides.
Read more
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
TanyaTrimble wrote a review Aug 2022
London, United Kingdom4 contributions
Excellent walking tour with a very passionate and knowledgeable guide. John made this tour really enjoyable despite the heat! He gave us a real insight into the history of the colleges and the role of the church in Cambridge University through the years.
Read more
Date of experience: August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Helpful
Share
Response from RoundChurchCambridge, Manager at Round Church Guided Walks
Responded Aug 15, 2022
Thank you so much for your feedback! We are thrilled to hear that you found our University Walk informative and worthwhile. Your kind words are greatly appreciated.
Read more
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Dean D wrote a review Aug 2022
Cambridge, United Kingdom42 contributions17 helpful votes
The guide was a lovely bloke. But the tour was more of a Christian sermon full of historical inaccuracies than an accurate historical guided tour. It made us lose faith in the guide. I could write a lot to support this statement, but I appreciate that most people using tripadvisor just want a brief description so they can decide which tour to go on. So, I'll try to be brief: From the outset, the guide "warned" us that most things on the tour will be about Christianity. I thought that that was an odd thing to warn us about, because of course the history of any medieval city is bound to involve a lot of Christianity. The Christian faith dominated medieval Europe and arguably continues to dominate Cambridge and Oxford more than it does any other city in England. So why warn us about it? It was not long before we realised why he had to warn us about it: almost every stop on the tour came with a mini sermon! It began light but gradually increased... The beginning It all started harmlessly enough. For example, the first thing we were told was that the Round Church in Cambridge was based on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem where "both religious and secular scholars all agree that Christ was buried". He paused and asked us to reflect on that last "fact". But this "fact" is not actually an established fact. There is no direct evidence that the tomb of Christ is in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and thus only poor (or highly religious) scholars would be confident about making such a claim. But so what? I mean, if Jesus existed (and most people, including me, have the opinion that he did) then he had to be buried somewhere! So, why not in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre? There is no direct evidence, but the theory fits the indirect weak evidence, and he had to buried somewhere. So, I didn't mind the start of the tour, but a few alarm bells began ringing... and as the tour went on, the sermon gradually increased. It became clear that the guide cared less about giving us the facts and more about getting us to consider and contemplate his faith. That would be OK, but we paid money to learn about Cambridge, not about how great Christianity is. With each stop, there was more and more on Christianity - even when the story was not about Christianity. For example, the guide complained about Francis and Crick's discovery of DNA. Without providing details, he seemed visibly annoyed that they refused to "consider supernatural explanations". But why should they? If you can explain things with natural explanations, why should you consider supernatural explanations? If I can explain why earthquakes occur using natural explanations, why should I consider supernatural explanations such as "Earthquakes occur because the god Poseidon was angry"? The end The tour ended with a mini-sermon on how the guide hoped that we had learned how Christianity has been a positive force over the years and how everything can be understood with the light of Christianity. That's fine, but I could have got the same sermon for free by attending church! My partner and I shouldn't have had to pay for this! We wanted to pay for a historical factual tour. OK, so let's now turn to the facts. Apart from getting some of the facts wrong (for example, Girton College was founded by Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon, not Clough and Sidgwick. Cough and Sidgwick founded Newnham), the guide knew a lot about Christian history but nothing about science, so there were no facts about the work of scientists except that Newton used a prism to learn more about light. Isn't this what we learned in primary school? And apart from getting some of the facts wrong, which made us wonder which facts of his we could trust, there was no attempt to learn facts, just attempts to preach about Christianity. For example, he said Magdalen College in Cambridge is pronounced Maudlin because the guy who founded it was called Audley, and wanted it pronounced m-AUDLEY-in not Mag-dal-en. After this "fact", the guide went on to ask us whether we knew why Magdalen College in Oxford was also pronounced Maudlin. It seemed to be a mystery to him. So, why did he not just look it up before the tour? He said he's been doing this for 16 years or so! He's had plenty of time! A quick google search says the following of the one in Oxford: "The college is officially known as "The College of Saint Mary Magdalene", with "Magdalene" customarily pronounced "Maudlyn" (/ˈmɔːdlɪn/ MAWD-lin). The name was chosen when Thomas Audley re-founded and dedicated the college to Mary Magdalene in 1542. In early documents, the name of the college was spelt "Maudleyn" as it was pronounced. Although the standard pronunciation of the name "Magdalene" in the English language has changed, the customary pronunciation of the college's name was retained." Does this mean that the "fact" the guide gave us was a myth? Either way, a good guide would be curious about finding out facts. This one was more interested in his faith. I guess the Old Testament does warn people against being curious! This review is becoming too long, so I will wrap up: There were many factual errors (about 4 that we detected, and we're no experts on Cambridge history). The tour guide was clearly more interested in his own faith and in convincing us about the usefulness and truth of his faith than about telling us about the history of Cambridge. To improve the tour, get rid of the mini-sermon especially the one at the end. Learn something about the scientists at Cambridge. And remember, Christianity is deeply embedded in the history of Cambridge, but there are other things to talk about as well besides how relevant Christianity is! Overall, I suspect that most people will enjoy this tour, but if you're looking for unbiased information, you will be disappointed. Choose another tour. We didn't learn anything but had a pleasant stroll (hence 2 stars and not 1 star).
Read more
Date of experience: August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Helpful
Share
Response from RoundChurchCambridge, Manager at Round Church Guided Walks
Responded Aug 10, 2022
Thank you for taking the time to post your review. We're disappointed that the tour with one of our guides was not exactly what you expected, and we will take steps to make it right. We are constantly seeking to improve, and we aim to provide high-quality, stimulating and edifying historical tours of Cambridge. Thank you for your comments.
Read more
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
jh3hol wrote a review Jul 2022
Pocklington, United Kingdom3 contributions1 helpful vote
A fantastic small group tour of Cambridge colleges with Ian from the round church.A detailed account of the evolution of the colleges and their famous alumni and how they contributed to social and ecclesiastical change. Highly recommended.
Read more
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Helpful
Share
Response from RoundChurchCambridge, Manager at Round Church Guided Walks
Responded Aug 1, 2022
We greatly appreciate your kind words and are happy to hear that you enjoyed your time with Ian and found the walking tour informative. Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review.
Read more
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Previous
123456