The 12 museums of Cambridge
There are 12 museums in Cambridge city, and they all have something unique to offer. They range from the grand old Fitzwilliam Museum, to the much smaller and less well-known Centre for Computing History. If you’re interested in science, history, art, mathematics or anything else, there’s a good chance you’ll find something of interest in at least one of these amazing museums. What’s also great is that most of them are free to enter!
The biggest and most well-known of the museums in Cambridge, the Fitz, as the locals call it, houses over half a million objects – a beautiful array of artefacts and art from around the world.
The Centre for Computing History is a very popular museum because of its interactive nature. It hosts a huge range of computer and game consoles that date back to the 1960s.
Two million years of human history, one million artefacts and countless amazing stories. Discover the earliest African stone tools, recent Cambridge archaeological finds, and tattoo instruments collected during Captain Cook’s voyages to the Pacific.
Kettle’s Yard is the University of Cambridge’s modern and contemporary art gallery. A beautiful House with a remarkable collection of modern art and a gallery that hosts modern and contemporary art exhibitions.
The Museum of Zoology displays thousands of specimens spanning the entire animal kingdom. For instance, elephants, giant ground sloths and giraffes, to birds, reptiles, insects and molluscs. The Museum holds many wonderful treasures, such as specimens discovered by the great naturalists, including Charles Darwin.
The Scott Polar Research Institute is a centre of excellence in the study of the Arctic and Antarctic. The Polar Museum displays both the history and contemporary significance of the Arctic and Antarctic and their surrounding seas.
The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences is the oldest of the University of Cambridge museums, established in 1728 as the Woodwardian Museum. Since then, their collection has grown from about 10,000 fossils, minerals and rocks, to at least 2 million! A walk through the museum will take you on a 4.5 billion year journey through time, from the meteoritic building blocks of planets, to the thousands of fossils of animals and plants that illustrate the evolution of life in the oceans, on land and in the air.
This is an interactive, hands-on science centre at the heart of Cambridge. A fun place where children and young people can get their hands on science, try stuff out and, as a result, learn all about the principles and mysteries of ourselves, our planet and beyond.
The Whipple Museum’s collection is very popular with historians and scientists alike because it includes scientific instruments, apparatus, models, pictures, prints, photographs, books and other material related to the history of science.
Visit and you will find a warm welcome, a quirky and unusual building and fascinating objects, some that might bring back memories! Known as The Cambridge and County Folk Museum for over 70 years, the building is a Grade II listed 17th century former coaching inn. The Museum’s collections represent Cambridge and Cambridgeshire history and heritage over 300 years, including objects related to everyday life, customs and traditions of local people, places and events.
Cambridge Museum of Technology is the home of Cambridge’s industrial heritage. Learn about the story of sewage and waste disposal in the Victorian Pumping Station. Discover Cambridge’s forgotten industries in the Top Bay. Marvel at the town’s early high-tech companies in the Pye Building.
The Museum of Classical Archaeology is dedicated to the study and teaching of the classical past through the material and visual cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. The Cast Gallery is very popular because it is home to one of the finest collections of plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculpture anywhere in the world.
With the UK getting ready to welcome visitors again very soon, we hope that you will join us in Cambridge and take the opportunity to check out some of these fantastic museums in your free time. We also offer trips to museums as part of our free social programme.