The Royal Border Bridge, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland.
Credit: Matt Buck (cropped)
To help organise our work with schools, each Cambridge College is linked to some regions in the UK. Information about the Area Link Scheme is on the Cambridge Admissions website.
The King's Link Areas are some way from Cambridge, in much (but not all) of the North East of England, and in the West Berkshire area. We are aware that in order for students in these areas to attend events in Cambridge, it would normally be necessary to stay overnight the night before.
We can help with this a little! If you are a Year 12 student in a King's link area state school, we may be able to offer you free B&B accommodation in College if we have a room available the night before an event you are attending between mid-January and August of Year 12 (it might be a subject masterclass, a department open day, any college open day (if no accommodation is provided by the relevant college), a science festival event or any of the other events advertised in Cambridge).
The accommodation is limited and is for individual Year 12 students (or pairs of students if you have a friend who wants to attend the same event) who will be travelling on their own. This scheme is not for school groups, or for students who are not yet in Year 12.
How do I know if my school is in a King's link area?
Kingston upon Hull Central Library. Credit: John Lord (cropped)
The North East areas we are working with for this scheme are:
- County Durham, Hartlepool and Darlington
- Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees
- Redcar and Cleveland
- East Riding of Yorkshire, and Hull
Cantley Park (Wokingham), in the Snow. Credit: David Hodgson
Reading Town Hall.
Credit: Reading Tom
...and the relevant areas in the South are:
- West Berkshire
We are sorry if your school is not in one of these areas. We have a page about other accommodation options in Cambridge which you might find useful if your school is not eligible or if we are fully booked for the night you want to stay.
How do I book an overnight room?
Please send an email to Kristy and Heather at email@example.com including:
- your full name
- your phone number
- the full name and address of your school (it must be a state maintained school).
- a request to stay overnight at King's, stating clearly your arrival date (it must be between 15 January and 30 August)
- the name, date and time (if known) of the event you will be attending in Cambridge.
- We will reply within a few days to let you know if we have an overnight room available for you. If the answer is yes, we will make a provisional booking for you and send you some forms to return to us (this will require signatures from a) a tutor or teacher at your school, b) your parents or guardians, and c) you).
- We will give you a date in our email by which we must receive the signed forms.
- When we have received your signed forms, we will then email you again to confirm your booking and provide any further details for your stay in College. You will need to show a copy of your confirmation email when you arrive at King's.
Please email us in plenty of time to request the accommodation as we will need to receive the signed paperwork at least one week before you stay at King's. Unfortunately, we will have to say no to last-minute requests as we are not able to provide your room without the relevant signed paperwork in advance.
How do I get to King's?
To get to Cambridge by train:
- To check train times to Cambridge and buy tickets, please see the National Rail enquiries website.
- Cambridge Railway Station is not in the city centre so you will need to allow a bit of time to get to King's. The railway station is about 1.3 miles (1.6km) from King's, at the end of Station Road (CB1 2JW) - see the University map and how to get to King's below.
To get to King's from Cambridge railway station:
- You could walk the 1.3 miles (1.6 km) - see the University map. The walk takes just over 25 minutes.
- You could take a bus (Citi 1 or Citi 7). These buses go from the bus stops as you exit Cambridge station to the bus station in Drummer Street. Note that the buses stop in Emmanuel Street or St Andrew's Street rather than going right into the bus station. King's College is a five minute walk away from the bus station.
- You could take a taxi from outside the station (look to your right as you exit the station and you'll see the taxi rank).
If you will travel by coach, please see the getting to King's page for further information.
What will it cost?
- If we have a room available for you, your accommodation, and meals from the King's canteen will be offered free of charge (do check the times of meals though).
- You will need to pay for your own transport. We recommend applying for a 16-25 railcard if you don't already have one - this will give you a one third discount on rail travel. If you are also able to book well in advance and look for the cheaper times to travel (we can be flexible about what time you arrive at King's), this will also reduce the cost.
- Most events for prospective students are free of charge. There is a £10 charge for Saturday Masterclasses unless you have a 16-19 Bursary, Discretionary Learner Support, Children in Care or your family gets Income Support.
What do I do when I arrive?
In the Porters' Lodge
You can pick up your room key any time from 4pm on the day you arrive.
When you arrive at the main entrance of King's on King's Parade (CB2 1ST), please go to the Porters' Lodge (essentially the reception). Introduce yourself to the porter on duty and explain that you are attending an event for prospective students and have booked a room to stay overnight in King's.
Ring this bell if it's late at night and the front gate is locked.
If you tell the porter your name, they will give you your room key (and directions to your room), as well as an envelope with information, a map of King's, and your meal tickets.
Please do not worry if your train will get in late, as the Porters' Lodge is open 24 hours a day - there will always be a porter to welcome you and give you your room key.
If you arrive after the front gate is locked, please use the bell on the right of the main entrance (on the wall behind the post box), which rings through to the Porters' Lodge so that the porter on duty can let you in.
The canteen always has choice, including vegetarian options
You will find your meal tickets in the envelope that the porters will give you when you arrive, and the College map we provide will show you where the canteen is.
We recommend that you arrive in time for the evening meal in King's if you can. The canteen provides food from 6-7pm, and you then take your tray through to the hall or the bar (whichever you prefer) to eat.
The bar is the main social area
As well as an opportunity to try the food, the evening meal is a good opportunity to meet current students studying at the College. Do just introduce yourself, explain that you're a sixth former staying overnight and ask to join them - people are very friendly.
There is some general information about eating arrangements as well as sample menus on the food page, and please don't hesitate to ask the canteen staff if you are unsure about anything.
We will normally provide breakfast for you in the morning as well, for which you go to the canteen again (open 8 - 9.15am). On Saturday mornings the canteen opens later so we normally give students a voucher to pick up breakfast in the King's Coffee Shop, which opens at 9am on Saturdays.
How do I get to the event I am attending?
Please ensure that you bring information about where you need to be at what time in the morning with you. Many events are not organised by King's so we will not have this information.
King's is in central Cambridge so you will normally be close to the event you are attending. Please see the Cambridge University maps.
You can walk to most Colleges without problem. We will provide a map of Cambridge in your welcome pack when you arrive, and the King's porters will be happy to point out where you should go if you tell them where you've been asked to meet. For advance preparation, the Cambridge University Map shows where all the Colleges are. Look out for the bowler hats! These indicate a Porters' Lodge, i.e. the entrance to the College. The College porters will be happy to give you directions to the relevant room in the College. If you want to look in advance, you will often find a College map on the relevant College website.
The Sidgwick Site
Faculty of Law on the Sidgwick Site
Many events for prospective students take place on the Sidgwick Site, which is a collection of faculty buildings and lecture theatres. For this, you need to head out the back gate of King's (cross the bridge over the river in King's and walk down the avenue lined with trees to the back gate), then cross Queens' road at the lights just to the left of King's back gate, then go up West Road. You will find the Sidgwick Site up the road on your left. It is very easy, but if you have any difficulties, the King's porters will be happy to give you directions.
Accommodation elsewhere in Cambridge
We also have a page about other accommodation options in Cambridge in case needed.