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  • St Barbara, attributed to the Master of the Antwerp Adoration, early 16th century, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

    © Isabel Sudbury

  • The Fitzwilliam Museum

  • Corpus Christi College
  • All Saints' Church, Jesus Lane
    Photo by ChurchSniffer licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  • Cambridge backs
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  • Delve into the fascinating history of Cambridge, including an in-depth exploration of the Fitzwilliam Museum and private visit to its Founder’s Library

  • Step inside the Arts & Crafts interior of the David Parr House, recently subject to a two year restoration

  • Discover the remarkable story of Kettle’s Yard, home to a beautiful collection of art dating mainly from the early 20th century

"Really good mix of visits and excursions and the experts at each location were first class"

"Interesting, stimulating, varied"

- ACE customers on previous Cambridge tours led by Sarah Burles

Cambridge is well known for its ancient university, beautiful colleges and scientific discoveries, but it is also home to museum collections of international significance as well as hidden artistic treasures. On this tour, we will delve beneath the city’s surface on a series of privileged visits to discover the hidden histories of remarkable patrons – from the 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam in the 18th century, to Jim and Helen Ede in the 20th century.


We will devote a whole day to studying the history and holdings of the Fitzwilliam Museum, discovering its rich and varied collections and enjoying a private visit to the Founder’s Library in the company of a curator.


Our second full day will focus on the city’s Arts & Crafts heritage. At the heart of the tour will be a special visit to the David Parr House, which reopened in 2019 following a two-year refurbishment funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The artist-painter and decorator David Parr was an employee of the decorative arts firm F R Leach & Sons, who carried out commissions for William Morris. Between 1887 and 1927, he created a remarkable interior in his modest terraced Cambridge house, which was wonderfully preserved by his granddaughter.


A further highlight of our tour will be a visit to Kettle’s Yard, once home to Jim and Helen Ede. This fascinating house has also benefited from redevelopment in recent years. We will explore the exhibition spaces and make a special visit to the house, where works by artists such as Joan Miró, Ben and Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood and Alfred Wallis are exhibited alongside textiles, natural objects, ceramics, glass and furniture in what has been described as “a masterclass of curatorship”.


Our tour finishes with a special visit to the Women’s Art Collection at Murray Edwards College, the largest assemblage of works by female artists in Europe. It includes pieces by Barbara Hepworth, Maggi Hambling, Tracey Emin and Eileen Cooper amongst others.


We will stay throughout in the heart of Cambridge at the four-star Hotel du Vin, a stylish and comfortable hotel set in a former university building just a stone’s throw from the Fitzwilliam Museum.


This tour will be led by Sarah Burles, MA, who studied History of Art at the University of Cambridge, before developing a career in museum and gallery education. This included twelve years at the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as work in other Cambridge museums. Sarah is particularly interested in the history of collections and the collectors whose legacies have shaped the museums we see today. She runs art tours and courses in and around Cambridge as well as online lectures.

Tour Code

Included: accommodation based on sharing a deluxe twin or double bedded room, three breakfasts, three dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities & all taxes.

Not Included: travel insurance, classic double room for single use supplement £275.

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