Guided tour

Cambridge: Guided Decolonial Walking Tour

Cambridge: Guided Decolonial Walking Tour

Activity provider: Uncomfortable Oxford Ltd.

From US$ 19.97 per person

Discover Cambridge in a different way on this guided walking tour focusing on the uncomfortable stories of power and privilege, which have shaped both the university and the city.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details. Learn more
Duration 2 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Wheelchair accessible


  • Learn about the origins of the University and how its growth was shaped by the competition between students and local townspeople
  • Question the accumulation of power and wealth in this university town through the conflicts that shaped England and the growth of the British Empire
  • Discuss the divided geography of the modern city by looking at legacies of class divisions and gender prejudice over the centuries
Full description
This introductory tour of Cambridge covers a range of ‘uncomfortable’ histories, from the tensions between town and gown, to the legacies of empire, the effects of racial inequality, the gender dynamics and discriminations that shaped the city and the university. These walking tours are talking tours: the guides will lead participants around the city and ask questions to spark respectful conversations inspired by the built environment. What should we do with controversial statues? How should nations teach their histories? Who has access to university education? The tour starts at the most iconic Camrbdige view, outside King’s College Chapel, to introduce participants to the violent context of the creation of the University. It then continues to the Great St Mary’s Church to talk about the historical destruction of archives, and how the violent confrontation in the past between townspeople and a privileged population of students has obscured what we know about the origins of the University. Participants will continue down Cambridge’s small cobblestone streets to the back of the Old Schools and discuss the increasingly global sources of wealth and power going back to the University, through the involvement of major donors in the slave trade. Local conflicts also benefited the town, as during the English Civil War with Cambridge as the seat of the Parliamentarian Cromwellian armies - looking back from “the Backs’, the group will start a conversation on the divided memory about Cromwell’s rule, in England but also in other parts of the world. The tour will then continue further away to the city centre to address the gendered geography of the city and the place of women in an historically masculine academic environment. Over the last few stops, the group will also discuss the question of diversifying the student body and the importance of representation, the complex question of reparations in the aftermath of empire, and the ways in which histories of sexuality have evolved, from persecution to belated celebration.
  • Free stickers at the end of the tour
  • Access to reading lists to learn more about the topics covered
  • Arranged starting point [for groups only, within the city centre]
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds

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Meeting point

Start outside King's College, King's Parade, Cambridge CB2 1ST -- the guide will be waiting for your on the left hand side of the main gates into King's College. They will be holding a sign or a branded Uncomfortable Cambridge tote bag.

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Important information

Know before you go

  • The tour includes some street crossings and sections with cobblestones
  • The tour covers about 2 km and lasts 2h
  • On weekends, central streets may be quite busy
  • You can cancel your ticket free of charge up to 24h before the tour. You can change your ticket for a different date free of charge up to 24h before the tour, and at the discretion of the organisers if cancelled at the last minute.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

5 /5

based on 1 reviews

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Very interesting and thought provoking. A knowledgeable and Lovely guide.

August 14, 2022

Product ID: 418739