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Downing College

A landscape external view of the Georgian style building showing a clear blue sky, green lawn and tree in the center.
20 Acres Of Land In The Heart Of The City
Howard Court
Superb Conference Centre and Flexible Meeting Facilities
The Music Room at Downing College, Cambridge. A multi-functional meeting and event space, filled with natural light and set up in a u shape style.
Multi-Functional Meeting Spaces
A large empty versatile dining hall with red walls and multiple windows ideal for room hire.
Grandeur and Elegance
Dressed banqueting tables in a cream and red dining room with floor to ceiling windows, perfect for private dining.
Beautiful Private Dining Rooms
An impressive Georgian style tiered theatre with red curtains, gold pillars and ceiling making this a great conference venue.
Georgian Style State-of-the-Art Theatre

Downing College sits amidst 20 acres of beautiful grounds, yet it is within half a mile of the historic centre of Cambridge. The buildings date back to the beginning of the 19th century and are predominantly neo-classical in style conveying a sense of elegance and spaciousness. Downing College offers a flexible venue with facilities suitable for conferences, meetings, weddings and gala dinners.

The Howard Conference Centre and meeting spaces are fitted with a full range of state-of-the-art presentation equipment for in-person and hybrid events. The dedicated and experienced in-house Technology Support Team work with the Co-ordination Team ensuring that the room setups and all requirements are understood and correct, and provide AV support on the day allowing speakers and client event organisers to relax and focus.

The award-winning accommodation has been furnished to hotel standard with private bathrooms, superior furnishings, a luxury welcome tray and a flat-screen TV. The College offers a self-service breakfast in its beautiful neo-classical College Hall which allows you and your guests to have your own College experience during your stay.

Using seasonal, organic and where possible locally-sourced produce, Executive Head Chef Stephen Wade and his team provide high-quality restaurant standard cuisine. Catering for a variety of events from canapes with drinks receptions to gala dinners in one of the College's function rooms, the dishes are perfectly prepared and exquisitely presented.

For conferences and events, the College offers a range of dining options from hot and cold buffets to a cafeteria lunch in the hall. With a variety of menus to choose from, warm, welcoming staff and an exceptional level of attention to detail, you can be assured to have a fun-filled dining experience that your guests will surely remember.

The College has an extensive wine cellar that offers a wide selection of wines carefully chosen for quality and value. The wines have been selected to accompany a variety of dishes, descriptions and pairings can be found on the Wine List.

Rooms and Accommodation

  • Rooms
  • Accommodation
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Bedroom

Breakout Areas

Theatre
Layout
Classroom
Layout
U-Shape
Layout
Boardroom
Layout
Cabaret
Layout
Dimensions
The Music and Tim Cadbury Room are situated on the 1st floor above the West Lodge and Maitland Room. Completely refurbished in 2019, the rooms are ideal for meetings, training and break out spaces when used in conjunction with the Howard Theatre or Howard Building.
Tim Cadbury and Music Room
40
18
20
24
18
Width: 8m
Length: 11.5m
The West Lodge and Maitland Rooms have benefited from substantial improvement to the décor, lighting, and furniture providing a beautiful environment for lunches, private dinners and networking events. With minimum numbers of 15 guests and a maximum capacity of 36.
West Lodge and Maitland Room
40
-
20
24
-
Width: 8m
Length: 13m

Dining Rooms

Max Diners
Room Width
Room Length
A large dining hall lit by candle light set up for a Gala Dinner with long banqueting tables dressed in white linen.
Hall
150
7m
20m
A light room set up for a drinks reception with floor to ceiling windows, tables and chairs sporadically spread out with lamps and fresh flowers. A cream dining room with floor to ceiling windows, cabaret tables dressed in white linen and back chairs, perfect for private dining. A light spacious room with windows, tables and chairs sporadically placed for room hire.
Grace Howard Room
80
10.5m
16m
A ceiling chandelier in the middle of the room with white pillars, light coloured soft furnishings and red table and rug. The Howard Building Drawing Room for refreshment breaks and lunch.
Howard Building Drawing Room
80
3m
8m
The West Lodge and Maitland Rooms have benefited from substantial improvement to the décor, lighting, and furniture providing a beautiful environment for lunches, private dinners and networking events. With minimum numbers of 15 guests and a maximum capacity of 36.
West Lodge and Maitland Room
36
8m
13m

Main Meeting Rooms

Theatre Layout
Classroom layout
U-Shape Layout
Boardroom Layout
Cabaret Layout
Dimensions
The Howard Theatre at Downing College
Howard Theatre
160
-
-
-
-
Width: 9m
Length: 15m
This room with high ceiling and cream in colour is set up in theatre style with projector at center view ideal for day meetings. Floor to ceiling windows and cream curtains with cabaret tables and chairs dressed in grey linen for a meeting with projector.
Howard Building Assembly Room
120
60
35
46
64
Width: 9m
Length: 15m
A large cream room set up with rows of black chairs in front of a speaker desk and projector screen, ideal for day meetings. Large and light meeting room. Tables set up cabaret style, black table cloths and chairs. Projector screen in central view.
Grace Howard Room
60
42
32
46
64
Width: 10.5m
Length: 16m
The Music and Tim Cadbury Room are situated on the 1st floor above the West Lodge and Maitland Room. Completely refurbished in 2019, the rooms are ideal for meetings. The Music Room is equipped with a ceiling mounted laser projector,  ceiling recessed electric roller screen together with speakers built into the celing for laptop sound and videos all easily managed by touch screen. The Tim Cadbury works wonderfully for a refreshment area to have a small break during your corporate meetings.
Tim Cadbury and Music Room
40
18
20
24
18
Width: 8m
Length: 11.5m
The West Lodge and Maitland Rooms have benefited from substantial improvement to the décor, lighting, and furniture providing a beautiful environment for lunches, private dinners and networking events. With minimum numbers of 15 guests and a maximum capacity of 36.
West Lodge and Maitland Room
40
-
20
24
-
Width: 8m
Length: 13m

Downing College Accommodation

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Downing College has everything you need for a comfortable and memorable stay in historic Cambridge. With shops, restaurants and bars minutes away Downing College offers the perfect mix of the thriving cosmopolitan city and the calmness and tranquility of the College lawns and gardens.

You will find everything you need at Downing College for a relaxing and enjoyable overnight stay in such a unique venue with an award winning range of accommodation for B&B and Conference guests. With a choice of Superior Single, Twin or Double en-suite bedrooms, you will find our facilities can give you everything you require for your stay. There are no restrictions on the length of stay, subject to availability, and all rooms are available from a minimum of one night.

The Superior Double en suite bedrooms
Superior Double En Suite Bedroom
84 Rooms
The Superior Single en suite bedrooms
Superior Single En Suite Bedroom
55 Rooms
The standard en suite bedrooms
Standard Single En Suite Bedroom
49 Rooms
The study bedrooms
Study Bedroom
62 Rooms
Total
175 Rooms

Weddings

Set in 20 acres of lawns while remaining in the heart of Cambridge, Downing College is an idyllic venue for your wedding day. With a combination of beautiful architecture, tranquil gardens and landscaping, wedding couples can relax and enjoy their day knowing they are in safe and experienced hands.

The College's experienced and dedicated Wedding Coordinator, Kerry-Ann, will create your dream celebration, paying attention to the finest of details to ensure everything runs smoothly. From the initial enquiry to your big day, you will be looked after and cared for by the expert team at Downing College.

Civil Licence
Yes
Maximum number for a Civil Ceremony
140
Maximum number for a Wedding Breakfast
168
Maximum number for an Evening Reception
168
Restrictions:
Please contact the College's Wedding Coordinator for more details.

Green Initiatives

  1. The Howard Theatre is an environmentally-sustainable building with solar panels and rainwater harvesting for flushing toilets and maintaining the landscaping.
  2. Vegware products are available throughout the College. Vegware are plant-based catering disposables made from renewable, lower carbon or recycled materials.
  3. Members of the Wildlife Trust and won a Gardening at Work Award recognising efforts to encourage wildlife on their premises.
  4. There are two electric car charging points on-site for delegate use.

Did You Know?

  1. Founded in 1800, Downing was the only College to be added to Cambridge University between 1596 and 1869.
  2. A door from 10 Downing Street is currently in use at the College.
  3. John Cleese and Quentin Blake are both Alumni of Downing College.
  4. The College Boat Club's Rowing Tank training facility is the first of its kind in the East of England.

How To Find Downing College

Downing College
Cambridge
CB2 1DQ

News and Case Studies