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A stunning location for your event

Conferences and Events

St John's College is a truly inspiring venue to host an event for your organisation due to its beautiful setting and our fascinating heritage.

From William Wilberforce to Douglas Adams, there are hundreds of leaders and artists whose education here was the springboard to them making their mark on the world. It's perhaps this knowledge that lends the College an atmosphere of inspiration and achievement.

Our purpose built facilities provide an ideal location for both residential and non-residential occasions: lunches, meetings, training programmes, conferences, seminars, exhibitions, receptions, product launches and more.

On one end of the scale, our sixteenth century Hall can accommodate up to 300 people for standing receptionsand the Fisher Building's auditorium seats 250. For smaller events, there are meeting and dining rooms across College suitable for groups of 50 and fewer.

See the venues section below for more details.

Cambridge itself is perfectly placed for business travel with London less than an hour away by Fast train from Kings Cross. The London airports are within easy reach, and Stansted Airport is only a 40 minute journey.

The College's 506 years of history will impress and inspire your delegates, and provide the perfect location for your event, so contact us today.

Conference and Function Accommodation

Guests attending your event can stay on-site in comfortable rooms with views of the college grounds.

Up to 250 people can be accommodated in a choice of single and twin-bedded rooms, with tea and coffee making facilities, towels and toiletries. Rooms are serviced daily.  We have been awarded a 4* Campus Quality in Tourism Accreditation given by Visit England

A considerable number of rooms have en-suite bathrooms, but otherwise facilities are shared between two or three delegates.

Some ground floor rooms are available for guests with minor disabilities. Please note that children under the age of 16 cannot be accommodated in the college.

Other facilities

Charged car parking may be available for up to 100 vehicles, by prior arrangement.

Bed & Breakfast

During the summer the College also offers some accommodation to individuals on a Bed & Breakfast basis. Use the form below to request a booking. The booking system is managed by the Network.

Please note that we cannot accommodate anyone under the age of 16.

University Rooms

Private Dining

Dinners, wedding receptions and breakfasts, canapé parties, buffets, lunches and private dinners - whatever the occasion, be it Corporate or Family occasion, the magnificent dining rooms and grounds of St John's can provide the perfect setting.

You can host an intimate dinner for up to 16 people in the Parsons room – or an impressive Dinner for up to 300 in the 16th century Hall. For receptions we can cater for up to 300 people. See our venues section for the full selection of dining rooms.

The College prides itself on the reputation it has gained over the years, for its excellent standards of cuisine from the most formal banquet, to an intimate dinner party. A wide choice of menus and wines are available for every occasion and special requests can be accommodated.  We are able to accommodate for dietary and allergen expectations.

Our hospitality and catering team is experienced in hosting a wide range of events, and will help you to realise your ambitions for a tailor-made function to impress.

Contact us today to talk about your plans.


Few other venues can provide the sense of occasion that you'll find at St John's College, with impressive architecture steeped in history, and the beautiful surroundings of the sweeping College grounds.

Anyone is welcome to have their wedding reception in College, and Members of the College who are within current residence, or out of residence for no more than five years, may have their wedding ceremony in the College Chapel itself.

You can begin with reception drinks in the spectacular College grounds or in one of our reception rooms. Photographs can be taken in some of the unique locations around the College, including the world famous Bridge of Sighs overlooking the River Cam.

The reception can be held in one of a selection of venues, including the 16th century Hall, seating up to 300 people. You can choose your menu from a large selection of dishes suggested by our catering team, or we can cater for your own menu.

Our chefs have trained at some of the world's top schools, and provide an exceptionally high level of cuisine.  Much of our produce is locally sourced, and we are a member of the Sustainable Restauranteurs Association.

To ensure that such an important day runs smoothly for you, a member of our team will be dedicated to supporting you.

A wedding at St John's College, Cambridge, is a truly special and memorable occasion. Please see our Wedding Brochure, attached below, for more information.You can contact us to find out more information, or to arrange a visit to the College.

More information



Fisher Building

A modern purpose-built facility ideally suited for conferences, meetings and corporate events.

  • Auditorium with seating for up to 250
  • 3 seminar rooms for up to 50 people
  • A selection of smaller meeting rooms
  • Conference office with IT and communications facilities, plus tea/coffee
  • Reception desk and foyer area


The Hall

A magnificent, 16th century building with a hammerbeam roof and fine old linen-fold panelling, ideal for large sit down functions. It can seat 300 in comfort and up to a maximum of 300 for receptions and buffets.




Wordsworth Room

This attractive 450 year old room was where William Wordsworth lived when he was an undergraduate in the 1780’s.  He described these rooms in his autobiographical poem, The Prelude. The room is ideally suited for functions of between 20 to 50 sitting down, or up to 60 for stand up buffets or Drinks receptions.



Parsons Room

Steeped in history this room which is named after Charles Parsons the well-known engineer. Its intimate setting lends itself for smaller dinner parties, seating up to 16 people or a maximum of 28 for buffets or receptions.





The College Bar

A fully licensed, comfortable and traditional College Bar. This can be used for pre or post-Dinner drinks.




Old Music Room

Situated in First Court the Old Music Room, which originally was a teaching room for the students, is the ideal venue for drinks, receptions and light finger buffets for up to 60 guests.

Getting Here

The main entrance to College is through the Forecourt Porters' Lodge, accessed from St John's Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TP.

By Road

The College is easily accessible from the M11, M1, and A1(M) motorways, and the A14. Parking on site is limited, and available only by prior arrangement. For full directions please see the main college Getting Here page.

By Rail

Cambridge is a 50 minute journey from London's Kings Cross and slightly longer from Liverpool Street stations. There are also good cross country services from Peterborough to link with trains from the north and the Midlands. For further information please see or call 08457 484950. A taxi from the station takes about 15 minutes, costing around £10.

By Air

London Stansted is just a 40 minute journey. London Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton airports, along with Birmingham Airport, are less than a two hour drive.

Full information is available on our main Contact Us page.

About Us

The Hospitality team at St John's College will help you to ensure that your event runs smoothly and impresses your guests.

Our chefs have trained with some of the most renowned schools in the world, and bring a very high standard of cuisine to events held at the college. We pride ourselves on sourcing quality ingredients with full traceability, and creating interesting menus with inspiration from around the world.  In 2013 St Johns College came 2nd in the vitality sourcing awards.

Our kitchen staff have trained at hotel and catering schools within the UK and also at the Emirates Academy in Dubai - one of the top hotel schools in the world - and the Saigon Cookery school in Vietnam. We also have partnerships with: Kendal College, Westminster College London, University College Birmingham and The School of Artisan Food in Nottinghamshire.

Bill Brogan, Catering and Conference Manager

Previously managed P&O Hotel Onboard Services for 16 ships, which also included extensive work in Japan. Worked for Four Seasons Hotel Group in London. Trained as a chef, won Michelin Star, Catey Award. Vice Chair of Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and recently elected into the Society of Gastronomes.

Supported by:

Kirsten Canavan, Deputy Catering Manager

Ean Hogg, Assistant Catering Manager

Sarah Hardy, Hospitality Assistant Manager

John O'Sullivan, Fellows' Butler

Mark Newman, Head Chef

Malcolm Pearson, Functions Manager

Ray Stevenson, Buttery Manager

James Wocha, Wine and Provisions Manager

Blanka Pelcova, Buttery Bar Manager

Veronica Rivers, Catering and Conference Manager's Secretary

To ensure the highest quality we operate a variety of systems, and are particularly proud of our HACCP Systems and Food Hygiene Safety Documentation. We also have have external food and systems auditors who regularly audit the Catering Department.

All our staff are trained well above the minimum level on food hygiene and we are possibly the market leader on food allergies including the new allergy regulations which have recently come into force.

We are very proud of our wine list. Some staff members have worked on vineyards in France and Australia, and all our wines have been individually selected; to reflect the ever changing trends within the industry.  We regularly meet with our wine suppliers and hold wine training sessions with all our Front of House staff, so that they are fully aware of the wines which they will be serving.

Contact Us

We'd be delighted to discuss your event, and the venues and services that are available at St John's. Simply email or phone us to discuss your needs, find more information, or to arrange a visit.

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 338615 or 338616 
Fax: +44 (0)1223 338766 

Or fill in the form below: