A city tour + the incredible Genizah Collection

Bank Holiday Monday 28 May 2018

 in association with West End Travel

cambridge 01

To follow the 14-page special on Cambridge past and present that will be in April’s JR, we are offering our readers a chance to see for themselves – with two exceptional tours.   

In the morning, the highly entertaining and knowledgeable award-winning guide, Rachel Kolsky, will guide us on a 2-hour tour of this historic city. We see some of the most beautiful colleges and the marketplace plus lesser-known sites such as the Mathematical Bridge, the Chronophage Clock at Corpus Christi College and the Gate of Honour. The tour also takes in the Jewish history of Cambridge (Mark Harris, who writes about his research on pre-Expulsion history in Cambridge and Huntingdon in April's JR, will be pleased to talk to those interested at the end of the afternoon). 

In the afternoon, we go to the University Library’s Taylor-Schechter Collection, which houses the extraordinary finds of the medieval Cairo Genizah. Recovered from the attic of a Cairo synagogue in 1896-97, the hoard has been stored at the University for over a century and includes a fascinating snapshot of medieval Egyptian life, including poetry manuscripts, aphrodisiac prescriptions, business letters and children’s primers from the 10th and 12th centuries. This two-hour visit will be accompanied by a presentation and tour of the collection with one of the researchers involved in the project. The collection can only be accessed by booked group tours so this is a unique chance to see these remarkable finds.


The day will start at a central venue in Cambridge at 10.45am on 28 May. There will be a lunch stop at the University Arc Café at 1pm. The afternoon tour begins at the University Library at 2.30pm and will end at 4.30pm, which will still give you time on a long summer evening to stroll round on your own.


Those going by train might like to travel together. We will be taking the 8.58 from Liverpool Street that arrives in Cambridge at 10.10.  It is £17.20 return but a better deal will be available if you have a rail card, and even more with a Freedom Card too – though then you need to buy it at a station rather than on line.
You will recognise Janet (or other JR leader) by our bright red JR bag.
Car sharing will be available.
Those coming from further afield might consider staying over night in this delightful town.


The two tours together cost £45 to be paid on booking or £25 for the Genizah tour only. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you wish to book.