Accessibility statement

St Catharine’s looks forward to welcoming you to the College. Please see our map for accessible routes.

This access statement aims to accurately describe the facilities and services of the College to enable students, guests and visitors the ability to assess the suitability of the environment.



St Catharine’s comprises the Master, around 120 Fellows, some 230 graduate students and about 450 undergraduates. The College is committed to academic excellence, while maintaining a relaxed and sociable atmosphere.

The College is located on Trumpington Street in the City Centre with shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs within a 5-minute walk. A manual wheelchair is available to borrow, please ask at the Porters’ Lodge.

General information


The College is a completely smoke-free environment; smoking is not permitted in any rooms or on College grounds.

Medical facilities

A full-time Community Health Practitioner can be found in room E1a (tel. 01223 (3)38327 or The room is on the first floor which is accessible by lift; wheelchair users may require assistance. An alternative accessible meeting place can be arranged with prior notice. Further information can be found here.

All of the Porters are first aid trained and can be contacted in an emergency.

Emergency procedures

Please advise the Porters’ Lodge if you will need help evacuating in an emergency. An Evac chair is located at the back of the Bar; ask at the Porters’ Lodge for assistance.

If you are attending a conference, please notify your event organiser and complete a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) so we can prepare for your arrival.

Please see our map for refuge points, fire exits and accessible routes.

Locations, services and transport

Main site is 5-minute walk from the city centre. St Chads (2nd year accommodation) is a 15-minute walk to the main site and city centre. Unfortunately, we do not have parking available on the main site. However, you can be conveniently dropped off directly outside the Porters’ Lodge on Trumpington Street. The nearest public car park with designated disabled bays is the Grand Arcade. Parking at St Chads or nearby may be offered to disabled badge holders. For parking information at our graduate properties please visit the postgraduate accommodation pages.

Walking times:

  • University New Museums Site- 5 minutes
  • University Downing Site- 8 minutes
  • University Library- 9 minutes
  • Cambridge Bus Station- 9 minutes
  • University Sidgwick Site- 10 minutes
  • University Chemistry Department- 12 minutes
  • Cambridge Train Station- 25 minutes

Further information about disabled services and accessibility of University departments can be found here: or

The following taxi companies offer accessible vehicles:

A1 Cabco Taxis- 01223 313131 / Panther Taxis- 01223 715715

St Catharine’s College is accessible by road via Trumpington Street only. Silver Street is blocked by traffic control regulations between Queens’ College and Queen’s Road and is open only to Taxis and Buses.


We have 100+ ensuite rooms on our main site available out of term to conference and B&B guests. None of these are accessible bedrooms, nor are any on the ground floor but some can be accessed by lift.

For students we have 2 accessible bedrooms in our offsite accommodation at Russell Street, which also offers designated disabled parking. We have some ground floor standard bedrooms on the main site but most have step access. 

The nearest available wheelchair accessible accommodation for conference guests and visitors to College is the Graduate Hotel Cambridge.


Kitchen facilities for students vary in size, but are generally small and not adapted.

The cafeteria serves lunch and dinner every day as well as regular formal halls in the Dining Hall. Breakfast is available in the bar during the week and in the Dining Hall at weekends.

Most dietary requirements, including Kosher and Halal, can be accommodated provided we are given advance notice. Information regarding allergens is available. Please speak to the Catering Manager/Community Health Practitioner about your individual requirements.

Physical access

College grounds

Level front and back entrances to College. Mostly smooth slabbed paving, level or sloping and steps can be avoided. Some benches around site.

Residential buildings

The majority of residential staircases have steps at entry and are not lift accessible. Exceptions to this are Gostlin staircase (via Bull building lift) and also E staircase which is accessible using a further lift from the first floor.

Meeting rooms

McGrath Centre- Ground floor access. Fully accessible via electronic door with disabled toilet facilities.

Ramsden Room-  Main entrance via steps. Alternative entrance with step free access is possible via a wheelchair lift from the Fellows’ car park.

Rushmore Room- On the first floor with step access.


Bar in basement, down 3 flights of stairs with handrail. Also wheelchair accessible via lift. Disabled toilet available in the bar.

Dining Hall

Main entrance via steps and ramp. Alternative entrance with step free access is possible from Dawson Court using ramp by prior arrangement.

SCR dining room

Main entrance via steps and ramp. Alternative entrance with step free access is possible from Dawson Court using ramp by prior arrangement.

OCR dining room

On the first floor via 2 flights of stairs using the same entrance as the Dining Hall and SCR.


Main entrance via steps. Alternative entrance with step free access is possible via Dawson Court by prior arrangement.

College offices

All College offices have step access other than those located on the ground floor of the Bull Building (Catering/Conference/Finance/Building & Services).

Common rooms

Main entrance to the MCR is via steps. Alternative entrance with step free access (to the upper floor only) is possible via a wheelchair lift from the Fellows’ car park.

Step free access (via Bull Building) to the JCR. Some assistance may be required for a wheelchair user.

Computer facilities

Both sites have Wi-Fi throughout and the computer rooms can only only be accessed by stairs. The IT office is located on the main site, on the ground floor via step access. Accessible rooms with computer facilities can be organised with prior arrangement.

Supervision rooms

There are 3 accessible rooms that can be booked by prior arrangement.


The Shakeshaft Library is wheelchair accessible. The Sherlock Library is on the 2nd floor and can only be accessed by stairs. Books from the Sherlock Library can be made available by prior arrangement.


2 laundry rooms are available on main site, one located in the basement via a flight of stairs and the other is on the ground floor via step access.

The one laundry room at St Chads is located on the 2nd floor via stairs only.

Porters Lodge

Both have ground level access. The main site is via 2 heavy doors. St Chads is via electronic door.

Sports facilities

  • Squash courts - ground floor, 2 steps down
  • Badminton court - ground floor, 4 steps down
  • Netball court - ground floor, level access
  • Astro hockey pitch - ground floor, level access 
  • Sports Pavilion - ground floor, ramp leading to access, two adapted WC's. Changing rooms fully wheelchair accessible.
  • Grass tennis courts and sports fields all on site 


There are 2 disabled toilets available (in the McGrath Centre and Bar), all other public toilets have step/stair entry and some with heavy doors.

Visual impairments

Assistance dogs

Please notify in advance - they are most welcome.

Computer facilities

Special hardware or software can be acquired if necessary.

Large print, braille and audio

Large print letter and information available on request.

Signs and wayfinding

Site map available at the Porters’ Lodge.

Hearing impairments

Induction loop installed in the McGrath Centre and Ramsden Room.

Visual and/or sensory alarms can be provided given adequate notice.

Planned improvements

We are committed to making improvements for all our visitors and welcome any feedback. If you have any specific needs, please do not hesitate to ask for more information.