Accessibility statement

St Catharine’s looks forward to welcoming you to the College. Please see the map of our main/Island site for further information and step-free 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.

Key contacts


St Catharine’s comprises the Master, around 120 Fellows, some 370 postgraduate students and about 465 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 E1 (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. 

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. Evacuation chairs are located by the Bar lift at basement level, on the fourth floor of the Bull building, outside the Ramsden Room/MCR, and the top floor of the Russell Street new building; 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 the location of our refuge points, evacuation chairs, defibrillators and step-free routes.

Locations, services and transport

Main site is 5-minute walk from the city centre. St Chad's (student accommodation) is a 15-minute walk to the main site and city centre. Unfortunately, we do not have parking available for students or visitors 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 postgraduate 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 at

The following taxi companies offer accessible vehicles:

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

St Catharine’s 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 approximately 120 ensuite bedrooms on our main site available out of term to conference and B&B guests. Two of these are accessible bedrooms with emergency voice communication systems and small adapted kitchenettes (including a hob, microwave and toaster). The remaining rooms on site require lift or stair access.

For students we have four additional accessible bedrooms in our offsite properties. Two of these accessible bedrooms are in Belfield House at our St Chad's property, with a fully-accessible fitted kitchen. Two further accessible bedrooms are located at Russell Street, which also offers designated disabled parking. Access into the Russell Street property, however, is not wheelchair friendly. 

The closest hotel to the College offering wheelchair accessible accommodation for guests and visitors to College is the Graduate Hotel Cambridge.


The College cafeteria serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day as well as regular formal halls in the Dining Hall. These dining areas, and the College Bar, are accessed via step-free routes or a wheelchair lift/stairs. 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.

Kitchen facilities for students vary in size, but are generally small and not adapted unless specified in the 'accommodation' section above.

Physical access

College grounds

There are level front and back entrances to the College's main site with automised gates. Mostly smooth slabbed paving, level or sloping and steps can be avoided. Some benches around the main 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 the lift in the atrium next to the Dining Hall.

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.

Sydney Smith Room - Level access via Dawson Court, with accessible toilet facilities available in the lobby adjoining the room.


The Bar is at the basement level, down three flights of stairs with a handrail or via the wheelchair lift. An accessible toilet is available on the same basement level.

Dining Hall

Level access via Dawson Court, with disabled toilet facilities available on the same level.

SCR dining room

Level access via Dawson Court, with accessible toilet facilities available on the same level.

OCR dining room

On the first floor with step access.


Front entrance via steps. Rear entrance with step-free access is available to members of the College via Dawson Court, which can be available to visitors 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) or C staircase (Tutorial Office).

Common rooms

The main entrance to the MCR is via steps and the room itself is on two levels (upper and lower levels). Alternative entrance with step free access (to the upper level only) is possible via a wheelchair lift from the Fellows’ car park.

There is step-free access (via the Bull Building or atrium lifts) 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 four accessible rooms that can be booked by prior arrangement.


The entrance to the Shakeshaft Library is on the ground floor and step-free. The Sherlock Library is on the 2nd floor and can be accessed by stairs or the lift in the atrium by the Dining Hall. 


Two 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 Chad's is located on the 2nd floor via stairs only.

Porters' Lodges

Both have ground level access. The main site is via 2 heavy doors. St Chad's 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 four disabled toilets available (the McGrath Centre, Bar, next to the Sydney Smith Room and near the OCR). All other public toilets have step/stair entry and some are reached through 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. Please contact a member of staff for further details.

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.