A charming medieval market town that grew from an ancient Roman settlement, Cambridge represents an unbroken tradition of scholarly excellence stretching back over 800 years.
The University dates from 1209, when a group of students fled riots in Oxford to pursue their intellectual work in the sanctuary of Cambridge. Today it consists of more than 30 colleges and halls. Cambridge enjoys a centuries-old reputation as a world leader in scientific research. Cambridge scholars have included Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and James Watson and Francis Crick, co-discoverers of the DNA double helix. Indeed the university has won more Nobel Prizes than any other and, in 2010, and again in 2012, was judged to be the best university in the world. Cambridge has also nurtured many great writers such as Francis Bacon, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, and Lord Tennyson, as well as 20th-century figures like E.M. Forster, Bertrand Russell, John Maynard Keynes, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath.
The aura of human achievement lives on in every courtyard and street. Like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, participants come to adore Cambridge where "every spot is hallowed by the feet of Piety and Genius."