q Christmas Programme – Hughes Hall MCR

Christmas Programme

Dear students

Are you staying in Cambridge over the Christmas vacation?
If so:
a) the attached gives information about what happens over the Christmas/New Year holiday season. It is particularly aimed at students who are unfamiliar with the UK Christmas holiday season.
b) the College is planning to offer some social events for students remaining in Cambridge during the Christmas break. This will provide an ideal opportunity to meet fellow Hughesians, take a study break and see the wider world of Cambridge.

We need your help in deciding what activities to provide.

a) If you plan to stay on for all or part of the holiday period, and would like to take part in the Christmas programme, please email: seniortutors.pa@hughes.cam.ac.uk
b) If you would be willing to help plan this small, informal programme, please could you contact me as soon as possible, with a view to arranging a meeting in the next week.

Best wishes,




The College remains open throughout most of the University’s vacation period between terms, which means that the dining hall and all other facilities are available. However, the College closes for the Christmas holiday period at 1pm on Wednesday 23rd December 2015 and reopens on 9:00am on Monday 4th January 2016. The College dining hall and reception will be closed, as well as all other College offices, and there will be no porter. Students will have access to the public rooms of the Margaret Wileman Building as well as the MCR Clubroom and the Library. Please remember to carry your access card (and key if needed) with you at all times to avoid getting locked out while the College is closed. During the holiday period it is important to be vigilant and safe in College with regard to security. Please do not let strangers or anyone that you do not recognise into any of the College buildings.

Useful Phone Numbers

Police, Fire or Ambulance: dial 999 for all emergencies or 101 for all non-emergencies Parkside Police Station has a website: www.contactcambspolice.uk/ The Accident and Emergency Department of Addenbrookes Hospital remains open throughout the Christmas holiday period. If you need to talk to someone you can call The Samaritans on 116 123 (from a mobile) or 08457 90 90 90 (landline or mobile) for help and advice 24 hours a day.


Royal Mail does not deliver to the College during this period of closure. If you want to send letters or gifts abroad over the festive period, there are last posting dates to ensure items arrive on time. Visit www.royalmail.com/greetings to find out more.


Welcome International Students of Cambridge

Welcome International Students of Cambridge (WISC) is an informal, non-profit, goodwill-based organisation (registered with the British Council) that promotes relationships and interaction between international students and local families. The main aim of WISC is to give students an experience of British culture and way of life, free-of-charge, and to help make students’ time in Cambridge as enjoyable and productive as possible. WISC has a list of families in Cambridge and the surrounding villages, who are happy to invite international students over to spend the day with them, enjoy a meal and learn about each other’s country. For more information about the program and to register please visit: www.srcf.ucam.org/wisc/.

Shops, Pubs, Restaurants

Many shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes close for parts of the holiday period, or operate limited hours. For information check individual websites. ~2~ Transport Many bus and rail services do not run at all on Christmas Day, and run a reduced service on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. For up-to-date information, it is best to check the websites of the bus and train operators: Trains: www.nationalrail.co.uk. Buses: www.stagecoachbus.com/.


Most churches have special services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is a particularly popular service. For a list of local churches, see www.cambridgeonline.co.uk/local/Society_and_Culture/Religion_and_Spirituality/Churches/. Entertainment in and around Cambridge Key website for happenings in Cambridge: www.visitcambridge.org or www.admin.cam.ac.uk/whatson/. Another good website for students is https://joinagora.com/.


The Christmas pantomime is a curious British tradition in the form of a musical-comedy theatrical production and is well worth trying. The Cambridge Arts Theatre is staging a production of Cinderella from 3 rd Dec to 17 th Jan 2016. See: www.cambridgeartstheatre.com/. Also worth checking out is the ADC Theatre: www.adctheatre.com/.


Cambridge has a wealth of musical events occurring throughout the year, but these take on a distinctly festive theme in December. King’s College has two famous music events: Carols from Kings, which is broadcast by BBC2 on Christmas Eve, and A Festival of Nine Lessons which is broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 at 3.00 pm on 24th December. If you want to attend in person you need to queue from very early in the morning. See: www.kings.cam.ac.uk/events/christmas-atkings.html.

Ghost Tours

If you are looking for something to do over the Christmas break, we highly recommend a private guided walking tour of Cambridge (including ghost walks), led by our own Life Fellow Tony Rodgers. Tony brings his talks to life with humour, costume and his in-depth knowledge of Cambridge and its hidden secrets. See www.cambridgetourguide.co.uk/. The railings around Great St Mary’s are used as an unofficial ‘notice board’ for musical events happening around Cambridge. If you are walking that way, stop and have a look at what’s on.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Fellows and Staff of Hughes Hall.


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