Take a chauffeured tour along the River Cam to get a closer look at this neo-Gothic bridge as you pass beneath it.
The Bridge of Sighs is a stunning 19th-century structure in the University of Cambridge. The covered bridge connects parts of St. John’s College and is a major draw for sightseers who come to delight in its elegance and charm. Admire the historic bridge and imagine the countless brilliant minds that have traversed it while studying at Cambridge.
The bridge, which was built in 1831, was Queen Victoria’s favorite part of Cambridge. Some say the site takes its name from the sighs of students crossing it on their way to take exams. However, it is actually named in honor of the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice, which is also covered.
The bridge connects the New Court building with the Third Court structure across the River Cam. The students and professors that live and work at the illustrious university cross the bridge daily and you may be able to spot them from below. The bridge is not open to the public and the best ways to see it are as part of a guided tour of the university. Check with tour operators before departing as entry is often restricted.
For a memorable experience, take the chauffeured river tour instead. Appreciate the majesty of the bridge as you glide underneath it and take note of its grand arches and spirals. Listen to fascinating and humorous tales from the guide about the bridge and the river. One such story centers on a bizarre prank that students pulled twice in the 1960s, by hanging a car off the bridge by a rope.
Take photos of the site from the river or one of the nearby halls. There are also great photo opportunities from the bridge itself, with views downriver of the gardens and neo-Gothic architecture.
The Bridge of Sighs is in St. John’s College in the center of Cambridge. To get here, take a short walk from the campus or city center. Nearby features include the St. John’s College Playing Fields and the Jesus Green.