Location: Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK
Date: 10-12 September 2009


Cambridge is located about 60 miles to the north of London and about 100 miles to the east of Birmingham.

By air

The nearest airport is Stansted, 30 miles to the south of Cambridge. From Stansted, Cambridge is accessible via train, coach or car in about 30-40 minutes. Stansted airport is mostly served by flights to and from mainland Europe, Ireland, and elsewhere in the UK. It is one of the main hubs for low cost European flights with Ryan Air and EasyJet.

Luton Airport, another popular destination with low cost airlines, is about 1 hour away and accessible by car or coach from Cambridge.

Heathrow, located west of London, is the principal London-area airport and one of the busiest in Europe with a wide range of national, European, and international services. It is 89 miles away from Cambridge and takes about 1.5 hours in car, and about 2 hours by airport coach or by train (Cambridge to London Kings Cross then Piccadilly tube to Heathrow).

Gatwick, to the south of London, is the second London-area airport with a wide range of national, European and international services. It is 97 miles away and takes about 2.5 hours by car, 3.5 hours by Airport coach and 2.5 hours by train (London Kings Cross to Victoria Station then Gatwick Express).

London City Airport, the only airport in London with the focus on the business traveller with flights to 34 European destinations, is approximately 1.5 hours away by car or coach.

By car

The Lab is located just 1 mile from exit 13 of the M11 motorway that connects the London Orbital Motorway (M25) to Cambridge. There are ample parking spaces behind the Lab that are monitored by CCTV. A barrier located on the car park access road is controlled by security.

By train

The rail network provides links southbound to Stansted Airport and two main London stations (Kings Cross and Liverpool Street) and northbound via Ely to Norwich and Peterborough and onwards to the Midlands and further north.

Cambridge Train Station has several trains to London (Liverpool Street and Kings Cross Stations) each hour, often with a non-stop 50 minute express train to and from London Kings Cross each hour. There are trains to the north giving access to other parts of the local region and to the Midlands and north of the UK. There is usually at least one train an hour to Stansted Airport that takes a little over half an hour.

All Eurostar services now operate to and from St Pancras International station. Journey time from Paris to London is approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, and from Brussels it is about 2 hours. For more information, please visit www.eurostar.com.

From the train station buses take approximately 30 minutes to reach the Lab. Alternatively, taxis are available from the rank at the front of the station, with a journey time of around 15 minutes to the Lab.

Train tickets can be purchased online at www.thetrainline.com.

By coach

The main bus and coach station at Drummer Street, between the Market Square and Grafton Centre, provides transport to the local region and National Express coaches around the country as well as to the main London airports (Stansted, Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton). For coach times and fares, visit the National Express (www.nationalexpress.com) web site. Tickets can also be purchased on the local (Stagecoach) buses themselves.

Bus journey time from Drummer Street to the Lab is approximately 15 minutes.

Buses in Cambridge

Cambridge city bus services (run by Stagecoach) are named Citi 1 to 7 and incorporate the Park and Ride services. Buses are reasonably frequent and most routes go to the city centre (Drummer Street Bus Station). For more information visit www.stagecoachbus.com/cambridge.


Cambridge is famous for its cycle-friendly streets. The city centre has been pedestrianised (except for buses and taxis), making shopping and visiting pleasant. Given that Cambridge is only around 3 miles across, walking to the city centre is rarely more than 45 minutes especially since the terrain is flat, apart from the occasional bridge. Cycling, therefore, is the most sensible mode of transport in Cambridge and 1 in 4 residents cycles to work. Cyclists are well catered for with clearly marked cycle paths on roads and pavements and across parks.

Bicycles can be purchased, repaired and hired from many cycle shops in Cambridge, e.g., Station Cycles (www.stationcycles.co.uk), City Cycle Hire (www.citycyclehire.com) in Newnham; there are cycle shops all the way along Mill Road and on Chesterton Road and The BikeMan stall in the market Square provides a good maintenance and repair service.