City Tours

Spies, Lies and Double Agents – a walking tour

Join our qualified Cambridge guides to hear stories (some recent, others centuries-old) of deception, intrigue and double dealing by alumni and fellows, and their effect on world events.

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What is spying?

It’s reputed to be the 2nd oldest profession – after all, Odysseus spied on Penelope and her suitors on his return to Ithaca thousands of years ago. It’s about clandestine information and information theft, and spying is used in warfare, industry, politics and even in academe (where it’s called plagiarism!).

Universities have been breeding grounds for spies for centuries but Cambridge has been rather more generous than most. Since Tudor times this has been the university where experts in espionage have learned their trade and have been recruited as agents of the British government or its enemies.

So what do the new £50 note, the Queen’s art collection and Ian Fleming have in common? They are all connected with famous Cambridge-educated spies.

Join our 90 min walking tour with qualified Cambridge Green Badge guides to learn about the spies and double agents from Cambridge, the organisations to which they belonged, and some of the discoveries in Cambridge which aided their work. Hear stories of deception, intrigue and double dealing, of success and failure and the effects which this had on world events.

Learn how secrets are kept and betrayed. And remember, you never know who may be listening, so take care who you tell ……..

Public tours run every Friday at 5.30pm and every Sunday at 11.30am, and private tours are available on request – just email us on tours@cambridge-spies.uk or phone us on 07900 532605.

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Accessibility Facilities

  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • Wheel chair accessible
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Did you know?

University of Cambridge was founded in 1209, making it the world's fourth-oldest surviving university.