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Facilities, grounds and gardens

This page is dedicated to Clare Hall’s range of facilities, spanning an indoor heated swimming pool, gym, allotment and gardens.

College members can hire our spaces for internal or private functions. Find details on this page, including an Internal Events Booking Form at the very bottom of the page.

Sports facilities


Please read our Gym and Pool Membership Rules and complete this Membership Form, also sending a completed copy of this PAR-Q to

Swimming pool

Clare Hall is one of the few Cambridge colleges to have an indoor heated swimming pool. Other than agreements with local swimming trainers, use of the pool is restricted to College members (including Life Members and staff).

Timetable | Children’s swimming lessons

Please note the rules on pool use when returning the membership form (see above), in particular the requirement for two adults (aged 18+) to be physically present throughout any swimming session.

Lesson times change during school holidays (including half-term), and Booker holds the definitive timetable.

Organise your pool slot via Booker.


The Clare Hall gym is located next to the pool, in the south-west corner of our estate. A range of membership options are available, described in the form linked above.

Please note the rules on gym use when returning the membership form, specifically the stipulation that the gym is off-limits to anyone under 18.

Organise your gym slot via Booker.

Useful links

The Ashby Library

The Ashby Library was built in honour of Lord Eric Ashby, an Honorary Fellow of Clare Hall, through the benevolence of Obert C. Tanner and the George S and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. It overlooks the Scholars’ Garden beside Elmside, one of the graduate student residences. The library is comprised of around 2,500 books, mostly donated by past and present members of Clare Hall.

The student bar

The Anthony Low Building (ALB) is home to Clare Hall’s student bar, which is fully student-run and offers a great variety of beers, spirits, wines, and soft drinks.

Grounds and gardens

In West Court


The College is delighted to have an allotment which is used by its members throughout the year. To get involved, email Sarah Gough via and follow the allotment’s Instagram page.

West Court Lawns

Spacious and surrounded by beautiful trees and plants, this is the ideal place to retreat on a sunny day. Explore our Instagram page dedicated to Clare Hall’s gardens for further glimpses.

Bin Brook

Wander across our bridge to enjoy a moment of mindfulness, perhaps taking in the sound of the babbling brook and birds; the fresh air; and the sight of leafy trees moving around in the breeze.

At Main Site

The Fellows’ Garden

Clare Hall’s Main Site features the Fellows’ Garden, which is a wonderful place to read, socialise or play. Purchase a drink from the Anthony Low Building (ALB) Bar and enjoy it outdoors in good weather!

The Scholars’ Garden

This area is popular with cycling children! Looking at this photograph, we’re sure you can appreciate why.

The Courtyard

When he designed the layout of the college buildings, Ralph Erskine created a beautiful inner courtyard. Today the college offices surround this internal vista, and we are privileged to share the view of the fish in the pond guarded over by the watchful statue of the heron on the roof in the corner. Surrounding this courtyard you’ll find the majority of staff offices, from Tutorial, Accommodation and Housekeeping to Communications, Alumni and Donor Relations, and Events. The Senior Tutor, Bursar, Domestic Bursar and College Registrar also work around this courtyard.

Members are also blessed with two lovely lawns to play croquet on – the courtyard between the College building and Elmside, and the Fellows’ Garden at West Court.  There are two croquet sets stored in the basement of Gillian Beer House which are available for members to use.  For those who are new to the game, The Croquet Association provides a useful guide to the rules of garden croquet.

If you are interested in mindfulness, you may enjoy our self-guided Mindful Wander, created for the University of Cambridge’s Festival of Wellbeing 2022.

Find a full map of the College on this page.