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Department of Plant Sciences


Contact us

Department of Plant Sciences,
University of Cambridge,
Downing Street,
Telephone: 01223 333 900
Email: info[at]


Travelling to the Department

Plant Sciences is the large Edwardian building visible through the arches on the South side of Downing Street. Go through the arches and enter the Department via the door on the front right hand side of the building. Please report to reception on arrival. See map here.
  • Rail: The usual method of travel from London to Cambridge is by train.  Once you arrive in Cambridge we recommend taking a taxi from outside the railway station - the cost will be five or six pounds.

  • Driving: We recommend you don't drive, as Cambridge is very congested and the University does not offer visitor parking. The nearest car park is in the Grand Arcade on Corn Exchange Street. Maps of the roads around Cambridge are shown on the University Map.

  • By bus: The Department's main building on the Downing Site is within five minutes walk of the Cambridge bus/coach station at Drummer Street.

  • Flying: The closest major airport is London Stansted, which is about a half an hour's drive from Cambridge. There is a bus service from Stansted to Cambridge every hour.


Disability access

Most teaching and research takes place in the Department's main building on the Downing Site. There is a security system throughout, which includes proximity cards, keypads and buttons to exit through doors. There is no smoking anywhere in the buidling. The building is equipped with evacuation chairs and all first aiders and the Disability Liaison Officer are trained in their use.
The building has four floors in total, including a basement. The main entrance to the building is ramped with handrails and there is a bell for assistance at the door. The back entrances are all swipecard access and have three or four steps. Corridor doors on the ground floor will open automatically for a programmed card. There is a lift to all floors except the mezzanine, but note the lift is smaller than standard. There is a wheelchair platform lift from the Library down to Tom Ap Rees Small Lecture Theatre. If you have access issues contact Catherine Butler. The University's Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre (ADRC) has more information and support.
Disability access:
  • Large Lecture Theatre has ramped access from main foyer, tiered bench seating, with room for one wheelchair and no handrails on steps

  • Small Lecture Theatre has a few steps up or down from either entrance, but is level inside with a push button automatic door off Reception

  • Teaching laboratory on the ground floor

  • Other laboratories are accessible

  • Seminar room and supervision rooms on the third floor with level access from the lift

  • Library ramped access from foyer with computers for use by part II students only

  • Tea room on first floor, with level access from lift, spacious inside, with moveable furniture

  • Disabled toilet on the ground floor

Visual impairments:
  • Assistance dogs: Assistance dogs are welcome at the Department

  • Computer facilities: Currently no special hardware or software for visually impaired users

  • Large print, Braille and audio: Large print information on prior request

  • Library and magnification equipment: Photocopier available

  • Signs and wayfinding: Little signposting, but the Department is not complicated

  • Lighting: Good lighting generally around the Department

Hearing impairments:
  • Induction loops: Induction loop in Reception only

  • Other: Large lecture theatre is large and echoey, with hard wood surfaces. Small lecture theatre is carpeted and quiet. Large Lecture theatre has hard wooden bench seating which can cause problems for bad backs.  A padded chair is available as long as there is no wheelchair space needed.

Arrangements for members with Specific Learning Difficulties are on an individual basis, in conjunction with the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre. Discuss your needs with the Disability Liaison Officer. We have the following AccessAble guides:
The information on this page is the responsibility of the Department of Plant Sciences. The ADRC updates information as it is received from the Department. To ensure the information contained here is current, please check with the Department of Plant Sciences.