Asking for Directions
If speaking to taxi drivers etc, make sure they hear 'DARWIN College', not 'DOWNING College' (in some accents, the two are easily confused). To be sure, you can ask for 'Darwin College on Silver Streeet'.
The closest major airport to Cambridge is London Stansted - about half an hour by road from Cambridge. There is a bus service from Stansted to Cambridge every hour. The same coach service goes to London Heathrow (an hourly service, with a journey time of about two hours) and to London Gatwick (about three hours).
Here are details of the bus/coach services.
Darwin is within walking distance (10 minutes) of the Cambridge bus/coach station in Drummer Street. This map shows the pedestrian neighbourhood of the college.
The bus station is just off the edge of this map - you can see it on this map showing Darwin and the bus station (top right)..
Here is a map of Cambridge provided by the University, showing routes into the City Centre by road. This is a detail from a larger map showing local motorways, which may be useful if you don't have your own motorway map. The usual motorway approaches are via the M11 (from the South), or the A14 (from the North, East or West).
Once you get into the city centre, this further map showing the city centre streets may be useful.
Note that there are no free parking spaces at Darwin College, not even for unloading luggage. The short-term "pay and display" parking spaces opposite the college have been removed. Pay and display parking is still available in Sidgwick Avenue and Newnham Walk (and it is free overnight, from about 18:00 to 9:00). It is possible (though not legal) to unload luggage while stopping on the double yellow lines immediately outside the front door of the College. Only taxis seem to do this.
Please be aware that rising bollards have recently been introduced in Silver Street, meaning that the road is only passable in one direction during certain times of day. For more detailed information on this see Cambridgeshire County Council's page on Silver Street.
The usual method of travel from London to Cambridge is by train. Here is a guide to the train services. Once you arrive in Cambridge, it is a long walk from the railway station to Darwin (about 30 minutes), so it is better to take a taxi, or even hire a bicycle. There is a bicycle hire company near the railway station - I've never used it, and would appreciate feedback from anyone who does, so it can be included on this page. When cycling or walking, the map of the pedestrian neighbourhood will be useful.
The railway station appears on the larger map.
Finally this Cambridge Cyclestreets will be useful if you are planning to find your way on bicycle.