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Welcome to the website for The Association for Cultural Exchange.

We are a registered charity, founded in 1958, promoting international understanding through cultural exchange and education. We believe in the power of the arts to change and enrich lives. A culturally curious society enables us to better understand, respect and value one another and create the kind of world we want to live in.


More than 65 years later, the vision and values of our founder, Philip Brooke Barnes, have never been more relevant. The Association for Cultural Exchange owns and operates Stapleford Granary, a vibrant arts centre, just outside Cambridge. Our distinctive and innovative music programming presents concerts by performers of all nationalities and across all genres. We host art exhibitions, talks, workshops, and courses. To inspire children, a wide range of creative activities nurture what will hopefully become a lifelong passion for art and culture.

Stapleford Granary is open six days a week for visitors to receive a warm welcome in our beautiful café, enjoy the free art exhibition and soak up the cultural ambiance.


How Does An Arts Centre Educate? - Read our CEO’s thought-provoking article here:


Read the full article 

The Charity also wholly owns ACE Cutural Tours, which takes culturally curious travellers to destinations throughout the UK and around the world. We pioneered the concept of expert led special interest study tours. These are carefully curated to educate and inform across a wide range of subjects from art, architecture, music and history to archaeology, design, conservation and natural history. For service in both 2022 and 2023 ACE Cultural Tours won first place at the British Travel Awards as the 'Best Small Travel Company for Arts & Culture Holidays' and were also awarded a Platinum Trusted Service Award by Feefo for excellent customer service.

For further information about Stapleford Granary and to find out about our events and activities, or to discover more about our cultural tours programme, please follow the links below:


Visit Stapleford Granary website  Visit ACE Cultural Tours Website




Discovering World War Two at Stapleford Granary

For two days during February half-term the Orchard Room at Stapleford Granary was transformed into a snapshot of life in Britain in 1940 presented by the Fen Tigers living history group.

ACE Cultural Tours is awarded Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award

We are delighted to share that ACE Cultural Tours has received recognition for outstanding customer service by being awarded a Feefo Platinum Service Award

Protecting Our Rare Chalk Stream Habitat

Our site at Stapleford Granary is part of the river Granta chalk stream eco-system in South Cambridgeshire. With rising concern about the quality of the UK’s rivers and streams, we want to ensure that we are properly protecting and managing our fragment of this fragile habitat.

Grant awarded to Spanish Ornithological Society

Tour Director Kevin Hand represented ACE in awarding a grant to the Spanish Ornithological Society on a recent cultural tour to Spain.

ACE Cultural Tours win Gold at the British Travel Awards

We are very proud that ACE Cultural Tours are celebrating having won Gold in the British Travel Awards, a celebration of the quality of tours and service provided by the company.

HEADSHOT exhibition opens at Stapleford Granary

HEADSHOT is a group exhibition of emerging artists based in the UK exploring contemporary approaches to portraiture

HEADSHOT exhibition opens at Stapleford Granary (2)

HEADSHOT is a group exhibition of emerging artists based in the UK exploring contemporary approaches to portraiture


Stapleford Granary Image © Calum Barlow