Top places to live in Cambridgeshire Cambridge
Want to live alongside some of the cleverest people in the country and with some of the most iconic historical buildings on your doorstep? This riverside university town, with direct fast trains to London, should be top of your list. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
Cambridge is a stunner of a city with incredible sights and history on every corner. It also has direct fast trains into London so is an ideal place to move if you’re not quite ready for the full countryside experience. There are lots of districts to choose from in Cambridge, but the smartest addresses are De Freville Avenue and Barrow Road. For commuters there are new developments by the station, as well as plenty of new houses just off Trumpington Road at Great Kneighton and Trumpington Meadows with schools, a 120-acre country park and library, café, community centre and GP surgery.
For something a little more cosmopolitan, Mill Road has independent shops and cafés galore, it is close to Cambridge station and there are smaller and (a bit) more affordable Victorian terrace houses than the period houses in the city.
Where to start? Cambridge has restaurants to suit all appetites. Midsummer House is the only Michelin-starred option with head chef Daniel Clifford at the helm of this riverside stunner. Parker’s Tavern at The University Arms hotel is one of the coolest places to eat and chef Tristan Welch is doing clever things with sustainable food there. Cambridge Cookery is a wonderful cook school with a restaurant attached serving Scandi/Italian food in a hip setting. Other popular options include Trinity, Pint Shop in E.M Forster’s former home, The Old Bicycle Shop (fab for brunch), The Rupert Brooke in Grantchester is perfect after a riverside walk, The Senate has the best views of King’s College and of course local institution Fitzbillies for its famous Chelsea buns.
Cambridge is a great shopping city thanks to its mix of brands and independent stores. Just watch where you’re parking as some car parks are eye-wateringly expensive. There’s a massive John Lewis and all the usual brands inside the modern Grand Arcade, but our favourite indies are homewares and gift haven Angela Reed, Cuckoo Clothing, Heffers Bookshop, Boudoir Femme, Lilac Rose, Modish, Bowns, Harriet Kelshall Jewellery and Pure Source Britain natural beauty shop.
Everywhere you turn there’s something historical and insta-worthy in this city. There are loads of museums and galleries to visit with The Fitzwilliam Museum being the best known with the largest collection. There’s also Kettles Yard, a unique art gallery in a house. King’s College Chapel is a must-visit, and Cambridge University Botanic Gardens are beautiful and host interesting events all year round. The best way to see all the colleges in one fell swoop is by punting along the backs.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
£523,967. Terraced properties were most popular, selling for an average price of £515,921. Semi-detached properties went for around £540,412, with flats fetching £311,079.
This four-bedroom Victorian terrace in the cosmopolitan Mill Road area of the city is surprisingly light and airy and on the market for £800,000.
Almost too many to mention. Cambridge dwellers are spoiled for choice with amazing independent schools, making sure that Cambridge retains its reputation as a leading centre of learning. Top picks include St Mary’s School, Kings College School, St Faiths, The Perse, The Leys, St John’s College School and Sancton Wood. Hills Road Sixth Form is also a big draw for those with older kids having been rated outstanding by Ofsted.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Cambridge is the cycling capital of the UK so if you live here you’ll want to invest in a good town bike. Over 25% of workers commute on bikes and its a much more efficient way to get around (traffic jams during school drop off and pick up are pretty epic).
A lot of people commute daily from Cambridge as long as they live near enough to the station. It’s 47 minutes direct into Kings Cross St Pancras and there are slightly slower trains into Liverpool Street too as well as Stansted Airport.
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