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Top places to live in Cambridgeshire The Shelfords

Sharpen your elbows because there is s a lot of competition for property in these perfectly-placed villages with their many amenities and commuting potential.


Great and Little Shelford (known collectively as The Shelfords) are villages a quick cycle ride from the famous university town, so if you don’t want to be in the city itself they’re a fabulous option. The Shelfords have that special mix of a village feel, with plenty of amenities, countryside views and walks on your doorstep and all just a stone’s throw from a big, bustling city.


The villages are pretty well served with dining options with The Navigator Thai Restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, and two pubs – The Square & Compasses and The Rose (in next door Stapleford). A 7-minute drive will take you one junction down the M11 to the foodies favourite Provenance Kitchen too and there’s a busy cafe at Scotsdales Garden Centre in Great Shelford too.


One of our favourite jewellers, Eleven Fifteen Jewellery hails from Great Shelford, but the most famous ‘shop’ in the village is Scotsdales Garden Centre, which is a huge draw for families thanks to its animal department and many child-friendly free events (Santa’s Grotto here at Christmas is really special). For local produce the Gog Farm Shop is just a few minutes away and there’s the Shelford Delicatessen and cafe, Barker Bros butchers, Days of Ashwell bakery, a co-op and NYWines of Cambridge wine shop and wine bar within the village itself. For interiors, there’s a Neptune in the next village of Harston and Trumpington has a chic tile shop, Mandarin Stone.


The Shelfords have Cambridge to one side and the Gog Magog Hills and Wandlebury Country Park on the other. The views from these hills (yes really, hills in Cambridge!) are spectacular and it’s a lovely place for a walk, followed by tea and cake at the pop-up cafe. There are also lots of family-friendly events at Wandlebury throughout the year.


£669,181, a rise of 7% since last year. The most common sales are detached properties and they went for an average of £871,563. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £486,192.


You can buy this immaculate four-bedroom, two-bathroom detached family home for £895,000 in Great Shelford.


The villages have their own school, Great and Little Shelford CofE primary school, which was judged to be Good in a recent Ofsted inspection. Nearby independent schools are just down the road in Cambridge and there’s plenty of choice, including The Perse School and St Faiths (a former Prep School of the Year in the Times Educational Supp’s Independent School Awards).


You might want to start exercising your brain cells before you buy in these villages. There’s a large group of well-known authors who call the Shelfords home, including the late author of Tom’s Midnight Garden, as well as plenty of CEOs, and scientists. Plus Grantchester, just down the road towards Cambridge has the highest concentration of Nobel Prize winners in the world.


Great Shelford has its own station on a direct line straight into London Liverpool Street (77 minutes), Cambridge and Stansted Airport.

View the full Top 200 Places to Live

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