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Relocating to Cambridge

(27 Posts)
Rosiepooh75 Wed 26-Oct-16 14:21:50

Hi All smile
I may be relocating to Cambridge for my existing employer early in 2017. I am looking at renting in the surrounding villages.

Looking for somewhere nice, safe, family-oriented (I have 2 children), with good schools and at least basic amenities.
I would ideally like to ride my bicycle to work, so a 30ish min ride, if possible. This obviously ranks below the other criteria.

Any first-hand recommendations are very welcome.
Any suggestions re. living in Cambridge will also be much appreciated!

Thanks!! smile

dinosaursdontwhine Wed 26-Oct-16 18:07:16

Do you have a budget in mind? South villages are more expensive than north, so you might want to work out your price bracket first then work from there. None of the villages are bad, and schools are generally fine. Traffic can be awful so using the bike is a good idea. Some villages are more cyclable than others, how much on-road (with cars as opposed to on a dedicated cycle lane) cycling do you want to do?

Catherine26 Wed 26-Oct-16 19:31:21

Where roughly would you be working?

I like Fulbourn to the South and Histon/impington to the north. All quite pricey though. Cottingham is nice as is Girton.

Are the kids School age yet?

Cammumm Wed 26-Oct-16 21:12:54

Unless you work very unusual hours I would rank being able to cycle into Cambridge at the top of your list - Cambridge is very congested to drive into at rush hour, and there are plans to possibly close key routes to traffic (there's a thread on this board about that I think)

Generally the villages to the north and east of Cambridge are a bit cheaper, because they're less commutable to London and the countryside is a bit prettier to the south east. Fulbourn, Comberton, Shelford, Sawston would all be within 30 mins by bike.

Tingalingle Wed 26-Oct-16 22:22:56

It can take 15 mins to cycle through Cambridge (say from the Addenbrookes site to the Milton road area) so you do want to start from the right side for your 30 min cycle. Do you expect to be north/south/centrally based/near the station?

orchardy Thu 27-Oct-16 17:32:13

Where will you be working? What age are your kids? You don't want to be driving into Cambridge from a village, so let us know where you'll be working so we can tell you what is cyclable or suggest a village on a good bus route. Kids' age will be relevant for schools etc.

Rosiepooh75 Thu 27-Oct-16 21:02:31

Wow! So many responses! You are all fantastic!
I will be working in Cambridge itself (Fulbourn Road). Not sure about my budget yet. I need to factor everything in... My working assumption is that I'll be in the 1200-1400 region, and I will adjust according to my actual budget (I'll know more in the next couple of months).
My son will be 11 by the time we move, and my daughter just turned two this month. So primary school for my son, and nursery school (I assume) for her?

I would like no more than 30 minutes cycling, but again, this depends on the actual budget I'll have. I still have so much to find out about living in the UK, and cost of living (beyond rend and food smile).

My working hours will be relatively flexible, and I will not be going in to the office every day only 2-3 times a week).

I don't care about being close to anything other than work at this stage, I know getting anywhere in Cambridge from the office is not a big deal from my visits so far.

I really care about a good, friendly community, with kids for my kids to make friends with. I am willing to be less comfortable myself to that end.

Thank you all for being so helpful!

Cammumm - thank you for the village suggestions - they are on my list, but I'll now dig deeper into them smile

Rosiepooh75 Thu 27-Oct-16 21:10:38

Catherine26 thanks for the village suggestions as well! I'll research these as well!

Tingalingle Thu 27-Oct-16 22:42:56

You could do worse than Bottisham from that side of town. It would be a good half hour to cycle though

BikeRider33 Thu 27-Oct-16 23:25:10

If your ds will be 11, as soon as you move you will also need to apply for secondary school so I would factor that more into your school search criteria than the primary school. I think you will have missed the standard application deadline, but they may have some sort of late application system for people moving into the area. Otherwise you will be stuck with waiting until all places are allocated and just taking a place wherever you are offered.

Rosiepooh75 Fri 28-Oct-16 06:02:37

Tingalingle - thank you! Bottisham was not on my list!

BikeRider33 That is really good to know. I will try to lock down the date of move with work, so I can get started on these arrangements. Thank you!

Catherine26 Fri 28-Oct-16 06:15:26

Shelford is really nice. You could also look at cherry hinton I've heard good things about St Bedes school.

Peggetty Fri 28-Oct-16 16:18:13

I've heard good things about Sawston Village College recently. St Bede's as well, though you need a C of E or Catholic priest's recommendation to get a place.

Cammumm Fri 28-Oct-16 16:29:30

It's no use living near St Bede's to get into it, you have to be Catholic or belong to specific other Christian churches. If you are, then they bus kids in from all over the place. Otherwise Cherry Hinton kids mostly go to Netherhall. Fulbourn kids are bussed to Bottisham. I'd probably go for Fulbourn if you're working at that end of town. It's a nice village with quite a bit of sense of community, probably more so than Cherry Hinton. Or you could cycle from Sawston or Shelford and send your eldest to Sawston village college which I've heard good things about. I really wouldn't worry about primary schools for two terms. They're mostly fine anyway.

Rosiepooh75 Fri 28-Oct-16 17:12:56

Cammumm Fulbourn does seem really nice and well located, I guess I'll just have to wait and see if my budget will accommodate that. I will start focusing on Secondary schools!

Will check into Shelford and Sawston as well.

What about nurseries? The system in the UK is a little different in this aspect. My daughter will be almost 2 1/2 by then. What is usually done? Nursery school? Nanny? If I understand correctly, pre-school starts at 4?

I'm trying to make a list of places to go check out in advance, as I'll be visiting the office again next month (November), but I will not have a lot of free time, so trying to narrow it down smile.

dinosaursdontwhine Fri 28-Oct-16 17:36:40

For your 2.5yr old, it's up to you and may depend on availability of care. You can choose a nursery (most are open 7.30/8am - 6pm), a childminder (who cares for your child in their home, not your home, with several other children), or a nanny who comes to your home.
You can search on

Some employers offer childcare vouchers as part of the salary package: essentially you get this money before tax,so you save money. The childcare provider has to be registered officially to accept these.

From 3yrs old, you may be offered some sessions for your youngest at pre-school; this is free but only for about 15 hours a week, and between 9-12 or 12-3 so you'd need a nanny or childminder too to mop up the other hours. You can use this state funding in a private nursery to reduce your overall bill, or you can choose a state preschool (though the state ones are only open 9-3. As most preschools are attached to a primary school, this can be a good way of getting into community life. Your child also gets to know local children. It doesn't mean you automatically progress to the attached primary school though, you stilll have to apply for that for the school year in which they turn 5 (this is the start of compulsory education in England) and if you meet all the criteria you'll get a place (it depends from year to hear what the criteria are as there is a fixed capacity)).

Hope this helps! Once you know your working days/hours and where you are likely to live, I would look for secondary school first (11-16/18 yrs), then primary (4-11), then the care for your youngest. You can contact the county council (Cambridgeshire County Council) for advice on school applications/spaces (of they are full, you won't get a place, they'll be offered the next nearest school with a space).

GirtonGirl Fri 28-Oct-16 20:04:35

The secondary school application deadline is 31st October so you will miss that, but you will be able to do a late application and will get offered a place in the second round.
None of the secondary schools are bad as far as I am aware (although I am the other side of Cambridge so am less familiar with schools on the south).
I would agree that you are unlikely to get a place at St Bedes though.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstoodinCamb Fri 28-Oct-16 22:26:44

FUlbourn is lush. Great butcher greengrocer coop doctors church fantastic pub
If we could afford it we would live there.
Dh works in fulbourn road and I work near netherhall school.
Do it if you can

Rosiepooh75 Sat 29-Oct-16 07:22:04

dinosaursdontwhine Thank you! That is exactly what I needed to know! Considering my work hours, I think a nursery would be wisest. The pre-school hours will require a minder before and after it, and I don't think I'd be able to afford all of that. I'll first see where we'll be living, and see what the pre-school hours there are. I'll also check re. childcare vouchers with my employer. All of this just emphasizes my employer and I need to get the ball rolling...

Thanks GirtonGirl! That's good to know. Wish we'd started this a couple of months earlier.

Rosiepooh75 Tue 27-Dec-16 09:19:17

Reviving the thread now that I know more :-)
We will be moving in April/May. I have narrowed down the list of villages based on our budget and distance from work and was wondering if anyone can tell me if any of these are not recommended, or which are highly recommended for families/strong community/safety/schools/nurseries, etc.
Many thanks in advance for any help!
Cherry Hinton
Fowlmere, Hertfordshire
Great Shelford
Great Wilbraham
Highfields Caldecote
Little Shelford
Little Wilbraham
Melbourn, Hertfordshire
Swaffham Prior
Trumpington (certain areas are within budget)

Casz Fri 20-Jan-17 00:51:46

Just being pedantic, Melbourn and Fowlmere are in Cambridgeshire, not Hertfordshire.

SaSa2017 Fri 20-Jan-17 11:54:25

I guess Haslington in the list is supposed to be Haslingfield?

Haslingfield is a really nice village. Secondary school (outstanding) is 10 minutes away in Comberton.

didireallysaythat Sat 21-Jan-17 06:37:07

I guess you've decided not to cycle to work now ? Are you looking for a nursery close to where you work or where you live ?

IamLovingThis Sat 21-Jan-17 13:15:51

Melbourn is in Herts

cammel Sat 21-Jan-17 21:35:12

Melbourn is in Cambridgeshire. It just has Royston as a postal town, so addresses are usually written with Hertfordshire. For schools etc the local authority is Cambridgeshire and the district council is South Cambridgeshire. It is definitely in Cambridgeshire.

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