Anyone up for a round of "I'm moving to Cambridge?"

(12 Posts)
bluepat Mon 17-Mar-14 07:49:50

Anyone up for a round of "I'm moving to Cambridge, where should I live?".

We're relocating to Cambridge in June, have 2 boys ages 3.5 and 1. I'm a student so we need to find affordable (?!) housing and childcare in Cambridge. I think we'll be priced out of Cambridge but have been considering Ely. How quiet is Ely; would we find it isolating as newcomers? Will we have a decent chance of getting a preschool and childcare place there? As well as Drs etc? The smaller villages N of Cambridge look nice but I don't want to move somewhere without decent services. Any help appreciated.

northofcambridge Mon 17-Mar-14 19:24:36

hi there are a few threads on here ely and the villages north of cambridge maybe do a search?
I know loads of people who commute to cambridge from ely and its seems fine - childcare might be a bit cheaper - not loads I suspect -
Which university - university of cambridge has a good accomdation office which might be helpful, and I think there might be some discounts on childcare for student parents also
Also are you settling in the area or it just for a course - if it is short term I think I would stay round other students if at all possible

bluepat Mon 17-Mar-14 19:37:47

Hiya, thanks for the reply. We're moving for 3-5 years, for my husbands post doc at the university. I'm a student where we are currently, and want to try to do my research from there. I've realised that I will probably have to go back to work, so really should be nearer to London. So now we're thinking St Neots, or other west villages. we're pretty much priced out of south cambridgeshire. Any advice of Cambourne and that area? TIA.

Cantusemyusualnickname Mon 17-Mar-14 19:42:15

There's always, though I almost hesitate to write it, Haverhill. If you want lower cost rentals that would fit the bill.
Is there a requirement still about living within so many miles of Great St Mary's Church.

MrsGrowbag Tue 18-Mar-14 10:13:10

Haverhill would be tricky in terms of getting to London and also commuting in to Cambridge.

If you can't afford rents in Cambridge I would definitely recommend Cambourne. It is amazingly family friendly, loads to do with small children and a great sense of community. Plus buses every 20 minutes into Cambridge during the day and a 20 minute drive in in the evenings, The trains from St Neots railway station go into Kings Cross and take about 45 minutes, but you would have to drive to St Neots ( about 20 minutes).

I don't live in Cambourne but I've got lots of friends who do, and they all love it.

bluepat Tue 18-Mar-14 10:21:35

Thanks Mrs.Growbag! I've actually hit on Cambourne but was a bit hesitant as it seems like a big new estate on googlemaps and we want something with a community, shops, etc (thats detailed research, that is.) Its really helpful to hear that there is a good community and that it is good for small children.

Does anyone know about childcare in Cambourne? Specifically pre-school and childcare waiting lists?

ChestertonCharley Tue 18-Mar-14 13:16:39

If Hardwick's on your radar, there's an excellent pre-school there and a couple of childminders of long standing.

NewtoCambridge Tue 18-Mar-14 13:36:40

I'm a big fan of both Ely and the villages between Ely and Cambridge, generally the primary schools are good. It helps if you can be either on the train line of cycling distance of Cambridge or the train. Some of the villages such as Histon and Cottenham are quite big and have a range of services. We moved to the area and found a nursery place without too many problems.

I had lunch with a fellow at one of the Colleges and she was telling me that a lot of the younger academics now live in Ely as it is affordable

bluepat Tue 18-Mar-14 14:13:43

Ahhh Hardwick would be ideal. Very helpful! Ely seems to be the place for younger academics but if I have to commute into London for work at some point it would be better to be more southern.

MrsGrowbag Tue 18-Mar-14 21:24:39

I think Cambourne has a (in my view undeserved) not-so-good reputation amongst people who don't live there. Yes, it is a large new-build estate, but it does seem to have developed a great community ethos - maybe because everyone is a newcomer, so no one is an "outsider" (or everyone is!). People who do live there seem to love it. Funnily enough, I was talking to my teens the other day about "where would you like to live if you didn't live here" expecting them to say "Central Cambridge" and both of them said "Cambourne" because "It's really green and got lots of places to be in the countryside, like a village, but there's loads more to do than in other villages" (ds 1, aged 17). I don't live there, nor do I have small children, but even I can name at least 5 or 6 toddler/preschool groups and activities that happen there. There are 4 primary schools but I don't know much about what they are like. Friends of mine who had children in primary there seemed happy enough but their children are all now older (teens) so things may have changed.

Hardwick also seems nice, although I don't know it as well. Ely is lovely, but further away and I don't know anything about children's activities there. I'm quite tempted to retire there in xx decades time!

Cambourne and Hardwick are both on the right side of Cambridge for the university, but you would have to get to London via St Neots if you want fast trains. However, imo, it's quicker to get from, say Cambourne or Hardwick to St Neots then to Cambridge station in the mornings.

ChestertonCharley Wed 19-Mar-14 12:47:27

From Cambourne or Hardwick you could drive to Royston and get the train from there. If Hardwick, Cambridge station is cyclable, though cycle parking is an issue at present.

rebeccamg Thu 20-Mar-14 15:40:52

We originally dismissed Cambourne as like you thought it was just a large housing development. Might have another look there then! We are currently renting in Whittlesford and love the south villages. Looking to buy when we find the right house! We moved to the area in December. I set up a Facebook group for meet ups - welcome to join.

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