Anyone prepared to be brutally honest with me about Cambourne?

(15 Posts)
DorotheaLadislaw Wed 13-Apr-16 15:36:29

We're moving to Cambridge in the next few months and are looking for a family home. Having initially ignored Cambourne as I was fairly sure it wasn't for us, it's become harder to ignore how much house we can get for our money than it the more established villages we were otherwise looking at - and, actually, how much more there would seemingly be to do with small DC than if we ended up in a village which was chocolate box perfect but had a shop and nothing else. (We're pretty much priced out of the city itself.)

We looked round a house in Cambourne yesterday and loved the house itself, but are completely torn on whether the location would be fine or make us (me! DH not so fussed, but he'll be in the city centre every day for work, so get his fix of ancient architecture that way!) miserable. On the one hand it seems that, partly because it's so new, people have gone to a real effort to make it into a real community, and there does seem to be quite a bit going on. On the other hand I can't shake the feeling that it would be a bit like bringing my kids up on an army base or something, for no reason! But then again, DD starts school in September and we can't do anything about that until we have an address. So if we plump for a pretty village, crossing our fingers we'll get her into the local school, and then they don't have a place, she may end up having to go miles down the road, whereas in Cambourne there appear to be several good options (again, any views on that would be wonderful!), so it may be safer to go down that route...

So please - any thoughts? How isolated does it feel? How easy is it to get into town (bus timetable implies 50 mins - is that accurate?!)? How are the schools? Anyone love it/loathe it?

We need to make a decision pretty soon, but I don't want to rush into something we'll regret.

Lizardc Wed 13-Apr-16 21:51:11

I don't live in Cambourne but I have friends with reception / preschool age children who do and they seem to like it! Yes there is lots going on. From visiting, there seem to be a wide choice of parks and playgrounds as well as the nature reserve area for an outdoor fix! I don't drive, so when we go we've always caught the bus. Citi 4 run to / from central Cambridge every 20 minutes. It seems reasonably (although not completely) reliable. Morrisons isn't bad!

Friends also seem happy with the schools.

Lizardc Wed 13-Apr-16 21:56:44

Oh! Do you mean the bus takes 50mins to get. Cambourne (not it runs every 50 mins!)? Then no, not accurate. Ignoring rush hour (when getting anywhere on the roads takes an age!) I'd say 20-30 mins. The bus comes into Cambourne by Morrisons before doing a loop right around the town and coming back out the same way. So if you live right at the end of the loop then it might take 50 mins - but you'd be better off getting off at Morrisons on the way in and walking. We went to a friend's house at the end of the loop last week, hopped off at Morrisons, popped in to buy cake and walked / scooted to her house (just under 10mins) and got there pretty much the same time as the bus!

DorotheaLadislaw Thu 14-Apr-16 11:24:52

Thanks so much Lizard. Yes, sorry, just realised my bus question was totally ambiguous but I did mean how long does it take. That's reassuring!

DorotheaLadislaw Thu 14-Apr-16 11:29:07

Actually if you don't mind another bus question, as you're a non-driver - do you know how long the bus takes into town from Fulbourn? It looks so near but seems to go round the houses a bit!

IamLovingThis Thu 14-Apr-16 19:13:05

Hi Dorothea yes the bus does go a long way round to Fulbourn. It would be much quicker to use Park & Ride if you drive. Either from Newmarket Rd site or Balsham Rd site. By bike from Fulbourn to Cambridge is around 20-25 mins.

DorotheaLadislaw Fri 15-Apr-16 09:52:46

Oh that's really helpful, thank you. Having sat on the fence about Cambourne for a few days we've now spotted something in Fulbourn which we feel much more excited about - smaller and scruffier, and we'd lose the dream of the dedicated spare room, but if it's a trade off between that and being somewhere with a bit of history (and pubs!) a 20 minute cycle from the city I think we're pretty clear which side we come down on.

SummerLightning Mon 18-Apr-16 11:43:45

I live in Fulbourn, it is lovely! The bus does take ages though (I always cycle or drive as it's crap)

Shells Mon 18-Apr-16 20:29:29

Oh definitely choose Fulbourn over Cambourne. Well, I would.

Dm1593 Mon 18-Apr-16 21:09:07

We don't live in Cambourne but have friends that do but more importantly were in the same situation as you 8 years ago. We bought our first house having just had a child & fell in love with a beautiful house only 10 miles from Cambridge. Big mistake (for us) 10 miles can be an hour stuck in traffic to anywhere but also we spent so many hours in the car - everything we wanted to do was central Cambridge, our friends, jobs, cinema, groups for the children etc. We ended up having to save an enormous amount so we could downsize but live closer to where life was, which was the best decision we made.
That said, people do live in Cambourne and are very happy so it is up to you - can you see yourself having your life in Cambourne? Will you fit in with the people you will be doing the school run with? Do you like the look & surroundings of Cambourne?
If you have any doubts, I would suggest looking at saving more (renting in the mean time maybe in the location you want) and then buying when you have a bit more money.
Life is about compromise but would you rather live in a shoe box in the perfect location or a palace somewhere less desirable?? Good luck smile

Chamberlain79 Mon 13-Mar-17 22:58:46

Place marking!

HereIAm20 Tue 14-Mar-17 09:36:27

I was going to ask if your DH was going to be working in Cambridge why you'd live as far out as Cambourne due to traffic issues. (Where in Cambridge?)

Fulbourn would be a much more sensible choice imo.

Great location for jumping on A11 for London/Norwich.

LetMeGo Tue 14-Mar-17 22:31:35

Fulbourn is definitely cycle-able to the city centre which is essential really if you're working in town every day. However there are some big developments planned locally (Ida Darwin site with several hundred homes as well as other sites) so it will be changing to more of an extension suburb to Cherry Hinton rather than a small village setting. Pros and cons depending on what facilities come with the developments that you would use.

On the other hand, a lot more development is planned for Cambourne with potentially a new busway to Cambridge. However the commute from there to central Cambs will be pretty miserable for now, you could park and ride or cycle from Madingley P&R but even so it'll be twice the commute time from Fulbourn. We don't live in Cambourne but live near it and take the kids there often for sports activities, loads of toddler groups, library, health centre, etc etc. The only thing we go into town for is swimming, after school traffic going into and out of Cambridge is terrible. I'm not sure what is on offer in Fulbourn sports and activities wise, if you're looking for after school stuff will you be forced to commute into town and would you be happy to cycle your children to it to avoid the queues?

Not sure that helps much, lots to consider! I agree it might be worth renting first to get a feel for the area. Changing schools after one academic year isn't too big a deal unless you're going for an oversubscribed city centre school.

ChestertonCharley Wed 15-Mar-17 12:57:55

People I know from that neck of the woods go to St Neots for swimming, cinema etc rather than Cambridge. Easier and cheaper apparently!

If your DH is a keen cyclist, Cambourne is doable by bike (about 10 miles each way). Good choice of schools, and secondary is outstanding.

JennyWren1234 Wed 15-Mar-17 15:54:19

Looks like this is a ZOMBIE thread . . . . . sad

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