Will I be lonely in Cambridge as a mum?

(17 Posts)
Cambridgeorlondon Fri 08-Jul-16 22:22:28

DH works on Cambridge. We moved after living there for almost 3 years as I felt v isolated. Now that we have a toddler i am considering moving back but whilst I feel very positive about the place in some ways I worry about how lonely I found it last time we lived there ( centre dominated by students and tourists, different districts with no real hub to them, neighbours who kept to themselves, sense of transience). Can anyone reassure me that there are neighbourhoods where people tend to put down roots and make connections? Might I find it easier to meet people as a mum now? It's a big decision as family and friends are in London but one that I think would make our life much simpler if I can find the right place to live. We were off Hills Road before. I really like Newnham- what's the community like there?

GirtonGirl Fri 08-Jul-16 22:37:52

It is different when you have a child. Where I live has a really good friendly community and is a lovely place to bring up children.
Look for somewhere that has playgroups / other toddler activities / library nearby with story time / rhymtime & a preschool for when you need it and you will meet lots of other parents & little ones.

Let us know where you are thinking of looking

GirtonGirl Fri 08-Jul-16 22:38:49

I don't know Newnham very well, but it is quite pricey, and does have a lovely park (Lammas Land)

Cambridgeorlondon Fri 08-Jul-16 22:44:29

Thanks Girton Girl. I do think Cambridge is a lovely place for children. I think we are probably more suited to being in the city itself than a village. Are there any need good playgrounds in Cambridge? What are the toddler groups like? Can anyone tell
Me about Newnham Croft primary?

CambridgeVillager Fri 08-Jul-16 22:48:56

Cambridge has a lot of very friendly baby groups. You will be fine. (My children are all past this stage now, but I still have friends from these groups.

One of my old favourites was Tiddlywinks which is held at Eden Baptist Church on the pedestrian mall near the Grafham Centre on Mondays and Tuesday mornings. I am not religious, but they were always very welcoming and friendly, and a well run group.


Another old favourite was Barnabas Bears at St Barnabas on Mill Road. Again, I am not religious, but they were always very welcoming and friendly, and loads of activities for the little ones with helpers. Brilliant.


The Salvation Army on Mill Road also used to run a popular playgroup. Cambridge is full of them.

Cambridgeorlondon Fri 08-Jul-16 22:58:24

Thanks CambridgeVillager. Do people find they make friends only for other families to leave Cambridge after a couple of Myers? Which areas are the friendliest would you say with a more settled population? I like Newnham because of its proximity to the meadows and Llamas Land. I want to be somewhere with a villager feel but without feeling cut off. Is Girton nice? Madingley?

Cambridgeorlondon Fri 08-Jul-16 22:59:09

Years not Myers hmm

Tournesol Sat 09-Jul-16 08:17:49

I moved to Cambridge from London when pregnant with my first and now have three kids.

I lived in the Mill Road area and made a ton of friends by throwing myself into various baby groups, I found it really friendly and accessible.

Now my kids are at school we have moved out to a village and again it has been so friendly and I have met lots of people through school.

I think Cambridge is a really friendly place as long as you get out there and make an effort, having children immediately gives you an in.

Good luck!

AnotherEmma Sat 09-Jul-16 16:04:05

I've lived in Cambridge for more than 10 years, first as a student and now as a resident.

I don't think it has anything to do with where you live, it's more what you do. You need to get out and do some activities, join a club or class.

I've made good friends by doing activities I enjoy. In your case you could do child-related things but also just join a book club or a yoga or meditation class or a sports team or whatever floats your boat!

AnotherEmma Sat 09-Jul-16 16:11:47

Newnham is a lovely area, within easy distance of the river and Grantchester, which are idyllic in the summer. It's not particularly central but that might not bother you.

You should also consider the Mill Road / Romsey area, if you can afford it, because it has a wonderful community atmosphere. Some of the roads have street parties, BBQs and other social events organised by the residents. There are community centres and lots of activities. And there's a big park (Romsey Recreation Ground). The other advantage of Mill Road / Romsey is the proximity to the train station, which makes it easy for trips to London (if you have family/friends there you still want to see) or for getting to Stansted (takes about 30-35mins).

However, we live in a different part of the city and still have a great social life. As I said it's what you do, not where you live!

Where is your DH's place of work? You probably know this already but given the traffic you ideally need to be close enough for him to cycle or get the bus (or at least not have too horrendous a drive).

northofcambridge Sat 09-Jul-16 17:15:40

I've found it v easy to meet people when I moved to cambridge with children. I think the villages are more settled than the centre of town and you get more for your money. Girton is OK - but I would pick Histon over it anytime - (sorry GirtonGirl) if you are going out of town in that direction.

drayton Sun 10-Jul-16 07:46:45

Histon also has a children's centre, which I don't think Girton does?

Madingley is pretty but small, and as far as I know the only way into town is on busy roads that you won't want to cycle with a small child. I think it'd be a shame to live so close and still have to drive!

Cambridge central library has a great children's section, rhyme time for babies is very popular. So sad DD's nap time clashes so I can't take her at the minute! They do storytime for preschoolers too, which I am yet to investigate.

SoftSheen Sun 10-Jul-16 09:40:17

I can recommend the Mill Road/ Petersfield/ Kite area: very friendly and cosmopolitan with lots of children's groups and a great community feel. We have parties in the park in the Summer and at Christmas, food fairs and Mill Road winter Fair.The local school St Matthew's Primary is very good too. Over the train tracks in Romsey is apparently also very nice, though further from the city centre.

Lizardc Wed 13-Jul-16 19:45:18

Cambridge is super with kids and I've met lots of people through various groups and classes. I'd highly recommend Arbury / Chesterton area. There are two children's centres (Chesterton and North Cambridge) as well as a tonne of other baby, toddler and preschool activities. The Chesterton parents' group has a Facebook page and organises lots. There are a large number of nurseries in the area too, as and when you get the that stage.

I'm part of a local mums coffee group - we meet once a week at various peoples' houses for coffee and chat and play for our little ones. We are a friendly bunch and you'd be welcome!

It's a great area to be in.

Cakestop Sun 17-Jul-16 16:05:12


We moved to Cambridge from SW London in January with our toddler. I share a similar feeling to you, I've tried some of the clubs etc suggested above, and whilst friendly, I haven't walked away with any best friends (!!). We live just off Riverside (renovating a townhouse) and the neighbour's are friendly - but it does have a transient nature. Maybe it's me, but it's not always easy to make new friends and like a previous poster said, trying something you're interested in is good advice. I've realised that finding mums with similar aged kids doesn't necessarily mean you'll click! Anyway, other people I meet say the same as the majority of the posters above - so I'm guessing it's just me! But if I could live anywhere in the city it would be Newnham. I should have researched it better... Maybe next time! But when I compare here to London for my bringing up my daughter, I think it's better! Hope that helps. smile

Tid1 Sun 17-Jul-16 20:31:15

I've been in cambridge nearly 10 years and it was only after having my daughter that I met friends (5 years ago), apart from work friends but most if them travelled into cambridge so weren't local. I do think there is lots to do for kids and lots of groups where you can meet people. I have found that once you meet friends it's great but I like anywhere walking into a new baby group not knowing anyone can be daunting! Cambridge has a very multinational feel, so lots for everyone! I live in near to the centre of cambridge (off milton road), but if I could chose to live anywhere I would chose histon. I have friends there and whenever I go there everyone is friendly and there is lots going on. It feels like people out down roots there whereas cambridge is very transient. Good luck with your move

NekoKutsu Thu 28-Jul-16 09:40:58

I'm with you cakestop feel like the place is very transient - joined some lovely groups whilst on maternity leave but once I went back to work part time I either missed the groups or people moved away. I'm in Cherry Hinton but would like to go out to one of the villages really.

Pregnant again with dc2 so hoping to get out there more.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now