Moving to Ely

(13 Posts)
ClareV Tue 08-Jun-10 14:30:50

Hi - I posted this on the Cambridge board, but just noticed the Ely one too, so thought I'd add it here aswell!
We are looking to move somewhere near Ely (or Ely itself) with my husband working in Waterbeach.
We are heading that way in a couple of weeks to have a good look at the area.
Which villages do you like / would you like to live in?
We like older properties rather than new build if that makes a difference.
I'd like to be able to go for a walk from the door with the buggy, taking us to green areas.
We'd need a (good) primary school - how easy is it to get a place when moving into the area? (Obviously I'd speak to schools once I've got an idea of area).
I also would like baby/toddler groups and activities so I, and my younger 2, can make some friends.
Chatteris has come up frequently on rightmove - what is that like?
What is Ely like itself?
Any suggestions of other villages we should target?
Any suggestions or comments would be much appreciated!

MaryBS Tue 08-Jun-10 17:10:14

I live about 7 miles from Ely, in Sutton, and like it there, although there's not massive amounts to do. Big disadvantage with it is the busy road which runs through it. The school has just been ofsted inspected, and its been rated badly - and unfairly IMHO, I've found it a good school. Its a church school, but the emphasis is more on community than church. There's a couple of pre-schools and a mums and tots too. The Scout group, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts really is excellent, and I've heard, one of the best in the area. We have a convenience store and pub and a number of businesses here. There's a meadows area where many people take their dogs to walk, and a play park and a football field.

Ely itself is lovely, we nearly bought there and was pipped to the post on a house. I would steer clear of the High Barns area - its not all bad, but there are rough elements. Near the Cathedral there is a lovely green area where there is a small play park, horses graze and theres a wide open space with a "hill" for running up and down (or what counts for a hill in the Fens). Its also nice down by the river. St Marys is supposed to be a good school, it is a church school though. A friend who has just moved to Ely has had no trouble getting her DS in there. Driving down the A10 to work might be a pain on occasions, it is notorious!

Haddenham is also a much-liked village. Witcham has a good community feel - school is in the nearby village of Mepal and is good (again a church school).

Witchford has an excellent primary school, highly rated. The secondary school recently ranked as outstanding, but for all that, my two won't be going there (long story).

Chatteris has a bit of a reputation, but I wouldn't like to say how much it is deserved.

Closer to Cambridge, Histon is very popular, but like many villages, attracts commuters to Cambridge, and being that bit closer to Cambridge, is more expensive.

ClareV Wed 09-Jun-10 09:25:10

Thanks Mary, that is all really useful!
Our primary had a bad ofsted too, and I think it is really good. DS is very happy there, so ofsted isn't always (ever?) right.
Opinions of other parents are very handy!
It sounds like there are lots of places that would be nice to live in - I'm going to have to start a list of places to check out next weekend.
I may be back with more questions later......
Thanks again!

MaryBS Wed 09-Jun-10 14:22:36

Ask away! Hopefully you'll get some others join in. I've lived here for 5 years, moving from Lincolnshire, so we faced a similar trawl round the villages looking for a family friendly place.

ClareV Tue 22-Jun-10 11:51:19

Posted this on the Cambridge board too...

Hello! Me again, and back from Sunny Ely (not - haven't had weather that bad in a while!!)
We drove and wandered round lots of places in the area, and particularly liked Ely itself (seemed like a great sized-town), Haddenham, Cottenham, Witchford (stayed in a B+B there) and Wicken.
I have more questions now......
If living in Ely, do kids get in to secondary schools easily other than the one in Ely? Obviously standards could change in the 5 years before we need it, but don't want to have to move house again for schools.
Where do kids at the village colleges go for Sixth form?
How do primary kids get to school from Wicken - is there a school bus? I don't really like the idea of driving to school every day or sending them on a bus, but Wicken was beautiful (I also want to be able to walk to the post office and for bread/milk kind of shopping, so probably out on all counts).
For all places, where do you go for swimming lessons (saw a sign to a pool in Cottenham), beavers/rainbows etc, big supermarket, toddler groups, pre-school, childminders (trying to think of anything else that features heavily in our day-to-day life)....
There seem to be houses in our budget in all of the places, so practicalities are the next thing to worry about!
Husband would happily live very ruraly (sp?) relying on the car but I want to be able to walk to the every day things and also to friends.
Thanks again for your help!!

Saker Fri 02-Jul-10 11:42:00

I live in Fordham which is close to Wicken, which is a good village for facilities and access as you can easily get to the A14 to Bury St-Edmunds and Cambridge as well as Ely, Mildenhall and Newmarket. The village is by-passed now so the traffic isn't a problem if you choose carefully. There is a good school (outstanding ofsted and it is really a very good school) and preschool, co-op, hairdressers, chinese and indian restaurants, overpriced grin english restaurant, mobile post office, two garden centres, electrical shop -you can get most things you need pretty easily, either here or in nearby Soham. It's not the world's most beautiful village but it's not far from e.g. Wicken Fen, Anglesey Abbey and it has a couple of small nature reserve areas. I would recommend it over Wicken, just because of the facilities.

From here you could get swimming lessons in Newmarket, Ely or Mildenhall. There is a toddler group, not very good playground, tennis courts and recreation ground. You would need a car but at least you can pop into the shop, walk to school or feed the ducks etc.

Burwell is also a very popular village, but prices go up as you move from Fordham towards Cambridge.

Saker Fri 02-Jul-10 11:43:02

Forgot to say that in general I think kids go to Cambridge for sixth form college.

Saker Fri 02-Jul-10 11:44:35

sorry also forgot to say Beavers, Rainbows etc in Fordham; nearest supermarkets in Newmarket although reasonable Budgens in Soham. Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury's all deliver here.

Deaconwood Sun 04-Jul-10 19:12:11

Ely is lovely and is such a friendly place. Lots of amenities but small enough to feel welcoming. Don't be put off by High Barns area - we live near it in a lovely street with only period properties that is the friendliest I've ever lived in!

I grew up in Chatteris and it is an OK place to live provided you are willing to drive to other towns (Ely, St Ives etc) to do anything remotely nice! A place to live, but not much to do besides. Shops are awful and not particularly friendly. Too big to be pretty and rural, but not big enough to have anything useful. Hence the cheap house prices!

Good luck with your move!

Odysseus Mon 06-Sep-10 12:49:02

I love living in ELy! It's a lovely place to have a baby, easy walking with the buggy, lots of other Mums, lots of groups for babies and kids. I recommend it highly!

Jems29 Wed 08-May-13 17:53:47

Hi, I'm moving to littleport ely with my partner and 2 children age 5 & 3weeks at the end of July and would love to make new friends as I will be new to the area and not no anybody!! We are moving from Guildford surrey. X

KimberleyH85 Mon 27-May-13 09:09:07

Hi Jem, just noticed your post on here, are you looking forward to your move? It is lovely around here, I moved here about 2 years ago xx

Nicolamum36 Tue 26-Apr-16 10:24:47

If you are on Facebook you may find this useful. The list is growing all the time. There is far more going on then you realise...

There will be another group coming soon regarding 5-12year olds. The link above is about groups, sessions events each month on handy calendars for 0-5 year olds in Ely and nearby surrounding areas.


Nicola x

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