Calling all Cambridgeshire folk!(148 Posts)
Please tell me about March and if you know it a village called Manea. Near Ely. Pretty? Pretty friendly? Close to decent schools (state or private?) Live in outer London now - would you bother to go here for a big relocation or would you keep looking elsewhere? Interested in Essex/Cambridgeshire.
I KNOW there are Cambs people on this board...please?!
I don't know March so I'm bumping for you.
We moved from London to Essex/Cambs border and are very happy, great schools, beautiful area, low crime, high 'quality of life'.
DH's contribution - "there's a very nice chinese near there". Don't know much else other than that it's pronounced Maney, about it I'm afraid, but will ask around. The Fens in general are lovely (we live in a village near Ely), though coming from Lancashire, it took me a long time to get used to the flatness of it all! Sorry not to be more help, but didn't want to ignore you.
I used to live in March and know Manea quite well too as my best friend lived there. Don't know about schools as this was preDC. I didn't like it TBH found the landscape very bleak, very very flat surrounded by fields. To get anyway decent you have to drive Peterborough about 25 mins away, Cambridge about 40 mins. Manea is a funny little village you would only go there if going there IYSWIM very little in it, my friend felt she was a bit of an outsider not having been born there.
Go on Cambridge local, click local on here and there are threads about villages too.
Thanks very much for this! The house we are looking at was previously owned by a farming family. I was suspecting one of the main reasons we could possibly afford it (large but needs lots and lots and lots of work) is that probably we are looking at some notable downsides. However, where I live in London would probably get really mixed reviews too. Going to take a look anyway and see.
Cheers for that everyone!
Looks like it's in the middle of nowhere
As a South Cambs girl I would never go North
Would you still commute to London?
Many reasons are not logical. Good points about where we live: lovely friends, good commute to my job in town, good schools, nice house.
Bad points: not a big garden (lalalonglegs if you see this, it does bother us! ), we are working so hard here in London now that I've gone back from maternity leave I hardly see my friends ANYWAY, and...
well, while the private schools are good...they all feel like little incubators for the City. There is an okay state secondary school but the girls' grammar is SO COMPETITIVE to get in and once you get there cutthroat I am not too excited about it. I can imagine the question to DCs: what do you want to be a lawyer, doctor, or banker?! I have a friend who grew up here (loads actually) ALL on that path. Some of them who went to school in town have been commuting on the Central Line to Bank for 20 years now. It's just a bit depressing somehow. Quite Bling where we are too.
It's more an emotional thing but I'm just not convinced I want to bring my kids up here. And DH needs a change of school (teacher) by now. And I want to work less which we absolutely cannot do on our current mortgage.
I would maybe go to London one day a week. Have an opportunity to change jobs.
Personally I'd recommend all of Essex, South Cambs, Herts & Suffolk before the Fens
Ely possibly better than Manea, better transport incl. direct trains to London.
Still quite local but quite a mix of people - a few commuters to London, more to Cambridge.
Thread earlier in the year in property about the Cambridgeshire area.
I think the Fens are beautiful - love being able to see for miles. Amazing sunrises with mist across the fens.
London -> Fens would be a hell of a change.
We did Norwich -> PNG -> edge of Fens, and I would hate to live in London, and it was still a bit of a shock.
I would still have access to London though. Once maybe twice a week. And it's not as though I'd be moving from Notting Hill. However...if I can't sit and have a quiet latte anywhere within 30 miles I might go a bit mad...know I sound like a ponce.
This is pure prejudice, as I've never spent more than an hour in Manea, but why on earth would you want to move to a village in the Fens? It's not for the countryside, it's not for the social life, it's not for the excellent schools ... I honestly think you're absolutely mad. Manea is not Cambridge, it's not Ely, it's a village in the Fens. Also, how are you going to get to London twice a week? Drive to Ely and train presumably? Where are you going to park? It's cheap BECAUSE NO-ONE WANTS TO LIVE THERE.
You can get a latte in Ely, though. You might be able to get one in March?
Why not look at living in Ely or Waterbeach instead? Saffron Walden?
However, Manea does have a famously beautiful church
I wouldn't. There are some lovely villages in Cambridgeshire, but I really wouldn't go to that area myself.
If you want easy access to London, there are some lovely villages near Huntingdon, including my own . Huntingdon 45-50 minutes to Kings X, and Cambridge is a 20 min drive.
Or you can be nearer Cambridge and use that as your main station. Or there are some lovely places further round nearer/in Essex as well.
But I wouldn't go for the Fens.
We moved out from London and were initially looking at houses in villages all very pretty with one little shop or whatever. We ended up in more of a small town walking distance to a couple of shops, a couple of takeaways, doctors, chemist etc, and I am much happier than I think I would have been miles from anywhere - the transition was not so drastic. Worth thinking about?
p.s. I reckon I've spotted the house you're interested in. I can see why you're tempted on paper, but I wouldn't get too excited without seeing it in the flesh. I think it could be a money pit, and I think you'd find it hard to re-sell. Also, you'll have to spend a lot of time running the renovations, and if you're moving from London, you won't have any names of reliable people to do the work. You can ask on Mumsnet of course, but I doubt that good Cambridge people would go out as far as Manea.
Other people have been kinder than me but London to Manea would be a huge change, have you actually been to Manea yet? When I loved in March there were 2 trains a day from Manea and you had to flag the driver downt to stop. I felt very isolated in March and at least it had a few shops and pubs.
You couldn't pay me enough money to move back to the Fens sorry. Your commute to London is a nightmare I know I did it for 3 months, you have to get up at ridiculous o'clock, train from March 20 mins, then train from Peterborough to Kings Cross think it's about an hour on the fast train (which is twice the price as WAGN which stops everywhere) then from Kings Cross to wherever you want to be in London. And the trains are always delayed.
Agree going further south would be better although you start to get more expensive, Huntingdon and the Herts villages are nicer and more accessible to London.
Cheers for your comments. I read the big thread on Cambridge from April last night Grendels where you also gave sound advice.
I bet you have spotted the property we're interested in. I'm afraid we have to just go and get it out of our system. It's one of those things.
Okay, the trouble with the chocolate box towns in Cambs/Essex with easy access to London is that financially it's unlikely to be worth it for us. We would struggle to replicate our current house in Cambridge assuming we were willing to have a similar sized mortgage - I was astonished at the prices I saw on one of the websites recommended on that earlier thread.
In this sort of situation, if we really loved it, we would establish a value at which it was worth it - which would incorproate the work and a desire to lower our current mortgage- and then just say take it or leave it. We aren't desperate.
Totally take your point that it's probably cheap b/c no one wants to live there (!!!). However, DH and I have looked at a number of probate/ex-farmers houses over the last couple of years which have also struggled to sell. They needed work too but often times a bigger factor was a certain recalcitrance towards negotiating even a quid lower, given inheritance issues, plus if there is land attached, they were trying to retain as much of the property around the original farmhouse as possible. So, a lot of this would depend on the owners' attitudes.
Well, I'll le you know how it goes on Sat.
I'd only be going one day a week though, not everyday. Agree every day would be inconceivable.
One day a week might seem like a grind but not as bad as 5 days a week obviously.
You have to go and check out the area for yourself, as you say have a good look at the house and the surrounding area, again it's personal choice I still have friends in the Fens and they love it.
Where do you need to be when you come into London? When we moved out, we looked at the journey into London (in our case it was to Liverpool St for DHś work) and followed the train lines out. Ended up in North Essex (between Braintree and Colchester) and are delighted. Chose a village without a station because it was a little cheaper, and DH cycles to the station (3 miles). If we been happy being further from a station and gone up towards Suffolk, we have got more for our money.
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