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Work in Camridge and London. Where to live?

101 replies

Geoks · 16/10/2018 09:54

Hi mommies, I need your advice. My hb got good job in Cambridge and we decided to move closer to his work whilst I am on maternity leave. BUT soon I need to be back to my work which is based in London, Stratford. Please suggest any nearest cities or areas where we could move that commuting to work will not take longer than an hour for both of us. Somewhere in between Camridge and Stratford with a good schools and environment for bringing up children. (eldest son just started Reception class and youngest will go to nursery when I am back to work) thanks!

OP posts:

SodTheBloodyLotOfThem · 16/10/2018 18:18

There's a direct train from Bishops Stortford to Stratford which takes about 50ish minutes, or you can drive in less than 45 minutes so I don't know where you're getting your timings.


Cherries101 · 16/10/2018 18:18

@anotheremma — it’s another 30mins to Stratford. Can do the whole journey in 1hr30 each way which as a london commuter is fairly good.


VanGoghsDog · 16/10/2018 18:20

MK is too far to commute to Cambridge. I'm not sure the new train line is coming 'shortly', it's not even started yet, the project team only got together under a year ago.

I used to live in Whittlesford and park and ride to Cambs, train to London. Direct but a stopping train.

Bedford is doable, train to London about fifty mins, but then you'd have journey the other end too.

Any road commute into Cambridge is a pain though. For a while I lived just north of Peterborough and commuted there and it took two hours most days and, memorably, four once. The reverse commute was about an hour. It gets hellish around the Christmas shopping times with park and ride queues going up and down and round corners and gridlock on the city roads.

Best would be to live in one of the villages and you get a job in Cambs too. It's a really high employment area, you'd probably find it pretty easy.


Volant · 16/10/2018 18:20

It seems a shame to move your son when he's just started school. In your shoes I'd be tempted to stay in Cambridge and start looking for jobs closer to there.


PurpleAndTurquoise · 16/10/2018 18:20



workshyfop · 16/10/2018 18:23

It’s worth looking at Royston and surrounding villages.


Cherries101 · 16/10/2018 18:24

The East West trains from MK to Cambridge / Oxford are operational in 5 years. That means if you want property in MK it’s best to buy now. Property prices have increased much faster here than other parts of the region.


Cherries101 · 16/10/2018 18:25

And it takes 45mins to drive to cambridge from MK, know this as I’ve done it many times. Also takes 30mins on train to euston. It’s probably the best placed commuter town in the UK (north of the M25).


VanGoghsDog · 16/10/2018 18:26

OK. I wouldn't describe five years as 'shortly', and it's bound to be late (like the trains!).

I live near Bedford and commute to London and MK.


Medianoche · 16/10/2018 18:27

I might be missing something, but if you were going from Kings Cross to Stratford, I think the Southeastern from St Pancras to Stratford International (6 mins) would be much faster than the tube.


Underpressureidiot · 16/10/2018 18:27

Hoddesdon or Broxborne? They’d be good.


HunterHearstHelmsley · 16/10/2018 18:28

Milton Keynes? Bury St Edmunds? Everywhere already listed really..

I worked in Cambridge for a time and you couldn't pay me to live there. I was always so pleased that I was only there Monday- Friday and could go home for a bit.


VanGoghsDog · 16/10/2018 18:29

You've commuted from MK to Cambridge? Because commuting is a whole different kettle of fish than going now and then.

We had people who commuted from MK and it took them up to two hours each way. It was one of our high risk areas to recruit from as people wouldn't stay due to the commute and the fact they could get to London so easily. It's 40 mins from Bedford to MK, an hour in the morning, and about the same from Bedford to Cambs, so pretty unlikely you'd do MK to Cambs in 45 minutes.


Cherries101 · 16/10/2018 18:34

I drove. First thing in the morning it took 45-50mins to central Cambridge. We have far superior roads than Bedford, people tend to forget there’s never any traffic in MK due to the dual carriage ways. People from MK tend to be seasoned commuters but get paid more going into London (with the quicker train journey).


ShalomJackie · 16/10/2018 18:46

It does not take 45 mins MK to Cambridge im the rush hour.

I would be inclined to live in Cambridge after all why both commute. You would be able to get to Stratford in 1 hour 15 once on the train. If you have kids Cambridge has great schools.


AnotherEmma · 16/10/2018 18:53

“I might be missing something, but if you were going from Kings Cross to Stratford, I think the Southeastern from St Pancras to Stratford International (6 mins) would be much faster than the tube.”

In that case, anywhere on the fast or semi-fast route from Cambridge to kings cross could be an option.

I still think Bishop’s Stortford though, if there are direct trains.

Where are you living atm? A few PPs assumed Cambridge but I doubt it - sounds as if your DH got a new job there and wants to move closer?


AnotherEmma · 16/10/2018 18:54

I don’t know why people are suggesting Milton Keynes, it’s the wrong side for Stratford anyway.


pinkcardi · 16/10/2018 18:57

It takes me 45 mins to go 12 miles from outside Cambs (west side) into the edge of the city everyday. That's leaving at 7.15 -7.30 am. Fastest I've ever done the journey (out of rush) is 18 mins.

You absolutely cannot get from MK to Cambs in 45 minutes at any normal time of day.


pinkcardi · 16/10/2018 19:01

So to answer your question, where to live will depend on where your husband will work.

For you getting to Stratford I think it will be a long long journey. Either villages around Royston or St Neots for trains into Kings Cross etc, or south of Cambs for trains into Liverpool Street etc.

I'd consider driving to Stratford, so perhaps Saffron Walden or other towns near the M11. I know a few people who drive knot the edge of London and tube the rest of the way, or drive all the way and get cheap parking.

I suspect you will struggle to be home for baby bath and bedtime. I couldn't do it. Could you also work in Cambridge?


AnotherEmma · 16/10/2018 19:02

Also... Peterborough?! It’s north of Cambridge. Pretty far north. It’s the opposite direction to Stratford!


pinkcardi · 16/10/2018 19:12

AnotherEmma - agreed. Peterborough is miles to both cambridge and such a long train journey into London before you've factored the tube to Stratford.


VanGoghsDog · 16/10/2018 19:24

No traffic in Milton Keynes? What are all those cars I queue behind every time I commute there then, which is three days a week?

Not as bad as Cambridge, obviously. Having commuted to both MK it is easier to commute into and somewhat easier to park, though not much cheaper (though I've got the employee pass).

Most Cambs employers don't have parking on site, the science parks do but even that is limited and you really can't arrive late. Park and ride is the answer but you sometimes have to wait for three full ones to go before you can get on one. And queuing to get into the park and ride can itself take half an hour.


OpposableThumbs2 · 16/10/2018 19:49

How about Baldock. 1hr 15 to Stratford and 25 minutes to Cambridge by train.


Xenia · 16/10/2018 20:03

Buy this (in Stratford) and make the husband commute Longer term there will probably be more jobs fo ryo both in London anyway.

Or both live in Cambridge. I am not sure somewhere half way between is going to be very easy.


Ali1cedowntherabbithole · 16/10/2018 20:20

For Cambridge commuting are you thinking train or car?

The train station is about a mile from the town centre.

For car - ok if the job is in a business park otherwise you may need to add park & ride time.

Trains from both Bishops Stortford & Saffron Walden to Stratford though you may need to change at Harlow on some routes.

Outstanding schools in BS & SW
Look at saffron Walden county high. Bishops Stortford High School for Boys, Herts & Essex for Girls, Hockerill for Baccalaureate & St Mary's catholic.

Alternatively Sawbridgeworth to drive to Stratford in 35 mins & train to Cambridge. Leventhorpe school.

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