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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:

Maccycheesefries · 16/10/2018 20:30

I hate to say it but would you consider getting a job in Cambridge? You could save on commuting fares and time by living and working in Cambridge. Also, factor in rail strikes and fare increases and decide whether staying in a London job is worth it.


RockNRollNerd · 17/10/2018 09:10

Living mid way will get you the worst of both worlds and be a nightmare when the trains are buggered in terms of childcare pickup. Where the job is in Cambridge is a bit of a factor you should consider. Although it’s small it’s not a quick town to cross by car and most employers actively discourage driving (limited car parking for example).


NotAnotherJaffaCake · 17/10/2018 09:21

Agree with PP who says living midway is a disaster - everyone gets the worst of both worlds. Cambridge and Stratford is not really viable without someone having a 3 hour daily commute - realistically, you're looking at 1hr 30 mins, or if you live midway, you're both going to have hour long commutes and need wrap around care. Also, if your DH's job is north of Cambridge it will not work. I'd move both of you to Cambridge or stay put.

Just because it can work in theory, doesn't mean a) it will work in pratice or b) that it's a good idea.

Cambridge schools are a mixed bag - their results aren't great for the cohort. The University Primary school is the only one in Cambridgeshire with a recent Outstanding ofsted, and that's a work of fiction because they haven't actually had any statutory tests - they only opened a few years ago and have only up to year 4.


pinkcardi · 17/10/2018 09:51

Can't comment on state but private schools are excellent and quite a bit of choice (assuming you can get a place)

You will struggle to both commute and get back for nursery and school pick up. Anyone that I know who has two parents working in both places has a full time nanny, or has the Cambridge parents doing significantly flexible hours


Mia1415 · 17/10/2018 11:38

Baldock, Letchwoth, Hitchin, Stevenage are all good options


juneau · 17/10/2018 11:40

Ideally, somewhere with a direct train line into Cambridge for your DH. Driving into Cambridge (unless it's an out of town job), is horrendous. The traffic there is worse than just about anywhere I can think of.


ShalomJackie · 17/10/2018 13:19

Juneau - then you have never lived in Reading (where I used to live). I now live in Cambridge !


juneau · 17/10/2018 13:22

You're right Jackie the the only times I've been to Reading was to attend the Reading Festival in 1990 and 1991!


Geoks · 17/10/2018 14:08

Where do you live? does it takes 45 min by car or train?

OP posts:

FinnJuhl · 17/10/2018 14:21

I can't see that anyone's mentioned the new(ish) Cambridge North Station, which is right next to the Science Park and has direct services to Liverpool Street and Kings Cross.

I kind of agree that living in the middle is the worst of both worlds.


Geoks · 17/10/2018 14:23

Wow, thank you so much for all your suggestions and being so responsive! I know it will be hard for us to organise things like childcare etc but I have to go back to work in London as I signed two years contract so can't consider taking a new job in Cambridge for now. My DH works right next to the main Cambridge station so it will be more convenient to use trains for him deffo.
Are there direct trains from Saffron Walden to Stratford and Camrgdg? Google shows me 2hours and more train route from Stratford to Saffron Walden, though

OP posts:

FinnJuhl · 17/10/2018 14:34

Saffron Walden doesn't have a good train station. You have to use Audley End which is 2 miles out in the countryside and not one of the fast stops.

Bishops Storford is a main stop on the line and would give a travel time to Stratford of just under an hour.


NotAnotherJaffaCake · 17/10/2018 14:35

Nothing from Saffron Walden - your best bet is the Kings X line, wander over to St Pancras (next door) and train through to Stratford (about 16 mins). If that's the case, I would live somewhere near Royston or the villages there. If your DH is right next to the train station in the centre, you can park at Trumpington Park and Ride and use the guided busway cycle route to get straight there without having to use a train - handy so one of you isn't relying on public transport. All the villages between Royston and Cambridge are nice - Foxton, Meldreth, Shepreth(v. quiet), Fowlmere, Melbourn etc.


Ali1cedowntherabbithole · 17/10/2018 14:37

If your DH works close to Cambridge Station then I would be looking at your commute as his is under an hour anyway.

I would say Sawbridgeworth or Bishops Stortford for trains to both places and good schools. Old Harlow if you would do private school.

Look at Liverpool Street - Cambridge trains for DH

And B/S or Harlow to Stratford for you. (Or look at driving).


RockNRollNerd · 17/10/2018 14:43

At peak times it’s 1hr 9 from Audley End to Stratford via Tottenham Hale. The longer time is to the International station.
Audley End is a quick run (no more than 20 mins into Cambridge and the Stansted Express stops there too which is even quicker) worth bearing in mind if you are working near the stations in Cambridge.

A PP said Audley End isn’t on the fast route. It’s not on the fast route from Cambridge to Kings X (which is the quickest way from Cambridge to London) but the fast Liverpool St trains to do stop there. It’s the stops like Newport and Elsenham that are on the stopping slow trains to Liv St

You do have to factor in getting to the station though at AE. Parking can be pricey or there is a bus or cycle.


HabbyHadno · 17/10/2018 14:50

Royston? Nice town with good rail links to Cambridge and London.


Noodledoodledoo · 17/10/2018 14:58

There is no station in Saffron Walden, nearest is Audley End. Bishops Stortford is a lovely place, drive to Stratford is about an hour in rush hour, 45 mins non rush hour. Drive to Cambridge about 45 mins depending on where.

Stansted Mountfitchett just north of Stortford has a station, and is close enough to Stortford to use the facilities.

Most nursery's in Stortford are 730-630, there is one which is 7-7.

All primaries are good, although most afterschool care is only till 6pm, some 630.


VanGoghsDog · 17/10/2018 15:01

The Audley End trains also stop at Whittlesford, or they used to. Nice village, loads of station parking but if you lived in the village you could walk or cycle to the station.

I don't think the Trumpington park and ride goes to the station, it's the Babraham one that does?

Some of this depends on affordability of housing, it's not a cheap area!


Elasticity · 17/10/2018 15:09

Royston or Letchworth, you can get direct trains to London (Kings Cross/Liverpool Street) or Cambrige, from both.


maddening · 17/10/2018 15:18

Welwyn north


Welshmaiden85 · 17/10/2018 15:20

Hitchin fits all your requirements


AmbitiousHalibut · 17/10/2018 16:04

Another vote for Letchworth / Hitchin / Baldock here!


FinnJuhl · 17/10/2018 19:52

I would stay away from the Hitchin, Letchworth, Royston areas, too far west for either of your commutes and focus on places within easy reach of M11 and Liverpool St line, as both take you far closer to Stratford.


Xenia · 17/10/2018 20:10

So if not right near where you will work in Stratford ( a house), what about a flat 2 beds £525k within walking distance of kings Cross


VanGoghsDog · 17/10/2018 23:30

You can still give notice if you're on a two year contract you know, they can't force you to stay to the end.

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