Moving to Cambridge: the city that will move you
Considering a move to Cambridge? It’s a popular choice, not only for commuters as it is close to London with good transport links, but increasingly for those looking to work here as well. Often referred to as ‘Silicon Fen’, it has become a hub for thriving science and tech companies. We love this city and have helped many people move to the area, so we have compiled this brief guide as an introduction to Cambridge for those considering the move.
Just 50 miles north of London, Cambridge is a busy and thriving city, steeped in rich heritage and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Part of the charm of the place is its size – with a population of just 125,000 – 25,000 of which are students. This means it has everything you would expect from a city such as a wide variety of shops, both independent and chains, in places like The Grand Arcade, to an abundant array of cafes, pubs and restaurants, art galleries, theatres and museums. But it also has the friendly feel of a smaller town, with a thoroughly welcoming atmosphere. It’s compact and cosmopolitan – a cultural hive, buzzing with life.
It also provides a wonderful juxtaposition of the new and the old. The world famous Cambridge University is consistently ranked in the top five universities in the world with a reputation for excellence since it was founded in 1209 – meaning it is an essential part of the blood flowing in the city’s veins and provides a beautiful backdrop with its majestic medieval architecture. This sits alongside the booming science and tech industry driving many companies to call Cambridge home and they are settling on fertile ground for exploration, with the likes of Stephen Hawking and Charles Darwin both studying at Cambridge. Check out Cambridge50 to check out the fastest growing companies in the area.
And the city boasts large green spaces with its parks and even cattle-grazing meadows within the city limits. The serene river Cam runs through the heart of Cambridge – walk along it any time of year and find something new. It particularly comes alive in the spring and summer. Take a picnic, go for a punt or even a swim – spend endless days messing about on the river.
One of the city’s real gems is the Jesus Green lido – an outdoor pool in the middle of Jesus Green. Built in 1923 it’s nearly 100 metres long and one of the few remaining lidos that were built across the country in the 1920s. On a hot summer’s day slip into its welcoming waters and feel like you are on holiday on the continent.
Practically speaking it is well placed, with direct trains to London Kings Cross which operate every half an hour and take under an hour. Trains to Liverpool Street take 80 minutes and Stanstead airport is just a 20 minute drive away via the M11 motorway.
Traffic is notoriously bad in the city and parking in limited supply, for that reason many people cycle. Cyclists make up around 20% of commuters and it is well set up for cyclists, plus it’s very flat which makes it much easier.
Cambridge’s popularity means that property prices are high – although your money will still go considerably further than it will in London. The southern end of the city tends to be more expensive and properties around the train station come at a premium.
The area has a plethora of excellent state schools, with Spinney and Milton Road primary schools and Parkside Community secondary school being awarded the best Ofsted ratings. Look at School Guide for the rankings and the local paper, Cambridge News, will have all the latest exam results.
There is little more to say to sing the praises of this glorious city, so we will just leave you with these words from Xu Zhi Mo’s Poem “On Leaving Cambridge”:
To seek a dream? Go punting with a long pole,
Upstream to where green grass is greener,
With the punt laden with starlight,
And sing out loud in its radiance.
He certainly didn’t want to leave – we hope you don’t either.