Area guide: What is Cambridge like?
We cover an area that extends south as far as Saffron Walden; north to around Ely; west to the A10 corridor in Bedfordshire; and into Suffolk, around Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds.
Property in Cambridge
As home to both an ancient seat of learning and a variety of ultra-modern businesses, Cambridge attracts a constant stream of affluent buyers, and boasts a property profile to match. There is huge demand for family homes, with the southern side of the city popular because of its convenience both for London commuters and for a range of excellent schools. Here there is a good choice of spacious interwar, Arts and Crafts-style houses.
Closer in, there are numerous Victorian and Edwardian terraces in Newnham and Chesterton, handy for the station, and in the Kite area between East Road and the city centre. Or for classic Georgian townhouses, try Maid’s Causeway. The ‘city villages’ of Grantchester and Trumpington offer timeless charm and a good selection of cottages and larger period houses.
The surrounding villages, such as Whittlesford, Barrington, Wickhambrook and Cowlinge, contain the full range of village property, from quaint cottages to handsome rectories.
A superb variety of new developments attracts steady interest from both local buyers and overseas investors: Cambridge Riverside, The Marque on Hills Road, Kaleidoscope near the station and the Skanska site at Great Kneighton.
The local scene
Of course, Cambridge is dominated, both physically and culturally, by the University, which provides not only the exquisite architecture of the city but also an extensive and varied cultural scene. Yet the city has an exciting contemporary edge, as the hub of the UK’s technology industry (the area is known as Silicone Fen) and the home of several multi-national companies, including Microsoft.
The city centre is a wonderful mixture of historic architecture and contemporary buzz. Along the Cam, the famous Backs afford some of the most celebrated views in Britain, with the stunning architectural set-piece of King’s College. Other colleges provide a beguiling jumble of medieval, Jacobean, Victorian and 20th-century architecture. More up-to-date attractions include the Grand Arcade, with its full range of leading high street stores, while the Michelin-starred Midsummer House Restaurant is a jewel of Cambridge’s fine-dining scene and café culture.
The area’s lovely market towns include Ely, home to one of the country’s most magnificent cathedrals, Saffron Walden, Royston and Newmarket.
Rail services from Cambridge reach London King’s Cross in 45 minutes. Stopping services terminate at Liverpool Street.
The M11 motorway provides fast access to the M25 and the motorway network.
Stansted Airport is just 20 miles away down the M11, while Cambridge Airport is set to expand.
Schools in Cambridge
Cambridge boasts some superb state schools: the Hills Road Sixth Form College is one of the finest in the UK. The leading independent schools include The Leys School, The Perse School and St Faith’s School.