66-68 Hills Road
66-68 Hills Road
Welcome to our Cambridgeshire area guide where we will be talking a look at England’s famously academic county together with details on transport links, schooling, property prices and what there is to do when visiting.
The county is most famous for the world renowned university city of Cambridge, which dates back to the Iron Age. Today, the historic city is a vibrant cultural hub; full of museums, art galleries, concert halls, independent boutiques and restaurants. Its choice of excellent schools, an easy commute to London and the high quality of life make it one of the most popular places to live in Britain.
Cambridgeshire's smaller market towns and quaint villages are also thriving. Their slower pace and community orientated lifestyles make them ideal places to put down roots.
Strutt & Parker's land management department has worked with local land and estate owners for many years and are joined by an estate agency team in their Cambridge city centre office. We cover everything from the sale of elegant town houses in the heart of the city to country houses and charming cottages throughout Cambridgeshire.
Cobble and culture
The historic university town of Cambridge has endless opportunities, including the King’s College Chapel and The Backs, a landscaped garden running along the River Cam, with interesting views of the colleges across the water, as well as a feast of daffodils in the spring. The Imperial War Museum in Duxford is a must see and a great day out for all ages.
With expanses of fantastic unspoilt countryside, Cambridgeshire has a lot to offer the outdoors lover, particularly with its relatively mild climate. Thanks to its low-lying nature, the county is brimming with navigable waterways, a great way to explore the landscape. Wicken Fen in Ely, home to wild ponies, otters and other rare flora and fauna, is believed to be England’s oldest national park. Nene Park near Peterborough, incorporating Ferry Meadows, is a family favourite and a great place to relax, exercise and explore the native wildlife. There are also about 30 golf courses in Cambridgeshire.
Cambridgeshire is full of history and great architecture. Its proximity to London makes it very popular with commuters who want to enjoy a slower pace of life. The Cambridgeshire countryside is great for outdoors lovers and good village pubs make welcome stop offs on long country walks. Our Cambridge team recommend the King William IV at Heydon.
A walk along the River Cam through Grantchester Meadows is particularly lovely in the summer months. If you don’t feel like walking you can also travel by punt from the centre of Cambridge.
Cambridgeshire also has good independent and state schools, with plenty of choice in the city of Cambridge.
To the south of the county sits the world renowned university city of Cambridge. Home to Cambridge University. This is a charming old city with some beautiful architecture. The University injects culture, hosting regular free events and Anglia Ruskin University, the former art school, also attracts young people to the city, making it a lively place to be. For a piece of rural idyll in the heart of the city, locals recommend the River Cam for walking and, in the summer months, punting and swimming.
Cambridge sits at the heart of the Silicon Fen, base to a huge number of high-tech businesses, meaning that employment is plentiful in Cambridge. But for those who work in the Capital, it is still possible to be at London Kings Cross in under 45 minutes.
Ely is a small but prosperous city, located in the Silicon Fen and with great connections to nearby cities, including London. The 11th century castle provides a striking backdrop to the attractive town. Since medieval times, Ely has existed as a market town and its twice weekly market is still going strong today, complementing the good choice of independent and interesting shops. The ever popular Topping & Co book shop also hosts regular interesting literary events and reading groups.
The historic market town of Huntingdon has a number of fine independent shops and cafés as well as a choice of supermarkets which serve the popular surrounding villages. It has good connections to Cambridge, Peterborough and London but is itself enclosed by glorious open countryside. It is known as the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell, which is commemorated by a museum in the town, and for its racecourse.
Peterborough is a town steeped in history, with a spectacular Norman cathedral, evidence of Roman settlement and some beautiful architectural landmarks. In recent years, it has undergone massive regeneration and a 1920s arcade has been incorporated into a modern shopping mall to create a useful retail centre.
It is a stop on the high speed London to Edinburgh railway line meaning services to the capital are relatively regular and quick. The River Nene passes through the centre, traditionally one of the reasons that the city prospered as an industrial centre and now a place to enjoy fresh air and peace in the heart of a bustling city.
Located in open countryside near the Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire borders and on the River Great Ouse is St Neots. It is a thriving commuter and market town, with an attractive centre punctuated by beautiful and well-enjoyed parks. It is named after St Neot, who is connected with the history of the town and as such has been frequented by pilgrims, which has allowed the town to flourish.
The historic town of Wisbech has been studiously avoiding modernisation for years and is all the better for it. An enchanting town with an excellent community spirit and thriving local businesses, its twice weekly market stocks all sorts of weird and wonderful local produce. The River Nene runs through its centre, leading to the inland port, lined with attractive buildings
It has hung on to the independent Luxe Cinema and the local brewery, which serves up mouth-watering traditional real ales, among other successful independent businesses. The Peckover House National Trust property in the town is a great attraction, well appreciated by locals.
The vast selection of schools in Cambridge and the wider county are renowned for their high quality of education.
In Cambridge city, you are spoilt for choice. Amongst a wider choice of well-reputed independent schools are King’s College School for juniors, The Leys School, a senior
school and sixth form, and the Perse schools. St Mary’s School takes on girls aged between four and 18.
For good state comprehensives, look to the suburbs. Histon & Impington infant school and the senior schools Impington Village College and Comberton Village college all do well. Hills Road Sixth Form College in the city centre also does very well.
The King’s Ely schools are very well recommended and Ely’s comprehensive secondary, Soham Village College, gets very good results.
Marshfields School in Peterborough is a state special mixed school with a very good reputation and Sawtry Community College in Huntingdon is one of the best schools in the county, getting excellent exam results.
Wisbech Grammar School, incorporating a senior school and a sixth form, and its attached prep school, Magdalene House, are very well reputed.
For a more comprehensive list of schools in Cambridge and the wider area we recommend the Good Schools Guide.
By train, the towns of Cambridgeshire are well linked to each other and to the surrounding areas. From Ely, Cambridge is just 15 minutes on a very regular service and from Peterborough to Cambridge, 3 trains an hour take about an hour. Direct trains to Kings Cross are twice hourly at least and take about an hour from Huntingdon and St Neots, less from Cambridge and Peterborough and just over from Ely. There is also a service running from Cambridge to Liverpool Street, taking around an hour. From each station there are also additional, slower services to London.
Despite having just two relatively short stretches of motorway, Cambridgeshire is well connected by car, thanks to a number of good A-roads. The M11 takes you from Cambridge to Stansted airport in just over half an hour (Luton is about an hour) and then onwards to the M25 and central London. The M1, linking to Birmingham and the rest of the midlands, is about an hour from Cambridge. In addition, the A14 sits just north of Cambridge, running west to the midlands and east to Newmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich.
There is no shortage of things to do in Cambridgeshire, with beautiful outdoor pursuits and the historic university town of Cambridge.