Living in Cambridge

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What is life like in Cambridge

Cambridge punting riverThe city of Cambridge is most widely recognised for its world-famous university, but that is far from the extent of what it has to offer.

In fact, Cambridge is an extremely attractive and cultural city with wonderful architecture, fascinating history and bundles of character. It lies on the River Cam and is around 50 miles north of London.

Its waterside location makes it one of the UK's most picturesque cities and thousands of people flock there each year to enjoy its magnificent surroundings. For locals, all the beauty of the city is complemented by its thriving business scene, excellent transport links and high-quality housing stock.

Cambridge is a technology hub, sitting at the centre of the Silicon Fen. Industries such as software and bioscience are among those that help to mark the city out as one of the most famous and prestigious in the world.

The skyline is dominated by two of Cambridge's most popular buildings – St John's College chapel tower and the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Check out available properties to rent or buy in Cambridge.

History

History


Settlements on the site of Cambridge existed in the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, and by the tenth century it was flourishing and had become a town of significant note. It continued to expand and by the early part of the 18th century its population had risen to more than 6,000, of which in excess of 1,500 were inhabitants of the university.

The railway reached Cambridge in 1845 and this connection to London led to the market town growing rapidly. Cambridge was made a city in 1951 and today its population stands at around 125,000.

By the 20th century, the university did not dominate the city like it had previously, as other industries – such as electronics and science – had started to make their mark and they continue to be of great importance to the present day.

The Cambridge Arts Theatre is sure to be a hit and offers a good selection of shows and productions, while there is a cinema at the Cambridge Leisure Park.

A number of celebrities hail from Cambridge, including Grease star Olivia Newton-John, who was born in the city before being brought up in Australia. Richard Attenborough is another who calls Cambridge home.

Television and film actress Rebecca Mader and War Horse thespian Jeremy Irvine were also born in the city. A host of famous names have studied in Cambridge, including Prince Edward, Lord Byron and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Days out

Entertainment, sport and days out

Cambridge puntingDespite being a city, Cambridge is actually an incredibly green and peaceful place, with plenty of parks and open spaces to be enjoyed. Jesus Green, Parker's Piece and Lammas Land are among the most popular and can be used to socialise, play sport or get close to wildlife.

One special Cambridge experience is to view the city from a punt, and these can be hired in the city centre. There is no better way to relax with a partner or friend on a summer's day than to travel along the famous River Cam.

Cambridge United currently play in League Two, the fourth tier of English football, so heading to a match is a great way for football fans to spend an afternoon. Those who prefer to play rather than watch can use facilities at Kelsey Kerridge sports centre or Chesterton sports centre among others.

Things to do

Eating, drinking & shopping

Cambridge marketBridge Street is one of the very best destinations for foodies in Cambridge, as it offers restaurants serving foods from around the world. It is also home to a number of chain eateries, including Café Rouge and Garfunkels.

Unsurprisingly considering the number of rural villages within a few miles, Cambridge and the surrounding area is famous for its high number of traditional English pubs. These are a great place to grab a drink and a bite to eat.

The River Bar Steak House and Grill is highly recommended and promises not only great food, but also wonderful views over the River Cam.

There are two main shopping districts in Cambridge and residents can choose between them to satisfy all their retail needs. The first is the city centre, where a number of independent stores can be found, primarily in Trinity Street, King's Parade and Rose Crescent.

An alternative comes in the shape of the Grafton Centre, which houses many of the country's major high street names. There is also a daily market in central Cambridge that offers everything from books to fresh food and drink.

Schools

Schools & healthcare

Kings collegeEducation in Cambridge is highly desirable, so it is no surprise to find a vast range of institutions located in the city. These include primary schools such as St Matthew's and Milton Road, as well as secondary options like St Mary's.

Cambridge is of course home to one of the world's very best universities and this is a focal point of the city, with many schools and colleges of it spread throughout the centre.

Addenbrooke's Hospital and the Rosie Hospital are the two main health facilities in the city and will offer high-quality care in the event of an emergency. For everyday needs, residents will find surgeries and clinics throughout the region.

Getting around

Getting around

The number one mode of transport in Cambridge is cycling, with thousands of residents keen to take to the saddle in order to take advantage of the city's flat landscape. Indeed, some parts of the city are closed to traffic, so cycling is the only option bar walking.

It is also an incredibly efficient way of getting around, as central Cambridge is relatively small so two wheels can often be quicker than four.

In addition, there is an excellent local bus service that will help people to make short journeys by public transport.

When venturing further afield, people in Cambridge can make use of the good road links to both the Midlands and London. The city is located close to the M11, with the capital around 90 minutes away by road.