If you’re moving to Cambridgeshire, you’re likely to be a touch overwhelmed with everything you have left to do – the paperwork, the packing, the organisation – there’s a lot to do! For this exact reason, it is really important to remember why you’re moving to this beautiful county.
Absolutely bursting with the most stunning architecture, the most interesting history, and the most fun things to do, Cambridgeshire is an extremely desirable location. Cambridge itself has a lovely tranquil feel to it, and the academic achievement of the area is evident everywhere you go. Students study and socialise by the river, while punters have a go at navigating the water, people cycle along closed cobbled streets. It is a wonderful, wonderful place to live, and you’re going to have a great life there. In this easy guide, we look at some key aspects of the county, including: transport, economy, things to do, and education. We’re sure by the end of reading it, you’ll feel even more excited about your move to this incredible part of the country.
It is really easy to get around Cambridge and its surrounding towns. If you are driving, the park and ride system is extremely popular and there are a total of five park and ride sites you can use when driving into the area and all are well signposted. This is a really cost effective way of travelling into the busier areas. If you want to stay eco-friendly, walking around is a great option, as a lot of the main sights and attractions of Cambridge are located centrally. Cambridge provides lots of pedestrian zones where you can take in your surroundings without having to worry about traffic. If you’re cycling, you’ll find lots of cycle hire shops throughout Cambridge, as well as scenic routes leading you through different towns, villages and areas in and around Cambridgeshire. Cambridge itself has over 80 miles of cycle lanes and paths and the council provides a map of all of these routes.
If you want to take advantage of public transport, there are lots of different services to choose from, including Stagecoach which has various routes throughout Cambridgeshire. If you are travelling to Cambridge every day you may want to look at one of the many money saving passes, including the City Megarider which allows non-stop travel on buses in the city for a week. For first time tourist exploration, there are different hop-on hop-off buses you can use to travel to all the different attractions at your leisure. Cambridge also has a train station which runs various routes to different parts of the country, including services to central London.
If you’re going for more of a scenic look around Cambridge, clearly punting is a must! As a new resident of the area, you have to acquaint yourself with this fun tradition. You can have somebody punt for you as you take in the sites of the Trinity College Wren Library, The Kings College Chapel and other famous landmarks. You can also hire a punt from a number of points along the river.
Cambridge has a fast-growing economy, which can be seen expanding, via the many cranes and building sites continually operating in the city. Astra Zeneca are one of the leading drivers of this expansion, with a new £330 million global research headquarters being built at the moment. Cambridge University are also spending a lot of money developing student housing, schools, research buildings and other expansions. Potential future additions to the county could see some sort of underground bus or train system to aid the constant activity and commuting in the area. Cambridge economy is definitely booming and set to continue to improve because of the consistent expansion of the city, investment in the services, and rich population of those being educated, those that are educated, and those that are looking to embrace entrepreneurial spirit.
The area is famous for its educational facilities, and any young family or young couple moving to Cambridgeshire, won’t be disappointed in what is on offer.
Cambridge has two key universities the world-famous University of Cambridge and the Anglia Ruskin University both which have over 30,000 students attending at any one time.
In terms of younger children, there are both state and independent schools across the county. Cambridgeshire county council currently runs over 250 state schools in the area. Famous independent schools in the area include Sancton Wood School, St Mary’s School and The Ley’s School.
Things To Do
There are lots of fun and entertaining things to do in Cambridge, regardless of your age or interests. When first moving to Cambridgeshire you might wish to do all the tourist attractions first, but over time, there will be many other unique and interesting activities and traditions you uncover, that will enrich your experience living in this beautiful area.
Cambridge has so many lovely outdoor spaces to enjoy, with plenty of greenery and natural aesthetic. There are lots of beautiful parks to enjoy, as well as various spots along the river. In summer, packing a picnic and going to one of the areas well maintained green spaces is a great idea.
Punting is very unique to Cambridge, so you are almost forced to do it at least once when you move here. You can take a punting tour where a person will chauffeur your punt, or you can operate it yourself, which can be a lot of fun, unless you fall in of course!
You can walk around the grounds of the University of Cambridge, and you certainly should, especially if you appreciate history, architecture or even Harry Potter (it has an air of Hogwarts about it!). There are 31 colleges that make up the university and you can take a walking tour if you want to learn about all the different famous parts of the facility.
Enjoy The Pubs
Cambridge has lots of very old, very English, very cool pubs to enjoy. Many are dotted along the river and are really lovely to enjoy on a summer’s day with a local ale in hand. In the colder months, many pubs have open fires and a lovely social atmosphere.
There are some absolutely stunning churches and chapels in Cambridgeshire, and if you love history, religion or architecture then you should make time to have a look around churches and chapels like St Peters, St Mary the Great and King’s College Chapel.
Cambridge is a great shopping location because it holds everything you could wish for. Little independent boutiques, high street giants, designer outlets – whatever your shopping style, you’re covered in Cambridge. Perfect for picking up new bits for your new home!
For three days a year (usually in September), Cambridge becomes just like Covent Garden in London. Buskers are invited to compete for the award of the best busker in the city, which makes for a great day walking the streets to many different types of performance and music.
Surround Yourself In History
Unsurprisingly, Cambridge is home to many a museum. There are some dedicated to the history of Cambridge itself (Museum of Cambridge), some dedicated to art (Fitzwilliam) or some related to interesting natural history from across the world (Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology). There is so much to choose from, you would not struggle to find something you are interested in.
Food Glorious Food
There are so many wonderful food outlets in Cambridgeshire, there is a food tour you can take which guides you to all the best food establishments in the city. Michaelhouse Cafe is a stunning cafe with a beautiful winding staircase and the most comfortable sofas upstairs, to enjoy a tea and a scone. If you like a more historical setting for your dining, The Eagle is a wonderful, 14th century pub that serves hearty English pub food in a unique setting. If you like vegan or vegetarian food, Rainbow Cafe is a great option, serving organic, fresh, creative food for those wanting to indulge in some conscious dining. These are just a few of the many incredible eateries in town. The best part of moving to Cambridgeshire is the fact you have all the time in the world to try each and every one!
Moving Tips For Cambridgeshire
Moving to Cambridgeshire is going to be a lot of fun, because it is such a beautiful, thriving county. However, moving itself isn’t always that much fun, as quite naturally, many aspects of a move are stressful. Here are our top tips to help you have the most stress free move to Cambridgeshire, so you get to look forward to all the good bits, sooner:
Don’t Delay Packing
Argh packing is the worst. Looking at your home in disbelief wondering how you managed to accumulate so much stuff, and if it is practical to simply ‘chuck it all away’. Plus there’s the added pressures of finding the time to do it, packing it all so it doesn’t break, contending with the kids unpacking everything of theirs that you try to pack, and the cat feeling the need to sleep in or be sick in every new box you make up. Yes, packing sucks. Nobody enjoys it, not really. But, delaying it only makes it worse. You might want to keep your own head packed in a cardboard box until moving day, but it will not pay off. Get yourself a packing schedule so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Get all the kit you need – boxes, tape, newspaper etc – and get your one box, or one room a day done. Whenever you have spare time, designate some of it to packing. You will start to feel more on top of things as the labelled boxes start piling up.
Get Services Booked Early
Summer is the busiest time for everything it seems, especially moving house and getting married. Any services you require, like a moving van, or self storage, you will want to get booked early. Particularly with these two services, you will not want to book in a rush, as you will want to take your time choosing companies that meet your expectations, budget and needs.
Account For Complications
It is always best to plan for the worst possible scenario, particularly when you are moving an entire family. Accounting for complications simply means doing a risk assessment and having backup plans just in case those risks come true. An example could be the dog becoming distressed or stressed at the moving situation. You could consider putting him in kennels or with a friend until you are settled in your new home, when you can bring him back with you. Or you could have the plans to do that in case he seems stressed, as he may well be fine.
If you’re unsure on the logistics of moving to Cambridgeshire, on how best to organise the key exchange, how to keep the kids happy during the move, or anything else – don’t be afraid to seek advice. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Use the following resources to get advice on moving:
- Friends & Family – if they have done it themselves, they probably have tons of useful tips
- Moving Companies – Any moving company you approach will be happy to advise you on their opinion on how best to move, along with giving you a quote for their services. A self storage facility will also offer you advice, particularly on packing and storing items.
- Online forums, websites and blogs – there are many, many Youtube packing advice videos, moving house forums and blogs about moving house that will help you with detailed tips and advice on your move
Go Easy On Yourself!
Remember this is statistically one of the most stressful things a person can go through, it is not easy! Don’t beat yourself up for feeling stressed, or feeling overwhelmed – it’s normal. Be as organised as you can, and get as much help as you can, remembering to go easy on yourself along the way – it will all be worth it when you’re settled into your new Cambridgeshire home.