Moving To Cambridge: A Complete Guide

By Anna Roberts

Published 1 month ago

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Introduction

This guide provides resources that will assist you in making the decision to move to Cambridge, a charming city located in the heart of the United Kingdom, offering a plethora of renowned tourist attractions and landmarks that captivate visitors from all around the globe. Let us delve into this historical city and explore its prominent highlights that showcase the rich culture, breathtaking architecture, and fascinating history which could sway you to move to this wonderful part of the world.

cambridge university from above

The housing market in Cambridge can be characterized as highly competitive and in high demand. Due to its prestigious reputation as a world-renowned academic hub, there is a consistent influx of students, researchers, and professionals seeking accommodation in the city. This has led to a shortage of available housing units, resulting in skyrocketing prices and a thriving rental market. Additionally, Cambridge's proximity to neighboring technology and research-driven companies in the "Silicon Fen" area has contributed to the continued growth and strength of its housing market. Overall, the housing market in Cambridge reflects the city's vibrant academic and technological landscape, attracting individuals from various backgrounds and creating a dynamic and competitive market environment.

Cambridge Neighborhoods

Cambridge, UK offers a variety of neighborhoods that are considered great places to live. Here are some of the best areas in Cambridge:


  1. Cambridge City Centre: Living in the heart of Cambridge gives you easy access to all the amenities, including shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions. However, keep in mind that the city center can be busy and expensive.
  2. Newnham: Located southwest of the city center, Newnham is a peaceful and leafy neighborhood. It is known for its beautiful Victorian houses and proximity to the University of Cambridge's colleges and the River Cam.
  3. Trumpington: Situated to the south of the city, Trumpington is a popular choice for families. It offers a mix of modern housing developments and traditional cottages. Trumpington is well-connected to the city center and has good schools and amenities.
  4. Chesterton: Located to the north of the city center, Chesterton is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood. It has a range of housing options, including Victorian terraces and modern apartments. Chesterton benefits from its proximity to the River Cam and the Cambridge Science Park.
  5. Cherry Hinton: Situated to the east of the city, Cherry Hinton is a residential area with a village-like atmosphere. It offers a range of housing options, including family homes and apartments. Cherry Hinton has good schools, parks, and local amenities.
  6. Grantchester: Located just outside Cambridge, Grantchester is a picturesque village known for its thatched cottages and scenic views. It offers a peaceful and rural lifestyle while still being close to the city center.


These are just a few examples of the best places to live in Cambridge. It's important to consider your personal preferences, budget, and proximity to amenities when choosing a neighborhood.

Buying A House in Cambridge

model house for sale

When it comes to exploring the various options available for purchasing a house in the vibrant city of Cambridge, there are numerous factors that one must take into careful consideration. By delving into the intricacies associated with this significant decision, individuals can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the diverse possibilities that lie before them. From analyzing the array of neighborhoods within the city to assessing the housing market dynamics, prospective homebuyers can be better equipped to navigate this complex process and make an informed choice about cambridge housing that suits their unique needs and preferences.

  • Average house price in Cambridge is £512,001 according to the latest data.
  • The price of houses in Cambridge can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, size, and condition.
  • In desirable areas like Newnham, houses can range from £600,000 to over £1 million.
  • Mid-range neighborhoods like Cherry Hinton offer houses in the range of £300,000 to £500,000.
  • For those on a tighter budget, areas like Arbury and Trumpington have more affordable options starting at around £200,000.
  • The demand for housing in Cambridge remains high, leading to steadily increasing prices over time.
  • Factors such as proximity to amenities, schools, and transportation links also play a role in determining house prices in the area.
  • It is advisable to consult with local estate agents for more specific and up-to-date information on house prices in Cambridge.


Estate Agents In Cambridge

  • Tucker Gardner: With multiple branches in Cambridge, Tucker Gardner offers services in residential sales, lettings, property management, and property auctions. They have a strong reputation for providing excellent customer service and have a wide range of properties available.
  • Cheffins: This well-established estate agency in Cambridge has a dedicated team of experts who deal with residential sales and lettings, as well as commercial property. They offer a personalized approach and have a wealth of experience in the local market.
  • Bidwells: A leading estate agency in Cambridge, Bidwells specializes in residential, rural, and commercial properties. They have a team of professionals who provide comprehensive services, including property valuation, sales, lettings, and property management.
  • Redmayne Arnold & Harris: This independent agency in Cambridge has been operating for over 100 years and offers services in residential sales, lettings, and property management. They pride themselves on their local knowledge and attention to detail.
  • Carter Jonas: With offices in Cambridge, Carter Jonas is a well-known estate agency offering services in residential sales, lettings, and property management. They have a team of experienced professionals who are dedicated to providing a high level of service to their clients.
  • Bush: Based in Cambridge, Bush is an estate agency that specializes in residential sales, lettings, and property management. They have a team of experts who are knowledgeable about the local property market and can guide clients through the buying, selling, or renting process.
  • Martin & Co: With a branch in Cambridge, Martin & Co is a nationwide estate agency that offers a range of services, including residential sales, lettings, and property management. They have a team of professionals who can provide expert advice and assistance throughout the property process.


Renting A House In Cambridge

Renting a house in Cambridge involves several steps that need to be carefully navigated, ensuring a smooth and successful process. Firstly, start by thoroughly researching the rental market in Cambridge to gain an understanding of the average rent prices, availability, and types of properties on offer. It is crucial to determine your budget, taking into account not only the monthly rent but also additional expenses like utilities, insurance, and maintenance costs. Once you have a clear idea of what you can afford, it's time to start viewing potential houses. Arrange appointments with reputable estate agents or landlords, making sure to visit multiple properties to have a range of options to choose from. During these viewings, pay attention to essential factors such as the location, condition of the property, size, amenities, and any specific requirements you may have.


Thoroughly inquire about the terms of the lease, including the duration, rent increase policies, and any restrictions or rules in place. It is also important to confirm the procedure for reporting and resolving maintenance issues or any emergencies that may arise. Before making a final decision, carefully review the tenancy agreement, ensuring that you understand and agree with all terms outlined. Consider seeking legal advice if necessary. Once you have found the perfect house and are ready to move forward, prepare all the necessary documents and complete the application process, which typically involves providing proof of identification, references, and proof of income. It is advisable to act swiftly as rental properties in Cambridge can be highly sought after and may be snatched up quickly.


Upon being approved, arrange a move-in date with the landlord or agent and ensure that all necessary paperwork, such as the tenancy agreement, inventory report, and deposit protection scheme, are in place before the commencement of the tenancy. Finally, on the day of the move-in, conduct a thorough inspection of the property, noting any existing damages or maintenance concerns, and document them to avoid any disputes at the end of your tenancy. By diligently following these steps and considering these key factors throughout the process, you can make your renting experience in Cambridge as smooth and successful as possible.


  • Average monthly rent in Cambridge: £1,800
  • Rental prices vary depending on the size of the property, location, and amenities included
  • Studio apartments: £1,200-£1,800 per month
  • One-bedroom apartments: £1,500-£2,200 per month
  • Two-bedroom apartments: £2,000-£3,000 per month
  • Three-bedroom houses: £2,500-£4,000 per month
  • Four-bedroom houses or larger: £4,000+ per month
  • Additional costs may include utilities, parking, and council tax
  • Rent prices tend to be higher in popular areas like the city center or near the university campuses
  • It is advisable to budget for a higher amount to secure a decent rental property in Cambridge.


Self Storage In Cambridge

Self storage can be a useful solution when moving house in Cambridge. When you are in the process of moving, you may find that you have more belongings than you can comfortably fit into your new home. This is where self storage comes in handy.

Self storage facilities in Cambridge provide secure units where you can store your belongings for a short or long period of time. These units are typically climate-controlled and offer various sizes to accommodate different storage needs.


Here are a few reasons why you might consider using self storage when moving house in Cambridge:


  1. Temporary storage: If there is a gap between moving out of your old home and moving into your new one, self storage can provide a temporary solution to store your belongings. This can help prevent the stress of having to rush the moving process or finding alternative storage options.
  2. Downsizing: If you are moving to a smaller home and need to downsize your belongings, self storage can be a convenient option. You can store items that you don't have space for in your new home but still want to keep for sentimental or practical reasons.
  3. Home Improvements: If you are planning to renovate your new home, self storage can be a great way to keep your belongings safe and out of the way during the construction process. This can help protect your items from damage and make the renovation process smoother.
  4. Decluttering: Moving is a perfect opportunity to declutter and get rid of items you no longer need or want. Self storage can provide a place to store these items until you decide what to do with them, whether it's selling, donating, or disposing of them.

Explorage.com is a helpful platform that assists individuals with self storage in Cambridge. They provide a comprehensive database of self storage facilities in the area, allowing users to compare prices, sizes, and features to find the best storage solution for their needs.

Things To Do In Cambridge

Museums in Cambridge

  1. Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology - Official website of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, part of the University of Cambridge Museums group.
  2. Whipple Museum of the History of Science - Official website of the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, also part of the University of Cambridge Museums.
  3. Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences - Official website of the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, dedicated to the Earth sciences.
  4. The Polar Museum - Official website of The Polar Museum, part of the Scott Polar Research Institute, which specializes in polar research and history.
  5. Museum of Zoology - Official website of the Museum of Zoology, which is part of the University of Cambridge and showcases zoological collections.
  6. Kettle's Yard - Official website of Kettle's Yard, a house and art gallery showcasing modern art.
  7. The Scott Polar Research Institute Museum - Official website of The Scott Polar Research Institute Museum, which is part of the University of Cambridge and focuses on polar exploration.
  8. Cambridge Museum of Technology - Official website of the Cambridge Museum of Technology, highlighting the city's industrial heritage.
  9. Cambridge Science Centre - Official website of the Cambridge Science Centre, offering interactive science exhibits and activities.
  10. The Fitzwilliam Museum Main Website


Restaurants in Cambridge

plate of sushi

When discussing the vibrant culinary scene in this city, it is impossible not to mention the incredible diversity it offers. From traditional local cuisine to international flavors from all corners of the globe, there is truly something to satisfy every palate. For those seeking a taste of authentic regional dishes, it is highly recommended to visit renowned local restaurants that have been serving up these specialties for generations. These establishments are steeped in tradition and their dishes are the epitome of cultural pride and heritage. On the other hand, if you are in the mood for a culinary adventure and crave flavors from afar, this city boasts a plethora of popular restaurants that specialize in international cuisine. Whether you're craving sushi from Japan, tacos from Mexico, pasta from Italy, or curry from India, you can find it all here. These restaurants have earned their popularity through their commitment to authenticity, using only the finest ingredients and adhering to traditional cooking methods. So, whether you are a local or a visitor, exploring the diverse culinary scene and indulging in the offerings of these popular restaurants is an absolute must.

Cambridge, UK offers a vibrant culinary scene with a wide range of restaurants to choose from. Here are some of the best restaurants in Cambridge:


  1. Midsummer House: This Michelin-starred restaurant offers a fine dining experience with a focus on modern British cuisine. Located in a beautiful Victorian house, Midsummer House provides an elegant setting and a menu that showcases seasonal ingredients.
  2. The Oak Bistro: Known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, The Oak Bistro offers a menu that combines British and European flavors. The restaurant prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients to create delicious dishes.
  3. Fitzbillies: Famous for its Chelsea buns, Fitzbillies is a must-visit for those with a sweet tooth. This historic bakery and café also serves a range of savory dishes, including brunch options and traditional British fare.
  4. The Cambridge Chop House: If you're looking for a taste of traditional British cuisine, The Cambridge Chop House is the place to go. This restaurant specializes in hearty dishes such as steaks, pies, and fish and chips, all made with locally sourced ingredients.
  5. Navadhanya: For lovers of Indian cuisine, Navadhanya offers a modern and innovative take on traditional Indian dishes. With a focus on fresh ingredients and bold flavors, this restaurant provides a unique dining experience.
  6. Cotto: With its relaxed atmosphere and rustic Italian cuisine, Cotto is a popular choice for those craving pasta, pizza, and other Italian classics. The restaurant also offers a selection of vegetarian and vegan options.
  7. The Pint Shop: If you're a fan of craft beer and delicious food, The Pint Shop is the place to be. This gastropub offers a wide range of beers on tap, along with a menu that features British classics with a modern twist.


These are just a few examples of the best restaurants in Cambridge, UK. Whether you're looking for fine dining, international cuisine, or traditional British fare, you're sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds in this vibrant city.

Sports

Sports in Cambridge have always played a significant role in the lives of its residents and the overall culture of the city. With its rich sporting history and a multitude of impressive facilities, Cambridge provides ample opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities to engage in a wide range of sporting activities. From traditional sports such as football, rugby, and cricket, to more niche pursuits like rowing and punting, there is something for everyone. Additionally, the city is home to various sports clubs, which not only foster talent and competition but also promote camaraderie and community spirit among athletes. Moreover, the renowned University of Cambridge contributes greatly to the thriving sports scene in the city, with its exceptional athletes and state-of-the-art sports facilities. Overall, the vibrant sports culture in Cambridge is a testament to the passion and dedication of its residents towards leading active and healthy lifestyles.

Leisure Centers In Cambridge

  • Abbey Leisure Complex: Offers a swimming pool, gym, fitness classes, and sports facilities such as badminton courts and squash courts.
  • Parkside Pools and Gym: Includes a large swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna, steam room, and a variety of fitness classes.
  • Kelsey Kerridge Sports Centre: Provides facilities for a wide range of sports including basketball, football, volleyball, and climbing. Also offers fitness classes and a gym.
  • Cherry Hinton Village Leisure Centre: Features a swimming pool, gym, squash courts, and hosts various fitness activities and classes.
  • Jesus Green Lido: An outdoor swimming pool that is open during the summer months, offering a refreshing place to swim and relax.
  • Cambridge Ice Arena: Provides ice skating sessions, ice hockey, figure skating lessons, and has a fitness gym.
  • Fenland Leisure Centre: Located in nearby Ely, it has a swimming pool, gym, sports halls, and hosts various fitness classes and activities.


Understanding the Cost of Living

When looking into the cost of living in Cambridge, it is important to consider various factors that contribute to the overall expenses individuals and families may encounter. These factors include housing, transportation, groceries, healthcare, and entertainment, among others. By carefully examining each of these aspects, a more comprehensive understanding can be obtained when comparing the cost of living in Cambridge to that of other cities.


Starting with housing, one must acknowledge that Cambridge is known for having a highly competitive and expensive rental market. The demand for housing often surpasses the supply, leading to increasing prices in both rental properties and home purchases. This can be attributed to various factors such as its proximity to prestigious universities like Harvard and MIT, as well as the city's location within the greater Boston metropolitan area. Consequently, individuals looking to reside in Cambridge should be prepared for higher housing costs compared to other cities.

Transportation

river punts

Transportation costs also contribute significantly to the overall cost of living in Cambridge. With a highly efficient public transportation system, including buses and trains, travelling within the city and to neighboring areas is relatively convenient. However, it is worth noting that public transportation fares can accumulate, especially for daily commuters. Additionally, owning a car in Cambridge may not only incur high fuel prices but also impose expenses related to parking fees, permits, and the ever-dreaded possibility of parking tickets. These costs should be considered when comparing the overall cost of living to other cities where car ownership may be less necessary or more affordable.


  • Walking: Cambridge is a pedestrian-friendly city with many walking paths and pavements, making it easy to get around on foot.
  • Cycling: Cycling is hugely popular in Cambridge, and the city offers a comprehensive network of cycling lanes and paths, making it safe and convenient to navigate by bike. Here are some links to cycle hire services in Cambridge, UK:
  • Beryl Bikes
  • City Cycle Hire
  • Primo Cycle Hire
  • Rutland Cycling
  • Grounds cycle Hire
  • (Please note that availability and services may vary, so it's recommended to visit their websites for the most up-to-date information on cycle hire options in Cambridge.)


  • Park & Ride: Cambridge Park & Ride is a convenient transportation option for residents and visitors alike. It allows you to park your car in designated parking lots on the outskirts of the city and then take a bus into the city center. This helps reduce traffic congestion and makes it easier to navigate the city without worrying about parking.
  • Buses: Cambridge has a well-developed bus network operated by several companies, offering extensive coverage within the city and connections to surrounding areas.
  • Trains: The city is served by the Cambridge railway station, providing direct train services to various destinations across the country.


  • River punting: Punting is a popular tourist activity in Cambridge, where visitors can rent a punt (a flat-bottomed boat) and navigate the River Cam to explore the city from a unique perspective.
  • The Cambridge Punt Company
  • Website: www.cambridgepuntcompany.co.uk
  • Offers private and shared tours, hen tours, evening tours, group tours, and special event tours like May Ball Fireworks​​.
  • Traditional Punting Company
  • Website: traditionalpuntingcompany.com
  • Known for their traditional and authentic Cambridge punting experience, they offer various tours and welcome dogs on board​​.
  • Scudamore’s Punting Company
  • Website: www.scudamores.com
  • Established in 1910, they offer private and shared tours, champagne tours, boat hires, and special experiences like Valentine's punting​​.
  • Let's Go Punting
  • Website: letsgopunting.co.uk
  • Specializes in private and shared chauffeured river tours, covering the college backs between Magdalene College and Silver Street Bridge​​.
  • Tyrrell's Punting Company
  • Website: www.cambridgepunting.co.uk
  • Offers private and shared Cambridge punting tours, boasting over 15 years of experience and the ability to accommodate large groups​​.
  • Rutherford’s Punting Cambridge
  • Website: rutherfordspunting.com
  • Provides an immersive experience, showcasing seven prestigious University of Cambridge riverside colleges and nine historic bridges​​.
  • Punting Cambridge
  • Website: punting-cambridge.com
  • Offers a variety of tours including private, shared, hen party, evening, romantic, large group, corporate, and special occasions tours​​.
  • Cambridge River Tours
  • Website: puntcambridge.co.uk
  • An independent, long-established punt tour operator in Cambridge, offering shared and private tours along the famous Cambridge


  • Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Cambridge, with various operators offering their services for convenient and efficient transportation.
  • Car hire: Car rental services are available in Cambridge for those who prefer to drive themselves around the city and the surrounding areas.
  • Car Charging: In Cambridge, there are several locations where you can recharge, including in two car parks. Grafton East offers two slow charging spots (up to 3.6 kW) on the first level, whereas the Queen Anne Terrace car park provides two swift charging stations (7.2kW) on the third level. Babraham Road, Madingley Road, Milton, and Trumpington park & ride locations also have charging points, along with a number of other businesses and hotels throughout the city. For an exhaustive list of UK charging points, check out ZapMap.


Food Costs In Cambridge

Another essential aspect to consider is grocery expenses. While Cambridge offers a variety of supermarkets and local markets, the cost of groceries can be higher compared to other cities. Factors contributing to this higher cost include the location and availability of fresh produce, organic options, and specialty items. Furthermore, dining out and entertainment options in Cambridge can also be more costly due to the city's reputation as a hub for gastronomy and cultural attractions. Anyone considering their budget in relation to these aspects should anticipate allocating more funds for food and entertainment expenses while living in Cambridge.

Healthcare In cambridge

Lastly, healthcare costs should not be overlooked when discussing the cost of living in Cambridge. The city boasts an excellent healthcare system, with world-renowned medical institutions such as Harvard-affiliated hospitals and clinics. The top-notch quality of healthcare services, however, often comes with a higher price tag. Health insurance premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses can weigh heavily on individuals and families living in Cambridge, further impacting the overall cost of living when compared to other cities.

NHS Hospitals:

  1. Addenbrooke's Hospital (Part of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  2. The Rosie Hospital (Part of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  3. Doddington Hospital (Part of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust)
  4. Fulbourn Hospital (Part of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust)
  5. North Cambridgeshire Hospital (Part of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust)
  6. Princess of Wales Hospital (Part of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust)

Education in Cambridge

There are least 16 primary schools and 22 secondary schools in Cambridge. These schools include a mix of state, private, and specialized institutions, each offering unique educational experiences and curriculums. This diversity allows parents and students to choose schools that best fit their individual needs and goals.

Universities in Cambridge

Cambridge, a city that's as charming as it is scholarly, is famed for its universities, especially the storied University of Cambridge. Founded way back in 1209, it's not just one of the world's oldest universities, but also one of its most revered. Picture this: 31 unique colleges, each with its own character, nestled in this historic city, alongside a myriad of departments and faculties. It's a place where tradition meets academic rigor, creating an environment that's both inspiring and a bit awe-inspiring.


But Cambridge's academic landscape isn't just about ancient institutions. Anglia Ruskin University brings a breath of fresh, modern air to the city's educational scene. It's a university that's very much about today, offering a wide range of courses that are as practical as they are enlightening, and it’s particularly focused on helping students get ready for the world of work.

Then there's Cambridge Regional College. It's like the city's educational all-rounder, offering vocational courses and apprenticeships that are perfect for those looking to dive straight into a career. It's all about getting hands-on skills and qualifications that really matter in the job market.


And let's not forget the city's specialist institutions. Places like the Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts add a splash of creativity to Cambridge's academic tapestry. Plus, there are numerous research institutes tied to the University of Cambridge, each pushing the boundaries of knowledge in its own way.

In Cambridge, every cobblestone seems to whisper tales of learning and discovery. It's a city where education isn't just about books and lectures; it's a living, breathing part of the community. Whether you're drawn to the hallowed halls of the University of Cambridge or the contemporary classrooms of Anglia Ruskin, this city has a way of turning study into an adventure.

Employment in Cambridge

In Cambridge, UK, the heartbeat of the local economy is its vibrant science and technology sectors. Companies specializing in IT, life sciences, and tech manufacturing aren't just faceless entities; they're dynamic hubs of innovation and progress, employing a significant portion of the community. Imagine bustling labs and creative spaces where brilliant minds like those at Aveva and AstraZeneca work on groundbreaking projects. Beyond these tech giants, the city's academic and research institutions add to its intellectual richness, offering careers to thousands more. This thriving ecosystem is a testament to Cambridge's role as a crucible of modern scientific and technological advancement.

Conclusion

What a city Cambridge is. Lots to see and do and lots of opportunity. We wish you luck on your potential move.

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