You might know Cambridge for its world-famous university, but the city of Cambridgeshire also happens to be a popular place for people to live. It’s somewhere that effortlessly combines old with new, blending impressive architecture that’s hundreds of years old with new science parks and a biotech boom on its way to creating the world of the future.
But what’s it like to live here? That’s what we’re exploring in this moving to Cambridge area guide.
A brief history of Cambridge
Cambridge has existed since prehistoric times and also played a role during the Roman, Viking and Medieval eras. But it’s the university that has the most history in the city, and it was in 1209 when Cambridge University was founded after Oxford students fled from hostility. In more recent times, Cambridge has witnessed a biotech boom. There are now almost 1,000 companies operating in the space.
Where is Cambridge?
Cambridge is a famous university city and county town of Cambridgeshire. It’s located 55 miles north of London and 95 miles east of Birmingham. Neighbouring areas include Fen Ditton, Arbury, Grantchester and Teversham.
Moving to Cambridge
You will find a large variety of homes in Cambridge, from grand Victorian properties to smaller terraces. Its popularity has led to significant investment in the city, with a plethora of new-build homes under construction.
Buying in Cambridge
The average house value in Cambridge is £433,929, with paid prices significantly higher at £459,613. Expect to pay around £588,626 for a detached home, £409,958 for a terraced house and £288,322 for an apartment.
Cambridge property prices are considerably higher than the UK national average of £251,000. Over the last 12 months, house prices have increased by 8% and by 10% in the last five years.
There’s a varied selection of estate and letting agents in Cambridge, with chain and independent options available to help you find a home.
Renting in Cambridge
Cambridge is by no means one of the cheapest places to rent. One-bedroom homes rent for an average of £1,250 per month in Cambridge, with two-bedroom properties fetching in the region of £1,650 per month. For larger homes, expect to pay an average of £1,900 per month.
Cost of living
If you’re moving to Cambridge, you can expect to pay slightly higher costs than the UK national average. A meal for one person is around £15, which is £3 more expensive than the average. While a cappuccino is about £2.85, and one litre of milk is 0.94p.
Utility bills, which include electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal, cost an average of £177. They are around £20 more expensive than the national average. Broadband is around £36 per month.
Life in Cambridge
Being a famous university city means there’s plenty to see and do in Cambridge. Whether you’re looking for local attractions, top-class restaurants and shopping or open spaces, there’s something for everyone.
Take a walk along The Backs, a Grade I-listed park with views of King’s College Chapel and the Bridge of Sighs across the River Cam. It’s widely regarded as one of the best green spaces in the whole of the UK.
Cambridge enjoys convenient travel connections, whether you’re toing and froing from London or going to places like Peterborough and Norwich. Trains to London leave four times every hour and arrive at King’s Cross and Liverpool Street. For this reason, it’s a popular commuter town.
Browse Market Square for a daily market or shop at the independent boutiques and chain stores in the surrounding streets like King’s Parade, Trinity Street, Green Street, Rose Crescent. The Grand Arcade is Cambridge’s primary shopping centre.
There is a range of eateries in Cambridge, whether you’re looking for an upmarket restaurant or somewhere for a casual bite. Midsummer House is a two-star Michelin restaurant, while Pint Shop is a popular gastropub in the area.
You’re not short of places to shake a leg in Cambridge – after all, it is a university city. Vinyl is a modern boutique club, while the Hidden Rooms is slightly more lowkey and somewhere you can sip on some classy cocktails.
Art & culture
Cambridge has plenty of art and culture to discover. The Fitzwilliam Museum has world-famous collections for culture vultures, while Cambridge Arts Theatre offers everything from drama to dance, opera, comedy and panto.
Things to do
The university is obviously a big draw and well worth a few snaps for your Instagram account. Cambridge University Botanic Garden is also an interesting visit with its 16 hectares and 8,000 plant species from all over the world.
What’s not to like?
Cambridge has seen somewhat of an economic boom, which is good on the one hand. On the other, however, it means house prices continue to rise, and you could easily find yourself paying north of half a million pounds for a home.
Who lives there?
Cambridge has a population of just over 123,000 and a median age of 36.
Typical broadband speeds
The average broadband speed is 48mbps in Cambridge, which is slightly lower than the UK national average of 67mbps.
Crime rates in Cambridge average 3,934 per year and are lower than the national average of 10,000.
Last Updated: September 23rd, 2021