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Choosing where to live

(28 Posts)
Rosiepooh75 Tue 27-Dec-16 11:29:02

Hi all,
Starting a new thread re. our relocation. We will be moving in April/May. I have narrowed down the list of villages/areas based on our budget and distance from work and was wondering if anyone can tell me which of these are recommended/not for families/strong community/safety/schools/nurseries, etc.
Many thanks in advance for any help!

Balsham
Barton
Bottisham
Cherry Hinton
Comberton
Cottenham
Duxford
Fowlmere, Hertfordshire
Foxton
Fulbourn
Girton
Grantchester
Great Shelford
Great Wilbraham
Hardwick
Harston
Haslington
Highfields Caldecote
Histon
Impington
Linton
Little Shelford
Little Wilbraham
Melbourn, Hertfordshire
Milton
Newton
Sawston
Stapleford
Swaffham Prior
Teversham
Trumpington (certain areas are within budget)
Waterbeach
Whittlesford
Willingham

ChasingSquirrelsinCambs Tue 27-Dec-16 11:47:22

Have you basically just drawn a circle round Cambridge?

I live in one of the smaller north east villages. It's got a school and a pub and is a pain to get into central Cambridge, but not as much of a pain as other places.

What do you want from where you live?
- easier access to specific parts of Cambridge
- shops / facilities
- schools (primary / secondary)

Your comments about community etc are very vague, living in any village will be what you make of it but some if the smaller ones gave very little in the way of facilities.

I wouldn't worry about safety particularly in any of the villages.

Have you any experience of Cambridge rush hour traffic? Honestly your travel to point for work might make a big difference to which side of the city you want to be.

ChasingSquirrelsinCambs Tue 27-Dec-16 11:54:27

Ah, have just seen your other thread.
I think your list is too long and diverse in types of village - Cherry Hinton and Swaffham Prior for example are very very different, CH has loads of shops and facilities etc and is much closer to Cambridge, SP has a primary school & a pub.

What sort of community do you want?

didireallysaythat Tue 27-Dec-16 11:59:53

I'd probably now apply a time to get to work filter (for me more than an hour sucks) and then if you are renting some places will drop off or buying others may fall away depending on your budget.

It does look like you've just got a map out with a ruler so maybe you work from home but then again you've missed out Swaffham Bulbeck so maybe I'm missing something. Age of children and availability of after school and child minders is worth factoring in as many of the villages don't offer (enough of) either.

Tournesol Tue 27-Dec-16 14:53:17

Gosh that is a diverse list of places. If you can afford Trumpington then I would pick that as closest to city, good transport links, shops and primary and secondary schools.

If you want more of a village I'd recommend Great Shelford as has lots of facilities.

2017willbeawesome Tue 27-Dec-16 15:38:50

Some very different villages on the list. If you need good transport then nearer Cambridge is better. Some are large villages with lots of amenities including all schools - I.e Comberton, Melbourne. Some are tiny Haslingfield, Caldecote, ie Caldecote has no bus service, no pub and the village shop is the garage up the road! The Shelfords are lovely and close to Cambridge. Comberton is a very popular village, outstanding schools etc. nice pub. Hardwick again it is nice, fabulous pub (The Blue Lion), nice walks & in the catchment area for Comberton Village College. Barton again nice village, close to Cambridge, a couple of good pubs, Burwash manor, village shop etc. Not too keen on Sawston, it's ok but more of a small town feel to it & a little run down in parts. Willingham is a pain to get to & feels further out. Linton is a bit like Sawston, nearer Haverhill than Cambridge - but if you are working at the Hospital it is a better commute. I know the area very well, OP do you have any other criteria? Bus services, pre-school, primary, secondary schools? Village shop? Good pub? Gym? Remote/rural/woodlands??

Rosiepooh75 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:27:14

Hi all! I do realize the list is long. What I have done so far is look at prices (Trumpington is pretty pricy, but I did see some things within budget here and there), and distance from work during rush hour. I tried to stay within 25 minute drive, which should be about an hour by bike.

I have no idea what's what, so maybe explaining a little more will help narrow things down.
I will be looking to rent a 3 bedroom house, trying to stick to a budget of 1200/month or less while my daughter is still at nursery.
I have two children - son, 11 and daughter, 2.
Within that constraint, my first priority is a good secondary school and nursery relatively close.
Second priority is being up to 1 hour bike ride away from Fulbourn Road (where I work).
The combination of budget and distance seems to be the tricky part.

I am sorry if I seem all over the place - I am trying to make sure I am making a good choice of where to live for the kids, and it is hard to find any information online to narrow things down on my own...

Rosiepooh75 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:28:48

@2017willbeawesome Thanks! This really helps narrow things down a bit!

Rosiepooh75 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:39:37

@Tournesol Thanks!
So far everyone I've talked to has recommended Trumpington - it seems mostly pricey, but I HAVE seen some properties within budget. I'll have to see what's available when I come over to look in February/March.
Great Shelford has also been recommended, but seems out of my budget.

cammel Tue 27-Dec-16 20:17:45

I'd look at where has a nursery with the hours you want and spaces. I'm not sun when it's coming in, but the 30 free hours may make getting a place difficult.

2017willbeawesome Tue 27-Dec-16 20:48:01

Ok that does help to narrow it down. Definitely look at the larger villages. For that side of town have a look at Bottisham, nurseries, outstanding secondary school & its large enough to have amenities. Can be a little rural. Also in the same catchment is Fulborn, I don't know if there are any nurseries there, you may need to look at somewhere on route to work. Linton & Balsham would be difficult to cycle from, I wouldn't cycle on those roads! Barton and Comberton have good cycle routes into Cambridge, but they are the other side of the city - on that side of the city, if you want to keep the commute times down I wouldn't go out further than Comberton or Hardwick. Comberton would suit the school need - if has the whole suite of schools, two nurseries, a pre-prep, one large primary & an outstanding secondary. Dentist, Drs Surgery, shop, pub, gym, fully kitted etc. It's worth speaking to the Secondary Schools to see if they have spaces, I'm assuming you would be looking at an in year school application?

Peggetty Tue 27-Dec-16 22:16:29

I'd choose Fulbourn over Trumpington (nice village feel) but am guessing it's pricier to rent there. Also it's much closer to where you'll be working.
However as well as nursery places it will depend on the secondary school you'd prefer to apply to/then get in to as Netherhall is near Fulbourn (has recently had quite an up and down reputation) and there's a new one just opened in Trumpington (no track record as yet). Cherry Hinton is closer to the city than Fulbourn but still near Netherhall School. Trumpington has a Waitrose...it's a tricky one ;-)

doctorgeek Wed 28-Dec-16 20:54:29

A lot of those villages are more than 1hr cycle away from Fulbourn Road, or at the very least, not a very nice cycle (fast roads with no footpath/cycle lane).

Trumpington probably your best bet. You could cycle from Shelfords, and Whittlesford as well but they aren't cheap. Nursery places can be a total nightmare too - I suspect that may be a limiting factor.

JennyWren1234 Thu 29-Dec-16 00:06:33

For secondary schools Fulbourn is in the catchment for Bottisham Village College. I think some children go to Netherhall, but most go to Bottisham. There are 4/5 school buses from Fulbourn.

CityCentre Fri 30-Dec-16 20:03:11

No way do you want to be living in the northern villages if you want to commute to Fulbourn Rd - would take ages in the mornings. How did you work out the 25 min drive? Check out google maps with traffic at rush hour times once the holidays are over, and you can get a more realistic estimate. Also many of the villages aren't particularly cycleable to Cambridge; they require going along motorway-size/speed roads (A14) and you can't cycle there, so you'd have to find back routes. The southern villages are more likely to have a suitable cycle route to where you need to be. Also check out bus routes from the villages - eg., I know someone in Gt Wilbraham who says it's impossible to get anywhere by public transport, so if you don't want to cycle one day, or the 11-year old wants to be at all independent, then that's not a great choice unless you also have a car. Bottisham, on the other hand, has buses and a cycle route. But Shelfords, Trumpington, Cherry Hinton, feel much more part of the city and have much better access.

Rosiepooh75 Wed 04-Jan-17 09:51:56

Thank you for all the help. Trying to figure all this out from so far is difficult, but you've made things a lot clearer.

If I am summarizing what everyone is saying correctly it is:
Stay as close to the city as possible so as not to be isolated.
Look for places on the south of Fulbourn road to avoid excessive traffic.
Make sure that where I choose is can be cycled from.

I will narrow down the list according to this as well (already narrowed down based on all the great recommendations here). Now will just have to see if anything remaining on this list is on my budget :-)

I was thinking of cycling as it seemed a healthy choice + it would save money, but I will consider it if I see no close enough options are within budget.

I really appreciate all the help and suggestions!
Many many thanks!

Tingalingle Wed 04-Jan-17 13:49:56

Actually, what I would do is:
Look at Google maps.
Put in the Fulbourn Road address, and the starting village.
Click on 'cycle route' and see how long it thinks you'll take.
Add 10 mins for legs, pedals, pannier etc falling off.

Tingalingle Wed 04-Jan-17 13:54:26

Incidentally, that method gives me
22 mins cycling from Great Shelford;
25-ish from Stapleford;
31 mins from Bottisham;
and of course not very much from central Fulbourn, Teversham or Cherry Hinton.

Rosiepooh75 Wed 04-Jan-17 15:54:15

@Tingalingle I've actually done that before, but I'll check again during rush hour smile

CityCentre Wed 04-Jan-17 15:54:25

or another good site is cycle streets

cambridge.cyclestreets.net/

that lets you put in start and end points, and choose whether you want quiet, medium or fast routes, and tells you how much is on different types of roads/paths etc.

You don't necessarily have to be south of Fulbourn road, but I wouldn't go north-west of the A14 (like Willlingham, Cottenham, or places like that), and certainly more south/closer to Fulbourn, the better - but check out bus services as well. Some villages like Foxton, Shepreth, Shelford etc also have a train, which could be useful for your 11 year old, or for you coming into town, etc, if not for work. Comberton is well thought of for secondary school.

Rosiepooh75 Thu 05-Jan-17 08:04:18

Thanks @CityCentre! I'll look into that!

BetsyBell Thu 05-Jan-17 08:25:27

Netherhall is a great school since it became federated with the Bottisham secondary last year. It's a huge school with a diverse intake, hence mixed results but I am impressed with it and my kids are getting a great education with a huge number of extra-curricular activities going on. Don't let its out of date ofsted put you off! There are loads of good primaries in the area too.

I would recommend Cherry Hinton/Teversham/Fulbourn for your needs. A short cycle commute is fantastic and an easy cycle or bus ride into town. Good cycle maintenance shop too!

Although you can cycle most places around Cambridge, it is very busy and stressful during commuter times, quicker by bike at those times generally but there are also many bikes on the road surrounded by grumpy car drivers. If you can make that cycle ride less than 20 minutes you will be a happier worker! I always feel I need to be within walking distance of my destination in case of punctures.

Tingalingle Thu 05-Jan-17 09:48:49

That's the thing, isn't it, Betsy? Schools can change rapidly with a change of leadership or even a few key members of staff. Staff also tend to swap about between schools (I've had the interesting experience of going to parents' evenings at two different schools for two different children, a few weeks apart, and speaking to the same, slightly puzzled teacher).

I can't offhand think of any terrible schools in the area.

TKDMauler Thu 05-Jan-17 09:54:47

So true Tingalingle, none of the schools are terrible. We are lucky in Cambridge.

restlessat50 Fri 17-Mar-17 21:59:05

I have only just seen your thread so you might have moved already but for what it is worth I have lived in Cambridge itself for more than 20 years so know both Cambridge and villages pretty well. For Fulbourne Road you would be best to live in Fulborne itself, Teversham, Cherry Hinton or somewhere off the Cherry Hinton Road. For 1200 pcm you would be get much more for your money in Fulbourne or Teversham. Although CHV not too bad and would be near to your work.

In regard to Schools if you are in Fulbourne you would have FV school which think is ok, the spinney in CH (ok) or if you are further into Cambridge Queen Emma's or Queen Edith's. Secondaries Netherhall (where my younger DD is) or if you are in Fulbourne/Teversham you would be in the catchment for Bottishma Village school.

for your youngest there is a good nursery Kids `unlimited on Fulbourne Hospital Site. I my daugther went there when she was little. In regard villages Fulbourne I would choose over Cherry Hinton I think it has more of a centre, has a couple of nice pubs, there are nice walks at Fulbourne Nature Reserve, there is a v. good butcher, green grocer. Also for your little one there is a great soft play place 'cheeky monkeys'. It is also within stiking distance of Cambridge and you can cycle in on the old railway track. The only draw back is there is no station but doesn't sound like that would be a problem for you

Good luck hope you find something good for your budget.

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