Can anyone tell me what it’s like living there? Is it expensive? What sort of salary would I need to make it half-decent?


12 thoughts on “Cambridge

  1. Cambridge, Cambs or Cambridge, MA? I’ll assume England. The major cost will be accommodation. Cambridge is expensive but not as bad as London. Look on for inspiration, or desperation! Parking in town will be difficult but there’s a good Park ‘n Ride service. Otherwise, it’s full of students and tourists but there are good pubs & restaurants. Many nice villages around to live in if you’re into that at your great age, but again expensive. Probably avoid commuter ghettos like Cambourne.

  2. Cambridge NZ is a lovely town, so long as you get a house in the old part. $150,000 and you’d be living very nicely.

  3. Cambridge (UK) is surprisingly expensive in town. I moved to a job in Cambs from living in London, imaging I could finally get to the buying-a-house (or a flat) stage… the decent, well-located stuff was just as expensive as Queen’s Park had been. Urgh.
    Cambridge is easy enough to get to, an hour on the train from London (I know the timetable says 45-51mins, but in reality…), though doesn’t have the all-night bus service which Oxford does. And very pleasant to work in (I’m in the historic centre), good vibe, great views. I live a way outside though, so can’t comment on living in the place itself.
    I think I’d prefer Oxford over Cambridge, given the choice (partly the location connects better to elsewhere in the UK); but only a narrow margin – there are plenty worse places to be! Stansted and the London airports are within easy reach. I miss London, mind, but it takes all sorts. No shortage of culture in Cambridge, you can’t move for posters of student-run and professional productions, plays, concerts, trips, exhibitions…

  4. We lived in Cambridge a couple of years ago when my wife did her degree there, and prior to that I got to know it well when my eldest son studied there. House prices are eye-watering, and academics moving into the city from outside have little chance of buying a family home. Lots of wealthy professionals commute to London, so it’s not uncommon to find barristers, corporate lawyers, and media types who have shoe-horned their families into victorian terraced houses so they can enjoy the culture and picturesque cityscape, etc. And the “silicon fen” developments have also pushed up prices. Lots of people work in the city and drive in: mainly God-forsaken places like Soham, Haverhill, and the like.

    We really enjoyed the culture and the fact that it is now an international and diverse city. But it’s not “vibrant” in the sense of having high crime and an edgy feel. Sandwiched between the academic them park in the middle (where we lived – bliss!) and the massive amount of modern development around the periphery, there is a rather mournful old East Anglian town which is quite appealing. The “incomers” are an interesting mix of hard-working Eastern Europeans and very highly qualified academics and scientific types.

    The only thing I didn’t like was the fact that it was very touristy and crowded for most of the year, and there is a sense of transience about the place which began to irritate me. Everyone seems to be passing through, and you see the same old markers of the academic year roll round again and again, which makes it a bit unreal.

  5. Yes, it’s 45 minutes on the train from London.

    Then another 45 minutes in a taxi to your destination 3 miles from the station.

  6. If you like bikes, Cambridge is very good for that. It depends on whether you want to live on the city our outside in the lovely villages. There are major roadworks which will be completed next year which should make it easier to get to Cambridge (another toll road). It will greatly improve communications. Lots of v pretty villages nearby if that helps?

    Also with the new road faster link to A1.

  7. No no no, Cambridge will make for dull blogs. The 3rd world brings out the best in you. What about Venezuela?

  8. No no no, Cambridge will make for dull blogs.

    Dull blog is better than no blog. Our man has to work.

  9. I’ll repeat what I said on twitter.

    Housing costs are ridiculous. Parking is a joke. If you are OK with a smallish flat and a bike it’s pretty cheap.

    To expand on that. As far as I can tell, even outside the town the prices of houses are getting silly and as you get closer to the middle the prices rise to San Francisco levels. But apparently if you are willing to rent there are flats and studios and conversions that can be found that aren’t ridiculously priced. The problem is that they usually have no attached garage or anywhere else to park your car other than the street and the street is probably either jam packed with other people’s cars or a no parking street. Hence many such people only have a bicycle.

    If you decide to live in a more remote village then the problem is figuring out how to get to work. Cycling is fine in clement weather but sucks as a mode of transport in, say, rainy November. There may be buses or trains. But you’d need to research where you expect to work and the connectivity to that place – then figure on something on the same bus route/train line.

    But as a town Cambridge is a great place – despite the flocks of tourists, language school students etc. If I had to live in the UK, it is probably near the top on my list of acceptable places.

    As for salary. Depends. There are plenty of poor PhD students so it can be affordable (see flat & bike above) even for those on low wages, but life obviously gets more pleasant with greater wages.

  10. “But you’d need to research where you expect to work and the connectivity to that place – then figure on something on the same bus route/train line.”

    Sounds to me like Cambridge is ripe and crying out for one of the B2C e-scooter type of transport solutions that are being rolled out across many other locations these days. Something like the Zig Zag model in Milan might suit Cambridge?

    Zig Zag: 350 new sharing e-scooters in Milan, Italy

    This new two-wheel sharing opportunity goes alongside the Tricity fleet of 100 already on Milanese soil. The new Zig Zag CUx scooters feature a yellow and black livery that recalls New York taxis. The vehicles have a 70 km range, with a 1,300 watt Bosch motor and a removable 60V-32 Ah lithium battery pack.

    Zig Zag Scooter Sharing founders, Emanuele Grazioli and Diego Rocca, confirm the initiative contributes to reinforcing an increasingly green policy, aiming to “make people move freely and in complete autonomy, providing a service in addition to public transportation.”

    To use the service, people around Milan with a driver’s license will have to register for free at or via the Android and iOS apps. Entering the PIN unlocks the seat of the booked scooter to access a helmet and a hygienic, disposable balaclava. Simple and effective, from July 24th the service will be usable even outside the app’s area of competence.

    After Milan and Rome, the company wants to extend scooter sharing services to other Italian cities including Turin.

  11. I own a ground-floor 3-bed and 2-bathroom flat (with parking) near the Botanical Gardens. The rent is £1550 pcm. We may move there one day; but the traffic in Cambridge is heavy, and the cyclists aggressive. That said, there good museums, concerts and films available, and some good restaurants and shops. The Trumpington Road area and Newnham have a village feel; and you can walk to Grantchester. Suffolk and Norfolk are accessible by train or car. Get in touch if you need more information, Tim.

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