Nestled in the Eastern part of England, Cambridgeshire is famous for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and of course, University of Cambridge, one of the oldest and prestigious educational institutions in the world. The flat terrains of the county, resplendent in scenic beauty and teeming with wildlife, are a heaven for nature lovers and provide a serene backdrop to its bustling market towns and charming villages.

In this area guide, we delve deep into the county that seamlessly blends academic prowess with rural and urban charisma, providing an amicable living environment that caters to different lifestyle preferences. We'll share practical information about life in Cambridgeshire, discussing the landmarks, history, popular attractions, transportation, schools, and property perspectives.

History of Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire's history can be traced back to the Roman Era when it was a significant military and trading centre. It was during the middle ages that the city flourished, especially with the establishment of the University of Cambridge in the 13th century. The region also played a crucial role during World War II as a major centre for the Royal Air Force. Over the centuries, it has evolved from an agricultural heartland to a hub of education and technology, embracing modern advancements without forgetting its roots. This rich history is evident in the architecture and charm that fills the streets of Cambridge and the surrounding towns and villages of the county.


The most prominent landmark in Cambridgeshire is undoubtedly the University of Cambridge, with its iconic King's College Chapel being the most recognised building. The chapel is renowned for its sublime fan vaulted ceiling and exquisite stained glass windows. The River Cam, which lends the city its name, winds through the heart of the region adding a placid charm, and is a favourite for the traditional punting tours. The Ely Cathedral, another significant landmark, towers over the city of Ely with its majestic Romanesque architecture and stunning octagonal tower, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Landmarks we love

  • River Cam: The artery flowing through the city provides romantic sceneries aplenty. The recreational activity of 'punting on the Cam' is a local favourite, and tourist attraction, offering views of Cambridge's historical landmarks from a unique perspective.
  • Fitzwilliam Museum: This art and antiquities museum is a treasure trove of world culture and history. Housing over half a million works of art, it provides an impressive sample of civilizations, all under a neoclassical architectural masterpiece.
  • Cambridge University Botanic Garden: Spanning over 40 acres, the garden is a haven for plant lovers and is home to a collection of over 8000 plant species from all around the world. It provides a tranquil escape amidst the bustling city.
  • Anglesey Abbey: This affluent country house features lavish decor and an extensive collection of antiques. The surrounding gardens, equipped with a working watermill and a wildlife discovery area in the woods, provide ample exploring opportunities.
  • Imperial War Museum Duxford: This aviation museum houses over two centuries worth of aircraft and military hardware. The interactive exhibits showcase British and American military history, making it a popular destination for history enthusiasts.

Top 10 things to do in Cambridgeshire

  • Punting on River Cam: A quintessential Cambridge experience that provides scenic views of the University's iconic buildings.
  • Explore King's College Chapel: The Chapel, with its imposing Gothic architecture and stunning interiors, is a marvel not to be missed.
  • Visit Ely Cathedral: Explore this magnificent cathedral, participate in a guided tour and climb up to the Octagon tower for breath-taking panoramic views.
  • Stroll in Cambridge University Botanic Gardens: Relax and unwind in these beautifully kept gardens, featuring plant species from around the world.
  • Discover history at Fitzwilliam Museum: Delve into human history and culture by exploring the vast collection of artefacts and art.
  • Visit Imperial War Museum Duxford: An immersive journey into the history of aviation and warfare, with numerous aeroplanes and interactive exhibits.
  • Explore Anglesey Abbey: Discover the aristocratic life at this lavish country estate, and take a leisurely stroll in the beautiful gardens.
  • Shopping in Grand Arcade: Indulge in some retail therapy in this modern multi-storey shopping centre, housing myriad popular retail outlets.
  • Visit Wimpole Estate: A large country estate that includes a beautiful mansion, vast gardens, and a home farm.
  • Tour Houghton Mill: Visit this ancient watermill and enjoy a picnic by the river bank amidst breathtaking beauty.

Our recommended areas to live in Cambridgeshire

  • Cambridge City Centre: Living in the heart of the city gives you access to a rich heritage, vibrant nightlife, and numerous shopping and dining opportunities. The connectivity is also quite impressive as the city is well-served by buses and has a railway station that links it to London.
  • Ely: Known as the 'Isle of the Fens', this charming cathedral city offers serene living spaces. The city captures the essence of English countryside living with a dash of history and architecture. The local market, independent shops, and panoramic views of the fens make it a desirable place to live.
  • Huntingdon: This historic market town offers a quiet lifestyle while enjoying good accessibility to larger cities, thanks to a direct rail link. The town boasts an array of independent shops, cafes, and scenic parks.
  • St Ives: This picturesque market town, renowned for its stunning riverside park, offers both scenic beauty and modern amenities. The town is well connected by road and bus, and offers a range of property styles, including Victorian, Edwardian and modern houses.
  • Peterborough: This vibrant city offers a mix of urban and rural living. The city centre boasts a plethora of shopping, dining and entertainment options, while its outskirts provide the tranquility of the countryside. Peterborough is well connected to London by train, making it a great option for commuters.

Best schools in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire is home to some of the best schools in the UK, including those linked with the University of Cambridge. The Perse School, Stephen Perse Foundation, and St John's College School consistently rank highly and boast outstanding Ofsted ratings. There's no dearth of excellent state schools either, with Comberton Village College and Sawston Village College being quite popular. The county's commitment to world-class education extends to sixth form colleges as well, with Hills Road Sixth Form College among the top state sixth form colleges in the UK. For higher education, the iconic University of Cambridge needs no introduction, it is one of the most prestigious and oldest universities in the world.

Transport links in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire boasts excellent connectivity, both within the county and to other parts of the UK. It is served by a network of A-roads and two major motorways – the M11 and the A1(M). The railway network is robust and efficient, with direct connections to London, King's Lynn, Norwich, and Peterborough from Cambridge station. For air travel, Stansted Airport is just a short journey away. The region also encourages eco-friendly transportation, with numerous cycling and walking trails. Buses and coaches provide regular services across towns and villages.

In conclusion, Cambridgeshire, with its academic heritage blended with modernity and leisure, offers an idyllic living experience. From renowned educational institutions to picturesque landscapes and historical landmarks, the region seamlessly combines old and new. Its excellent transport links make it easily accessible, while its market towns deliver a quieter, more serene lifestyle. Whether you are attracted by the bustling life of a city or the calm rhythm of countryside living, Cambridgeshire provides for a splendid array of options. This guide only scratches the surface, but I guarantee you, living here reveals more wonders!

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