Properties for sale in Cambridgeshire

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Cambridgeshire Area Guide

Cambridgeshire Image courtesy of Flickr user artorusrex

Cambridgeshire, land of pancake flat fens and pretty market towns, travelling settlers and the second oldest university in the world. The county has five districts, four of which are heavily influenced by the fifth - Cambridge itself.

Cambridgeshire borders Lincolnshire to the north, Norfolk to the northeast, Suffolk to the east, Essex and Hertfordshire to the south, and Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire to the west. It's one of the most affluent and fastest growing counties in England. The so-called 'Silicon Fen' area of electronics, computing and biotechnology companies is near Cambridge.

The city of Cambridge is a lovely place, full of fine architecture, great schools, convenient connections and lucrative jobs. There are downsides though. In the summer, the massive influx of tourists, together with foreign exchange students, can choke the city, particularly the public transport system which tends to groan at the best of times. Oh, and watch out for the cyclists.

The south and west of the city are the most affluent areas and have the nicest property. Trumpington and Babraham roads live up to their names in terms of huge houses. Newham, Parkers Piece and Jesus Green are pricey but nice; Romsey Town is better for first time buyers. The rapid population growth has also led to lots of new housing stock.

The district of Cambridge is surrounded by South Cambridgeshire, which has a very similar feel to the city. A couple of years ago, the region was named as offering the highest quality of country life in Britain. Sawston is the largest village and there's also Cambourne - a new purpose built 'settlement' that's made up of three villages - Great, Lower and Upper Cambourne. When full it will home 10,000.

To the north east lies East Cambridgeshire. The great towers of Ely Cathedral rise high above the flat fenland that surrounds this area's one city, whose name literally translates to 'eel island' and gives some clue to its past. Together with Littleport and Soham, Ely is one of three urban centres of this region.

To the west, Huntingdonshire is a more populous and urbanised district of the county and, with a few hills and woods, has a more interesting landscape than most of the rest of it too. There are four main market towns: Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots and Ramsey. Huntingdon is the heart (though St Neots is larger) and has an impressive market square and mainly pedestrianised high street. Generally, housing and living costs are cheaper in this part of the county.

Crowning the county is Fenland. This area is extremely flat and is home to four market towns - March, Chatteris, Whittlesey, and Wisbech. The Fens were once treacherous peat marshes but are now drained and provide some of the richest agricultural soil in the UK - which means farming makes up a lot of the region's jobs. The population is growing fast; there's lots of new housing, particularly in Chatteris, as well as out-of-town development, including the Meadowland retail park near March.

Demographics

Cambridgeshire has a population of about 560,000. Cambridge, the cultural and historical heart of the county, accounts for nearly 20% of this. East Cambridgeshire's population is 80,000, Fenland's is 85,000, Huntingdonshire comes in at around 160,000 and South Cambridge is 135,000.

Generally speaking, towns and villages north of Cambridge are cheaper, while areas south of the city becomes more exclusive. Across the county, employment rates are tip top. Fenland is the least 'well to do', but is still amongst the top performers in the UK.

Education

Schools in Cambridgeshire are excellent. Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire comes top, with around 85% of pupils getting five or more A* to C grade GCSEs. As with employment, Fenland comes bottom of the list but is still very impressive in terms of the rest of the country.

Transport

Cambridgeshire is well serviced in terms of transport links. Many people commute into London, particularly from Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire. The M11 drops south from the city of Cambridge into north east London. Generally speaking, rail connections are fast but expensive and often crowded.

Amenities and Shopping

The towns and villages of Cambridgeshire have everything you need when it comes to shopping and amenities. But be warned: this is an affluent part of the country and the prices reflect this.

The city of Cambridge is this county's main attraction. The shopping is good but predictable: there are plenty of high street familiars and a couple of shopping centres, as well as a few more boutique places. There are also some wonderful pubs, and even better museums, galleries and green spaces. Another highlight has to be Ely - the cathedral is definitely worth a climb, particularly if the sun's out, and you may lose hours rummaging for bargains in the Waterside Antiques Centre.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.