Cambridge is UK’s “boom town for the brainy”
Cambridge, as anyone who lives in the city, is a delightful place – though there are some, er, transport and housing issues – and its appeal now has been recognised by the Sunday Times which has named it the third best location in the country to live in after Amersham and Bath.
The city’s population is on the up thanks to booming educational and business sectors including an increasing number of global brands such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and AstraZeneca joining the fray. Innovations in tech and pharma the order of the day, prompting the Sunday Times to call the Fenland city “a boom town for the brainy”.
The pressures of an expanding economy have of course created issues. “The population is soaring, thanks to great rail links and blossoming tech businesses, as are property prices, making Cambridge the third least affordable city in the country.” However there are huge development projects in Waterbeach barracks and Northstowe under way as part of a bid to address both housing and congestion – 86,000 vehicles go in and out of Cambridge every day.
“You can’t argue with this honey-coloured hotspot’s popularity,” the Sunday Times enthuses. “The magical otherworldliness of the colleges contrasts with the increasingly upmarket shopping, though it’s a joy to walk or bike across meadows to get to John Lewis. Apart from Daniel Clifford’s super-haute Midsummer House (five-course lunch £56.50), the city is not packed with great eateries, but you can graze at all the chains.”
And hopefully the congestion issue will start to be resolved in May when Cambridge North station finally opens – “four trains an hour, including a fast service to King’s Cross”.
OK, so the average price of a two-bedroom house in Cambridge may be £335,957 (expect to pay £1,112 pcm if you’re renting), but visitors and residents alike will know that the city described as a “honey-coloured hotspot” is a great place to live.
And personally, having lived in both Bath and Cambridge, I’d say Fenland magic beats the Georgian utopia every day of the week.
Sunday Times Top 10 places to live in the UK
1 Amersham, Bucks
7 Cobham, Surrey