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Living in Cambridge
A comprehensive guide about living well in Cambridge
A city associated with a famous university and a popular royal couple, Cambridge is a bustling city bursting with opportunities for expats. Whether you’re looking for education or cultural significance, it has it all. Here, you’ll find more about the city’s culture, education and transport options.
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Life in Cambridge
Education in Cambridge
One of the most important considerations for any expat moving to Cambridge with children is the education available for their kids. Founded in 1209 and consistently ranked among the top 5 universities in the world, the University of Cambridge is a draw for anyone considering life in Cambridge. The second oldest of its kind in the English-language speaking world, its alumni include 90 Nobel laureates. For those seeking further study, this is statistically one of the best places in the world for education.
Alongside it is the lesser-known Anglian Ruskin University. Based in the town, the two boast more than 30,000 students between them, of all different ages and backgrounds. Cambridge County Council manages 251 state schools across the county (35 in the city), accommodating children from toddlers up until adults. These include Netherhall School, Chesterton Community College, and the North Cambridge Academy.
Culture and Leisure in Cambridge
The city has a rich heritage, from the contemporary to the classic. Expatriates living in Cambridge can try their hand at the pastime of punting on the River Cam, which involves being shown around the city by a tour guide in a traditional boat. Sights include famous buildings associated with the historic university, including King’s College Chapel and The Wren Library at Trinity College.
King’s College Chapel is known across the world for its choral services, including the A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, normally shown on TV on Christmas Eve. Housing art collections and antiques from across the centuries, the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum is free to enter for the public. Another site of cultural significance is Kettle’s Yard, which has a vast collection of 20th century and contemporary art.
For those who love theater, there is also a range of performances on offer throughout the year, from amateur productions to touring West End shows. The annual Summer in the City program means Cambridge comes alive each year with music and acting in the green spaces available.
A popular sport in the city is rowing, which is clear in the annual race between the university’s team and that of the University of Oxford (held on the River Thames in London). The two have an old rivalry that dates back centuries, with the race first starting in 1829.
Transportation in Cambridge
With direct trains from London’s Kings Cross, Cambridge is an easy city to access for any expat. Once there, there are direct links to major British cities and its situation in the middle of country means it doesn’t take too long to travel elsewhere. The nearest international airport is London Stansted and National Express has frequent services from London Victoria Coach Station to Cambridge, taking roughly two hours (depending obviously on traffic).
It is important to remember that driving in the city is not advised. With many one-way streets and pedestrian-only zones, it has been designed around those who walk and cycle, not drive. Cambridge is one of the most bike-friendly places in Britain, though. With more than 80 miles of cycle lanes it is the best way to get around. The Cambridge Cycle Map includes cycle routes in the city and to the surrounding villages, with maps showing cycle paths and routes in and around Cambridge.
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