Rural v Urban Post London Life
My husband Nick, and I lived in London, but soon after getting married decided to leave to find an affordable home where we could settle and start a family. We came to Cambridge by chance after I found a great job. We made our first appointment with a local estate agent to view some properties in the villages just outside Cambridge. It was immediately obvious that the last six years in London had determined our appetite for a city lifestyle, and we redirected our search to Cambridge.
We didn’t know anything about Cambridge. Our remit was to find a three-bedroom house with a garden, near to the shops and easy commuting distance to the station, on this last point there was no room for negotiation; Nick would only consider a short walk to the station. In hindsight I wish we had invested in a specialist relocation company, such as Move to Cambridge, as we spent many wasted weekends viewing houses that really didn’t meet our requirements.
Through our house hunting we discovered Mill Road. The area has a multi-ethnic buzz, a diverse and strong sense of community, lots of independent shops and a real vitality about it. The Mill Road area is a community in itself; indeed, it was runner-up in the Great British High Street of the Year award 2015. We soon found our dream house, without doing anything as grown up as selecting it based on schools in the area. Fortunately, Cambridge came up trumps. We had a fantastic choice of nurseries, schools and colleges, both state and private, and we have never been let down. Our three children have benefitted from a great education and within the community we have all developed strong friendships that have grown over many years.
When we grew out of our home, we looked hard for our next home, but our lifestyle and roots were firmly grounded in the Mill Road area and despite being able to get a lot more for our money just outside Cambridge, we finally found our new home 50 metres round the corner.
Twenty years on we are still here using some of the wonderful local services to make our home special. I love that we hardly ever use a car and that we walk or cycle to almost everywhere. I love that the kids learnt independent travel at an early age with the safe cycle paths that connect the City.
What we love
Coming from Yorkshire and Nick from Surrey we do hanker after some hills, and the flat Fenlands are an acquired taste, but the skies are amazing and the open spaces so accessible and plentiful.
The children spend their summer swimming in the Cam or at the lido on Jesus Green (one of Europe’s largest outdoor swimming pools). We love the local events, from Strawberry
We love the local events, from Strawberry Fair, to the Science and Shakespeare Festivals, not to mention the fantastic shopping and entertainment; there really is something for everyone.
Maintaining the Soul of the City
It’s not perfect. Traffic congestion is a mounting problem, and house prices are at a premium. But still Cambridge continues to grow and accommodate a rising population driven by the science and innovation hub. I hope that it maintains its soul and continues to revel in the pervasive historic banter between town and gown. We are absolutely devoted to Cambridge and we see our future here. I can’t think of any other place I would rather be.
Dawn Giesler has lived and worked Cambridge for over 25 years. She has a background in marketing PR and like many Dawn has combined a successful career with running a family. Despite an extensive network of friends and colleagues, she got frustrated at the difficulty in finding readily available and reliable, locally recommended suppliers and specialists so she developed Scuseme to provide an essential resource to help the modern family run smoothly. For more information please visit: www.scuseme.co.uk