Life in South Cambridgeshire

Stop awhile in South Cambridgeshire and it’s easy to see an area of the South East of England that is at ease with itself. A landscape of small settled communities open to and actively participating in the 21st century, whilst maintaining close links to the past as the historic buildings and thatched roofs that abound will testify.

It’s an area that has benefitted greatly from the prosperity driven by the development of Cambridge as a business centre in complement to its educational heritage. Equally it’s an area that has added greatly to the appeal of the city. As a place for people to live and enjoy living.

South Cambridgeshire is an area of village-based communities. The success enjoyed by the region over the past decade together with demographic  changes has put pressure on the housing market – in common with most areas of the south east of England.

Traditionally new housing developments have been small, adding organically to the historic housing stock centred on the small and medium sized villages that characterise the area. In 1998 South Cambs District Council working with developers established the new community of Cambourne to the west of Cambridge, where the Council offices are located. Camborne has provided over 3,000 much needed homes.

Working with the other local authorities in the Cambridge sub-region a target for housing was identified and the first major sites on the Cambridge fringe are now moving into the development phase. In the planning pipeline is the new community of Northstowe, to be developed on a brown field site to the north of Cambridge, but within the South Cambridgeshire district. This is intended to add another 20,000 houses including a mix of affordable and executive homes.

The theme is progressive sensitive development to high standards, to ensure that the availability of housing enhances the prosperity of South Cambridgeshire and is never a barrier to it. To search property for sale in South Cambridgeshire, visit

The profile and reputation that Cambridge enjoys around the world attracts students, academics, business people and tourists. The opportunity to punt along the backs, overlooking King’s College or out into the South Cambridgeshire countryside to Granchester is enjoyed by many every year.

For the traveller who takes the time to pause awhile or the business person who makes South Cambridgeshire his or her home, there is far more to see and enjoy than the picture postcard sites in the City.

The National Trust’s Wimpole Hall estate encompasses a working farm and a wonderful piece of rolling landscape to be enjoyed all year round. The Imperial War Museum at Duxford is the site of both aviation and military static displays. The regular flying days fill the Cambridge Plus sky with the sound of vintage aircraft.

The quiet country roads are a haven for cyclists. The Roman Road that runs towards Cambridge from the South East provides evocative walks and links with the Wandlebury Trust land on the Gog Magog Hills, the centrepiece of which is an iron age hill fort.

However, the highest profile attractions centre on Cambridge itself where the very fabric of the university town speaks of its 800 year history.

To find out more visit the Cambridge Tourism website at

In a predominantly rural region, as might be expected, transport in South Cambridgeshire is dominated by car usage. However, South Cambridgeshire District Council working in conjunction with both the City and the County Councils have worked extremely effectively to generate a more balanced provision and reduce dependency on the motor vehicle where possible.

The City of Cambridge is the key transport hub. Operators like Stagecoach and Whippet operate good quality bus provision along the arterial routes into the City from all points of the compass. The result is that it is well supported by the public both as a means of commuting and visiting the City for shopping or leisure.

Trains run into the City with principal links south to London and North to Ely and Peterborough. With the pressure on the A14 at peak times and the intention to develop Northstowe north of the City, South Cambridgeshire has invested heavily in the development of a Guided Busway which runs from St Ives just outside the Cambridge Plus boundary to the North West into the city and through to a terminus at Addenbrokes Hospital. In the first month of opening the Busway attracted some one million customers.

Any resume of transport in South Cambridgeshire that did not reference the bicycle would be remiss. Whether cycling at leisure along the country lanes or along one of the purpose-built cycleways into Cambridge, the region and the bicycle are happy bedfellows.


Across its network of village communities public education provision in South Cambridgehsire consists of village primary schools feeding into the larger village colleges. The bond of these schools to their communities is reflected in high levels of community involvement and pride in their performance. A pride that is reflected in higher than average Osted ratings. The Village Colleges in turn feed into the sixth form colleges in Cambridge of which Hills Road Sixth form college enjoys an enviable national reputation.

The sector as a whole is of course heavily influenced by the proximity of Cambridge University. Anglia Ruskin University also has a campus in the city and the reputation of Cambridge is such that the private schools are very strong and a small industry has grown up around foreign language education.

The economic progress of South Cambridgeshire over a long period of time has helped to develop what might be called a virtuous circle. High levels of employment and opportunity attract good quality skills and are underpinned by a highly-skilled work force. Those people relish the environment, settle and contribute to education in the community. Children in turn prosper and are encouraged to develop the skills they will need to compete. Both business and the community benefit.

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The issue of sustainability is at the forefront of Council thinking across a number of areas. With regard to business, South Cambridgeshire District Council is committed to working with companies to help:

  • reduce operating costs,
  • shrink carbon footprints,
  • improve business resilience, and
  • gain a competitive edge.

Encouraging companies of all sizes to bring forward business cases that genuinely address sustainability issues is important - even more so in the planning of new and developing businesses when the opportunities to establish strong sustainability practices and credentials are often at their greatest.

The Council can offer tailored support in these areas through its own services or those of its partners, for example:

For further information on all sustainability issues please contact: Richard Hales, Team Leader Sustainable Communities, South Cambridgeshire District Council. Tel: 03450 405500 or e-mail: [email protected]

Visit any South Cambridgeshire community on a Saturday afternoon and in the summer, the chances are that a cricket game will be in progress and in the winter a game of football. Sport is embedded in the community and thousands of people play in competitive leagues every week.

 The Village Colleges whilst providing high quality education facilities also become sports and social hubs across the area. Significant investment has gone into their facilities, whether that is an all-weather football surface at Linton or a swimming pool at Bottisham. All are well used by local clubs and societies who participate in and promote sport for all.

If the great outdoors is for you, South Cambridgeshire District Council have been working on the mapping and linking of green spaces to provide the best opportunities to explore the countryside for a generation.

As you explore, you may even come across one of South Cambridgeshire’s public art installations. Publicly accessible art, craft and design is a great way to celebrate cultural diversity and local identity. Once in place, public art is a lasting mark of community and heritage for residents and visitors to enjoy.