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Counties > Cambridgeshire > Waterbeach


WATERBEACH The trains out of Waterbeach in the morning are full of children on their way to school in Cambridge or Ely. The village does have its own primary school, which doubles as a community centre. Here you can also take evening classes, or join the Waterbeach Players or the brass band. Waterbeach has an army barracks, a post office, Chinese takeaway, three grocery shops, fish-and-chip shop, butchers and bakers, and several pubs. There is a Tesco three miles away at Milton. The best houses are the Cambridge brick houses in the conservation area around the village green. A two-bedroom version will cost from £150,000. A three-bedroom semi in Waterbeach is likely to cost around £185,000. New housing has been going up fast.

Cottenham, also on the edge of the Fens close to Waterbeach station, and some useful shops in its favour, but it has expanded rather brutally. Its population doubled in only 20 years. A three-bedroom cottage will cost around £185,000, better value than in nearby Histon, while a four-bedroom modern detached house will cost £240,000 to £340,000. It has one of the highly regarded Village Colleges, built to embody the ideas of Henry Morris, chief education officer at Cambridge from 1922 to 1954, who believed secondary schools should be run like small colleges, providing education but also serving the cultural needs of the village. They take students up to sixth form, after which they must move to a sixth form college.

Good for: those who can’t afford Cambridge city centre or the more expensive villages to the south of the city, close enough for the high-performing schools in Cambridge.
Local knowledge: the Waterbeach Feast, a procession of floats and stalls, is held every June, when the local women traditionally have always made frumenty – boiled wheat in a thick sweet milk-and-sugar sauce with raisins.
London terminal: Kings Cross
Journey time: 58 (66 mins peak) mins
Season ticket: £3860
Peak trains: 2 per hour (plus 1 per hour to Liverpool St)
Off-peak trains: 1 per hour