Want a village lifestyle but the convenience of the city? Great Chesterford is a picturesque village close to Cambridge and London
PUBLISHED: 14:52 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:07 08 November 2018
For young families looking to leave London, Great Chesterford is an easy commute to the capital, Cambridge and a selection of good schools, providing the best of both country and city living
The village of Great Chesterford is ideal for growing families and young couples. What once was a medieval farming hamlet strategically placed between Cambridge and London, is now a modern community and a vibrant pocket of the Essex countryside.
The Chesterfords Community Centre is at the village’s core. It runs a preschool and after school club, as well as fitness and dance classes, and youth activities such as Girl Guides. The Days Bakery and Food Hall fuel Great Chesterford’s mornings with hot coffees, fresh pastries and crusty bread. The bakery also has a shop attached selling deli and cupboard produce. Along the high street there are two pubs: The Crown and Thistle which dates back to the 16th century and The Plough, whose kitchen uses local ingredients.
The Riverside Barns is a community centre in the neighbouring village of Ickleton. Tucked away in a charming countryside setting, it has a mix of independent retailers, including a café, beauty salon, craft stores and gardening centre. A 12-minute drive away, Little Walden is home to The Crown Inn, which has Jazz every Wednesday evening. The medieval market town of Saffron Walden is just nine-minutes by car and has restaurants, pubs, antique shops and independent stores. Market days are held on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
The Great Chesterford Church of England Primary Academy received an outstanding rating, when last rated by Ofsted. It continues to be an academic leader in the region, consistently performing above Essex and national averages in maths and literacy. It is one of the many excellent primary and secondary schools in the Essex and Cambridgeshire area, including private schools. Ofsted has rated several more local schools as outstanding, including Linton Village College and Holme Court School in Little Abington. Only slightly further afield, Cambridge has a wealth of fine schools to choose from.
The award-winning Saffron Hall hosts concerts, theatre and dance shows from local, national and international artists. Saffron Screen is an independent cinema that shows a mix of mainstream and arthouse cinema. Once one of the most stately manors in Jacobean England, Audley End House and Gardens is set against a stunning backdrop and has a year-long programme of family events. And when the call of the city summons, both Cambridge and London are at the village’s proverbial doorstep.
Location and transport
Located right on the border of Essex and Cambridgeshire, Great Chesterford is well connected so commutes are hassle-free by both train and car. Saffron Walden is under four miles away and swiftly reached by car, bus or train. Easy access to the A11, M11 and M25 ensures a smooth journey to Cambridge, London and beyond. By train, Cambridge is only 15 minutes away, and it takes just over an hour to reach London’s Liverpool Street. For far-flung destinations, Stansted airport is just over 20 minutes away along the M11.
Woodland Rise, London Road
In a sought after location, just a five-minute walk from the train station, there is an attractive, new development. Built by Enterprise Residential Development Limited (ERDL), Woodland Rise has a variety of apartments and houses to suit growing families and first-time home buyers. These two and three bedroom homes come in a mix of designs and finishes, from traditional brick and render to timber cladding.
ERDL is an independent developer that is driven by sustainability and prides itself on creating unique and individually designed properties in villages and urban settings. Prices start at £305,000 for apartments and £375,000 for houses.