Queen Edith’s – A Liveable Neighbourhood?

One of the foundations of my thinking about Queen Edith’s in particular and Cambridge more generally is the importance of liveable neighbourhoods. This column I wrote for Smarter Cambridge Transport  last year summarises why . I think you’ll enjoy reading it.
It’s noticeable that the City Council are finally waking up to the fact that the levels of congestion in the city centre are making it less attractive to residents: see Page 12 of this consultation document. But how do we turn that aspiration for liveable neighbourhoods into reality? Well, we start by taking advantage of what’s already here.
So here’s a proposal based on those ‘How to spend 48 hours in New York/Cape Town/Ulan Bator’ articles so beloved by the press. What could ’48 hours in and around Queen Edith’s’ offer over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July? Take advantage of at least one opportunity on this list and explore part of our neighbourhood which you might not have visited before – there is surely something here for everyone.

Eating and drinking

The last few years have seen a blossoming of eating and drinking places around the ward, here are some of my regulars:
  • For morning coffee: The Coffee House on Wulfstan Way; Balzano’s Deli on Cherry Hinton Road; Cambridge Cookery on Harrison Drive (behind Homerton College).
  • For something stronger: Cambridge Wine Merchants on Cherry Hinton Road, a wine bar as well as a retail operation; The Rock pub on Cherry Hinton Road, (reopening after a major refit on 18th July(; the Queen Edith pub on Wulfstan Way
  • Restaurants: Gattuso pizzeria on Hills Road plus its new sister operation Faro, a cocktail and tapas bar, next door; The Taj on Cherry Hinton Road; The Dumpling Tree on Homerton Street (moving early August to Perne Road)

Art and Architecture

  • FREE It’s the last weekend of Cambridge Open Studios. There are 12 artists displaying their work locally, use the interactive map to plot your route and find your favourites,
  • FREE In May, the Queen Edith’s Community Forum held a very successful guided walk around the Biomedical Campus – but there’s nothing to stop you exploring by yourself. Follow in the Queen’s footsteps and take a look at the new Royal Papworth Hospital building, the striking Astra Zeneca HQ and the other clinical, research and business buildings going up. Even the design of the most recent multi-storey carpark is an interesting discussion point (ahem). There are some great opportunities for arty photography if that’s your thing!
  • Try something new. Cambridge Junction is holding its annual Hotbed Festival. There’s a wide array of new writing and performance on offer – if you want to try sticking a toe in the water you can buy very reasonably priced tickets for individual performances, while a day pass which will get you into everything.

Being active

  • FREE Use the 5 aside/basketball court, tennis courts, table tennis table and trim trail at Nightingale Park
  • FREE If you fancy something slightly more sedate join the Sunday morning walk to launch Rock Road Library‘s 2019 summer trail. 
  • Book an induction session to use the new Fitness Centre at Netherhall School, now open 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday
  • Investigate the options for tennis, squash, badminton and table tennis at Hills Road Tennis Club
  • If you have a head for heights, take a trip to our two local climbing walls – Clip’n’Climb and Rainbow Rocket, both on the Clifton Court industrial estate
If you just can’t get through the weekend without some retail therapy then visit the new East Anglia Children’s Hospice shop on Cherry Hinton Road, grab a bargain and spend your money on a good cause. Much more environmentally friendly too!


FREE As part of the City Council’s Jazz and Brass in the Parks series, Soham Brass Band are playing in Nightingale Park, 3pm to 5pm on Sunday. It’s very relaxed and informal, bring a picnic, bring your friends. There might even be an ice cream van if we’re lucky.

For Children

  • FREE Saturday morning stories and rhymes at Rock Road Library, supplemented this weekend by a plant and cake sale
  • FREE Use the recently refurbished playgrounds at Gunhild Close and Nightingale Park; and if the weather is particularly kind, you might want to venture slightly further afield and visit the ‘splash pad’ at Coleridge Recreation Ground
  • There’s an amazing weekend of ‘Blasting Off’ events at Cambridge Science Centre (Clifton Court industrial estate) to mark the 50th anniversary of the first moon landings (normal admission charges apply)
It’s very easy to get preoccupied with all the challenges our neighbourhood faces – but it’s also good to celebrate what’s here. I will be out and about at several of these, so do say hello if you spot me! Start planning your lovely, liveable weekend now.

I add to this blog whenever there’s something important happening in our area. If you’d like to get these posts by email as they happen, please add your name to the list using the form on this page.