21 October 2021/ Area guides

Serviced and Flexible Office Guide: Cambridge

Offices to rent in Cambridge

Located in the East of England, around the River Cam is Cambridge – a beautiful and thriving city renowned for its world-class university, burgeoning technology sector, and historical and cultural significance.

The city dates back to first century AD, when the Romans built a fort on Castle Hill. The modern city of Cambridge was founded in 875 when the Vikings conquered Eastern England. They created a fortified town – called a ‘burgh’ – on the site, until it was eventually captured by the Saxons in the 10th century.

Home to more Nobel Prize winners than any other city, today Cambridge is brimming with learning, culture and innovation. As a result, the city has developed an enviable reputation as a hub for technology, software development, electronics, and biotechnology. In fact, the Cambridge-based Silicon Fen is regarded as the UK’s answer to Silicon Valley, due to its large concentration of high-tech businesses.

Cambridge was also named as one of the UK’s best cities for long-term success by the Guardian, with 49.4% of businesses still in operation after the critical five-year period. There are also many initiatives and business incubators based in the area, giving businesses and start-ups access to some of the best support in the country.

Known for being a city of learning, it comes as no surprise that Cambridge has plenty of fantastic schools – including 27 that are rated ‘Outstanding’ according to Ofsted, with the majority ranked as ‘Good’. The city also plays host to the world-renowned University of Cambridge, as well as the prestigious Anglia Ruskin University – so there’s no shortage of top talent for businesses based in the area.

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Key business areas in Cambridge

Cambridge is home to the Cambridge Business Park, a premier business park where a wide variety of international businesses are based – ranging from professional, technology, innovation, and Research & Development sectors. Some of these businesses include well-known global companies like Autonomy, the BBC, and Qualcomm (among others).

There are also a variety of innovation parks dotted around the city, which combine premium serviced office space with additional amenities, creating an ideal environment for high-tech companies and start-ups to flourish.

Cambridge also has its own dedicated BID, which follows the city centre boundary, as well as Hills Road up to the train station and Station Square. The area is home to about 1200 businesses.

Transport links throughout Cambridge are excellent

There are regular trains and buses

If you’re craving the hustle and bustle of the big city, or need to commute for a meeting out of town, it takes only an hour to get to London on a fast train, with regular services to King’s Cross and Liverpool Street Station.

Cambridge also has regular trains to and from Stansted airport, Birmingham, and the north of the UK – as well as other destinations around the country. There are two train stations in Cambridge – one is located just over a mile from the city centre, and the other can be found to the north of the city. There are also regular buses to and from each station, as well as a bus station near the city centre which serves many local towns and villages. National coach services also stop nearby.

Cambridge is serviced by an extensive road network

For those who prefer to drive, Cambridge has excellent transport infrastructure, including an extensive road network. It has routes north, south, east and west on major motorways and A-roads, including the M11 and A14. There are also five park and ride sites around the edge of the city, as well as multi-storey car parks and smaller pay-and-display car parks within walking distance of the city centre.

The city is easily walkable

Cambridge is a rather compact, small city, which means that most places are within walking distance. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and get fit in the process, many locals also choose to cycle. There are several cycle routes into Cambridge from nearby towns and villages, as well as two covered cycle parks in the city centre.

Offices to rent in Cambridge

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There are excellent business amenities in Cambridge

The city has a wealth of well-appointed, beautiful hotels

Cambridge is an international city attracting visitors from all over the world. As a result, travellers are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation. The area boasts an impressive number of hotels to suit every preference, including a range of luxury hotels, boutique hotels and budget-friendly options.

To really spoil yourself, your colleagues, or your clients with a taste of five-star luxury, impeccable service, and effortless elegance, book a night at the Gonville Hotel. This five-star, boutique hotel has a wide range of bedrooms to suit all types of travellers, and offers guests the opportunity to experience Cambridge from a uniquely different perspective.

Another fantastic high-end option is The Varsity Experience, located in the city centre. In addition to its ideal location, the hotel also offers guests access to a gym, daily fitness classes, and a spa experience. There’s also a bar and brasserie on the top floor, which boasts exquisite panoramic views of the city.

And if you’re looking for a quintessential business hotel, book a night or two at the Hilton. Not only is it known for being the largest hotel in Cambridge, but it’s also located in the heart of the city, and the building is linked to the shops in the Grand Arcade. This, plus fantastic amenities, sophisticated meeting facilities, and well-appointed rooms makes it an ideal hotel for professionals visiting the city for both business and leisure.

For more affordable options, there’s also a Novotel and an Ibis hotel, which both offer guests a warm and welcoming atmosphere, excellent proximity to the city centre, world-class meeting rooms and conference facilities, as well as modern rooms to suit all requirements.

Cambridge has an impressive mix of culinary delights

While Cambridge is famous for its great thinkers and pioneering academic pursuits, the city also boasts a huge variety of places to eat and drink. There is truly something to impress even the most discerning palate, including a tantalising range of stylish cafés, gastro pubs, and more traditional restaurants. Head to The Ivy for a range of modern British and international classics or enjoy a meal at Varsity, the city’s oldest restaurant.

If you’re looking to impress a client or spoil your colleagues for a job well done, why not choose a more intimate brasserie dining setting at one of Cambridge's many hotels, such as Bistro Du Vin at the Hotel Du Vin Cambridge, or Parker’s Tavern at the University Arms Hotel. Or, you can secure a coveted spot at some of the region's best Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Midsummer House, for an extravagant fine dining experience.

If you’re looking for something slightly less formal, there are also plenty of great pubs in the area, such as Greene King establishment The Eagle, where Nobel Prize winners Crick and Watson sketched the structure of DNA on a napkin.


Other useful amenities in Cambridge

Cambridge is a green city, which means it’s ideal for nature lovers and those who revel in the beauty of the great outdoors. Its natural fen landscape flows right into the centre along the River Cam. There are also many public parks and commons, and football pitches and tennis courts for those who enjoy playing sports and spending time outdoors.

Shopaholics are also spoilt for choice in Cambridge. You can find all your high street brands and designer labels near the city centre. There is also an eclectic mix of boutiques and independent shops that can be found along Rose Crescent, Trinity Street, Magdalene Street, Bridge Street and King Street. Not to mention Grand Arcade, where you will find 60 brands all under one roof, and Market Square, which plays host to a charming market seven days a week.

Cambridge also has a thriving arts scene with music and comedy events, as well as a variety of productions hosted throughout the year. Theatre lovers will delight in the range of performances on offer, from student theatre to West End shows.

Notable tenants

  • Autonomy
  • Cadence
  • CBNL
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Qualcomm Technologies International Ltd
  • The British Broadcasting Corporation
  • Venner Shipley

Key agents in Cambridge

  • Carter Jonas LLP
  • Montagu Evans LLP
  • Barker Storey Matthews
  • Bidwells LLP
  • Savills
  • Juniper Real Estate Ltd

Interesting facts about Cambridge

  • Cambridge has been the backdrop for several famous films, including The Theory of Everything, Sylvia and even Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
  • With such a colourful history of excellence and learning, Cambridge has the distinct honour of being able to boast 120 Nobel Prize winners from its former students, including the likes of Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Francis Bacon, Charles Darwin and Stephen Hawking.
  • Mathematician and physicist, Isaac Newton, pursued the idea of gravity as a student in Cambridge, eventually publishing one of the most famous laws of physics – his theory of gravity – in 1687.
  • Cambridge is often called the birthplace of football as we know it, due to the fact that the first official game using the ‘Cambridge Rules’ was played on Parker’s Piece in 1848. This formed the basis of the Football Association’s rules, drawn up in 1863.