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ROOM TO BREATHE
Homes at The Ridings ae big! They all have spacious gardens too and the development backs onto open meadows, allowing breathing space for the whole family. Surrounded by countryside, with plenty of opportunities for hiking and cycling and only a few minutes’ walk from the village playing fields, you won’t get under each other’s feet at The Ridings.
Keen golfers can enjoy teeing off at nearby Top 100 John O’Gaunt Golf Club, while sports fans can look forward to enjoying cricket, football, netball and tennis almost on their doorstep. When things are back to normal, the Saxon Pool and Leisure Centre offers swimming, gym facilities and fitness classes, and Fairfield’s Bannatyne Health Club & Spa has plenty to enjoy. In the meantime, Upper Caldecote is on Bedfordshire’s Three Greens Walk, an easy four-mile circular stroll through some of the area’s pretty villages, while there are lots of other footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways to explore the local area and make the most of some healthy outdoor exercise.
Nearby, Biggleswade’s streets are lined with quality independent retailers and cosy cafés, and there’s a colourful bi-weekly market and a monthly farmers’ market in the town. For retail therapy on a grander scale, Next, H&M and M&S are all available at the A1 Retail Park on the London Road. Milton Keynes has a huge choice of modern clothes shops, department stores and restaurants, while slightly further away, Cambridge has everything from buzzing street markets to sophisticated designer shopping.
There is a regular bus service from Upper Caldecote to Biggleswade, from where you can hop on a train to reach King’s Cross in just 36 minutes. Travel by road is equally convenient, it is only around 40 minutes to Luton airport, 40 minutes to Milton Keynes and 45 minutes to Cambridge.
AN EDUCATED CHOICE
The area is well supplied with schools, with no fewer than 14 primary schools within three miles of the village, including 11 that are rated as “Good” by Ofsted. For secondary education there are three “Good” schools within a similar distance, along with 23 pre-schools and nurseries and 16 childminders. There are after-school opportunities for children and young people too – 1st Upper Caldecote Scout Group has Cubs and Scouts and there’s 1st Caldecote Rainbow and Brownies Unit as well. There’s a pre-school music group and a youth choir that normally meets at the church, while adults could get involved with the WI, or join the thriving village local history group, crafting circle or book club.
The nearby market town of Biggleswade has been a centre for the hospitality industry since it was a coaching station in the 18th century. While the horses and carriages are long gone, there’s still an excellent array of eating out possibilities which are gradually re-opening for business. Curry lovers can pick up a takeway at Biggles Lounge and Nonno Joes offers its delicious rustic Italian food for collection until restaurants are able to re-open. Residents can also look forward to enjoying live music at George’s Hall or visiting the many historic local pubs, such as the White Hart and The Hare & Hounds in Old Warden.