Just over an hour from London, the famous university city of Cambridge is well worth a visit – with plenty of short lets available for weekly or monthly rentals.
Principally known for its universities, medieval buildings and punting on the River Cam, Cambridge has a delightful, tranquil feel to it. For those visiting for more than a day-trip or short weekend, there are a number of short to mid-term rental accommodation platforms offering properties in the city. As is the case almost worldwide, Airbnb is the biggest player in this market. However there remain a handful of alternatives, with our pick of them listed below.
One of the leading platforms for booking hotel accommodation, Booking.com also has a broad selection of short-term apartments for rent around the world. During our online research, we found entire studios for rent at approximately £150 per night, while at the other end of the spectrum, there were 3-bedroom, country-style cottages in the town centre at £400 per night. Even in a relatively small town like Cambridge, prices decrease the further from the centre you look, e.g., 4 miles out of town, a spacious two-storey house with a garden and parking costs £180 per night. Despite its numerous filters to help pinpoint your search, Booking.com is easy to use and is supported by an app that enables the guest and the landlord to communicate freely.
Founded in 2015 by a pair of German entrepreneurs who were tired of staying in hotels when working abroad, Homelike is principally aimed at business travellers and foreigners needing accommodation for a month or longer. Since its humble beginnings, the platform has grown rapidly and now offers properties in most European cities, with 140 on its books in Cambridge. Homelike has a clean and easy-to-use interface with high resolution photography and icons that clearly show a home’s available amenities. The website also has a feedback section on both the landlord and renters, so both parties can proceed with confidence in each other. Another perk is that in contrast to the majority of its competitors, the platform is upfront about all its costs, with no hidden expenses and rental prices inclusive of all utility bills.
Working in tandem with local estate agencies in the area, the UK’s largest online real estate portal and property website also lists apartments that are available as daily or weekly rentals. For the dates we looked at, there were half-a-dozen fully furnished rentals offered on a weekly or monthly basis. Shared accommodation started at £125 per week for a house a 15-minute cycle ride from the city centre, rising to £762 per week for a semi-detached home a stone’s throw away from Coleridge Recreation Ground in the heart of Cambridge. Fees will depend on each agency’s terms and conditions, but it’s not unusual to be required to pay one month’s rent in advance for a longer-term contract.