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  • Writer's pictureGavin Human

Feast on Great Shelford #FocusFriday

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Sometimes when I take a closer look at a village for #FocusFriday I find myself surprised by some of the history and unusual facts and this week, Great Shelford doesn't disappoint. So let's take a look at this village situated 4 miles south of Cambridge and take in an American President, a theatre director, a multi-million record selling band, and an annual feast! There is a map and links to local services at the bottom of this page.

Alongside Little Shelford, Great Shelford was tagged as "the Shelfords" and two years ago was listed as one of the best places to live in The Sunday Times. They commented:

"Here, the verdant streets are lined with pretty old houses: a bit of thatch, a few beams, lots of sash windows and yellow brick. There are fields allaround, offering country rambles for dog-walkers, perhaps around Hauxton or on Magog's all about good old-fashioned village life."

Along with the aforementioned easy cycle access, there is also the Shelford train station to keep you well connected; it is easy to enjoy a village lifestyle whilst benefiting from convenient access to the city and surrounding areas.

You can have your pick of local pubs; all offering something different.

The Plough and The Square and Compasses are both under the same ownership, with the The Plough offering sport and a variety of street food vendors alongside pizza and burgers, whilst The Square and Compass has a more traditional pub grub menu complete with an extensive Sunday lunch. Just down the way in Little Shelford is The Navigator, which combines the charm of its 16th Century coach inn origins, with a modern menu of authentic Thai food 7 nights a week.

The Plough, The Square and Compass, The Navigator

As an extra foodie treat, you can also enjoy the Shelford Deli - an independent specialist grocery story. Ranked in the Top 50 deli's in the UK by the Indepedent's food and drink magazine, the Shelford Deli has proven itself over 20 years to be a mark of quality. Alongside their artisan grocery store and specialist produce, you can also take away dishes from their deli kitchen.

The food theme continues with the annual Shelford Feast, which takes place in July and dates back to medieval times! It stopped in 1938, but following its revival in 1994, it has gone on to raise £338,000 for local good causes. A week long festival of food, music, comedy, film and local performances.

The connection to entertainment in Great Shelford isn't just with the annual Feast. In fact, one of the world's biggest bands once performed a set at Trinity House in Great Shelford. In 1965, about 2 years before they became known to a much wider audience, Pink Floyd played a set there for a friend's birthday. The occasion must have resonated with them as the house was then used for the front cover of their double album Ummagumma.

In 2009, Barack Obama had his ancestry traced back to Great Shelford - which maybe slightly over shadowed other previous residents including the theatre director Sir Peter Hall and authors Tom Sharpe and Phillipa Pearce.

Great Shelford has a top class offering for adults, and it is also is dedicated to the welfare of its younger residents. I snapped this picture on my last visit to show the impact of Playscape Great Shelford - a charity set up to transform the provision of services across the recreation ground for everyone. As well as the adventure tree and and an inclusive playscape, they also have floodlights for the tennis courts. You can see what else they have planned right here.

If you are thinking of moving and would like some assistance finding your new home, or securing a sale for your current property, don't hesitate to get in touch - I am always happy to help or answer any questions.

All distances are approximate from the centre of the village.


Shelford has its own railway station with connection to Cambridge in under 10mins.


There are 6 primary schools all within 2 miles radius of the centre of the village

There are two local secondary schools, with a number of others within 3 miles.


There are three local GPs:

There are two local dental surgeries:

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