Walking Routes
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Walking Routes

Cambridgeshire offers a diverse and scenic landscape, making it an excellent destination for walking enthusiasts. Here's a quick overview of some walking routes to explore in Cambridgeshire. Always check for any specific trail information, seasonal considerations, or restrictions before starting your walk. Whether you prefer nature reserves, historic gardens, or riverside paths, Cambridgeshire offers a variety of walking routes for all levels of walkers.

Cambridge to Grantchester

This is a popular riverside walk from Cambridge to the nearby village of Grantchester. It takes you along the River Cam with lovely views of Grantchester Meadows and the surrounding countryside.  It’s now a tradition for university students to punt to Grantchester for breakfast during the May Balls so you should see lots of little boats along the way.

The walk starts in the centre of Cambridge near the tourist information centre. You then follow paths to the famous Cambridge Backs where you can enjoy nice views of some of the University colleges. The walk continues south through Sheep’s Green and Coe Fen Nature Reserve. Considering it closeness to the city it’s a delightfully pastoral scene with cows and sheep grazing next to the meandering river.

You continue south through the pretty Paradise Nature Reserve where there are some peaceful woodland trails. The route then follows Grantchester Meadows Road away from the river before heading across Skater’s Meadow to return to the Cam. You then follow the riverside path past Eight Acre Wood before turning towards the village of Grantchester. Here you can enjoy a cream tea at the delightful Orchard Tea Room. It’s an idyllic setting with outdoor seating amongst the fruit trees. After refreshments you can either catch a bus back to Cambridge or follow the same route back on foot.

Castor Hanglands Nature Reserve

Explore the woodland, limestone, wetland grassland and scrub in this large National Nature Reserve near Peterborough. There’s lots of rare plants and interesting wildlife to be found in the reserve. Look out for butterflies including silver-washed fritillary, purple hairstreak, and white admiral.

The reserve is located just to the west of Peterborough city centre with a parking area at the northern end.

Fen Drayton Lakes

This large RSPB nature reserve near St Ives has some nice walking trails and a cycle path running through it. The reserve consists of a series of lakes, ponds and lagoons with the River Great Ouse running through the northern section. There’s lots of well laid out trails taking you around and between the lakes with National Cycle Route 51 running through the central section along the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway.

The reserve is a haven for water loving wildlife with huge numbers of ducks, swans, and geese on the lakes in winter.  Also look out for terns, hobbies, lapwings, coots, and a variety of dragonflies.

Houghton Mill

Explore the delightful water meadows at Houghton Mill on this walk in Huntingdon.

It’s a lovely area with views of the River Great Ouse, pretty streams, weirs, and beautiful countryside.

The walk starts from the National Trust car park at Houghton Mill.  The working 18th-century watermill is set in an idyllic location on an island in the Great Ouse River.

Follow the footpaths south along the water towards Battcock’s Island and Hemingford Grey. Here you have the option of visiting Hemingford Grey Manor which dates from the 12th century. The interesting house and gardens are open to visitors.

The route then turns north to pass along another stream before picking up the riverside path to return to the mill.

You can extend the walk by heading east along the Ouse Valley Way towards St Ives. This section of the path visits ‘The Thicket Path’ where you will pass along an attractive avenue of trees.

The site is located just a couple of miles east of Huntingdon and Godmanchester. You can easily follow the Ouse Valley way to the mill as an alternative start point. It will take you past Hemmingford Abbots and Hemingford Meadow with great views of the Ouse Valley plain.

Hinchingbrooke Country Park

Explore 170 acres of open grasslands, meadows, woodlands and lakes in this fine country park in Huntingdon. There are a number of pleasant woodland and lakeside paths to enjoy. The Ouse Valley Way long distance trail runs past the park so it’s easy to extend your walking in the area. You could follow the path east through Godmanchester and visit the delightful Houghton Mill. The working 18th-century watermill is set in an idyllic location on an island in the river.

Wicken Fen

Enjoy a walk or cycle through the beautiful Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire. National Cycle Route 11 runs right through Wicken Fen and there are some peaceful country lanes around the reserve.

The route below starts at the pretty village of Wicken before passing through the reserve and into the surrounding countryside. You follow quiet lanes to Upware, located on the River Cam, before returning to Wicken Village.

In the reserve you will find flowering meadows, reedbeds and waterways where you can see a variety of wildlife such as hen harriers, water voles and bitterns. In the Baker’s Fen area, you can also see konik ponies, highland cattle, lapwings and barn owls. If you’re on foot you can follow the Boardwalk Trail or the longer Nature Trail while stopping off at one of the many bird hides. In the summer months you can also enjoy a 50-minute boat trip along the waterways of Wicken Fen.

Wimpole Hall

This 17th century country house near Cambridge is surrounded by 3,000 acres of parkland and farmland.

There are miles of walking paths taking you to the walled garden with glasshouse and vegetable plots, the glorious parterre with 12,000 plants and the delightful pleasure gardens. There’s also the opportunity for a quiet woodland stroll through Cobbs Wood where you can look out for eight species of woodland bat.

The site includes Home Farm with its donkeys, shire horses and rare breed livestock. It’s great for families as children can groom the donkeys and have a drive on a mini tractor. There are also 18th century farm buildings including cart sheds, stables, cattle yards, and deer pens.

You can also explore the house with its grand rooms and collections of furniture, porcelain, and paintings.

Wandlebury Country Park

This walk takes you around the delightful Wandlebury Country Park in Cambridge. The park is part of the Gog Magog Hills, a ridge of low chalk hills extending for several miles to the southeast of Cambridge.

The park includes Wandlebury Hill where an Iron Age Hill Fort once stood. You can climb to the top for fine views over the Cambridgeshire countryside. Wandlebury is also a Nature Reserve and is perfect for bird watching. Other features include a picturesque beech avenue, highland cattle and beautiful wildflower meadows in the summer months.

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Did you know?

In 1958, a group of engineering students managed to hoist an Austin Seven car onto the roof of Senate House, with the help of some clever calculations. It took the university a week to remove it – and will surely go down in history as one of the boldest student pranks ever!