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The Outdoors

Just 30 minutes from Cambridge on the Guided Bus is the beautiful town of St Ives. Accessible by car off the M11, A14 or A1 and nestling on the Great Ouse River, St Ives is an ideal centre from which to visit the enchanting Ouse Valley, the Ouse Washes and Cambridge.

Find out more at www.theoldriverportstives.co.uk. Here are some suggestions for a day visit.


A walk through olde England
When you have refreshed yourself in one of the many charming teashops and cafés in the town make your way to the Parish Church at the end of The Broadway beyond the moorings at The Waits. Through the churchyard you will find the white footbridge bridge that connects you to the old osier beds, now the award-winning nature reserve of Holt Island. Teaming with birds and wildlife it is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the riverside setting.

If however you are feeling more energetic you can enjoy a wonderful walk west along the Ouse Valley Way to the village of Houghton. Or you can complete the 5.5-mile circular walk returning to St Ives via Hemingford Abbots, Hemingford Grey and the unique Hemingford Meadow. It is a simple and easy going, mostly following the course of the River Great Ouse, with picturesque villages of thatched cottages and olde worlde charm. There's plenty of places for refreshment en-route, including the iconic water mill at Houghton, now owned by the National Trust and open to the public as a working mill on Sundays between mid-March and the end of October.


Discover the new wetlands
After lunch in one of the many pubs or tea rooms along the way or in St Ives, you can explore the Ouse Valley to the East and the area of wetlands being created. This area is very different from the Ouse Valley Way and links into the Ouse Washes that run through the flat fens to Denver Sluice, and beyond to the Wash. Years of sand and gravel extraction in this area has allowed the creation of lakes and is creating Ouse Fen, the largest wetland area in the country with its associated wildlife. Fen Drayton Lakes, another RSPB reserve, is two miles away and easily reached by foot, cycle or bus along the Guided Busway. This complex of lakes and traditional riverside meadows next to the River Great Ouse is a fantastic place to explore and watch birds with huge numbers of ducks, swans and geese on the lakes in winter. In summer, terns, hobbies and a variety of dragonflies are regularly seen. Otters also live here.


Good nightlife
St Ives is also well-known for its nightlife with many fine restaurants and pubs and often with live music. If you are staying in or near the town you will probably find that there is something to do most nights. Details of what is happening can be found at www.theoldriverportstives.co.uk

Follow the St Ives or  the History and Heritage links for more great days out in St Ives. To help you locate these and other sites pick up the town Complimentary Guide leaflet and map from the Town Hall or Corn Exchange or download it from www.theoldriverportstives.co.uk

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