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CANTAB04 December 2000

CANTAB04 December 2000 published on


This is a privately produced news-sheet for our rambling friends. The last two issues have appeared with a two-month gap, but we can’t guarantee regular production dates! Reception of the first three issues has seemed favourable, so “on with the motley”.  We aim to give away copies, but if you would like to have regular issues, a donation of 10p per copy would cover our costs!

Janet & Roger Moreton
(01223 356889)

Parish of the Month – Soham
On 29 September, we were invited by the Town Council to attend the official opening of Soham Millennium Walks.  These are a set of three walks, of length 1¾, 3½ and 7 miles, all starting from St. Andrews Church.  The colour-coded routes are amply signposted and waymarked, and new seats & picnic tables have been provided around the circuits.  The opening ceremony, attended by about 70 people, was preceeded by popular led walks on all three routes.  A permanent information board with a map giving details of the routes has been erected in the free town car-park near the church, and free leaflets are available.  These walks have been made possible by the work of the Soham Footpaths Preservation Society (Chairman Chris Turnbull) in recent years, in installing bridges, stiles and waymarks on many of their footpaths, bridleways and byways.  Soham parish is enormous, and has well over 100 paths, and an  interesting history.  Soham has more common land than any other town in the county.  Do visit it, and enjoy the Millennium walks!


More Watery Ways…

The Hereward Way
Continuing our theme of “Watery Ways”, The Hereward Way is a route following a number of Cambridgeshire’s watercourses, running across the fens from Oakham to Knettishall Heath, and passing through  Stamford, Wansford, Peterborough, Whittlesea, March, Christchurch, Welney, Little Downham to Ely.  From Ely it runs via Prickwillow to enter Thetford Forest near Lakenheath, and continue to Brandon.  The earliest version of the route finished at the railway station at Harling Road, but the route now meets the confluence of many paths in Knettishall Heath Country Park, Suffolk.  Thus the path keeps company in turn with Rutland Water and The River Welland, and follows The River Nene for many miles, from Wansford, through Peterborough to the “Dog in a Doublet” pub near Whittlesea.  Here the route turns south, then east again to introduce itself briefly to the Briggate River, and the Twenty Foot River near Turves.  The route returns to the bank of its old friend, the River Nene, to pass through March, but lights out across the fens to come to the delightful village of Christchurch.  Near Tipp’s End, there are no rights of way beside Old Croft River, so the route continues uncomfortably on the B1100.  At Welney, it crosses the Ouse Washes (floods permitting – this is not the part of the route to do after persistent rain!), and takes further fen paths to sedate Little Downham.  From here, it is briefly co-incident with The Bishops Way*  and continues on good paths into Ely.  A brief flirtation with the banks of the Rivers Great Ouse and The Lark lead to the most uncomfortable section of the route, along the A1101 towards Shippea Hill Station (past haunts of Golden Oriole in tall poplars).  The path tiptoes through the tall grasses fringing the River Little Ouse towards Lakenheath station, and follows adjacent trackways into Brandon.  Good forest paths take the route to Croxton, and on to Harling Road Station, or, better, (if there is transport available) to Knettishall Heath.  The whole route is 178 miles to Harling Road.  Significant parts are common with The Nene Way.

Four of us, (Norman & Betty Jenkins, and ourselves) followed the route in sections of about 12 miles between February and August 1995.  Highlights were birdwatching near Rutland Water early in the year, and finding  the churchyard at Easton on the Hill, Northants, awash with snowdrops.  We have photographs of a clear blue sky above the frost-fringed River Welland in late February, but Spring-like scenes of new lambs in the fields near Castor windmill a few weeks later, in March.  The Nene Valley Park, approaching Peterborough has some strange but interesting modern sculptures.  We courted wet feet on a fine April day, as the path skirted the swollen Washes at Whittlesea, and came in fine style into March one warm day at the end of the month.  The Jubilee monument in the middle of a road junction was freshly painted, and a good photographic subject on the traffic free Sunday!  The angel roof at St. Wendreda’s Church justified a detour, and the next Sunday found us taking afternoon tea-break in the churchyard at Christchurch. The flood-relief scheme on the Old Bedford River was in full swing as we crossed the Welney causeway, in company with a herd of cows & a quiet bull.  While in Ely, we revisited the tourist office in Oliver Cromwell’s house, not missing an opportunity to acquire any leaflets on new walks in the locality…It was June before we were tramping the Suffolk sections of the walk, and completed the final section to Knettishall one hot day in August.

We used a copy of the first edition of the Hereward Way guidebook by Trevor Noyes (now of Cherry Plum Cottage, Compton Dundon, Somerton, Somerset, TA11 6NZ). A new edition is planned for 2001, but an interim copy may be obtained for £2 from the author as above.  However, there is also a leaflet published by Cambridgeshire County Council (A2 folded sheet, route map and points of interest, 40p).

* The Bishops Way is a well-waymarked recreational walk of 8 miles circumnavigating Ely, and for which Cambridgeshire County Council has produced a leaflet (40p).,

Summary – Other Watery Ways
Mentioned in previous issues were:
The Fen Rivers Way – see you on the walks starting on 6 January 2001….ring 01223 356889 for details.

The Nene Way – Cantab Rambler, Sept.2000

The Iceni Way, The Nar Valley Way, and The Angles Way – Cantab Rambler, July 2000

Kingfisher Way – Cantab Rambler Nov. 1999

Coming soon – The Ouse Valley Way – a current assessment.

The Quotation
“Yet all experience is an arch where through
Gleams that untravelled world whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!”

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulysses

Local Literature for Christmas
Ten Walks around Balsham by Janet Herridge
This attractively illustrated little book, available at £1 from the author, has concise route descriptions, and clear maps for circular walks of between 1 and 8 miles length, all of which start from the well-shelter in Balsham.  Highly recommended.
From Mrs.J.E.Herridge, 7 Woodhall Lane, Balsham, Cambs. CB1 6DT, tel. 893947.

An Atlas of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire History
Eds. Tony Kirby & Susan Oosthuizen, Publ. 2000 by APU  (Anglia Polytechnic University) A4 paperback, 192pp. £20.  ISBN 0-907262-9-8
(in bookshops in Cambridge)

This comprehensive guide to archaeological sites of the present county of Cambridgeshire is priced at the other end of the scale for your Christmas present list!  However, for those with an even moderate interest in the antiquarian and local history of the passing scene, this is a very useful handbook.  Lavishly illustrated with distribution maps, a copy of this will alert you to what to look for on the next day’s walk. Starting with chapters on geology, relief and landforms, the text moves on to the development of fenland in prehistoric times, and discusses sites occupied in the Stone Age periods.  By The Bronze & Iron Ages, the maps illustrate very numerous sites and finds. Of particular interest to walkers is a map showing prehistoric trackways. For Roman times, it is possible to produce  “street plans” of  Cambridge and Godmanchester, and show the distribution of industrial sites (potteries, salt production etc), rural settlements, and roads & canals in the County. Anglo-Saxon settlements, placenames, monasteries, and the Dykes are covered comprehensively.  After a brief reference to the influence of The Danes,  chapters move into the era of greater written records, detailing medieval churches, castles, moats and Lodes, and later, the Domesday survey.  Vernacular buildings down the centuries are covered, now often to be identified on site by actual houses, rather than the “humps in the ground” of earlier periods.  Former forests, parks and gardens, markets and fairs, transport, education, commodity distribution and changes in arable land & commons down the centuries are chronicled.  The stages of draining the fens are shown clearly, as is the effect of the Civil War on Cambridgeshire.  Later chapters discuss effects of religious dissent, rural unrest and the Enclosure Awards. Victorian industry, the railways, the Poor Law lead into the modern period.  The effects of the World Wars, airfields, roads, local government and Town and Country bring us up to the present day.

This is primarily a work of reference, but once picked up, is difficult to put aside.  The next time a walk is put off by a wet day, I shall curl up with this record of the centuries.

Suffolk Signpost
This is the title of a free newspaper for outdoor people produced quarterly by Suffolk County Council, in partnership with The Countryside Agency.  It is available on counters in information centres, and especially at Country Parks, e.g. Knettishall and Clare.  The Summer 2000 issue had articles on walking for health, a review of the parish Paths Partnership Scheme in Suffolk, and a cycle network launch.  Most useful to walkers, however, are the several articles on promoted walks and rides.  This issue showed a circular walk at Ashfield-cum-Thorpe; Stanton Rides (NE of Bury St. Edmunds);and the new Occold circular walk.  Other issues have shown the effect of diversion packages – information difficult to obtain elsewhere.

We have seen a similar free paper, “Ways through Essex“, although this seems less generally available.  It is a pity that Cambridgeshire County Council does not produce a similar publication – JM

How to Complain!
This is not an item on how to deal with your local tradesman, but how best to complain about path problems.

Who should I write to?
You are always welcome to pass South Cambridgeshire problems to us, and we will try to do something about them.

Alternatively, you may feel that you prefer to write directly to the County Council, but if so we would appreciate a copy for our records. Problems in Cambridgeshire (other than in Cambridge City, or in the envelope of the new Peterborough Unitary Authority) should be addressed to Cambridgeshire County Council, which as Highway Authority, has ultimate authority for path problems.

You can write to: Ms C.M.Day, Countryside Services Team Leader, Environment Division, Cambridgeshire County Council, Box ET 1009, Shire Hall,Cambridge, CB3 0AP.

If the parish is taking part in the “Parish Path Partnership” Scheme, then you can copy a letter to the Clerk or path organiser, but do please also inform the RA.  Parish priorities are not always identical to those of walkers at large.

What should I say?
Report the problem you encountered in your own words, but remember that the clerical assistant in the Rural Team’s office, will fill in your query in a form on a computer, so make it easy to identify & classify your problem.
-Note the date you encountered the problem
-Names of those present (or number of party)
-Civil parish (e.g. Shingay cum Wendy)
-Type of path – footpath, bridleway, byway
-Map you were using (& guidebook, if any)
-Definitive path number, if known
-Grid refs of start & end of path
-Grid ref(s) of places problem(s) found

Type of problem.  Describe this in your own words, but bear in mind that it will be classified under the following headings –
1. Bridge (needed)
2. Bridge (repair needed)
3. Stile (repair or replace)
4. Gate, or kissing gate (repair or replace)
5. Fence/hedge/gate across path
6. New signpost needed
7. Signpost repair needed
8. Waymarking needed
9. Field edge ploughed/cropped
10.Cross-field ploughed/cropped
11.Overhanging vegetation (not crop)
12.Surface vegetation (not crop)
13.Obstruction (building)
14.Obstruction (miscellaneous)
15.Erosion (waterside)
16 Surface (not ploughing/cropping)
17.Bulls & other hazardous animals
18.Travellers encampment
20.Ploughing/cropping where detail unknown
21.Misleading notice
22.Definitive route query
23.Fly tipping/rubbish dumping

In addition, if there is any hazard present, the word “Safety” should appear prominently.

The above categories are those used by CCC and by ourselves, when we send problems from our computer to their computer.  You will be glad to know that a letter always accompanies the disc, addressed to a real person, and with a description of the problem.  In the recent Millennium Survey, we found problems in every one of these categories, but we found that problems with landowners on site had to go down under “miscellaneous”!

Finally, please follow up the problem, if possible.  If you plan to lead a walk, using the problem path, do say so.  If you use the path frequently, or would do so were it to be in better order, then do emphasise this.  If you met other people having the same difficulties, then include this in your report.

If you have problems in other counties, e.g. on holiday, then do send them to the appropriate County Council, with a copy to the local RA Area Footpath Secretary. Very often, the voice of a tourist spending money in an area may have a very influential effect on a council.

Finally, remember that although the path network is improving, none of us can afford to relax.  Without constant vigilance, backsliding is all too common!

©Janet Moreton, 2000

CANTAB03 September 2000

CANTAB03 September 2000 published on


This is a privately produced news-sheet for our rambling friends, with an emphasis on the walking scene in Cambridgeshire.  We aim to give away copies, but if you would like to have regular issues, a donation of 10p per copy would cover our costs!

Janet & Roger Moreton
(01223 356889)


JAN – MARCH 2001
The Cambs. RA programme for Winter 2001 will include six Saturday walks along the Fen Rivers Way between Cambridge and Kings Lynn, accessed by train.  We shall be leading these, so please join us!

All attendees on the last walk will receive certificates!
New 2nd. ed. of guidebook available, & see FRW website

Saturday 6 Jan. 2001
JANET’S 10th Christmas Bun Walk combined with FRW 1st section – CAMBRIDGE TO WATERBEACH
Meet at Cambridge Station 10 am. for walk to Waterbeach.  ca, 10 miles. Return by train from Waterbeach Station. Leader Janet  Tel. 01223-356889

Saturday 3 Feb. 2001
FRW 2nd section – WATERBEACH to ELY
Meet at Cambridge Station for 9.32 train to Waterbeach, or meet Waterbeach Sta. 9.38 am.  Return from Ely. ca. 12 miles. Leader Roger  Tel 01223 35688 Check train times with leader.

Saturday 10 Feb. 2001
FRW 3rd SECTION – Meet Cambridge Station for 9.32 train to Ely, or meet Ely Sta 9.47 am. Return from Littleport Sta.  6 or 10 miles.  (The walk will include an optional 4 mile afternoon circuit from Littleport)  Leader  Janet Tel 01223 356889.  Check train times with leader.

Saturday 17 Feb. 2001
FRW 4th SECTION –  Meet Cambridge Station for 9.32 train to Littleport, or meet Littleport Sta 9.54 am.  Return from Downham Market Station.  Leader Roger  Tel 01223 356889  13 miles (or you can do less -see below). Note: It may be possible to arrange “car assistance” along this stretch, for anyone finding this just too far…essential to arrange in advance. Check train times with leader.

Saturday 24 Feb. 2001
FRW 5th SECTION – Meet Cambridge Station for 9.32 train to Downham Market, or meet Downham Mkt Sta 10.03 am. Return from Watlington Station Station. Leader  Janet Tel 01223 356889  8.5 miles  Check train times with leader.

Saturday 3 March. 2001
FRW 6th SECTION – Meet Cambridge Station for 9.32 train to Watlington, or meet Watlington Sta 10.09am.  Return from Kings Lynn Station.  Celebration!  Leader Roger  Tel 01223 356889  9 miles (14km) inc. historic centre. Check train times with leader

We hope to have join us members of the Fen Rivers Way Association, and have also invited members of the Kings Lynn Group of the Ramblers Association.

Trip to Kilnhill, Bassenthwaite,
9 -14 May 2001.
We have now led parties of around 12 to 16 people to the Lake District in May for 3 years running.  These trips have proved very popular, and we have been asked to repeat the venture again in 2001.  This year, there will be 5 full walking days, extending over a weekend.

As on previous holidays, we shall aim to do about 9 – 12 miles a day, with a mountain climb if the weather makes this possible.  As previously, we will not have recced the routes, but we do have a good range of maps and guidebooks, and we have visited the Lake District many times in the last 40 years.  We do not deliberately aim for screes, or places with high exposure.  Having said that, some folks have been slightly disconcerted to be using path-less routes occasionally in areas of open access, & by certain steep slopes.  The Lake District is just like that!  We will not do the same walks as previous years, but those who have come on all the holidays may find they are occasionally crossing the tracks of previous routes.

We will use OS Outdoor leisure Series NE & NW Cumbria (yellow covers).  You might also like to have OS Landranger Sheet 98, West Cumbria., showing the guest house Grid Ref. 214 326 at the N end of bassenthwaite Lake.  A metal walking pole (or two?) is highly recommended, and waterproof overtrousers are essential.

Kiln Hill Barn, Bassenthwaite is a good centre for the Northern Lakes.  In the house there are 5 double or twin rooms, and 2 singles.  In the annex there is one double and 1 twin.  Rates at 2000 were ca. £32 per night bb/em.  The very pleasant site overlooks fields down to the lake, and behind looms the bulk of the Skiddaw massif.  Mr. & Mrs Armstrong run a small farm, with free-range chicken, sheep and calves.  Parking is in a clean, cobbled yard.  The accommodation is good quality, with some rooms en-suite, all with central heating, and tea-making facilities.There is a hall pay-phone & TV lounge.  The dining room is in the upper floor of the very fine barn… and the food is varied and very good.

For evenings, there are attractive local walks from the house.  Paths on Mr. Armstrong’s land are well-maintained & waymarked.

Transport – By car, using M6 to Penrith, then A66 Keswick bypass and A591 to Kiln Hill Barn.  It is possible to arrive by public transport.

Interested?  Then please make your own booking: Ken & Heather Armstrong, Kiln Hill Barn, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4RG.
Tel. 017687 76454

And please let us know you have done so!

Janet & Roger Moreton

Quotation – William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Composed 1804 at Dove Cottage;
Published 1807

Saga – Yorkshire Wolds
Bishop Burton College, near Beverley, 8 August 2001
The company, SAGA, which specialises in holidays and services for the 50-plus age group, runs holidays in University College accommodation during the Summer.  We have used two such centres, at Writtle near Chelmsford, and at Bicton in Devon.  Both were excellent, with comfortable accommodation and good food.

In August 2001, we plan to go to Bishop Burton College, near Beverley, to spend a week rambling in the Yorkshire Wolds.  We have walked in the area about 15 years ago, and know there is pleasant walking in undulating hilly country.  We invite our friends to make their own booking with SAGA, and join us for some pleasant 10 – 12 mile walks.

SAGA also lays on daily coach tours, which are popular with the majority of their guests, (but not compulsory!)  These cost around an extra £12 – £16 per day, and could be an alternative option for an inclement day, or for a non-walking partner.  Two tours, to Castle Howard, and to Burton Constable Hall, are included in the price.

We advise you to use SAGA’s Freefone 0800 300 456 to order their Great British Holiday Brochure, and make your own booking.  Please liaise with us, so we know how many people are coming….  The Beverley and the Yorkshire Wolds Holiday costs £219. for bb/em.  We have been told the food is very good!  There is no supplement for single rooms, but there is a supplement for en-suite facilities…

And, if you are not yet 50, we hope to research b/b accommodation in the vicinity for anyone else who would like to join the walks…

Local Literature
Series of books, “100 Walks in”
Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire-compiled by Katherine Appleton & Bob & Celia Wallace. 1998.
Essex-compiled by Anita Totham. 1995.
-compiled by Robert H Stoner. 1996.

This is part of a series published by Crowood Press, covering most of the counties of England.  Each book has just what it says…100 walks, each with a minimal sketch map, and a route description.  Many walks tend to be on the short side for active ramblers, being in the range 3 – 10 miles, with a majority at ca. 5 miles. It would, in general, not be possible to combine 2 walks to give a longer circuit, as the routes tend to be distributed all over the county. The descriptions also give required maps, and are strong on historical notes and points of interest.  Pubs and parking places are suggested.

We have test-walked some of the routes in each of these, and in general would not fault the descriptions. We find it a little puzzling, though, that the authors, (or perhaps the publishers) could not conceive 100 walks in each of Cambs. and Beds., without having to find only 100 walks between them! Still in print, the standard price is £8.99, and thus not expensive if one plans to explore every walk.

More Watery Ways…
July’s issue described The Nar Valley Way, The Iceni Way and The Angles Way.  This month it is the turn of The Nene Way.

A pack of leaflets is available from Northamptonshire County Council (at 9, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP) describing the 70 mile section from Badby to Wansford. Cambs. County Council (Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge, CB3 0AP) has issued a single leaflet, with maps and notes on the 30 mile section from Wansford to Long Sutton, and The Wash at Guy’s Head.  We used also Landranger Maps 131, 141, 142, 143, 152 and 153, although now one would prefer the new Explorer series.

Four of us walked the Nene Way (pronounced “Nen” in Northants!) in sections between May & December 1993.  We started by staying for a weekend at Babdy in Northants, quite the prettiest part of the route. Here, we have a photograph of Roger spanning the infant river, with one foot on each bank!  Doing 12 mile days, and the two-car trick, we progressed through Upper Wheedon, and taking in part of  The Grand Union Canal, and on to Flore and Kislingbury.  It was interesting to walk through industrial Northampton along the river bank, and on to Cogenhoe.  The worst part of this section was having to cross the (then) A45 road, without bridge, underpass, or lights.  Elsewhere on the route, it was written into the guide to cross several very busy roads, probably the main defect of the route. Subsequently, using two cars, and in single days out, we passed through Earls Barton and Wellingborough. Earls Barton is famous for a magnificent church, with a huge Saxon tower. Spring turned to Summer.  In July, we found time to walk a 14 mile stretch from Irchester, via little Addington to Woodford.  Irchester Country park has a narrow gauge railway museum, and we enjoyed watching steam-up on an old, well-polished locomotive on the private tracks.  The diary records showers on the next occasion, taking us 12 miles to Barnwell.  En route, we particularly enjoyed the quiet section through Titmarsh nature reserve.  By now the River Nene was a very substantial watercourse, sometimes split into more than one channel.  In late August, walking Barnwell to Nassington, we made a highly recommended detour into Oundle.  The section from Nassington to Ferry Meadows, Peterborough, starts to have paths in common with the Hereward Way, and in places dual waymarking. In September, the four of us spent a week on the Isle of Wight, and not until 3 October did we tread the route onwards past Dog-in-a-Doublet to Whittlesea, using a convenient train for this section.  A dour day at the end of October, we made it along the south bank of Moreton’s Leam to Ring’s End and Guyhirn and Cold Harbour Corner.  Here the physical high-point of the route was the trig point on the bank at Moreton’s Leam. A bitter November day took us 9 miles from Cold Harbour through Wisbech to Foul Anchor, enjoying the bleak atmosphere of the low lands, and the dignity of Peckover House and the buildings fronting Wisbech’s North Brink. Had we timed it better, we could have toured the brewery here! On 11 December, there is a photo in the album of 3 bundled figures by the footpath sign in a strong wind bearing flakes of snow at Guy’s Head, having made it past the unsmiling Security Officers along the right of way through Sutton Port.  We had walked a total distance of 125 miles with detours, on this very worthwhile route.

Cantab Rambler by E-Mail & Post
Cantab usually appears every two months. A large number of you now receive Cantab by e-mail. By hand, 10p is appreciated towards the cost of paper and ink. If you would like to receive an issue by post, please send a large SAE, and a stamp.

Offers of brief articles will be gratefully received.

This is a privately produced magazine, and the views expressed are solely those of the editor, or of the author of an individual item.  Janet Moreton 01223 356889


© Janet Moreton, 2000

CANTAB02 July 2000

CANTAB02 July 2000 published on


This is a privately produced news-sheet for our rambling friends, with an emphasis on the walking scene in Cambridgeshire.  We aim to give away copies, but if you would like to have regular issues, a donation of 10p per copy would cover our costs!
Janet & Roger Moreton
(01223 356889)

In Little Wilbraham parish, down at Six Mile Bottom, Footpath 10 has now been officially diverted to run from the Social Club Car Park, alongside the railway (rather than taking a diagonal route across the field).  The latter route had been impossible for some time, being obstructed by a 6 foot high chain-link fence.  The route between the fence and the railway hedge/fence should be two metres (2m) wide, so we hope it will now be better maintained.

On the 11 July, the 2-volume, 1000pp survey of the paths in South Cambs. was presented to Councellor Shona Johnstone, chairman of the Environment & Transport Committee. The survey, which is intended as an archival description of the path network  in 1998 – 2000, had been made by 30 volunteers from Cambridge Group.

The ceremony took place on the steps of Shire Hall, and was attended by about 20 ramblers, several County Council staff, inc. Brian Smith, head of Environment & Transport, Kate Day, leader of the Access Team (the recipient of all our complaints letters!), and Karen Champion (who checks out on the ground  the complaints in South Cambs. District).  Janet Davis came from RA London Office to lend support.

In introducing the report, Roger emphasised the improvements which had taken place in the local path network since the last full survey in 1982/3.  Presently, about 85% of South Cambs. paths are in reasonable condition in the Summer.  This falls to 75% in Winter, when farmers fail to reinstate cross-field paths.  Other problems relate to overgrown or cultivated field-edge paths; damaged stiles or gates; missing or damaged signposts; misleading notices; difficult animals ; buildings and other obstructions; erosion; electric fences; and definitive map problems.  Despite improvements over the last 10 years, we remain only too aware that without continued vigilance, the paths could easily deteriorate.  The continuing inadequate County Council budget for path work also got a mention.

Grateful thanks are offered to all those who helped with the survey, and who turned out for the presentation, which was organised for the RA by John Ratcliff.



Presenting the Millennium Survey to Councillor Shona Johnstone, on behalf of RA Cambridge Group, 11 July 2000.

Copies of the survey will be available for public inspection in the Archives Dept. at Shire Hall, and in Lion Yard Library.  Copies have also been purchased by South Cambs. D.C. , The National Trust,  The Cambridge Preservation Society, and by 3 Cambridge Colleges and two individuals.

N.B. A few copies are available for sale at cost (£40 each!).

Roger & Janet Moreton


Availability of Explorer Series Locally
The whole of East Anglia is now covered by the new OS Explorer (1:25 000 series), price £5.25. You will know that Heffers Map Shop in Sidney Street  moved to the main Trinity Street shop in late Autumn, 1999. The space for maps & walking books is, sadly, much reduced.  Heffers have been taken over by Blackwells, the Oxford Bookshop.

Watery Walks Circuits
Lovers of Fenland waterways may appreciate suggestions for further circular walks when they have completed the Fen Rivers Way with Roger & Janet (six walks on the RA programme Jan-Mar 2001).

Other riverside circuits can be found in “Walks in East Cambridgeshire” published by the RA Cambridge Group, available at £4.50 from B. Hawes, 52 Maids Causeway, Cambridge CB5 8DD (cheques payable to the Ramblers’ Assoc. Cambridge Group, please), or from the Tourist Office and some bookshops in Cambridge. Of the 30 walks, 14 have a riverside section!

More LDPs follow East Anglian Waterways
The Iceni Way, The Nar Valley Way, and The Angles Way all have the theme of East Anglian Watercourses, and are reviewed here.  The more northerly Hereward Way and Nene Way, and the Stour Valley Walk following the Essex Stour will be discussed in future issues.

The Ramblers Association has produced a guide to the 80 mile long “Iceni Way”, running from Knettishall Heath to the coast at Heacham, and following sections of the Little Ouse & Great Ouse.  This useful and attractive guidebook, containing accommodation list, and historical and nature notes, as well as helpful route notes and sketch maps, is obtainable from Ms S.Smith, Caldcleugh, Cake Street, Old Buckenham, Attleborough, NR17 1RU, £2.10 plus p/p.  This is the most recently compiled of the “watery routes”, and comments from those who have completed the path would be welcomed.

In November 1999, three members of the RA Cambridge Group followed the Nar Valley Way from Kings Lynn to its terminus near Gressinghall.  This was probably later in the year than we had ever previously taken a walking holiday!  But in spite of cold, intermittent strong winds, rain, and even a few flakes of snow, we much enjoyed this 34 mile walk over 3 days of limited daylight.  The waymarked route starts on the historic waterfront at Kings Lynn, and follows the River Nar to Setchey Bridge, before taking a pleasant detour through Shouldham Warren.  It passes the splendid gatehouse at Pentney Abbey (where the adjacent farm incorporates remains of an Augustinian priory), and a few miles upstream it encounters the remains of an old bone mill. This stretch of river is very lovely.  At Narborough, we stayed overnight in a guesthouse with a roaring fire and a warm welcome.  Both West Acre and Castle Acre are places to linger, with remains of two more priories, a castle, and attractive cottages, pubs and places to stay.  We passed both East & West Lexham’s ancient churches with round towers. The church of St. Andrew, East Lexham is reputed to have the oldest round tower in Britain, dated c. 900A.D.  The church is on a slight mound in a circular yard, surrounded by a ditch, suggesting a site for pagan worship converted to Christian activities in the C7th.  In the dim light of a November day we sought to people this quiet place with some of these early East Anglians.  Following the river to Litcham, we first photographed the amusing village sign, showing the red-coated figure of the master tanner, before seeking shelter from an icy shower in Litcham All Saints Church.  The next section of the route, which included a section of long straight road, and then some slightly difficult-to-find paths, was the least satisfactory of the walk, but, coming to Mileham, we enjoyed viewing the earthworks of the castle, dating from Norman times.  Our last view of the River Nar was by Wyken House, where a wooden footbridge spans the tiny stream.  The source is inaccessible, about half-a-mile away.  Beyond, we pressed on in the declining daylight to pause at the tiny C12th church (sadly, locked) of St Peter & St Paul, Bittering Parva, opposite the site of an abandoned medieval village.  The main route finishes at Gressinghall (where there is a Union House museum), but it is possible to extend the walk into East Dereham.

Norfolk County Council produces a free leaflet, “The Nar Valley Way“, but we also found a guidebook, “An Introduction to The Nar Valley Way” by Carol Andrews & Dennis Dear (Pathway Publishing, Kings Lynn, 1995) helpful & informative.

Janet & Roger Moreton,
Norman Jenkins.

The Angles Way
This 80 mile LDP runs from the Norfolk Broads at Great Yarmouth to the Suffolk Brecks at Knettishall, following the Waveney Valley.  It is another fairly “watery walk”, following first the shore of Breydon Water, then Oulton Broad and the rivers Waveney and Little Ouse.  However, the later parts of the route necessarily follow mostly farmland paths, and through woods and commons.  Lopham & Redgrave Fen ( source of both the Waveney and the Little Ouse rivers, home of the great raft spider, and many species of lovely wildflowers) is a highlight of the route, but take insect repellant!  Enthusiasts will appreciate the traction engine museum at Bressingham.  At Knettishall Heath  we reach the junction with the Peddars Way, Icknield Way, Iceni Way, and Hereward Way, allowing the keen walker to keep on going…

Four members of RA Cambridge Group walked the Angles Way in Spring 1995 using 2 cars.  The path was well-waymarked, and there were no serious problems, although overgrowth is known to be a difficulty on some sections later in the year.

A guidebook to the Angles Way is available from Ms S.Smith, Caldcleugh, Cake Street, Old Buckenham, Attleborough, Norfolk, NR17 1RU at £2.15 including p/p (cheques payable to the Ramblers’ Association, Norfolk Area).

Janet Moreton

Did you see . . . ?
Did you see the brief paragraph in “Rambler” (Summer, 2000, page 11) on the achievement of Janet Pake of Willingham, in walking ALL the 1376 public paths in South Cambs, in time for the Millennium?  A longer congratulatory piece was contributed, noting that Janet was bitten by a dog in course of her explorations, and describing her wading through Bourn Brook in Toft, on bridleway 8, where there is no bridge.  These more colourful details, and the photo of Janet waving an OS map, never saw the light of day.  However, we send our congratulations to Janet on her achievement, and also thanks for all her input into the Millennium Survey. Another rambler, Judy Stoneley, also put in many days investigating with us the more difficult paths of South Cambs, and to Judy too, we owe a great debt.

Local Literature

Dry Drayton
Villagers have researched a book, “Gallows Piece to Bee Garden” looking at the origins of Dry Drayton from ca. 1000 years ago, and following its history through to modern times. The book (£9.95) is edited by Rosemary Gardiner, and a parish map, also available at £3.95, was drawn by Michael Bienias. Copies may be obtained from Heffers bookshop in Cambridge, and from Tescos, Bar Hill.  OR ring:  01954-781036;

We have received from Janet Herridge, 7 Woodhall Lane, Balsham, Cambs, CB1 6DT a copy of her very attractive guide to short local walks around Balsham, with charming illustrations. The guidebook is good value at £1. For further info, tel:  01223-893947,

Swavesey PC have produced an illustrated  walks leaflet, available at 50 pence from village shops. It provides local information, and gives suggested circuits & nature notes.

The Quotation . . .
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began,
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow if I can,
Persuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet,
And whither then?  I cannot say.


Village of the Month -Castle Camps
– Pathfinder Sheet 1028 (Haverhill & Clare); Explorer Sheets 209 & 210.

The village sign stands at the crossroads near the war memorial, TL 633 432.  It shows a castle built by Aubrey de Vere in the 11th century.  Cross the road, and take a signed footpath across the fields towards the church, approaching the churchyard past an area of moats.  There is a display board near the church giving the history of the village.

Further circuits of various lengths are possible on a very dense path network, in gently rolling countryside on the border with Essex.  This is a very active “P3” (parish paths partnership) parish, with 56 paths well maintained by two devoted workers, Jack Rixon & Alan Hardy.

©2000 R.B.& J.Moreton