Skip to content

Document Header

Content Header

CANTAB65 December 2011

CANTAB65 December 2011 published on

** Please note that this is an archive of the CANTAB publication and contains out-of-date information **


Good wishes from the Editor for Christmas and the New Year
This winter, may you never be benighted, lose a boot in the mud, or find that your waterproofs have started to leak! May all your (footpath) problems be little ones, but be sure to report them!Janet Moreton

Quotation of the Month “Sprouting up like cockles among the wheat” Ethelred the Unready describing the Danes.(With thanks to Lisa Woodburn)

Parish of the Month – Bedford
OS Explorer Sheet 208
The X5 bus runs from Parkers Piece in Cambridge to Oxford, free for holders of senior bus passes. Forget the well-advertised delights of Christmas shopping in Milton Keynes, but instead catch this half-hourly service as far as Bedford.

A previous ‘Cantab Rambler’ (No 42, July 2007), noted the availability of leaflets on The Bunyan Trail. Leaflets are also produced for the upper reaches of the Ouse Valley Way. Both of these, as well as town guides, and much else are available in the Tourist Information Office, by the Town Hall, off St Pauls Square (tel 01234 215226). Make your way there from the ‘bus station, going south towards the river.

As December is perhaps not the best month for starting a long distance path, why not spend the day exploring places of interest in and around Bedford?

On leaving the TiC, visit the impressive St Pauls Church, opposite. It was here, from “The Wesley Pulpit”, that John Wesley preached the Assize Sermon in 1758, on the theme “We shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ”. But let us go back a further 100 years, to remember Bedford’s most famous son.

John Bunyan’s Bedford. Bunyan, 1628 -88, lived most of his life in and around Bedford. He was born in Elstow, over the river from Bedford, and followed his father’s trade as a tinker. He was a member of the Parliamentary forces in the Civil War. On returning, he became friends with a pastor, John Gifford, within a simple independent congregation. In 1655, Bunyan moved to St Cuthbert’s Street, Bedford, and discovered a gift for preaching. In 1660, the Monarchy was restored, and the State sought religious uniformity, imprisoning influential nonconformists. Aged 32, Bunyan was imprisoned in the County Gaol, for 12 years. During this time, he wrote books and treatises, including his masterpiece, Pilgrims Progress.

Within Bedford, one can visit the site of Bunyan’s house, noting a plaque on 17 Cuthbert Street. Outside the former County Gaol is a plaque in the pavement. Much more interesting is the Bunyan Meeting House open Tues – Sat, 10 – 4. Bunyan’s statue stands on St Peter’s Green. It is possible to make an in-depth study of the life and work of Bunyan using facilities at the Bedford Central Library, and the County Library. The Bedford Museum is also interesting to students of natural history.

Cross the River Great Ouse, and walk (or catch a local bus) to Elstow, to visit The Abbey Church of St Helena & St Mary, C13th, restored 1880. Elstow Green, Elstow Cottages, and The Moot Hall have display panels which note connections with Bunyan.

A short circuit from Oakley, 6 miles. On arriving at Bedford Bus Station, go to Bay 10 for the half-hourly Service 51. Alight at Oakley Station Road. Visit the church, and take a pleasant footpath by the riverside and Stevington Belt to Stevington, detouring to visit the fine windmill. Take the Ouse Valley Way path to Pavenham, going into the village to admire the fine stone cottages, and perhaps visit the pub. Continue on the waymarked route to Boswell’s Holme. Here, note that there is a permissive path starting from a little bridge over a side ditch, to continue by the riverside in pasture to reach the road at Stafford Bridge. This avoids half-a-mile of road walking. Walk back into Oakley, to find a bus stop at TL 011 540.

Riverside & Priory Country Park. From St Paul’s Church, turn towards the river, and walk east along The Embankment, on a pleasant tree-lined avenue with flowerbeds. The Embankment gives onto a well-signed cycleway /pedestrian route leading to Priory Country Park. Within the park are toilets and a further information centre. It is possible to have an hour or two’s walk around the lake, in the meadows, and along the cycle track to Willington (which leads eventually to Sandy). Returning to Bedford, it is suggested that the Mill Meadows paths on the opposite side of the Great Ouse be used, crossing the river to return to High Street.

Bedford& Milton Keynes Waterways Trust. A display board on the Embankment near the High Street bridge describes the ambitious project of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterways Trust to “close the gap” in the canal network and create a new waterway.

The original idea in 1811 came from Samuel Whitbread, a local brewer, who with other businessmen discussed the trade benefits of a link between The Great Ouse and what is now The Grand Union Canal. In 1994, a Bedford resident, Brian Young, founded The Trust, with the aim of implementing Whitbread’s ideas. As well as being a high priority link for the boating fraternity, the towpath of such a canal would provide new walking and cycling routes.

Between 2000 & 2006, British Waterways selected and completed technical studies on one of 9 possible routes. In 2007, planning permission was granted, and Lottery funding was secured for 6km of waterway between Grand Union and Willen Lake / M1. In 2008, planning permission from Stewartby to Wootton was granted, and land was acquired at Wootton in 2009, a new underpass being constructed under the A421 to accommodate the canal.

Here the story on the display board finishes, and one is invited to visit the website for up-to-date news. However, it seems likely that it will be some years before this canal towpath can be part of a guidebook route from Ouse to Severn! See:

The Canal and River Trust. Continuing the general subject of canals, on 6 October 2011, a new charity of the above name was established, to tend 2000 miles of canals and rivers in England and Wales (where it is called Glandwr Cymru).

The now-retiring Chief Executive of the Ramblers’ Association, Tom Franklin, is one of the transition trustees of this new organisation, reflecting the importance of waterway towpaths and riverbanks as part of the walkers’ inheritance.

Flora of Bedfordshire. A new 700pp volume is to be published by Bedfordshire Natural History Society in December at £42.50, prepublication price £35 incl. p/p before December. Cheques should be payable to the above Society, and sent to David Withers, 9 Lammas Way, Ampthill, Beds MK45 2TR

Outdated Cambridgeshire
Walks Guides
Old guide books, like old maps, are often historically fascinating, and can be very valuable as evidence of use of routes not recorded on County Councils’ definitive maps. However, out-of-date guidebooks are often dangerous companions on a walk, unless also possessed of an up-to-date map. Thus one of the guides to the Icknield Way Path unwisely stated beyond Burrough Green, “Turn right at the pink cottage”. Within two years of this having been written, the householder painted his cottage a cream-colour!

Immediately post WWII, I am aware of very few prescriptive walking guides for the Cambridge area. More popular were general descriptive tourist guides, with small sections on walking opportunities. Olive Cook, “Cambridgeshire” (Blackie & Son Ltd, 1955) is typical of this genre.

1970 saw the first publication by Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) of a set of leaflets “Walks and Rides around Cambridge” intended to be used to guide a walker around a recommended route. Costing 35p, there were 21 folded black / white A4 sheets at a 1:25 000 scale in a green cardboard packet. The routes were 3 to 6 miles long, with possible variants, and included Grantchester, Burwell, Longstanton, Boxworth, Kingston, Shepreth, Whittlesford, Linton and The Wilbrahams. The text gave public transport details, a few nature notes and points of interest. It is enlightening, that, without exception, not a single cross-field path in an arable field is used, for the simple reason that in 1970, hardly one cross-field path over an arable field would have been reinstated. The walks “around Cambridge” go as far away as Woodditton because so many paths were in poor condition that the number of reliable circuits was limited. We have so many more walks now, not because more rights-of-way have been added to the Definitive Map (although there has been a modest number of additions) but because nowadays, a majority of paths are usable, whereas in 1970, the majority were not. For example, on Babraham footpath 11, the bridge over the Cam at TL 499 513 was blown up during a WWII army exercise, and in spite of Ramblers’Association regular protestations, was not replaced until October 1987. Without this bridge, one of CCC’s routes, described in a later leaflet “Walks from the Roman Road – Wandlebury”, 1989 (30p) would not have been possible.

Meanwhile, back in 1970 among local enthusiast groups, The Linton District Amenity Society produced a little booklet, “The Footpaths of Linton District” (2.5p or 6d). Such paths in Linton as were usable were described, as were 4 walks into Hadstock parish. And Cambridge City Council took steps to offer walks guidebooks for the tourist. In 1979, it published “Country Walks around Cambridge”, followed in 1980, by “More Country Walks around Cambridge” (50p). The routes and walks descriptions were sourced by RA Cambridge Group. These walks of 4 – 17 miles are more ambitious and clearly include some cross field routes.

By 1980, most counties were publishing linear recreational walking routes. CCC’s first venture was with “The Wimpole Way”, the 11 mile waymarked route from Cambridge to Wimpole, in a leaflet (1st edition 1980, free, subsequent more colourful editions, 30p).

Meanwhile, Freddie Matthews and Harry Bitten from Essex RA had researched and published details of a “real” long distance path, “The Harcamlow Way” (1980, £1.20) forming a figure-of-eight from Harlow to Cambridge and back. For a few years, walkers joked that Freddie had sat down on Winter evenings and designed the route from his armchair! Certainly, these two hard-bitten Essex walkers pulled no punches – if they wanted to use a path, they put it in the guide, whether passable or not. But over the years, this (and the routes in their many other guides) were sorted out by Essex C.C. and CCC, and the Harcamlow Way is today on our Ordnance Survey sheets as a classic walk.

A guide to the walkers’ route for The Icknield Way, from Ivinghoe Beacon to Knettishall Heath, appeared first in 1984, following a couple of years’ intensive work by a committee of volunteers drawn from all the six counties involved.

Meanwhile, an historian Bruce Galloway completed a two volume survey of Walks in East Anglia, published by the St Edmundsbury Press in 1982. He felt it necessary to offer a disclaimer – “The author has gone to great lengths to ensure that the paths included on the maps in the book are open to public use, and that the route directions are accurate…” Even armed with an OS sheet of an unfamiliar area, walkers could still feel they were stepping out into a potentially hostile unknown.

Then, following a case before the Local Government Ombudsman in 1984, there was an upheaval in CCC, and a separate section was created for Rights of Way as opposed to there being a couple of staff in the Council’s Transportation Department. From that time forward, country walking was actively promoted by CCC.

With an improving path network, Cambridge RA group felt able to produce its first walking guide, “Walks in South Cambridgeshire” 1987 (23 walks of varying length), still in print in later editions, and a source of useful funding to the Group. Four other walks guides have been produced in later years.

Meanwhile, CCC’s Clopton Way leaflet (40p) appeared in 1990, and a number of circular walks were produced in 1989, including Devils Dyke Walks, Quy Fen Walks, Wicken, and several others, all over the county. A free County Council booklet, promoting public transport “Enjoying the Cambridgeshire Countryside” appeared in 1988, 1989, and a third edition in 1992, to be superseded by “Footloose and Carfree” in 1994. Meanwhile, the Council had promoted the local “P3” (Parish Paths Partnership) schemes, in which individual parishes were encouraged to improve their paths, and produce (free) walks leaflets. Such leaflets were produced for several parishes, including Cottenham (1990), Fulbourn, Teversham, The Wilbrahams. The “Beating the Bounds” series (ca 1994) came out in a cheaper monochrome format for e.g. Histon, Kirtling, Ely and many Huntingdon-shire parishes, but were difficult to hear of and obtain unless resident locally.

The Green Belt Project, operating under the aegis of CCC, did site work and produced leaflets price £1.50, with titles “Valley in the Chalk” (Shepreth& Barrington) in 1992; Fulbourn to Balsham (1995); Wilbraham Fen; Hobson’s Brook and Nine Wells.

CCC produced a guide to the Fen Rivers Way in 1995, over the limited route from Cambridge to Ely. This was extended by the Fen Rivers Way Association to Kings Lynn, and subsequent guides covering the whole route were produced by volunteers, a sign of increased liaison with CCC.

By 1995, the floodgates had opened in the bookshops, reflecting the degree of interest in countryside walking, and the realisation by many that pleasant rambling could be had in the flattest of counties. So we have a Cambs & Beds. volume in the Crowood Press “100 Walks” series ,1998 (£8.99), and Pub Walks in Cambridgeshire by G & J Pratt, Countryside Books, 1995. Niche markets have opened, so there are series on “Teashop Walks”, “Walks for Motorists” etc. The publishers of walking guidebooks discovered a profitable business, with only the Internet producing a little cloud on their horizon.

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, 20p 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


Price 20 pence where sold Cantab65 © Janet Moreton, 2011

CANTAB64 September 2011

CANTAB64 September 2011 published on

** Please note that this is an archive of the CANTAB publication and contains out-of-date information **


Healthy Outdoors
I was surprised to find an whole page article in a motoring insurance magazine, CSMA, on “Love Parks Week”, and the benefits of outdoor exercise.

Sorry, you’ve missed it. That is, “Love Parks Week” was at the end of July, but the benefits of the green outdoors remain for all. The writer does not cite his references, but names huge advantages for outdoor exercise. “A brisk walk every day in a park can reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and diabetes by 50%, colon cancer and breast cancer by 30% and Alzheimer’s by 25% – plus the more often a person visits urban open green spaces, the less often he or she will report stress related illnesses…”

So if parks are good for us, how much better should be exercise in the wider countryside, away from urban pollution, noise, and with superior views? Yes, but we might be safer in a nicely manicured park! My sympathies go to two ramblers of my acquaintance who recently broke their legs on rugged walking holidays – but I am sure the advantages overwhelmingly outweigh the risks.

Happy, healthy walking!
Janet Moreton

At last – The Guided Busway
The guided busway opened on 7 August, some two years overdue. The guided section is 16 miles long, and the bus routes between Huntingdon and Trumpington cover 24 miles Its adjacent bridleway, tarmaced as far as Swavesey, provides 16 miles of a route for walking, cycling and horseriding.

Except, perhaps for some challenge walks, I cannot imagine anyone wanting to walk the route from end to end for recreation. However, parts of the new bridleway provide valuable links to the path network, and allow for new circuits. This much we had already established in the many months between the apparent completion of the track, and the official opening after some of the faults had been rectified. Some problems, clearly, are still extant.

The most important, currently, is that the section of the Busway-bp has been closed between Swavesey and St Ives until November, just after I completed surveying Walks 3 & 4 below . We hope this is to cure flooding problems on the low-lying sections, but meanwhile, these two walks described will not be available for a couple of months. Near Cambridge Station, the adjacent buiilding works makes waiting in the area noisy and dusty, and the bus stop is a long way in the Trumpington direction from the rail station entrance. Some facilities at the Longstanton station area were still under construction, although parking and toilets were available.

The Week beginning 2 August, I used the busway 3 times. On the first Monday, market day in St Ives, it was very full at 10am, and took nearly 50 minutes from Christs Pieces, Cambridge to St Ives. I travelled back using the normal Whippet service via Bar Hill, taking just over half-an-hour (A14 permitting). Subsequently the buses were less jam-packed, and the passage time about 45 minutes. After 9.30am, senior citizens may use their bus passes. I tried a number of new routes from stations along the Busway, outlines of which are given below. On the route itself, obviously normal care is needed in using crossing points on the Busway track – just like a railway, “Stop, Look, Listen”. On the Busway-bp, be aware that the smooth tarmac sections allow cyclists to get up a considerable speed. Most of the walks use OS Explorer 225

1. The Classic St Ives Circuit 7miles
This walk is best accessed from the centre of St Ives, not the end of the busway track.
Doubtless already known to most, this delightful walk leaves St Ives bus station, through the square to the waterfront, passing the museum. It goes through the churchyard, and along The Thicket Path to Houghton. At Houghton, it crosses the mill-leat under the National Trust old mill property, then over the R Ouse by the lock. It continues SW on a tarmac path across the meadows to Black Bridge, then turns through the Hemingfords, using well-signed pasture paths by the river where possible. Reaching Hemingford Meadows, hug the waters edge for the driest passage, to emerge through the buildings of the Dolphin Inn, and back to St Ives over the medieval bridge.

2. St Ives, Houghton Meadow Circuit 7 miles
A variant on the above route goes from St Ives along the Thicket Path to Houghton, as above. Turn behind The National Trust tearoom, near the Mill, and follow the river bank over stiles and bridges, to do a circuit of Houghton Meadow. Emerge over the dismantled railway at TL 288716 and go N up the lane to rejoin the Thicket Path. On the return trip, use the high-level walk in the Thicket Wood, above the path, dropping back to the tarmac footway before approaching St Ives. The Norris Museum on the waterfront is well worth a visit.

3. From Swavesey Station to St Ives, or Swavesey via Brownshill Staunch & Holywell, 7 or 10 miles
Alight from the Busway at Swavesey Station, TL.363694 (almost on the Greenwich Meridian!) Walk W along the Busway-bp, and cross at TL 359 695, to go NNE down Middle Fen Drove. Turn off left at the signed path, TL 362 701 across low-lying fields. Cross a drain and reach the Gt Ouse riverbank just short of the Marina on the other side. Cross Chain Rd (some parking here), and continue NNE on the bank, part of The Pathfinder Walk. Reach Brownshill Staunch, cross, and return on the other bank, part of the Ouse Valley Walk. Pass or linger at the Pike & Eel, then continue on the raised bank into Holywell, and the Ferry Boat Inn. Continue along the road to Holywell church, noting the Well, and wild garden. Beyond the churchyard, turn into Coopers Lane, which gives onto the footpath called Parson’s Drove. Short of the A1096, turn left along a path fronting an attractive quarry lake. Follow this to the large roundabout, where cross with care. Take a signed path opposite, leading into a private road (Farthing Lane) between bungalows. At TL 319 716, meet Needingworth Rd where turn left into the centre of St Ives and the bus station (toilets, several cafés in vicinity). For more frequent buses to Cambridge, walk to the St Ives busway terminal.
Returning to Swavesey Station on foot along the Busway-bp gives a walk of 10 miles.

4. From Fen Drayton Station, a circuit of the nature reserve and back to Swavesey. 7 miles
Obtain, if possible, a copy of the RSPB’s Fen Drayton Lakes Trailguide. At Fen Drayton Reserve Station, start from the N side of the busway, and go N on a track between Holywell Lake (left) and Ferry Lagoon (right), passing a members’ CP on the left. Turn left at a sign, across gravelly rough land towards Drayton Lagoon, where turn right towards the Gt Ouse riverbank. Follow the riverbank W to pass under the Busway, where it crosses the river. Immediately beyond, turn left alongside and well-below the busway. The gravel track rises to join the Busway-bp in ca 150yd where walk E past Moore Lake, to the signed path between Moore Lake and Elney Lake. Follow the attractive route round this lake, to leave it at TL 339 691. Walk S towards Fen Drayton, passing the recreation ground on your right. Opposite the pavilion, turn left on a signed footpath, all the way to Swavesey. At Station Road, turn left, past the church, to the Swavesey Busway station.
To make the walk a little more than 8 miles, return along the Busway-bp to Fen Drayton Reserve Station.

5. Longstanton circuit, via Histon 8 or 10 miles
This walk could start just as easily at Histon, but note there is free parking and a toilet at Longstanton station.
From Longstanton, walk SE along the Busway-bp for a mile. Turn off onto Reynolds Drove, noting the interesting interpretative boards as one approaches Rampton. Turn N and E on roads into Rampton, and visit the Thatched Church, and Giants Hill access land, site of defensive works from the C14 – C21st. Return to Cuckoo Bridge along the generally well-mown banks of New Cut. (For the 8 mile circuit, approach Cuckoo Bridge directly going S from the end of Reynolds Drove). Walk S from Cuckoo Bridge on Rampton Drift, crossing the Oakington Rd with care at Lambs Cross. Continue S, then SE down Gunns Lane into Histon. Go S to visit the parish church. Seek refreshments – 4 pubs, 2 snack bars in the village. Take the road W past Histon Manor to the corner at TL 429 639. Here turn onto the signed bridleway going NW across fields to Westwick. Visit Oakington Church, and take the quiet Longstanton Rd to the village. Detour NE past the church at TL 403 658, then turn NW beside the former barracks. Cross the next road, and continue on waymarked paths across the golf course, to emerge on Station Road. Walk with care, N to the car park.

6. Longstanton to Swavesey, via Willingham and Over Basic walk – 7 miles
From Longstanton station, take the Busway-bp SE, and turn E down Reynolds Drove. Shortly, at TL 415 674, cross a new bridge over Reynolds Ditch, and use the fairly newly-created bridleway following a track N to Rampton Road at TL 415 686. Cross Rampton Road with care, pass a farm-house in a layby and continue N on Haven Drove to Belsars Field. Turn left into Schole Road, and thence into Willingham. Visit the church, en route to Earith Road. A signed footpath beside the rec at TL 403 706, runs W, continuing as a byway, which passes a sewage works, and becomes a surfaced path “Furtherford” into Over. Turn SW on Fen End Rd to the green and the village sign by the crossroads. Turn right passing or visiting the Admiral Vernon pub, and continue to the church. Go S from Church End, start WSW on Lowburyholme Rd joining a path overlooking a drain, with a fine view of low-lying fields and marshes. This path continues beside the drain to High Causeway Bridge. Walk down the road to the Busway station at Swavesey.

While the basic walk outlined above is 7 miles, it is very worthwhile extending the walk on the interesting inner-village paths of Over (eg try The Cramp, starting beside the Admiral Vernon). Additionally, rather more than 2 miles may be added by returning on the Busway-bp to Longstanton station.

7. Oakington to Histon or Girton circuit, 2 or 5 miles
From the Busway station at Oakington (in what was formerly Westwick parish) walk on the Busway-bp to the level crossing on the outskirts of Histon. For the 2 mile walk, cross the Busway towards Histon, and very shortly, take the signed bridleway across fields back to Westwick, and turn left back to the station.
For a longer walk, continue on the Busway-bp towards Histon station. A few 100 metres short of the station, before the industrial buildings are reached, observe a display board in young woods on your right. Follow the illustrated permissive path across fields towards Girton Church. In Girton, follow the High St north, passing a school, where turn right to Manor Farm. From here, a signed footpath leads across fields to a Busway crossing at St Audrey’s Close. Go forward to Park Lane, where turn left, and cross the road. at a bend in the road, where the bridleway (noted above) turns back to Westwick, 5 miles.

8. Along Akeman Street, 4 miles
Start at Drummer Street Bus Station, and catch the Service 9 bus to Landbeach cross-roads, by the village sign. Turn. into Cockfen Lane. Cantab 62 (May 2011) has details of short walks which may be made around Landbeach, if desired. The rec has seats and is a good place for a tea-break. Opposite the rec is an access area, the site of the medieval village. After visiting this, continue along Cockfen Lane to Rectory Farm, where turn left with the road, as its continuation along Akeman Street. Beyond the next farm, this becomes a hedged green lane, which follow back towards Cambridge, crossing the road at Mereway Farm, and emerging under the A14 where there is an attractive mural. Reach a road outside the Regional College. Turn left, and walk along past the chainlink fence of the college. On reaching a road, turn right, and walk to the busway. The stop for Cambridge is to the left, to return to the bus-stop near Christs Pieces, a few hundred yards from Drummer Street Bus Station.

Alternatively, catch a No2 bus to Chesterton, gain the river bank near the Green Dragon Inn, and walk the tow-path to Clayhythe. Walk through Waterbeach, cross the A10 with care, and continue to Landbeach, where the above route may be joined. This makes a walk of about 11 miles.

Quotation of the Month
“Everyone ought to be able to look back on a day and think it a day well spent.”
Joanna Trollope in “Leaves from the Valley”

Essex Walks Guides
“Drive and Stroll in Essex” by Len Banister featues 20 circular walks. It has just appeared in a second edition; ISBN 978 1 85306 3

“Pub Walks for Motorists – Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk” is a collaboration containing 40 walks by Len Banister, Geoff Pratt and Will Martin. ISBN 85306 899 3. Both are published by Countryside Books

New land-drains in Bourn
On a recent walk, I noticed massive land-drainage works in a field in Bourn parish. Footpath 28 (not shown on older maps) runs S from Riddy Lane at TL 314 561, to join Footpath 13 alongside Bourn Wood. Part of Fp 28 is presently a morass, and would be best avoided for a while.

Spotlight on Gazeley
This is a free plug for All Saints Church, Gazeley, a lovely C13th building which is having a restoration appeal. Directed especially at passing ramblers, the church is now open 7 days a week, offering DIY tea / coffee to visitors, as well as book sales, cards, jam, and snacks, and donations are very welcome.

The church is on Suffolk’s well-known 6 mile “Three Churches Walk”, starting in Moulton, and well-signed through Gazeley to Dalham.
Should you wish to augment the distance both Moulton and Gazeley have several other good dry paths, well suited to Autumn and Winter walking.

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, 20p 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


Cantab 64 Price 10 pence where sold
Cantab 64 © Janet Moreton, 2011

CANTAB63 July 2011

CANTAB63 July 2011 published on

** Please note that this is an archive of the CANTAB publication and contains out-of-date information **


Further Afield At this time of year, if not on holiday, one thinks of longer days out, and perhaps of going further afield. So July’s “Parish of the Month” is Sandy, Bedfordshire, some 20 miles from Cambridge. As it is not in Cambs, my usual handy reference books were not appropriate, and I resorted to the computer encyclopaedia “Encarta”, only to find the sole entry for “Sandy” related to its namesake in Utah. Perhaps we won’t go that far!

Happy walking!

Janet Moreton

New Right of Way in Toft On 31 March 2011, Cambridgeshire County Council entered into an agreement with the landowner under Highways Act 1980, section 25 (6), to create a new public footpath. A notice of the making of this agreement was published in the Cambridge News on 13 April.

The new footpath, 2m wide, starts from the Comberton Road, Toft, B1046 at TL 3707 5597 and runs S to join Toft Footpath 16 at TL 3713 5563., along the fenced boundary of the Cambridge Meridian Golf Course.

The path allows a new short circuit to be made from Toft Church, down a green lane, across the golf course on Footpath 16, along the new path, and returning to Toft along the footway of the B1046.

New Right of Way in Cambourne Cambourne Footpath 5 must be one of the shortest paths ever created! It joins the Cambourne perimeter bridleway to Caxton Footpath 15, using a bridge to cross a small ditch, at TL 314588.

There was quite a saga in relation to this path, as an adjacent landowner on Caxton fp15 objected to its creation, saying that there would be a huge influx of extra walkers, as previously Caxton fp15 has been a dead end. His objections centred on disturbance to fishing lakes, and his household, but these were over-ruled by the Secretary of State, and the Order was confirmed on 27 April 2011. RA Cambridge Group, Cambourne and Bourn Parish Councils had all supported the Order.

Those interested can read the inspector’s decision letter on:

Bourn Windmill
This is one of the oldest surviving windmills in England, and since 1932 has been owned by Cambridge Past, Present and Future (formerly The Cambridge Preservation Society). The mill is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

It originally dated from ca. 1636, but Carter’s “History of Cambridgeshire” of 1753 records that the mill blew down in 1741, suggesting that the present structure is a replacement, using the older timbers. Later improvements to the machinery have been made, including some cast-iron gearing. Nevertheless this presents a useful and attractive picture of an early mill.

Public Open Days are on Sundays 31 July, 28 August, 25 September, from 2 – 4.30pm. However, the outside of the mill in its fenced enclosure can be visited at any time, and there is an interesting display board.

Why not park at Cambourne, and make for the perimeter path via the footpath starting from Tithe Way. Follow the path past Whomping Willow Lake, turn right on the perimeter path, cross the new footbridge, and walk to the mill via the new Footpath 5, and Caxton FP 15.

After admiring the mill, cross the road, and go down to Bourn Brook. At the waterside turn left along Bourn Footpath 3, which takes the walker to the rear of a cottage garden. Cross the stile, and go through the garden to Caxton End. Admire the fords, and turn left up the road to return to Cambourne using Bourn Footpath 2.

CPRE CPRE is the Campaign to Protect Rural England, a charity of which Bill Bryson is currently president.

Bill’s special interest has been in the control of litter, and to this end, CPRE has suggested a deposit scheme on drinks containers, which could give a boost to charities, as well as cleaning up the countryside. A survey reported in CPRE’s Summer Magazine suggests that more than half of the public surveyed supported a 15p deposit. This would be, of course, a return to the 1940s/50s, when kids could supplement their pocket money by returning Dad’s beer bottles to the off-licence for 1d each.

Also in the Summer issue is a very serious look at new government proposals affecting the planning system.

Proposals include: -scrapping targets encouraging developers to build a proportion of housing on “brownfield” sites, instead of on undeveloped “greenfield” countryside.

  • establishing a new presumption in planning rules that “sustainable” development projects will be approved.
  • piloting a scheme for auctioning public sector land with planning permission.

CPRE fear these outline proposals could have damaging effects on green belt land, and AONBs. And what about the future of Cambridgeshire’s County Farms Estate?

Parish of the Month – Sandy
OS Explorer 208

The Town
The town, with a population exceeding 10 000, has all services, including places to shop or visit a café after your walk. I am indebted to the Information Centre off Cambridge Road, (also accessible from the town car park) with its helpful staff, and many useful leaflets.

Walks are described as starting from the large town car park (CP), which has toilets. However, the CP may often be full, so park considerately in nearby Cambridge Road or other side streets.

There is evidence of settlement from the Iron Age, and the ancient hill fort “Caesar’s Camp” (pre-Roman) overlooks the town. From AD43, a thriving Roman town grew up beside the Potton Road, on the site of the present cemetery. Large numbers of Roman remains have been found, some of which are on display in the Town Council Offices on Cambridge Road. Sandye Place Academy (behind the church) is thought to be the site of a Danish Camp, built to protect the Danelaw in 886.

The Domesday Book refers to Sandeia, derived from Old English Sandieg (a sand-island). It records the town held by Eudo Fitzhurbert (aka Eudo the Dapifer, William the Conqueror’s High Steward).

The town’s most famous son is Captain Sir William Peel, 1824 – 58, third son of the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel. William Peel was awarded the Victoria Cross for 3 separate acts of bravery. He built the Lodge, now the RSPB gatehouse, and financed the building of the Sandy – Potton Railway. One of the inns in the town is named in his honour.

Features of the town include:

St Swithun’s built of sandstone in the C14th, and restored 1858 . The church contains Sir William Peel’s statue, and other memorials to the Peel family.

The Railway. GNR reached Sandy in 1850, the date of the station buildings. The line which connected Sandy & Potton, built by Sir William Peel in 1857, was closed in 1967.

Sandye Place is a Georgian Manor, built on the remains of a medieval stone house, and now a school.

The Pinnacle is a 300ft outcrop of the Greensand Ridge, with Caesar’s Camp behind.

RSPB Gatehouse & Lodge. The gatehouse was designed by Sir William Peel in 1851 and named Swiss Cottage. In 1870, Arthur Wellesley built an Elizabethan style house in Sandy Warren parkland, which consists of oak/birch woodland, with scattered conifers and restored heathland. The Lodge has been the RSPB’s headquarters since 1961.

Riddy Local Nature Reserve is owned by Sandy Town Council, is managed as a public open space and for nature conservation.

Walks from Sandy Town Sandy Town / RSPB reserve walks (6 to 8 miles) From the Town CP, it is possible to walk to the rear of the reserve in 2 miles. Start via a path from the closed end of Cambridge road, beside the railway. Cross Potton Road near the station, go down the quiet Stratford Road and along the continuing bridleway to the back gate of the reserve at TL 192 476.

Then walk N through the reserve on the bridleway, emerging by the gatehouse. The direct return route is down the footway beside the Potton Road, although it is much pleasanter to walk on a path parallel to the road, inside the reserve (part of The Captain Peel Walk), emerging half way back to Sandy. On the return trip, detour to visit Caesar’s Camp, turning up a path by a sewage works at TL 178 491. The circuit is perhaps 6 miles.

However, although formerly use of paths other than the bridleway within the RSPB reserve was subject to a charge for non-members, this no longer appears to be the case. Instead, there is now a car-park charge, presently £4. Thus it is possible to extend the walk most pleasantly within the reserve to stretch the 6 miles to near 8 miles, visiting the old quarry (lots of steps), Galley Hill (old Hill Fort), the Memorial Garden, Plantation Pond etc, and of course the shop (with tea machine) and adjacent toilets. Various useful leaflets are available, and walkers may wish to make a donation. The pamphlet for The Old Quarry has a useful exposition on the formation of the Lower Greensand, and The Captain Peel Walk leaflet gives the full history of the Great Northern Railway in Sandy.

The Sandy – Blunham Circuit, 7 miles This walk, from the town CP, visits Riddy Local Nature reserve, before walking North beside the R Ivel. The route visits South Mills, Blunham (a Domesday Mill Site, now a corrugated cardboard factory). In Blunham, the C11th sandstone church dedicated to St Edmund, was restored in 1862 by Rattee & Kett. Walkers may also visit the pub in Park Lane. The section of the return route along the track of an old railway, now a cycleway, and under the A1 along Cottage Road is rather dull. Beyond Sunderland Road and under the railway, is a more agreeable section past Low Farm. Continue along Hasell Hedge Roman Road, and the quiet Sand Lane, to return past Caesar’s Camp to Sandy Town.

Biggleswade Common walks, 6 miles Reach a junction of bridleways on the South boundary of the RSPB reserve at TL 192 476. (This is 2 miles from the Town CP either via the quiet Stratford Road, or via the footway of the B1042 and the bridleway through the RSPB reserve). Go S on waymarked paths on Biggleswade Common, crossing a dismantled railway, and continue to Furzenhall Farm. The hard track from the farm turns briefly W then S, then W again to a railway level crossing. TL 191 459. Follow the path round the N of Shortmead House, and enter a narrow strip of Common, which follow to the Mecanno Bridge by the A6001. Detour to Biggleswade Market Place which has refreshment opportunities. Return to Mecanno bridge, and walk N upriver in the Common. After the 3rd plantation (opposite Manor Farm) turn E for a bridge over a stream, and make for a cattle creep under the railway. Cross a ditch, and go N with the railway, turning E alongside a ditch on the Common. At a T-junction, turn N over the dismantled railway and back to the start. (4 miles as described, plus 2 miles each way from Sandy CP). Note that the Common is often wet in Winter, at which time it would be advisable to do the above walk in reverse, lest the cattle creep be flooded.

Longer walks on Biggleswade Common are available, circling behind the hospital.

Sandy – Everton Circuit. 9 miles From Sandy Town CP, go up Cambridge Road, cross the railway, and continue on Sand Lane. At TL 183 493, take the signed route into meadows, leading to the old Roman Road, Hasell Hedge. Continue N for 3 miles, crossing Templeford Road, and detouring to Gibraltar Farm Barn to see relics of WWII espionage exploits. At TL194 528, turn right (NE) zig-zagging past Hares Home Wood, uphill by Woodbury Sinks (damp!), and joining the Greensand Ridge Walk in Woodbury Park. Go S to Everton (C12th St Mary’s Church, pub), and take Potton Road SE to Ashmore Farm. Here turn S on the bridleway towards Deepdale. At the junction near the TV mast, turn NW for half-mile , then SW along Long Riding. Cross Potton road, into the RSPB reserve (shop, toilets). Walk S on the bridleway through the reserve, turn W outside the boundary to the hamlet of Stratford, and return to Sandy Town along the quiet Stratford Road.

It is possible to extend this walk to ca 11 miles by continuing along Hasell Hedge Roman Road to TL 198 541, then turning E past Gilrags to Tetworth.

For a shorter walk, turn off Hasell Hedge at TL 190 514, take the signed path by the hedge, then through a steep meadow into Everton, perhaps pausing on the well-sited seat at the top of the meadow. Turn right (S) on the road, for 100m, and cross to use a permissive farm track opposite. This meets a cross-field path at TL 202 505. Follow this RoW back to Everton Road, at its junction with the bridle- way at Sandy Heath. Follow Long Riding back to the RSPB gatehouse, and return via the Sandy Warren bridleway and Stratford Road. (7 miles)

The Greensand Ridge Walk The prominent line of attractive and often wooded hills across Bedfordshire comprises the Greensand Ridge. The long-distance walk of that name runs for 40 miles between Leighton Buzzard and Gamlingay, passing through Sandy. Either side of Sandy are sections from Gamlingay (ca. 6 miles), and Haynes (7.5 miles). A set of leaflets describing the route is available from TICs throughout Bedfordshire. Inspection of the OS sheet shows it is easy to make an attractive circuit using the Sandy – Gamlingay section (cf the Sandy Everton walk described above), but making an interesting circuit in the Hayes direction requires more initiative, especially on the flat arable land between Northill and Beeston, the latter place providing the only pedestrian crossing of the A1.

Bedford to Sandy, linear, ca 9 miles
Public transport facilitates this walk from Bedford Bus Station, via riverside, and the cycleway along the track of the old railway. From Blunham, it is more attractive to take the path by the R Ivel. The central part of the route lacks interest.

Using Level Crossings Safely Following consultations in 2010, The Office of Rail Regulation produced a guide for users of level crossings.. The booklet was produced because it was felt that the existing guidance in the Highway Code was inadequate. The information can be downloaded from the ORR’s website

Cambs’ path network has dozens of level crossings, including paths which cross the main lines with 125mph expresses. Walks leaders might like to look at the official advice

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, 20p 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 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


Price 20 pence where sold Cantab 63 © Janet Moreton, 2011.

CANTAB62 May 2011

CANTAB62 May 2011 published on

** Please note that this is an archive of the CANTAB publication and contains out-of-date information **


This month’s issue spans Essex, Herts, as well as Cambs, in sympathy with the long-distance itch which affects ramblers in the Spring. But for those who want a quiet local walk, what about neglected Landbeach, which I was inspired to revisit by a friend, Janet Pake, or the new university woodland at Madingley?

Janet Moreton

Obituary – Ken Payne
Ken died on 6 March 2011, aged 92. He had been active in voluntary footpath work in Hertfordshire until very recently – indeed, I was in correspondence with him over a path claim on the Icknield Way just a few months ago. For many years, Ken was the Ramblers’ Association Footpath Secretary for Herts & North Middlesex , and later was elected Honorary President of the Area. I knew him best as a committee member of the Icknield Way Association. All East Anglian walkers have cause to be grateful for Ken’s work, over a very long period. He was a gentle man in all senses of the word, and his careful work and persistence opened many paths.

Any donations in Ken’s memory should be made payable to Friends of the Earth, via Austin’s Funeral Directors

Along the Hertfordshire Way by Dave Harrison Having come across a new edition of the guidebook in a local bookshop, I was inspired to offer the stages for the Cambridge RA Group programme over the last three Summers. Turnout varied from two to a dozen or so, with Lisa Woodburn being the only person to complete every stage.

A considerable research effort resulted in public transport being used in every case, with local taxis supplementing trains only on rare occasions.

The pattern of walks was soon established, around 10 – 13 miles in level or gently rolling countryside, mostly out of sight or earshot of major roads, and with plenty of woods, rivers, wheat fields and churches.

Highlights: The Royse Stone at the beginning and end of The Way; Childwick Green once used in an episode of “The Avengers”; St Albans Cathedral; The Bridgewater Monument (great views from the top); the Grand Union Canal; a cricket ground laid out by W.G.Grace; Bayford Wood; Parliament Square, Hertford; a coalpost in Wormley Wood; the New River; the Lee Valley; Woodhall Park; Much Hadham Church; Henry Moore sculptures; the River Stort; US Air Force memorabilia at Nuthampstead; and St George’s Church, Anstey.

For more information and photographs, visit the Cambridge RA website at

Dave and Alison have recently moved to Cumbria, where we wish them a very happy retirement, and thank them for many years of leading the Cambridge RA Group.

Litter Abatement
Bill Bryson, currently the president of CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) but perhaps better known for his charismatic books eg “A Walk in the Woods” was reported in the Cambridge News of 17 February.

He was concerned specifically about litter on the railway tracks near Cambridge Station. CPRE are seeking a Litter Abatement Order against Network Rail. He had written to Cambridge City Council and to Network Rail in 2005, but Network Rail never responded. With the possible (relatively) imminent completion of the Guided Busway, walkers on the adjacent new bridleway near Cambridge station will be more aware of the rubbish and flying paper. We can do our bit by complaining too!

Parish of the Month – Landbeach
Explorer 226
J R Ravensdale, in his book, “Liable to Floods” wrote the story of the development of Landbeach, a continuing tale of struggles against flooding. Landbeach parish lies between 5 and 10m above sea-level, and in historic times building was on land above the 6m contour, which surrounds ground seemingly safe from the great floods of history. The safe margin between fen and higher land has shifted backwards and forwards in documented times due to sea-level changes, climate variations, and persistence, success, or failure of fen drainage within the technology of a particular century.

The Romans settled quite densely on gravelly areas close to the fen edge, above the level of flooding (2m) at that period. Alison Taylor’s “Archaeology of Cambridgeshire” shows the Roman settlement in fields between Green End and Cottenham Road, not far from the line of the Roman Akeman Street, constructed in the C2nd. Akeman Street has since been used as a parish boundary, and the section South from Cockfen Lane remains first a public road, then continuing as a restricted public byway towards Milton. North of Cockfen Lane, where exposed in arable soil, Akeman Street is said to show as a straight slight bank of gravel, but sadly, this section has no access. The Romans dug Car Dyke in the C2nd, for drainage and water transport, and part of this in the parish is still used as a drain and kept scoured.

There is evidence of some three periods of rising water tables in post-Roman through medieval times, although contemporary commentaries are confusing, being biased by expected normal seasonal flooding, even within houses, rather like parts of present-day Bangladesh.

Until the thirteenth century, when Beach Lode was dug & used as the boundary, the parish was part of Waterbeach. In the early C14th, periods of wetter weather led to flooding, and banks and ditches were constructed across the north end of the village. Also at the north end a green was created the the C15th, when a plot fell vacant. Expansion towards higher ground nearer to Cambridge was encouraged by early clearances, the land being too wet in other directions.

The fens in the north were marshy until they were drained in the C17 – C18th, and were used for common pasture. Parts of the centre of the parish, flooding less often, were used for sheepwalks, only the south of the parish having land suitable for arable. Cole, a landowner in the adjacent parish, recorded famously in 1769: “Not being a water-rat, I left Waterbeach”, after his estate was drowned 3 times in 5 years. In 1813, an Enclosure Award enclosed the Landbeach’s open fields.

As in most villages, the parish church, C13th – 15th, with a fine Midland stone spire, is the most considerable building to survive from medieval times. It is rich in medieval woodwork and has a splendid collection of stained glass windows. The medieval pulpit was brought here from Jesus College in 1787. Two misericords bear the arms of C14th bishops.

Near the church is the tythe barn, a thatched late medieval building preserved by The Village Society. Close to the church is the remains of Chamberlains, one of two empty moated manor-house sites, and an extensive set of ditches and flood banks which survive from the Middle Ages. The moated site is still a defined feature with adjoining ditched paddocks in a pasture field at the north end of High Street. In C14th, the manor was acquired by Corpus Christi and the old site went out of use.

Much of the rectory, now the oldest building in the village, is medieval & early Tudor behind a pleasant brick exterior. Its C14th cellar has a carved coat of arms. The present house was originally an aisled hall, converted into a rectory in the early C16th, with a farmhouse added. This house was used by Matthew Parker, Master of Corpus Christi, and later Elizabeth I’s Archbishop of Canterbury.

The second Manor, Bray’s, stood within the original village, surrounded by a moat, in a field in the centre of the village, now part of an extensive public park and nature reserve in the hands of the County Council, and with informative display boards. Access is via a kissing gate off Cockfen Lane, opposite the public car park and recreation ground. Bray’s estate was given to two king’s carpenters after 1066, and was held by the de Brays until the C14th. In the C16th, Robert Kirby inherited. His son, Richard, illegally enclosed land, overstocked sheepwalks, and evicted 14 crofts. Matthew Parker defended the villagers’ case in successive courts up to the Star Chamber.

South of the village were the docks where boats approaching along Beach Lode could unload. These docks appear as broad shallow hollows in pasture, a little way from the cross-roads along Flood Lane. North of the parish, near the former Goose Hall (now a private emparked group of offices off the A10) are a couple of old byways near Car Dyke, where path diversions and a permissive link allow a short circuit, off the minor road at TL 479 665. An area of lakes between here and Beach Ditch is enclosed as a nature reserve, with limited access and a display board. Sadly, there appears to be no access here to Beach Ditch.

References The historical summary has been compiled from various sources, of which the most important are: Ravensdale, J.R. Liable to Floods, CUP 1974, ISBN 0 521 20285x Taylor, A. Archaeology of Cambridgeshire Vol.2: SE Cambridgeshire & the Fen Edge Cambs C.C. 1998, ISBN 1 870724 84 4

Where to walk in Landbeach?
In the 1950s, when parish councils were asked to record public rights of way in their parishes, the local councillors seem to have come up with very few public paths.

However, a stroll around the village, inspecting the buildings and visible earthworks described in the preceding paragraphs is recommended. Easiest parking is in the free public carpark off Cockfen Lane, by the recreation ground, and opposite the County Council’s park on the site of the former village and Bray’s manor.

Paths in the North of the parish Footpath 1 and Bridleway 2 to the north of the parish, can be accessed off Green End Road. Walk here from Cockfen Road, first going over the recreation ground, as there is little parking at the access point, TL 479 665. A pleasant short circuit may be made, giving views of a section of Car Dyke, and of a small fenced watery nature reserve.

Akeman Street
As described in the historical summary, Akeman Street survives in part as a useful byway to Milton, and beyond to the outskirts of Cambridge, where one can join the bridleway adjacent to the Guided Bus route. Surface improvements and a traffic restriction order (TRO) have made this a pleasant walk at most times of year.

Circular route, 4 miles.
A permitted footpath giving a circular route from Akeman Street, and having a short branch to the Cottenham Road, has been established on farm land owned by Cambs. County Council, and with Countryside Commission (now DEFRA) logo. The route was originally well-waymarked, but some posts and arrows have disappeared, and stiles & low fences are in decay – there are however, no problems in use. The following route summary may help you to mark the route on your map, or use with a GPS.

At TL 4658 6387, the path leaves Akeman Street & runs WNW along a fieldedge. At a crossing hedge, TL 4639 6398, the path turns right (N), with ditch & hedge to right. After 50m it turns left, following the ditch, and at TL 4640 6404, it crosses the ditch on a wooden bridge Entering young mixed wood no 1, it meanders NNW , & leaves this wood at TL 4633 6418, to continue WNW on a grass fieldedge by a hedge. Hedge & path turn right at TL 4624 6425 to go NNE for 70m, then enters wood no 2 at TL 4626 6432. Turning half-left, the mown grass track runs NW between trees to a stile at TL 4609 6449. Just beyond, it crosses a ditch by a wide, hidden culvert, and goes into wood no 3. The mown path runs NNW between more young trees to exit over a stile. The route turns right & left on a grass headland, with tall hedge to left After 30m, at TL 4598 6464, it crosses a ditch on a footbridge Here, the path turns left (unclear) into a field corner, then right (NW) on a grass headland with ditch & tall old hedge to left and open arable to right. The path goes round 2 corners, to pass a power-pole, & under a low-voltage power line , waymarked at TL 4578 6486. It enters a wood no. 4 to run NE on a mown grass. Beyond a gravel track at TL 4600 6495, the route enters wood no. 5, to continue NE.. After 100m, the mown line turns half-right (E) to make for the boundary fence and a stile.

A waymark indicates a sharp left turn on a mown track WNW following the fence ca. 200m back to another stile out of wood 5 at TL 4596 6530, where a ditch in a hedge-gap is crossed on a timber bridge The path turns right (N) on a concrete/gravel track. At TL 4609 6572, there is a concrete loading bay, and a waymark post indicating the route back, and also left (to Cottenham), but not right, where the circuit returns to Landbeach. (A waymark 50m down the Cottenham path, however, indicates the route to Landbeach).

For LANDBEACH, the path turns right (SE) along a gravel track. It passes under power lines to approach Rectory Farm, turning left (indicated by a waymark) over the ditch on a hidden culvert just short of the farm at TL 4650 6538, to run ESE on an headland parallel to the farm-track, but on the other side of the hedge. At the field corner, TL 4660 6535, the path turns left (NNE) on a headland with drain to right. At TL 4673 6560, by a waymarked power pole, the path turns right (ESE) over a culvert to continue on a grass headland with arable to left & ditch to right, following a line of power-poles. It passes through a gap in a tall crossing hedge at TL 4727 6535 and turns right (S), with hedge on right, & trees to left, in an overhung defile to reach the tarmac section of Akeman Street at its junction with Cockfen Lane, TL 4722 6520, where there are further signs.

For COTTENHAM (from the concrete loading area at TL 4609 6572), the route turns left (NW) on a gravel track for 50m, turning right at TL 4606 6578 over a drain on a wooden bridge The path runs NE on a grass field-edge with drain& hedge to left. At the end of the drain it turns left (NW) by a waymark post, TL 4630 6595, on a rough path with hedge to left and arable to right. It crosses a drain at TL 4618 6611 by a hidden culvert, and continues NW on rough grass, with hedge to left. At TL 4607 6625 it meets the Beach Ditch. In absence of a bridge to Hay Lane opposite, it is necessary to turn right along a 2m wide long grass headland, with Beach Ditch left, arable to right. At TL 4626 6638, a grassy track joins from right, and is followed to Cottenham Road at TL 4637 6647, where it is possible to squeeze round the end of a locked metal barrier.

Watery Olympics in Essex
Essex Area Update of April 2011 reports on the development of the White Water Centre in Lea Valley Country Park. Essex is hosting the canoeing and kayaking events for the 2012 Olympics. The high-tech arrangement causes water to rush down and around barrages and competitors, but when they reach the end of the course, they merely have to sit in their boats to be taken back to the start by a sort of escalator. This, the first Olympic site to be completed, will be open to the public from 22 April 2011. It is possible to tour the site, and include it in your day’s walk absolutely free.


Cambridgeshire County Council’s rights of way funding is cut by £50 000 from April. This amounts to roughly 25%.

Cantab 62, May 2011

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, 20p is appreciated towards the cost of paper and ink. If you would like to receive an issue by post, please send an A5 SAE.

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


Price 20 pence where sold © Janet Moreton, 2011

CANTAB61 March 2011

CANTAB61 March 2011 published on

** Please note that this is an archive of the CANTAB publication and contains out-of-date information **


Editorial This month we have a delightful reminiscent article by John Capes on rambling abroad as it was nearly 60 years ago.

Otherwise, my recent excursions in Whaddon, investigating a proposal to divert a footpath, and planning a led walk for Cambridge Group’s Summer programme, led to Whaddon’s promotion as “Parish of the Month”. I hope the article provides the walker with some added interest in this low-lying piece of South Cambridgeshire.

Parish of the Month – Whaddon

Whaddon was originally settled by Danes.

The subsequent medieval village was based on two E-W routes, one past the church and Hoback Farm, crossing the R Rhee at Malton en route to Barrington. The southern one passed Manor Farm (now the golf course), and made for Meldreth. These tracks joined at Whaddon Gap, where they crossed Ermine Street.

The northern boundary of the parish is formed by the R.Rhee, with the lands to the south almost flat, between 20 & 25m. To the SE, the boundary is the Hoback Stream, which provides water for some moats, and to the East is Roman Ermine Street, the Old North Road. The parish lands were enclosured by an award of 1841.

Archaelogical digs in the centre of the parish in 1995 discovered several square pits, ditches, and signs of a hearth, with dating evidence suggesting the Iron Age. Previously, a Neolithic axe had been found near the R Rhee, and some prehistoric flints in ground to north of the present settlement. Roman and Anglo-Saxon traces have been found on the borders of the parish at Wimpole and Arrington (see Cantab 59, Nov 2010).

The population in 1088 was recorded as 43. By 1377 there were 170 tax-payers. In 1871, the census gave 384 residents, some engaged in coprolite digging. In 1996, the population was 540, augmented by troops & families from Bassingbourn barracks.

Points of interest

St Mary’s church (TL 349466) dates from ca. 1300, having a Perpendicular tower and north doorway. It is reputed to contain interesting C15th carving to the chancel screen and roof bosses, but sadly is kept locked. A rectory was recorded in 1359, lying within a rectangular moat, of which the south part is still shown on the OS sheet. The present house retains a late medieval structure, and may be studied discreetly from the pleasant churchyard. Fp 6 leads from the churchyard, across the large recreation ground to the village hall.

Sites of Old Manors The site of the former moated manor at ca. TL 352 465, given to Ely in 970, is now under the golf course. The south arm of the moat is 8m wide and still filled with water. This estate passed to Hardwin de Scalers after 1066, then sequentially to the families Tempest, Harleys of Wimpole, then the Pickerings, but was finally demolished in the C19th. The site was ploughed out, but in recent years has been grassed over by the golf course, which is crossed by Fp7. The welcoming golf club-house is also a café, shop and post office.

Several erstwhile moated sites in the village have been filled in and ploughed. However, Turpine’s Manor, a pre-conquest estate stood at Town Farm on Church Street, where a dammed part of the stream survives. Hoback Farm (called Holebec in 1224) TL 358 470, still has a rectangular wet moat, but is unfortunately too far from Fp 4 to be seen.

Whaddon Great Green is a large wedge-shaped area of common land, running from the corner of Bridge Street to the Meldreth Road, and traversed by Fp8.

Dyers Green was always a separate hamlet. Its dead-end road, Bridge Street, at TL 350454 gives onto a junction of paths. Fp9 leads through Fountains Farm (legally, at present actually through the 1960ish farmhouse) towards Whaddon Green. Fp12, leads via Fp 11 to Ermine Street. Bassingbourn Byway 22 leads south to Chestnut Lane, as does Whaddon Fp13, via Bassingbourn 21, meeting the road near Kneesworth.

The fountain on Bridge Street From early 1800s to the 1950s, the attractive fountain was the only source of drinking water for the locality. It was bought by the village in 2000, and the fountain was repaired and the adjacent railed area planted with wild flowers. The project is dedicated to the memory of Fred Bradley, the Parish Chairman 1992-6.

Eternit Works – artificial stone Co. This was originally the Atlas Stone Co., and has an attractive 1930s brick frontage with stone reliefs, one depicting Atlas, TL 364446. It is actually outside Whaddon parish in Meldreth, and Meldreth Fp 2 sets off east outside its carpark.

Nursery in a former Methodist Chapel. On the corner of the road at Whaddon Green, TL 353 467, two paths turn off. Fp4, going north, makes for the historic crossing of the R Rhee at Kings Bridge. Fp5 wanders behind hedges and property boundaries, rejoining the road to Meldreth further on. The chapel here, with a small elderly congregation, closed ca 2000, but was soon re-occupied by tiny tots.

Walks from Whaddon (Use Explorer 209)
It is possible to use the village hall car park, if there is no function underway. Otherwise, park considerately round the village, or at parking provided at the start of the permissive paths, which are present as grass tracks round the edges of fields on the arable land between Whaddon and Ermine Street.

Inner village loop walks Start with the village hall behind you, and turn left along Chapel Street, passing Town Farmhouse and the village sign on a small triangular green. Turn left towards Dyers Green, passing the old fountain in a railed enclosure. Where the road ends, turn left on Fp9 down the drive of Fountains Farm. Following the path through the yard, and forward on a grassy field edge by a ditch. Emerge at the end of Fp8 on Great Green. Fp10 is a tiny spur leading out onto Meldreth Road. Turn left along the road, and take Fp5 signed off left at Whaddon Green. Follow this path past a cottage, over a footbridge, and later, over another small bridge to turn left, and return to Meldreth Road between the Nursery and an engineering works. Follow the road west to the church. Take Fp6 through the churchyard into the recreation ground, and back to the village hall.

Set off as before left along the road, soon turning into the entrance to the golf course. Fp7 passes near the club house (PO, café), and goes WSW by a line of trees, then finds a bridge over a stream into Great Green. Turn back to the road junction by the village sign on Fp8. Go a short way along the road to Whaddon Gap, soon turning SSW on Fp11. This can be followed to Ermine Street, but for the present circuit, half-way along, turn off E on Fp 12 to Dyers Green. A short walk N along the road returns one to the village hall. The above walk of little more than 3 miles takes in the “core” of Whaddon.

Longer walks are possible, with outline suggestions as follows.

To Wimpole and Orwell, 8 miles From the village hall, cross the rec (Fp6) to the churchyard, turn left past the church, and take Whaddon Fp3 going NW from the road junction. Follow continuing paths in Wimpole parish up the Avenue, crossing the A603 with care. Visit Wimpole Park (all facilities). Emerge down the entrance drive, and take the permissive path down Victoria Drive opposite, leading back to the A603 opposite the turning to Orwell Village. Walk to Orwell Church.

Take the road opposite past the Chequers PH, shop, and school, and where the tarmac road turns (Hurdleditch Road), continue on Orwell Fp10, first SW, then SE and S across Malton Golf Course. The route crosses the historically-sited Kings Bridge over the R Cam, and returns us to Whaddon on Fp4, emerging near the nursery. Use Fp8 along Great Green to return to the centre of Whaddon.

The walk may be extended to 11 miles by taking in the Cobbs Wood Farm and The Mare Way after visiting Wimpole.

(c) Circuit via Melbourn, 9 miles From the Village Hall, go to Dyers Green, and use Fp9 to reach the Meldreth Road. Walk towards Eternit Works, and immediately beyond, turn left on Meldreth Fp 2, signed to Meldreth village. Opposite Meldreth Church, take the path signed past the watermill, and follow the very beautiful route by the R Mel, over the railway, and under the bypass to continue near the river into Melbourn recreation ground. Emerge between retirement bungalows into the centre of Melbourn. Walk SW through the village, cross the bypass, and find the start of Ashwell Street. Turn off N before reaching Ermine Street, using a signed path skirting both a wood and Kneesworth Hospital, to emerge through a farmyard onto Chestnut Lane. Turn left with care on the road into Kneesworth, then shortly right on a signed path going N. This passes a new reservoir, and goes behind garden boundaries, becoming Whaddon Fp13, leading to Dyers Green.

Abroad in the Fifties
In the November Cantab, we discussed the problems of walking alone in a foreign country, without having much of the local language. Here, John Capes has kindly taken time to share with us his experiences of walking alone in Switzerland more than 50 years ago.

“I first went abroad in December 1949 in army uniform at the taxpayers’ expense as part of my 18 months National Service. Final destination was Dortmund in the Ruhr Valley of Germany, and there I spent the next nine months. During that time I did not learn much German: we were not supposed to fraternise with the locals, and those Germans working in the barracks knew sufficient English to get by, but I picked up a few words.

My next foray to foreign parts was in 1957 when I joined a Youth Hostel Association party on a walking tour of Luxembourg, the Mosel Valley and the Rhineland. Again there was no real need for much German, within the party we didn’t need to use it and contact with the local population was left mainly to the lady leader who had a good working knowledge of the language.

In 1959 I decided to go it alone. Although I was a member of the RA I decided not to go with a Ramblers Holidays party but booked with the Swiss Travel Service for a fortnight in the Bernese Oberland, staying at a hotel in a small village just south of Interlaken. This part of Switzerland is German speaking. In those days travel was mainly by boat and train – who remembers couchettes?.

I have a copy of ‘Teach Yourself German’ price 6s (30p), which in the front says ‘New Impression 1957’, but I am not convinced I bought it then, but think I got it for the 1959 trip. Also to help with the language I bought from Swiss Travel a small booklet called ‘Sprechen Sie Deutsch?’ for 3s 6d (17½p), which contains useful words and phrases and their pronunciation, which I still have. I don’t remember learning much from either of these before I went; I think I just hoped everything would be alright!

For navigation purposes I bought two 1:50,000 scale maps – Interlaken and Jungfrau – priced at 6s 3d (31p) each, labelled in German – Landeskarte der Schweiz; and in French – Carte nationale de la Suisse; which I think means they are the equivalent of our Ordnance Survey (OS) maps. These I still have. Swiss maps of that era (they may still be) were relief shaded, that is they have darker shading on one side of a ridge and lighter on the other. As the Bernese Oberland is rather mountainous there are also numerous contours. Paths and tracks are marked, but not as prominently as on OS maps, black dotted lines were used which tend to merge into the background. For that terrain larger scale maps would have been better.

So the vital question – how did I get on? The answer – very well. The lack of language was not really relevant. My few words enabled me to ask for things, I knew the numbers and I could always say ‘Ich bin Englander’ to explain my lack of understanding. The understanding of English by the locals was variable; in the hotel and shops it was reasonably good, but out in the countryside virtually non-existent.

Being at the junction of the Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald Valleys, with mountain railways in both directions and also down to Interlaken the village was in an excellent position for walking and I was spoilt for choice of routes. Any disadvantage with the maps was countered by the excellent condition of the paths and tracks. They were so well used and signed it would have been difficult to go wrong.

I walked up the Lauterbrunnen Valley, up the zigzag path to Murren, then by funicular railway down to Lauterbrunnen and train back. I took the train to Grindelwald, up the chairlift to First, walked the ten miles along a ridge path to Schynige Platte, down a rack railway and back up the valley by train. I went by train to Kleine Scheidegg (at the foot of the Jungfrau) and walked back to Wengen, and then train back. I walked to Grindelwald and went to look at the glacier above the town, and came back by train. I did a cruise on Lake Brienz; I went on a coach tour over three mountain passes that included going into an ice cave carved into the Rhone Glacier. The biggest excursion was on the Jungfrau Railway; this is carved up through the Monch mountain to the highest station in Europe on the Jungfraujoch at 11,333 feet, I walked out onto the Jungfrau Glacier, and on a very clear day had a marvellous view to the north extending for about 400 miles. My memory is of an excellent fortnight – some light rain on one day, otherwise mainly sunny and warm.”

John Capes, Jan. 2011

Two new routes in Little Shelford The Whittlesford verge & Clay Pits paths will be opened on Sunday 27 March, starting at the Navigator, Little Shelford, 2pm. All are welcome. Information from Peter Dene., or see the village website:

Shepreth Footpath 11 renovation
This is the charming path which starts beside the R. Shep, from the minor road near the RSPB reserve at TL 402 460. A signed handgate gives access to a narrow way beside the clear chalk stream overhung by willows. Later the path continues on a wide grassy ride by the river, and turns left onto a farm-track at TL 399 465. This leads to the old (bypassed) A10 almost opposite the Green Man pub. Here, on 9 Jan, we found a small County Council map and notice, advising of repair work along the path, between 20 Sept 2010 and 19 Mar 2011. The path would be closed while reconstruction was underway. Some pruning had already occurred.

Finches Walk, Cambridge City 42 , on Empty Common A sign announced that the central section between the allotments and Bentley Road, would be closed from 17 January for 42 days for tree works.

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, 20p is appreciated towards the cost of paper and ink. If you would like to receive an issue by post, please send an A5 SAE.

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


Price 20 pence where sold Cantab 61 © Janet Moreton, 2011

CANTAB60 January 2011

CANTAB60 January 2011 published on

** Please note that this is an archive of the CANTAB publication and contains out-of-date information **


Success in Suffolk
The following is a passage from Ramblers’ Volunteer News, and we congratulate John Andrews on his latest success, the culmination of many years of unrelenting work.

“Today (18 Nov. 2010) is a minor ‘red letter’ day for Suffolk Ramblers and rights of way users.  About 35 years ago, having noticed a large black hole in the Suffolk Definitive Map, where the three large Breckland parishes of Elveden, Euston and Barnham appeared to have not a single right of way between them, I set about discovering why this was.

“The answer that quickly became obvious was that virtually the whole area – and much of the land in the surrounding parishes which were scarcely better served, was the property of two wealthy and influential men: the Earl of Iveagh (family name Guiness!) and the Duke of Grafton.  Searches of important C18th and C19th documents soon revealed powerful evidence of a network of historic public routes criss-crossing the area in former times, many of those tracks still in use by the occupants of those estates and their workers, but zealously guarded against  ‘intruders’.

“An unsurprising subsequent discovery was that, such was still the feudal stranglehold of the Estate owners, that great care had been taken to prevent local people from claiming that their villages had any rights of way when the County Council came calling in the early 1950s as it set about the first investigation under the 1949 Act.

“When I presented the Estate representatives with the documentary evidence, I was in effect told to go away and do my worst: they would fight me all the way and their lawyers would make sure that my efforts would come to nothing.  The situation is now dramatically different because of the addition of a significant number of historic ‘byways’ to the map of the area following a succession of public inquiries during the 1990s.

“Probably the most important of these routes was the 7 mile, still unmetalled length of ancient Icknield Way between The River Lark at Lackford and the Norfolk boundary on the outskirts of Thetford.  In 1991-3 the majority of this route was added to the Definitive Map after local public inquiries, but an inspector refused to confirm the Order for a 500 metre length in the centre of the route which had been destroyed in the creation of a large arable field.

“After a long period spent in fighting the refusal of Suffolk CC to make a further Order based on new evidence and in appealing against that rejection, a new Order was published in June 2008. Finally, nearly 2½ years later and following a lengthy 2-stage public inquiry, the Order has been confirmed.

“One key aspect of the inquiry was determining the width of this long-lost section of the Way.  The inspector has concluded that the width is still as shown on the early large-scale OS maps.  Consequently, across a tract of more or less featureless arable land the landowner will now be faced with the task of reinstating a Byway Open to All Traffic which has a width as great as 43 metres in places”

John Andrews

Happy New Year – and good walking weather?
Here we are, back to January, and probably with the usual dose of mud underfoot. The boulder clay determines the unpleasant, clinging nature of our local mud – a few miles into Suffolk on sand, we would be less sensitive to the amount of moisture in the ground.

Of course, apart from springs and overflowing ditches, and run-off from fields, most wetness underfoot is directly attributable to rainfall.  And in East Anglia, we are actually quite fortunate.  The average rainfall between 1970 and 2000 in Cambridge was 557mm.  Compare this with Oxford, which has 646mm.

As we found in December, a sharp frost on the fields makes for pleasant walking, on a crisp bright day.  East Anglia has a more “continental” climate than the west, with minimum temperatures in January generally between 5degC and 8degC.

But what about the cold east winds, with rather few trees to provide shelter?  In 1909, Thomas McKenny Hughes, the Woodwardian Professor of Geology, expressed in print*To the native of a mountainous country our hills are mere rising ground, but everything is relative, and they are our Alps…with nothing higher, eastwards, between us and the Ural mountains”  This statement seems to have caught the public imagination, and strengthens the urge to spend the Winter in long woolly whatsits next to the skin…

But modern technology, in the form of NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, could provide data to examine the straight path between Cambridge & the Urals, and it was found that in fact,there was plenty of high land in between, for example in Germany, where there are hills at least four times higher than the Gogs.

However, Cambridge in Winter (average 2.8degC ) is seemingly colder than Shetland, where the mean winter temperature is 3.9degC.

For daily weather predictions, Radio Cambridgeshire does a good job with the “half-hour forecasts”, but for what we actually had, a chart in the Botanic Gardens shows the temperature, and precipitation for the previous day. The site: will give an update on atmospheric pressure, rainfall, windspeed, and temperature. Or try “Iceni Weather” in Royston.

Meanwhile, remember the boot-scraping knife, and the umbrella.

Happy New Year and Happy Walking!

Janet Moreton

* Quotation and some of the data extracted from an article by Bea Perks, in the Magazine CAM, Michaelmas 2010.

DEFRA Cutbacks
DEFRA announced in November that Natural England will no longer be able to pay annual grants to farmers and landowners for providing permissive footpaths and bridleways under agri-environment schemes.  This will affect new applications, not existing Countryside Stewardship Schemes (CSS).  However, it will have effects on such agreements when they reach the end of their term.  Capital payments for kissing gates and footbridges etc will still be available under Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreements, but not the annual payment for maintaining permissive routes.

Who Owns Britain?
Country Life of 10 November had a feature by Kevin Cahill, author of “Who Owns Britain”.  Some of his figures are thought-provoking..

The total land area in the UK (including Scotland and Northern Island) is calculated at 24 million (24 000 000) ha, of which roughly 70% is farmland, 8% is urban or industrial, and 20% is forest, mountain, bog or marsh. MoD land, railway and roads also take up a few percent. Just to put these figures in context, I calculate the average land area of a modest house and garden might be 0.02ha, and a big house with a really large suburban or country garden, say, 0.5ha.

Over ten million (10 000 000) ha of land, or just over 75%, is recorded on land registers in England and Wales. Over one-third of the land area is owned by the Royal Family and aristocracy, of which the Duchy of Cornwall comprises 54 000 ha.  The state owns ca. 6% of the land in the UK

The Forestry Commission presently owns 1 000 000 ha;  The National Trust 242 000 ha; the RSPB (England & Wales) 130 000 ha.

36 000 members of the Country Landowners Association own ca 50% of rural land. Some 550 000 ha are registered common land in England and Wales. Rural Communities own between them some 130 000ha.

In Scotland, huge amounts of land are owned by single landowners,Trusts etc, such as Farquharson of Invercauld, the Countess of Sutherland,  The Duke of Atholl’s Trust; and the Duke of Buccleuch & Queensberry.

Improvements for Fenland Footpaths
“Your Cambridgeshire” of Winter 2010 has the encouraging report that Fenland paths are undergoing major improvements funded by £175 000 of European money.  The money is available via the Fens Adventurers Rural Development Programme.

Improved signs, waymarks, bridges, gates and surfacing are to be provided.  Interpretation boards, leaflets, and websites will promote particular routes.  The project, known as The Green Fens Way is running between August 2010 and March 2013.

Cambs CC’s “Walk of the Month”
A new “Walk of the Month” feature, available at the start of each month, has been launched on CCC’s website:
Follow links to environment, countryside and rights of way.

Themes will include easy access walks; literary walks; and the science of walking.

Countryside Services staff will be at libraries in January with walking, riding and cycling maps to promote regular enjoyment of the countryside

And Other Walks on-line
David Elsom, on Shelford website also provides over 50 descriptions of mostly 3 to 6 mile walks.

Wool Street or Via Devana
Linton Byway 23, or “The Roman Road” could have been renamed “The Slough of Despond” on at least one section, as seen recently.

In December, I was walking the byway between the turning to Balsham along Woodhall Lane at TL 583 488 and the B1052. This is part of the section of the Roman Road which has recently been the subject of a seasonal Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), banning 4-wheel motor vehicles in Winter. Therefore, I thought to find the surface much improved.

Alas, this was not so. There has been some (probably overdue) cutting back of brambles, and trees and bushes lining the route have been most stringently pruned back. Very heavy machinery seems to have been used, and the whole surface of the byway has been reduced to a morass, in which not a blade of grass remains, only a few twigs and small branches scattered about.  Fortunately, the ground was semi-frozen, so I was able to pass, but be warned, this is a path to avoid for some time.

Letter to the Editor
Following last month’s article on solitary walking abroad, James Dow of Bassingbourn writes:
many features such as tracks are marked in the wrong place, perhaps for this reason.  But I found that if I used an altimeter, I could usually work out where I was

Broughton Lock-Up
It looks like a rather solidly built garden shed, with a steep roof and a padlocked door.  Standing on the village green, opposite the church, it would be remarkable only for its position, were it not for the display board, with an historical note.

“The lock-up was probably built around 1840 and is one of only four remaining in the county” (read Huntingdonshire District – there are several in South Cambridgeshire). “Over the years the green has been used for many village events.  It was at the time of the St Ives fair, when an unusual incident occurred during one of the ‘Feasts’ held between the wars.  Stalls and roundabouts had been set out around the lock-up and the celebrations were well underway, when a man arrived on horseback and started smashing up all the stalls.  Mr Edward Melling, parish constable, arrested him and he was put in the lock-up until the police arrived – this was the last time it was used for restraining a felon..

“The Pound was an area enclosed on the same green where all stray animals were kept until they were claimed by their owners who were charged a fee.  The earliest reference to this enclosure comes in 1818 when the lock was repaired at a cost of £2.2s.6d. The Broughton Pinder was the man who impounded these animals, and was, according to a newspaper article, a delightful pinder who always seems so sorry if he is obliged to run-in your straying horse.  He does not demand his bond, which is perhaps 6d a head on all stray cattle, but is willing to accept a liquid composition for his pains.”

Source – “The village of Broughton” by Sue Gillard.

Broughton, 5 miles NW of Huntingdon, is a good place to start a walk. For the ambitious try the Pathfinder Walk of 46 miles  (see Cantab of September 2010).

“Twenty Rambles in Huntingdonshire” by Hunts RA Group gives a circular walk of just over 6 miles, going through Kings Ripton, Abbots Ripton, and passing Wennington Wood and Rectory Farm on the way back to Broughton, with its church and Elizabethan rectory.

On the return, home in on Broughton Church’s fine spire, and sometimes find the church open, to see the medieval wall-paintings over the chancel arch.  The scenes include a Resurrection; a Judgement; and Adam & Eve, before and after they were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  In the roof of the nave is an angelic orchestra, including St Andrew in its choir. Some of the walls are Norman, as is the arcaded font, ca. 1100.

After your walk, there is a pub, The Crown, nearby!

Temporary closure of Cambridge Path
Cambridge City Footpath 2, “the tin path” will be closed for remedial works for 2 months from 10 January 2011, between the footbridge over the railway and Burnside , TL 476 575.

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, 20p is appreciated towards the cost of paper and ink. If you would like to receive an issue by post, please send an A5 SAE.

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


Price 20 pence where sold Cantab 60 © Janet Moreton, 2011