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CANTAB66 February 2012

CANTAB66 February 2012 published on

** Please note that this is an archive of the CANTAB publication and contains out-of-date information **


It is always good to have feedback from an article (“Outdated Cambridgeshire Walks’ Guides” in the December issue of Cantab Rambler) and we will all be indebted to Roger Wolfe for sharing his reminiscences on the mid-C20th availability of maps and guidebooks for walking in Cambridgeshire and the wider East Anglia. Litlington is this month’s parish, offering relatively dry cross-field walking on chalk soils.

Janet Moreton

Letter to the Editor- Roger Wolfe, 11 Nov. 2011 More on Earlier Guides and Maps
“I was particularly interested in your review of footpath guides, a fascinating and rather neglected aspect of the pleasures of country walking. It’s interesting to speculate what our rambling predecessors got up to and what the East Anglian countryside was like to walk through in the 1930s.

Perhaps the question is partly answered by the ‘Cambridge and District Footpath Map’ published by the Cambridge Preservation Society in 1936. At two inches to the mile it shows a lot of paths and tracks not on the modern definitive map, but also omits quite a few routes now public. The inside cover has some interesting advice, e.g. “Any footpath connecting two spots open to the public is as a rule a public footpath.” Such optimism!

Also from the 1930s is a booklet entitled ‘Rambles in Cambridgeshire’ published by the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) price 6d (2.5p). The county definition is somewhat elastic, ‘Cambs’ extending well into Essex and Suffolk on several walks. What a pity to have been born too late to have enjoyed the 18 mile Mildenhall to Ely ramble making use of the ferry at Barway! (‘Walking tour ticket 2s 8d third class, any day any train from Cambridge’.) It’s interesting that many of the walks featured ventured into Fenland. The average distance of all 14 walks in the booklet is 15.5 miles, so it seems the earlier generation of walkers must have been a pretty tough lot.

The earliest post-WW2 walks booklet I can remember (about 1957) described rambles in the Saffron Walden area, several of which extended into Cambs. The author claimed that the walks could be followed in the opposite direction to that described simply by substituting left for right and right for left! Sadly I don’t have a copy and don’t recall having put this formula to the test.

In the early 1960s I did a series of walk descriptions for the ‘Cambridge Daily News’ as it was then. Each walk was based on public transport in the local area. The paper declined to publish maps for fear of infringing OS copyright and the sub-editors thought nothing of omitting whole paragraphs of crucial description if they needed extra space for other material! As your Cantab comments make clear, in those days it was a challenge to find usable paths for publication.

The inclusion of public rights of way on OS maps in the mid 1960s was of huge significance and I well remember looking at the new, specially produced OS ‘Tourist Map of Cambridge’ (1965, one inch to the mile, ten bob) and seeing for the first time where we could (and could not) walk as of right.

The huge increase in car ownership in the 1960s and consequent decline in rural public transport caused a significant shift in the way that ramblers in Cambs and neighbouring counties experienced the countryside. Point to point walks were replaced by circular routes from convenient (and sometimes not so convenient) car parks. Ironically, walk planners who had previously been limited by the availability of train or bus services are now constrained by finding adequate parking places for group and club outings. However, rising fuel prices, increased parking charges and environmental concerns have caused a small revival of the use of surviving rural rail stations as gateways to the countryside. A series of leaflets has been produced by the Mid Anglia Rail Passengers’ Association (MARPA) describing walks between each of the stations served by trains on the Cambridge to Ipswich line (also Bury St Edmunds to Ely) with a bit of help from local bus services at places like Soham and Fulbourn where intermediate stations have closed. The leaflets can be downloaded from

My, isn’t your rucksack heavy?
This is not usually a comment directed at me, but to Roger, apparently toiling along under a huge load. I have been threatening for some time to make him turn it out, and discover the reason for the bulges, and this is what I found.

The Rucksack weighed empty at 0.70 kg.

Food and drink. A full stainless steel flask of coffee, and a 300ml plastic bottle of water weigh 1.30kg. Food for the day, (biscuits and cheese, fruit, cake, cereal bars) might add up to 0.75kg.

Spare clothing. This is very much a seasonal thing, but taking into account approved outdoor safety standards, assuming one is already wearing a fleece, one might also have with one: waterproof jacket (0.50kg) and overtrousers (0.25kg), waterproof mittens (0.10kg), gaiters (0.20kg), scarf (0.10kg) spare socks (0.10kg), spare woolly (0.25kg), hat (0.10kg).

Accessories. 2 Maps, notebook, pen (0.35kg), GPS (0.10kg), mobile phone (0.10kg), wallet money and keys (0.30kg), first aid kit, comb etc (0.20kg), folding aluminium umbrella (0.20kg), secateurs (0.25kg), small torch (0.20kg), monocular (0.10kg), sit mat (0.10kg), rucksack cover (0.10kg)

I weighed these roughly on the kitchen scales, but accuracy is not important as different varieties of items would vary considerably in weight. A waterproof jacket might vary between 0.30 and 0.75kg, for example.

So the clothing in the rucksack weighs 2.05kg unless it is cold and wet, when you will be carrying it on your person! Roger’s food and drink weighed 1.6kg. This could have been less without the water bottle, or with a smaller flask of coffee. The accessories, individually, mostly weighed about 100g each, but together weighed 2kg. A surprise is how much money and keys weigh one down, and that two Landranger maps weigh 0.25kg.

So the grand total makes 6.35kg (or 14lb). My, isn’t your rucksack heavy?

Parish of the Month – Litlington
Explorer Sheet 208
Location and History. Litlington is one of the parishes on the chalk, with Limlow Hill to the south of the village, rising to 60m. The parish extends south to the A505, one of the lines of the ancient Icknield Way. Ashwell Street (or “Strete”) has a mile of its length in the parish, passing from Steeple Morden to Bassingbourn. This green lane is, like the A505, of prehistoric origin, part of a strand of tracks leading across England from Wessex to East Anglia. To the north of the parish, the little stream “Mill River” separates Litlington from Abington Pigotts. The open fields were enclosed following an award made in 1830, and the Cambs definitive map of 1953 left Litlington with a sparse 10 paths.

It seems that in Roman times, Litlington may have been an important, wealthy settlement, but traces of earlier occupation go back to the Mesolithic Age, with worked flints and 3 axes found on the site of the village. The Bronze Age is heavily represented by 16 former barrows (now only visible as ring ditches, and identified by aerial photography) along the southern route of the Icknield Way. An early Bronze Age dagger was found in the village, and lumps from a bronze Ingot (indicating bronze workings) came from Limlow Hill. On older maps, a tumulus is shown near the summit of Limlow Hill at TL 323 417, almost on the line of fp 9.

Finally, an Iron Age settlement preceded significant Roman sites. On Hill Farm, just N of Ashwell Street, small squarish enclosures showing as very slight banks and depressions may belong to this period. Mile Ditches (3 banks and ditches, crossing the Icknield Way and running through the E edge of Litlington) are defensive earthworks of Iron Age date, and extend from an upstanding round barrow on Therfield Heath, for about 1.5 miles to the Springs at Bassingbourn. The ditches were silted up from Roman times, and were finally levelled in the C19th, but can be seen as massive dark parallel lines in bare soil.

Cambs’ most important Roman cemetery was at Litlington, found during gravel digging in 1821. The then vicar’s wife made drawings from 80 cremations, lying in rows 1m apart. Some urns were in wooden boxes of which the iron nails and bronze lock plates survived. Other burials were accompanied by grave goods, eg handled flagon, storage jar, and samian cup. There were also ca 250 inhumations, with findings of pottery and glass vessels, glass beads, and coins. Nearby was a stone chamber containing a stone coffin, which can now be seen outside the W end of the church. The “Romano-British” burial ground is shown adjacent to Ashwell Street, at TL 314 420, just west of a crossing track.on the 1956 OS 1st series 1:25 000 sheet. Sir Cyril Fox refers to “a walled cemetery in a field known, from time immemorial, as Heaven’s Walls”.

The 1956 map shows the site of a C4th Roman Villa on the SW edge of the village at TL 313 425. The villa was excavated in 1829 and 1881. It measured 100 x 120 m, and contained 30 rooms around a courtyard, hypocaust, bath, and at least 1 mosaic pavement. All records of the excavation were lost. The rectangular layout of the village, together with the evidence of the Roman villa, may indicate that this village originated as a Roman settlement.

Later, the village seems to have developed from 2 settlements, Church End and South End. In the Middle Ages, Dovedale Manor House stood in a moated site at Bury Farm. The rectangular enclosure contained fishponds, fed by Chardle Ditch. Much of the moat has been levelled, and can only be seen as dry depressions in the field. In 1428 the property passed to the Pigotts of Abington Pigotts. The moat of The Bury is shown at TL 312 432, just beyond Bury Farm, north of fp 5, probably in a grassy paddock. Huntingfields Manor House, off Church Street, was first recorded in 1337. The moat around the present house, which dates from the C16th, only survives as a widening of the stream.

The C13th church is of interest and has a medieval pulpit and fine caved oak chancel screen of that period. Inside, there is the stone head of a scold-in-bridle, ca. 1330 as head-stop to a moulded arch in the N arcade. Old bosses in the roof are picked out in gilt .

In the village stands an old brick lock-up in Middle Street, TL 312 428. A small triangular village green at TL 313 426 contains 2 seats, and an attractive village sign.

Pub and shop are located on Church Street.

Walks suggestions from Litlington
Walks are described from the church. There is a little informal parking here on the verge of Litlington Road (avoid Sundays). There is a car-park for the village hall on Meeting Lane, but it would seem best to seek permission.

The main aim is to describe how best to leave / return to Litlington. Extended walks in Bassingbourn were described in Cantab 34, Jan. 2006, and those in Abington Pigotts in Cantab 20, Sept 2003.

Most of these routes involve a proportion of cross-field arable paths on chalky land, generally less sticky than the heavier claylands to the north of Cambridge.

(A) Ashwell Street, Royston and Therfield Heath. 6 miles, or 9 miles with diversions
From the church, walk SSE along Royston Road to Ashwell Street. Fp9 is signed going SE, climbing Limlow Hill, to cross seven arable fields, generally well marked, reaching Bassingbourn Bp16 at TL 334 411. Follow this S carefully over both the railway crossing and the A505 to the Little Chef. Go a little way up the Therfield road, and turn left to walk along the Heath, into Royston. (A detour into the Nature Reserve from TL 337 400 is rewarding). Visit Royston, or turn down at lane at TL349 406 to Green Drift. Cross the railway, continue on a fenced path through the industrial site, cross the bypass, and continue NNW on Bassingbourn fp 18 to Ashwell Street. Turn left, and return to Litlington.

(B) Visiting Bassingbourn and Abington Pigotts. 7 miles
From the church, walk along Church St to Cockhall Lane, and take Fp7 SW to join Ashwell Street. Here turn left along Ashwell Street, crossing Royston Rd, and continue along Ashwell Street to TL 331 426, where a kissing gate gives access to a permissive path going N to Wellhead Springs. Turn right in front of the Springs, and follow the path to South End., Bassingbourn. Continue N over the crossroads to visit Bassingbourn Church, and go beyond Church End to The Mill, TL 326 443. Take the path going SW, then generally W across seven fields to Abington Pigotts. (This sounds formidable, but has recently been re-waymarked: excellent when frozen, or in short young cereal). The Inn is recommended. Take footpaths to Down Hall, TL 315 437. Just beyond, take the signed path through the grounds of the watermill house. Crossing a ditch on a bridge, the path continues as Fp2 in Litlington, reaching the road at TL 309 433. Go S down the road, and turn left on Fp5 past Bury Farm. Continue through paddocks, emerging in Litlington on Meeting Lane. Turn right to inspect the old lockup.

(C) To Upper Gatley and Morden Grange 5 miles. From the church, take Royston Road to Ashwell Street. Turn right (WSW) along this fine green lane, as far as Upper Gatley End. Here turn S on a track towards Morden Grange Plantation. At TL 297 405 it is possible to walk forward to the junction at TL301 400 or, more interestingly, follow around the other side of the plantation next to the concealed chalkpit, passing over a conveyor belt. In either case, walk beyond Morden Grange Farm to TL 313 406, where turn N, and follow the grassy track to young woodland, to emerge on Ashwell Street. At TL 311 417, take Fp7 back to Litlington village. n.b. This is a “clean” walk. (It is possible to extend this route to Ashwell station at Odsey, to give distances up to 10 miles.)

(D)To Abington Pigotts and The Mordens 4 miles, or much more!
Opposite the churchyard on Litlington Road, a signpost points W along Fp3 across an arable field, generally well walked. Mid-field, Fp4 branches off at TL 306 428. Follow Fp4 W into Steeple Morden parish, passing through a belt of trees, and going uphill in an arable field to join a track at TL 311429. Follow the track N, then around bends by a ditch and field edge, to a bridge over Cheney Water at TL 298 435. Turn right on the brookside track towards Down Hall Farm. Take the track N to Bible Grove. Here, either turn right into Abington Pigotts, or left along Bogs Gap Lane to Bogs Gap, Steeple Morden, TL 292 435. Many options are possible for visiting the Mordens from here. The shortest variant involves turning left along the lane to Brook End. At Hillside Farm, TL 292 428, turn E on a track to meet your outward route at a corner, TL 301 429. Turn S on the track to Litlington Road, and return to the church, taking care on this rather busy road.

The Mordens, between them have an excellent network of over 100 paths. A typical circuit from Litlington taking in both villages would give a walk of 8 to 12 miles.

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 Cantab66 © Janet Moreton, 2012

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