Cambridge to Royston

We were on a bit of a roll after the decent walk we did last week, so we thought we’d carry the momentum through and do another half decent walk this weekend. The aim this time was to walk from our house in Cambridge to Royston and then get the train back.

This was a generally uneventful walk on a lovely August day with a nice breeze to cool the heat from the sun. The photo below is not intended to show off cabbages – instead check out the horizon and see the various telescopes that are visible. One of them was on a fixed track of at least 1.5km in length – using part of an old railway line, but with a much wider gauge. Apparently the telescopes are owned by Cambridge University.

16082009110

Part of our route took us to the edge of the village of Orwell, and apprently along the Greenwich Meridian.

16082009116

Carmel enjoyed our lunch spot.

16082009117

Here’s a photo of the mighty River Cam a little earlier in its life. Can’t imagine punting or rowing on this pathetic little dribble. We got a little bit lost here – I’m sure the golf course just out of shot had eaten up a path that used to exist and that we were trying to follow.

16082009118

And here’s a photo of me in a field of wheat. There were lots of fields of wheat on this walk…

16082009122

Finally, here’s the full route map – it took the train a good 15 mins to take us directly back home without stopping, so that made us feel better.

Cambridge to Royston

Duration 6:17 hours
Distance 18.6 miles
Path (Google Earth)

Cambridge to King’s Lynn

A few weeks ago Carmel and I decided to re-walk the River Cam route from Cambridge to King’s Lynn.  We originally walked this route about 6 years ago when we trained for the 3 Peaks of Britain – but now we have GPS devices that allow us to record the route. This is a journey just shy of 50 miles, so for us we are more than happy splitting this over 3 days (not consecutive). The river is roughly accompanied by the Cambridge to King’s Lynn train line so that gives us the opportunity to get to and from a few points on the walk with no great pain.

The sections we did were:

  • Cambridge -> Ely (16.2 miles)
  • Ely -> Downham Market (22.7 miles)
  • Downham Market -> King’s Lynn (12.7 miles)

The individual bits add up to more than 50 miles, at least in part due to a 4 mile diversion we accidentally took on the second leg. We followed the wrong side of the river before realising that a bridge was non-existent when we needed one, so had to retrace our route to the previous bridge and then walk back down the other bank. This happened to us at the 18 mile mark and was really, really not needed. We were very grumpy.

The route isn’t overly exciting. It is following a river with no change in altitude more than 5 metres. The scenery is bland – mostly flat East Anglian fields off into the horizon. The few pubs are very varied, some pleasant, some less so. But given the right frame of mind, the walks are good fun and generally fairly quiet and relaxing.

08082009100

This photo below was from the Black Horse pub in Littleport, a few miles north of Ely.

08082009097

Perhaps the highlight of the whole trip was the discovery of a fab pub in Downham Market Station. The photo here does not do it justice, but the pub is really small (even smaller than the St Radegund, Cambridge) and has 3 guest ales on tap (no Green King beers thankfully). The staff were really friendly and trying to make the pub work as a session drinking venue rather than just as a place to grab a pint when you’ve missed your train. Maybe one day Carmel and I will get the train there from Cambridge for a few? Or perhaps plan our walk to end in plenty of time to spend a couple of hours there?

08082009105

So here’s the full route. It looks quite impressive when seen as a whole – similar in length to the route from Cambridge to Norwich. Which could be our next effort? But possibly we’ll extend this route from Cambridge to King’s Lynn in the southerly London direction. I believe Cambridge to London is ~50 miles, so perhaps we can do a similar split journey into London next.

Cambridge to King's Lynn

Distance 46.8 miles
Path (Google Earth)