January walks

Into our third month of circular Monday walks and England is back into full national lockdown – so we need to stay fairly close to home. Here’s what we’ve been up to…

I’m currently creating a map of all of our circular walks.

4 Jan – Milton to Chesterton circuit

4.8 mile circuit. From Fen Road, Milton, through Milton Country Park to the A14 footbridge. Via Cowley Road to Cambridge North Station, then cut through to the river at Chesterton. Return along the river back to Baits Bite Lock, Milton and back to Fen Road.

Joined by Ella for a circuit around Milton, past my first-ever workplace at St John’s Innovation Centre, and the new(ish) station at Cambridge North to the river. Not too many boats (or, thankfully, bikes) out from locked-down, Christmas holiday Cambridge today. A good, mud-free winter walk.

We returned for a longer version in 2023.

11 Jan – Histon – Oakington – Girton circuit

5.8 miles. From the village green in Histon, out along Park Lane. Take the public bridleway to Westwick. Walk through Oakington village via Mill Rd, High St, Coles Lane. Take the Cambridge Rd to Girton, turning left onto the bridleway by Beck Brook as you enter the village. When this emerges on the busway, turn right and follow the busway until it hits Station Rd – follow this road back to Histon green.

This walk worked well given the current conditions, where a lot of places are very wet underfoot. It’s a mix of cross-country (but not too muddy), pavement (the Oakington-Girton stretch is the one bit where you’re walking alongside any significant traffic) and footpath alongside the St Ives – Cambridge guided busway. There are plenty of options to shorten or lengthen (e.g., continue into Girton and follow path back to Histon from near church). There’s nothing too exciting about this walk, but it’s a good option for stretching the legs that starts from our neighbouring village – so a decent local discovery.

18 Jan – Wandlebury – Stapleford loop

Walk 24 in Cambridgeshire Circular Walks. 7 miles.

Starting from what passes around here for a hill (elevation all of 75m), we cut from Wandlebury Ring down over the Magog Down and along Haverhill Road (3/4 mile next to speeding traffic is the least fun bit of the walk) into Stapleford. A little tour of the village and then across relatively uninspiring farm land before a more attractive ‘climb’ back up Copley Hill and along the old Roman Road to the back of the Wandlebury park. Good to have some contours – and scope for smaller loops on another day. Pretty good from the mud point-of-view for January too.

25 Jan – Landbeach, Waterbeach, Milton

6.6 Miles. From the exit to Rectory Farm through Landbeach, back across the A10 to Waterbeach and out past the rail station to the river. Along the river to Bait’s Bite Lock and back to the start via Milton, diverting via Butt Lane and Froment Way.

The temperature was freezing, with yesterday’s smattering of snow still lying in places. But with the sun out and no wind, it was a beautiful morning for a walk. We constructed a circuit of nearby villages – familiar territory, although we discovered a couple of useful cut-throughs in Waterbeach (from the A10 to the old Cambridge Road, and through the Cow Hollow nature reserve – pictured) that were new to us. We went on a small diversion in Milton to walk past our first house in Butt Lane. In December and January we’ve now walked the River Cam from Waterbeach to Grantchester.

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