November – a year of walks

We’ve now chalked up a year of our walking project. We haven’t quite maintained the ‘weekly’ pace the whole way through, as we’re now onto our 34th local walk. As life becomes more normal in this phase of the pandemic, there’s more to interrupt our regular walk slot. Thankfully, that’s included being able to travel, particularly to see family – although we did record a few extra non-local walks in the process! Still, we’re building up a nice list (which can be seen here) and got back to it this month.

19 Nov – Horseheath to West Wickam

Walk 4 in Cambridgeshire Circular Walks. 5.2 miles. From Horeseheath, a circular loop to West Wickham.

Back to the undulating, flinty landscape of the Cambs / Suffolk / Essex border, where we walked at Linton back in April. We started a few miles up the road in the village of Horseheath, and indeed the water tower at Rivey Hill that we passed back in April was visible in the distance for much of this walk. Leaving Horseheath by a path opposite its (closed) church, we climbed a gentle slope and walked along field edges alive with pheasant. For a short period we joined the route of the same Roman road we’d walked both on the Linton walk and at Wandlebury in January. Then we tracked down and back uphill to West Wickham, stopping for coffee outside its flint-clad church.

Having made an arc to the east of the 2 villages on the way out, we did the same to the west on the way back. It was a dull day, but enlivened by Autumn colours, and this is a very pleasant country walk. The Cambridgeshire Walks book was a good guide, as ever, although in this case slightly out-dated in a couple of places – for example, on the approach to West Wickham it invites you to look for a non-existent gap in the hedge; the hedge to one side must have been removed. Unusually for this book, it also slightly underestimates the length of the walk. Still, at around 5 miles, it’s not too taxing – even (perhaps especially) with the slight detour at the end to the Old Red Lion pub, where we thoroughly approved of the service, beer, and food.