Spring 2024 walks

Revisiting and revising some of our walks – we may even try something new?

21 March – Cottenham – Rampton

5.4 miles. Cottenham to Cow Lane, Rampton via Broad Lane. Into Rampton along Cow Lane and cut through village back lanes to Cottenham Lode. Return to Cottenham along the Lode.

A good loop from home out to Rampton village. This is a variant on one loop of the figure-of-eight route walked back in March 2021 that makes that loop slightly longer and so a good walk in itself. We’ve had a lot of rainfall here in recent months but the path out to Rampton was not too bad, except for a couple of places where it was necessary to cut into the fields to avoid puddles. We extended the walk by turning right when we hit Rampton High Street, then taking the path off to the left just before The Paddocks. This was a barely-passable quagmire after crossing King St, so a better option is needed during or after wet weather (perhaps walking on up to Cuckoo Lane, further lengthening the walk – we will have to try that!). There was no problem underfoot with the return along Cottenham Lode. No refreshments on this walk, as we finished at home, but we must try the Black Horse in Rampton sometime.

26 Apr – Fen Drayton Lakes

3.8 miles. Red trail from car park clockwise round Ferry Lagoon until it meets the busway, then follow path and road around Trout Pond and Far Fen Lake to far corner of Oxholme Lake. Take part of purple trail between Oxholme and Elney Lakes. At busway pick up green trail clockwise back to car park. See trail map (link correct May 2024).

Back to Fen Drayton Lakes, looking for a short-ish walk in spring sunshine. Plenty of options to vary the route here, particularly when part of the trail around Ferry Lagoon turned out to be flooded. The waters from our very wet winter and spring have not entirely receded. But the paths were generally in good condition, and it was nice walking at the waterside, with plenty of birdlife about. Then a very acceptable sandwich and pint in the White Horse Inn, Swavesey, which turned out to be a good local pub option.

3 May – Holkham Beach – Wells-Next-the-Sea

3.8 miles. From the Holkham Beach car park via the Norfolk Coastal Path to Wells-Next-the-Sea beach, returning along the beach and via the pine wood trees.

On a couple of nights’ camping in North Norfolk, we headed to a usual haunt at Holkham Beach, but tried this walk option for the first time. We followed the Norfolk Coastal Path toward Wells. It hunkers down behind the sand dunes and pine woods, so you can’t see the sea at this point, but we did get shelter from a slightly chill north-easterly breeze and sunlit views across the marshland to Wells. At Wells Beach, there is the option to continue on into the town, although no option to then turn this into a loop – you’d have to retrace your steps along the beach road. We instead returned directly to Holkham along the beach. The wind had dropped and the sun was out, so it was a glorious walk along the strand. It’s possible to stay on fairly firm sand the whole way, so quite easy walking. When we came across the first signs for Holkham beach, we cut into the pine woods behind the beach on one of the network of woodland trails and picked up the main trail running parallel to the beach, which eventually brought us out at the viewpoint over Holkham beach, just a few hundred yards up the boardwalk from our starting point. Definitely a good route to combine with a bit of beach time any time we are up here on a sunny day. Or add a couple of miles by walking on into Wells and back for chips or an ice cream.

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