Walk #6: Waterbeach to Newmarket Road, Cambridge
Map of the walk
Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format. For a detailed table of timings for this walk, please see the table file.
Today looked as though it was going to be a nice day, and so I decided that it may be a nice idea to walk into walk. The most obvious route was to follow the River Cam southwards, and then cross the river at Baits Bite Lock and walk down into Fen Ditton, from where my workplace is just a ten minute walk away. I had walked this route before several times in the past, and so I was defintely going to be on home ground.
There is plenty of interest to see on the walk and it was far from a boring stroll. Just to the south of Waterbeach there is the place where the Roman Car Dyke (a canal that used natural watercourses and man-made cuts) met the Cam. This Dyke allowed Roman boars to go between the Cam and Lincoln, and traces of it can also be seen in Lincolnshire.
Further to the south, just beyond Baits Bite Lock, I came across a flotilla of rowing boats. Some were single sculls, whilst others were twin, four-man or eight-man boats. Each one of the eight-man boats was accompanied by a cyclist pedaling beside the boats as they rowed at speed down the river, yelling instructions at them. It all left me wondering how many of those rowers may be appearing for Cambridge in the boat race in future years.
(Note that these directions are from my flat in Bannold Road, Waterbeach; to walk it from the centre of the village remove 1/2 a mile, and from the railway station 3/4 of a mile).
Walk along Bannold Road towards Bottisham Lock and the River. Once the river has been reached, follow the western bank southwards until you reach the road near the railway station.
Cross over the road, and take a path in the field opposite which follows the road. This brings you out by the river just upstream of the road bridge.
Follow the river for a couple of miles. This is a very nice section of river and a joy to walk. Eventually you reach Bait Bite Lock, just south of a path leading to the village of Milton.
Cross over the bridge over the lock and follow the path past a house and then southwards through a wooded area. This wood then finished, and you cross a field and a stile before coming to a bridge under the A14. Pass under this, trying to ignore the noise of the traffic and cross a stile before angling across a field and onto a road.
Follow this road as it twists and turns through Ditton Green. At a junction near a cross, take a path straight ahead which leads eastwards through Fen Ditton.
When you reach a crossroads, turn right and follow Ditton Lane southwards for a little over half a mile. When this ends at a T-junction with Newmarket Road turn right; Acorn computers is immediately on the right. (note 2010: Acorn Computers is sadly no more; it became Element-14 and then part of Pace, before closing in 2002).
This makes a total distance of 5.4 miles, with 49 feet of ascent and 20 feet of descent.
Please note that I take no responsibility for anything that may happen when following these directions. If you intend to follow this route, then please use the relevant maps and check the route out before you go out. As always when walking, use common sense and you should be fine.
If you find any information on any of these routes that is inaccurate, or you wish to add anything, then please email me.
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And finally, enjoy your walking!