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Hiking in Britain

Walk #5: A short walk around Waterbeach to Car Dyke

General Data

Date Walked 16/01/1999
County Cambridgeshire
Start Location Waterbeach
End Location Waterbeach
Start time 13.30
End time 14.45
Distance 3.0 miles
Description Walked from my flat through the village and around Car Dyke. Very muddy going. Afterwards spent a while walking around Waterbeach exploring some of the areas I have not yet been to.
Pack None
Condition I feel fine after this short stroll.
Weather Today's weather was sunny but windy
OS map Landranger number 154 (Cambridge & Newmarket, Saffron Walden)

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.


I have been intrigued by the Car Dyke since I moved to Waterbeach a year or so ago, and finally decided to take a stroll around it today. It was an easy walk along roads to reach the Dyke, which was reached through the car park of a sports club.

The dyke was part of an 85-mile Roman canal that ran from Cambridge to Lincoln, where possible using navigable rivers, but where not, using man-made cuts. The extant stretch in Waterbeach is not that long - about half a mile before it is cut off by the railway line to Cambridge - but fascinating nonetheless. It is amazing to stroll alongside the weed-filled ditch to realise how ancient it is, and the scale of the undertaking - when built it was 24 metres wide!


This was a short amble to view the last remaining stretch of the Roman Car Dyke, a waterway that once ran from the River Cam just south of Waterbeach to Lincoln. Car Dyke is a fairly impressive earthwork (even though it has been infilled over the years), and is located to the southeast of the village, and is accessible via a footpath running behind the playing fields. Further information on the Car Dyke Conservation Walk can be found here.

I started off from my flat in Bannold Road, Waterbeach. Head westwards down Bannold Road until Way Lane heads off to the left; turn left and follow way Lane as it heads south into the centre of the village. The road curves to the right to end at a T-junction. Turn right and follow Chapel Street as it curves around to the left, passing pubs and a couple of shops. When Cambridge Road comes in from the right, turn left into a car park. Walk beyond this to access the Car Dyke, which can be followed south for half a mile until it is truncated by a railway line.

Simply return to Cambridge Road and head back to the centre of the village. For a little variety I headed north up Greenside and then High Street, before turning right down Bannold Road to reach home.

If you wish to start off from the railway station, then leave the station and turn left to head westwards past the church to the centre of the village, from where you can follow the directions above.


From To Distance (m)Ascent (ft) Descent (ft)
Home in Waterbeach Home in Waterbeach 3.0 30 30

This makes a total distance of 3.0 miles, with 30 feet of ascent and 30 feet of descent.

  Profile of walk #5
For more information on profiles, ascents and descents, see this page


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!

Nearby walks

#TitleWalk length (miles)
2Waterbeach to Newmarket Road, Cambridge5.4
6Waterbeach to Newmarket Road, Cambridge5.4
7Waterbeach - Burwell - Swaffham - Waterbeach17.1

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