Baits Bite Lock
Can be done on foot or by bike. Nearly 2 miles out to the starting point and then a 4.5 to 5 mile circular walk.
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The starting point is the Green Dragon pub in Water Street in Chesterton. See the Riverside walk for directions.
Turn left out of the Green Dragon heading East away from town along Water Street. Avoid roads to the left. Soon you arrive at what was the site of the Penny Ferry pub on your right, now developed into private housing. It had an earlier incarnation as the Pike and Eel, where I played my first darts match. And lost. Just after this pass through the small car park on the right and onto the path running alongside the river. This is the towpath. Continue along this under a railway bridge, past Fen Ditton village on the other side of the river and eventually under a dual carriageway - the A14. Other than this it is a really pleasant walk or ride.
Baits Bite Lock looking north. The Lock Cottage and towpath are on the left.
Soon you'll reach Baits Bite Lock with the old Lock Cottage. This is a picturesque scene and can be busy with boats in the summer. Cross the river by the narrow bridges.
Looking upriver over the wooden lock gates with the lock full.
If you are walking, turn right on what can be an overgrown path leading via a couple of stiles and under the large road bridge to Green End road at the northern end of Fen Ditton.
If you're on your bike, once you have crossed the river keep leftish past the beautifully renovated old house (furthest to the right in the top photo), crossing a very small bridge. Head at an angle towards the hedge, making for another bridge. Cross this and follow the path by the hedge. You come to the Horningsea Road. A short distance to the left is the interesting Plough and Fleece pub, with food. If you're in a hurry turn right onto the road. To your right in a field is a large building incorporating the virtually invisible 13th century remains of Biggin Abbey. Cross over the A14 and take Field Lane on your right a little before Musgrave Road on the left. Follow this track through to Green End road, at which point you turn left.
At this point the foot and cycle routes meet. Head down Green End into the attractive village of Fen Ditton. The Plough pub will appear to your right: stop for refreshment. In good weather it's nice to sit in the garden. If 'The Bumps' are in progress you will be able to watch college or town boats seeking to catch each other up and bump. Turn right out of the pub. Green End becomes Church Street. Attractive houses to the right and left, including the Kings Head pub. Don't miss the church. Turn right at the pleasant junction, into High Street. More fine houses and farm buildings. At the end leave your bike for a minute and take the path to the left that goes out onto Ditton Meadows through a kissing gate. Apparently the narrow inlet of water behind the small building to your right marks the site of a Roman port - but you wouldn't know it by looking! If you are on foot follow the path along the river: you'll end up at the bridge over to the Green Dragon having passed under the railway line. If you're biking return to your sturdy jalopy and turn right down the cycle path just a few metres back up the road. Bear right at a junction after a few hundred metres and follow the cycle path across Ditton Meadows. You'll soon pass under the railway bridge, just before which the footpath joins the cycle path from the right.
You are now on Stourbridge Common. Keep on the tarmac path until you reach the pedestrian bridge over the river. Cross this and you find yourself in front of the Green Dragon. Ah!