Coe Fen, Lammas Land and the Mill Pond
Best done on foot although it can all be biked except for Paradise
nature reserve. A circular walk of about 2.5 miles.
Start at Silver Street bridge. Looking north along the river you can see the famous Queens' College Mathematical bridge.
The Mathematical Bridge from Silver St, 4.35 a.m. Photo © Adrian Wrigley.
Head back past the Anchor pub and turn immediately right down Laundress Lane, leading into Granta Place with the river on your right. Follow this narrow street until it ends at a large expanse of pasture land - Coe Fen. You are now on the top point of the strip of yellow that borders the eastern bank of the river on the map below.
Walk though the fen keeping a large, ancient wall on your left. Notice what appears to be a very old, defunct gateway after a while. Keep on the path until you reach the busy Fen Causeway. Cross straight over and return to the fen the other side. The Leys public school is behind a fairly nasty hedge of firs on your left: thankfully some of it was cut down a few years ago. Once past aforementioned nasty hedge the path joins a bigger track coming in from your right. Keep on this path, bearing left at the fork a short distance ahead. Follow this branch out onto the Trumpington Road. Turn right along the pavement. The Botanical Gardens are on your left - notice the fine iron gateway, no longer in use. Turn right (over a narrow cattle grid), back onto the fen just as it ends at the narrow Vicar's Brook. If you want a longer stroll and a look around the Botanics you can continue onto the Hobson's Conduit walk at this point.
Follow the path by the Brook - you'll recognize a short stretch of it from earlier. Avoid turns to the right before crossing over a stream. Cross the main branch of the Cam over a pedestrian bridge and then another branch over a smaller bridge. Turn left into the car park keeping close to the river. At the far end of the car park you will see a stile into Paradise nature reserve. Walk through it alongside the river, eventually amongst mature trees. At the far end it is possible to get out into the quiet suburb of Newnham. However, turn back and make your way back through fairly dense trees and scrub to the same stile or another one near it.
View from Coe Fen. Photo © (Es)senses of Place
Walk back through the car park and through a gate onto Lammas Land - a more manicured expanse of grassland than we've been used to. Follow the tarmac path past a large paddling pool on your right and through a children's play area. Cross Fen Causeway at the pedestrian lights and follow the path along the edge of Sheep's Green, with a branch of the river on your left. Soon you come to the Mill pond: walk round the left onto the road and into the Granta pub for thirst quenching pints of foaming local ale. Well, sort of. Nice views over the water and fen from the pub's wooden balcony. Emerge from said ale house. You could cross the road and venture up the sweet little Malting Lane and back. If you find this too alarming a prospect make your way back around the Mill Pond and bear left across Sheep's Green towards the main branch of the river and civilization. Punts abound in warmer seasons.
Punting at Sheep's Green.
Photo © Steve Chadwick - all rights reserved.
Tarry awhile on the cobbled bridge above the sluice. A drink in either of the pubs in sight - the Anchor (with some nice mementos of Syd Barrett one of Cambridge's most revered sons) and the Mill - is not out of the question. Make your way back up to Silver Street bridge the way you came.