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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Saturday Walk – The Cathedral of the Fens

Extra Walk 118 – Ely Circular
Length: 18 km (11.2 miles). Toughness: 2/10

10:14 Ely train from Kings Cross, arriving Ely at 11:21.

Trains back are at around 25 & 55 minutes past the hour to 7pm, then hourly (times vary slightly).

This walk had a makeover a year or two ago and this revised version was well received on a Sunday last September, so it's about time it had a Saturday outing. Rather surprisingly for a Fenland walk the word 'hilltop' appears a few times in the walk notes, but anyone looking to prepare themselves for August's Peak District weekend should probably stick to the gym: the landscape is of course predominantly flat with the great cathedral visible for miles around.

The walk is essentially an out-and-back route to the Red Lion in the village of Stretham, with stretches alongside the River Great Ouse in the morning and some contrasting woodland groves in the afternoon. Ely is a fine place to end a walk and the route takes you into the centre of the city and right past the door of Ely Cathedral, which of course is well worth visiting. You can see something of the magnificent interior from its Refectory Café (free to enter) but there's an admission charge to visit the Cathedral itself before 5pm; this includes a guided tour. The walk notes list many possible refreshment places and if it's a fine evening there's a short optional extension through the water meadows which looks well worth trying.

You'll need to download and print the directions from the Ely Circular Walk page.

1 comment:

Ian T said...

N=10 on a day that w=started-cool-and-cloudy-but-got-warmer-muggier-and-sunnier It’s the second time Ive done this re-jigged walk and I have to say that apart from the big open skies and the occasional drain, the fens seemed a tad featureless today. It may have been the heat, but I found myself hankering for the old Witchford loop. The church in Stretham has interesting windows and The pub there is probably slightly more amenable than the one in Witchford but I wouldn’t make a special trip to find it. Don’t go there looking for beer, there was only one on offer. Ditto cider. People seemed to like the food they got, though. Salmon and mashed potatoes but it probably had a posher name. And back along the Burying Way. From Little Thetford, the walk picked up a bit, a bit more variety, past a village fete, through a endless succession of gates, an interminable golf course and finally the highlight of this walk, Ely itself. Just a shame we had to walk 11 miles to get there! Despite having led for some sections of the walk, the others raced ahead on the approach. I finally tracked them down, stuffing cream and scones into their fat little faces in the Almonry. I, however, had another destination in mind – to fulfil a longstanding ambition to visit The Drayman's Son, a micropub on Forehill. It was a bit stuffy, being crammed with Morris dancers thanks to Ely Folk Festival being on somewhere They offer about a zillion types of real ale and cider – vanilla porter, anyone? Anyway, I picked a pint of Pickled Parrot perry. Very nice, 6%. Truly one of the wonders of Ely. I must have looked festive when I left because someone with a flowery hat and bells on asked me where to pick up the shuttle to the festival. Then a quick visit to the cathedral, Ely’s other wonder. Some stayed there to listen to singing but I was off, downhill through the park, back to the station. A better walk might be to do the shorter loop, have lunch in Ely then visit the water meadows (fitting in at least two visits to the Draymans Son on the way round).