A Short Walk Around Cambridge
Queens’ College Mathematical Bridge
As the weather is lovely at the moment and the evenings long it’s a perfect opportunity to get out and have a leisurely stroll around town. This walk, which is about 2.5 miles long, starts at Silver Street bridge. Looking north along the river you can see the famous Queens’ College Mathematical Bridge. 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 pastureland – Coe Fen. Resist temptation to take all your clothes off here and bask in the warm embrace of Mother Nature.
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. Keep on this path as it bears left and joins another sandy path. Follow this for a minute or two until it bears left. Continue along this branch a short distance out onto the Trumpington Road. Turn right along the pavement.
The Botanical Gardens are on your left – notice the fine iron gateway. Turn right (over a narrow cattle grid), back onto the fen just as it ends at the narrow Vicar’s Brook.
Follow the path by the Brook – you’ll recognise 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.
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 civilisation.
Punts on the Cam
Tarry awhile on the cobbled bridge above the sluice. A drink in either of the pubs in sight is not out of the question. Make your way back up to Silver Street bridge the way you came.
Well, that wraps up another ground breaking (and possibly career breaking) Cambridge update. I shall be back next month with more adventures and tall tales. In the meantime don’t forget to check out my forthcoming article on Denmark and Amsterdam. Have a good month wherever you are in the world. Ja mata!!