Walk #18: Waterbeach to Ely
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 walked the western bank of the River Cam between Waterbeach and Ely on many occasions, following the Fen Rivers Way. There is another option, however, of walking along the eastern bank, and although I had done stretches of this I had yet to do the whole thing. Today I set out to rectify this. It is a surprisingly different walk to that along the other bank, with more stretches of track and more time spent away from the river.
Please note that the photographs on this page were taken on a later walk, walk 611 in 2004, which was along the western bank of the river.
From Waterbeach village head towards Bottisham Lock. Once the lock is reached turn left and go through a little gate to access the footbridge over the lock, climb over this, and then cross the sluice to gain access to the eastern bank of the river. Do not descend the slope down the bank, but turn left and start following the flood bank northwards. The rest of the walk is fairly easy; just continue following the Fen Rivers Way as it heads northwards; for most of the time this follows the top of the flood banking, but in a couple of places it drops down onto the floodplain and follows the riverbank or tracks for short distances. These places are well marked, and continuing onwards along the flood bank through many years' worth of vegetation would be difficult.
The path angles away from the river as it heads north from Upware to reach the A1123 Dimmock's Cote Road. It heads further away for half a mile, before turning sharply to the left to rejoin the flood bank along the river.
The Ely to Bury St Edmunds railway line is crossed, and then it is a short walk to the A142 road in Ely. Turn left to cross the river, and Ely Station is now a hundred yards to the left.
Note that the Fen Rivers Way follows both banks in this location, and in my hones opinion the western bank is more preferable to this eastern bank walk, since the former follows the river for a much longer period.
This makes a total distance of 10.9 miles, with 43 feet of ascent and 46 feet of descent.
There are regular (even on Sundays) trains from Ely to Waterbeach. The price of a single ticket is £3.00, and it costs £1.00 to park at Waterbeach Station at weekends, a short distance away from the start of the walk.
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!
This walk was mentioned in the following routes: