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Hiking in Britain

Walk #54: Ely to March


E15	Looking south over the Fens to Ely. The cathedral is just visible.
E17	Welney Bridge in the distance.
E15 Looking south over the Fens to Ely. The cathedral is just visible.
E17 Welney Bridge in the distance.

General Data

Date Walked 30/10/1999
County Cambridgeshire, Norfolk
Start Location Ely Station
End Location March Station
Start time 07.55
End time 14.55
Distance 22.9 miles
Description This was a walk mostly following the Hereward Way between Ely and March.
Pack Today I carried full Pennine Way kit.
Condition I feel very fatigued after this walk. I have developed a couple of blisters, and I am very tired. Fortunately my shoulders and back are okay, despite the trouble I had on the Pennine Way.
Weather The weather today started off cloudy, after which it became sunny and windy, and then finally the clouds gathered and it became overcast. There was one short shower just before the end of the day, and it was quite a warm day when I was sheltered from the wind.
OS map Landranger number 143 (Ely & Wisbech, Downham Market)

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.


This is the longest walk of the entire section of my Land's End to John O'Groats walk from London so far, and quite a tiring one. The entire section is very flat, with no hills of any size at all. Indeed for large sections of the walk you are at sea level. There are moderate amounts of road walking to be done, although well over half of the route is on footpaths.

This are of the Fens can actually be quite remote - from Little Downham just north of Ely the next shops of any description were 11 miles later at Welney. It is also a walk that can frequently only be done in summer or autumn, as the route crosses the Hundred Foot Washes at Welney via the B1411. This road is very often closed as it becomes flooded by up to six feet of water. Hence it is advisable to check the status of the washes before setting out on this walk.


Very basically follow the Hereward Way northwards out of Ely through Little Downham, Welney and Christchurch before arriving at March. The route is fairly well way-marked, the only problem I had was working the correct route out of Little Downham (head for the top-left corner of the playing field, exit to the field adjacent and head north between two fields).

There is a leaflet describing the Ely to Peterborough section of the Hereward Way available from Cambridgeshire Tourist Information. The Hereward Way along this section is fairly well way-marked, but it is also worth getting the OS map that covers the route as well (OS Landranger 143).


From To Distance (m)Ascent (ft) Descent (ft)
Ely station Welney 11.4 184 190
Welney March 11.5 49 36

This makes a total distance of 22.9 miles, with 233 feet of ascent and 226 feet of descent.

  Profile of walk #54
For more information on profiles, ascents and descents, see this page


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:
My sectional Land's End to John O'Groats walk

Nearby walks

#TitleWalk length (miles)
43Garigill to Slaggyford9.2
45Once Brewed to Bellingham15.4
929Hadrian's Wall Path: Carlisle to Greenhead22.2

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