Length: Approximately 12.57 milesThis walk may be done in either direction from any point. For the sake of clarity, it has been split into segments starting at the Backs and heading clockwise. This should by no means be taken as a definitive starting point, nor is the ordering set in stone.
Heading North along Queen's Road, you will see the colleges on your right and the dominating tower of the University Library on your left. At the end of the road, there is a roundabout, where you should turn right down Northampton Street. At the crossroads with Bridge Street, cross over to Chesterton Lane.
Head East along Chesterton Road until you reach a footbridge on your right. cross over the rive, noting the weir and lock beneath you. The path splits in five here; take the furthest left branch to continue along the river. Pass under the road bridge to reach Midsummer Common.
Head East over the Newmarket Road railway bridge, noting the leper chapel on your left. You may also be able to make out the junction where the Mildenhall Line used to branch off. At the traffic lights before the Football Stadium, turn right into Coldham's Common.
Head South, keeping the stadium on your left and the field on your right. Before reaching the footbridge, turn left to follow the stream. This will bring you out by the Abbey Pool.
From the Abbey Pool, go through the gate into the large field, passing the BMX park on your left. Continue along the northern edge of the field until you pass a fence on your right. Follow the fence, keeping it to your right. As you reach a gate on your right, head left across the field towards the woods. Cross over the footbridge and turn right immediately afterwards. Follow the path, keeping the stream to your right. Eventually, the path bears left before emerging onto Barnwell Road. Turn right and head under the railway bridge towards Sainsbury's.
From the car park, there is a path leading from the southern-most corner. This will take you parallel to a stream before emerging onto Brookfields. The footbridge on your left was subject to ridicule after the one originally made for this crossing was too large to fit! Follow the stream along Burnside; at the end of the road, continue straight along Snakey Path.
Pass the mill pond on your left and the hall on your right. Head south towards the exit onto Cherry Hinton road and turn left. Keep going until you reach the crossroads with the Robin Hood pub, where you may wish to stop for refreshments.
From the summit, head back to Lime Kiln Road and turn right. Note that there is no pavement for this section of the journey, so you are wdvised to stick to the verge. Head down the hill towards Wort's Causeway.
After the houses, turn right into a field. Follow the footpath West along the edge of the field until you reach a footbridge on your right. Cross the footbridge towards Addenbrooke's. Before you reach the end of the path, turn left onto another path and follow this round the corner. At the end, turn left and cross over at the traffic lights.
When you reach the grassy area on your left, turn right opposite the pavilion down Anstey Way and emerge onto the High Street. Turn left and then take the first right down Maris Lane. At the T-junction, turn left onto Grantchester Road.
Follow the road as it curves right then left. Just before the church on your left, take the path on your right. Follow the path towards the meadow, with the option of stopping off at the Red Lion on your left.
Continue along the road and take a right fork at the garage. As the road bears left, turn right down the smaller driveway and take a right fork into the Owlstone nature reserve. Pass through the woods, keeping the river to your right. You will come out by the Lammas Land car park.
From Lammas Land, head East over the bridge by the South end of the pool. Turn left and follow the path, keeping the stream on your left. As you emerge onto Fen Causeway, cross over at the traffic lights. Follow the path, again keeping the stream on your left.
When you reach the pool, turn left past the restaurants and right onto Newnham Road. Pass (or visit) the Granta on your right and continue North. At the crossroads with Silver Street, head straight over onto Queen's Road to reach the Backs.