Cawdle Fen

A circular walk by the river Ouse

Length: Approximately 6.2 miles

Starting at Ely station, exit the car park onto Station Road and turn left. You should see the Cathedral ahead. Cross over at the traffic lights by the roundabout after passing the Tesco car park and head up Back Hill. As you ascend, you will come to a mini roundabout by some school buildings; turn left down Barton Road and immediately left again (the path will be signposted for Cawdle Fen).

Head along the driveway and through the school playing fields, noting the somewhat disturbing assault course. Eventually, you will reach a golf course; stick to the footpath (which is reasonably well signposted) and beware of flying balls!

The footpath emerges onto Angel Drove, which is quite a busy route so cross carefully. Head down the footpath to the right of the sewage works (again, it is labelled "Cawdle Fen"). The trail continues across several fields and passes a chicken farm.

At the end of the farmlands, you will cross a small footbridge before emerging onto some playing fields. Head diagonally, ahead and to the left, towards the gap in the trees. Follow the narrow path and turn left onto the Little Thetford's Main Street.

Follow Main Street until you see a grassy area on your right. Take the path on your left (labelled as a public fotpath but not Cawdle Fen, just to confuse matters). Follow the path alongside the ditch as it curves to the left and emerges onto a field.

Follow the path round the perimeter of the field, keeping the ditch to your left and the field to your right. As you enter the trees, the path will bear right before taking you to a level crossing. As ever, be careful when crossing, as there is no indication that a train is coming (apart from the train itself).

After crossing the tracks, follow the path along the water channel until you reach the confluence with the Ouse. At this point, cross the large footbridge and continue along the towpath, keeping the river to your right.

As you draw level with the railway bridge, you will encounter another level crossing. Although the line is only single track, it is still in regular use so be careful of trains. Cross over the line and follow the path, keeping the road on your left and the river on your right.

At the end of the path, you will emerge onto Station Road. Note the lack of pavement on your side of the road; you will need to cross over and turn left. Follow the fork towards the level crossing, but do not attempt to cross otherwise you will be waiting for Hell to freeze over. Instead, cross back over and take the path heading under the bridge (noting the dents in the bright yellow paint). Follow the footpath back up to the road and then cross back over to reach the station car park.