Length: Approximately 7.61 milesNote: The walk is marked in red and the train journey (outward or return, depending on how you do it) is marked in blue. A diversion is marked in green for impassable areas
Starting at Ely Station, head out of the car park and turn left onto Station Road. Cross over at the traffic lights and take the first right after the roundabout onto Annesdale (commonly populated by unusual breeds of duck).
At the end of Annesdale, you will read the river. Continue past the Cutter Inn, the Millennium Garden and the Maltings. As you reach a road bridge, continue along the bank past the tearoom and under the railway bridge.
After the railway bridge, the path follows the bank before turning left abruptly. At the end of this path, turn left onto Kiln Lane and pass over the level crossing (assuming that the barriers are up).
Follow Kiln Lane between the two lakes, observing the stunning view of Ely Cathedral on your left. After passing therough a car park, a public footpath leads left and right. Follow the right path over Ely Common. Note that there are many paths here, but keep going in a staright line with Prickwillow Lane on your left and the trees on your right and you should eventually reach a sailing club.
Follow the track past the lake until you reach a gate and a stile. You are about to cross the Ely West Curve, which is a branch of track used for reversing trains without having to pass them through Ely. Note that although seldom used, this is still an active railway line so be careful when crossing the stile and hurry to the next stile as soon as possible!
Once across the railway track, cross the field. There are signs to indicate the route of the footpath, but they are far from obvious. Once across, cross over the railway line (being even more careful this time, as this track is extremely busy). Follow the path into the woods and turn left, keeping the bushes to your left and the electrified railway to your right. You will emerge onto Prickwillow Road by a level crossing.
Note that the field can be very waterlogged at times. If it is impassable, retrace your steps to the sailing club and turn right onto Prickwillow Road (this rtoute is marked in green). Turn right at the roundabout and continue over the bridge and the first level crossing. Once you reach the second level crossing, this is the point from which you would have emerged doing the standard route.
Head over the level crossing towards the bridge. Before reaching the bridge, take the path to the left to reach the embankment. At this point, turn left and follow the river.
Continue for some distance, passing various railway bridges on your left. Eventually, you will reach a caravan park. Continue along the embankment past the caravans. After you pass through the gate, the embankment will drop down.
This is the most surreal part of the journey. At this point, the public footpath continues through people's gardens. Cross over the drawbridge and continue quietly, makign sure that you close any gates that you open. At the end of this promenade, the path curves left and emerges onto Sandhill.
Turn right onto Sandhill and cross over Victoria Street. Pick up the path again at the end of the car park. Continue along the embankment until you reach the farm; at this point, the path continues through the farm before bearing left.
After the farm, turn left along the river bank. Exit the marina onto Lynn Road and head left over the level crossing. Turn right into the low road and then immediately left to enter the station.
If you have not yet purchased a ticket, there is a ticket machine at the entrance where you can obtain a single back to Ely before proceeding to the platform. Note that the only entrance leads to the northbound platform, so you need to cross the line to reach the southbound one. Pay careful attention to the signal lights at the crossing.
As you return on the train, note that you will be travelling parallel to the route that you have just walked.