This month we have focused on our favourite walks. As a team we love to get outdoors, and autumn is the perfect time to wrap up and explore the footpaths around Royston and beyond.
One of the best things about walking – alongside the fresh air, mental and physical benefits of exercise and appreciating the seasons and the scenery – is that you can stop along at some great pubs for a coffee or a pint along the way. We are lucky to have a number of very good village pubs who will offer you a warm welcome and good food, so do support them.
Ordnance Survey maps and apps are the best tools for exact directions and to ensure you stick to permissive paths. Do look out for the circular walk from Melbourn to Shepreth.
Here are some more suggestions courtesy of www.ramblers.org.uk, you can find out further details on their website. We hope you enjoy – do let us know if you get out there!
Shepreth, CambridgeshireLeisurely 8.2 miles / 13.2 km
A pretty, circular walk from Shepreth via Barrington and Harlton, in the Upper Cam Valley, on mainly flat footpaths and tracks, with two fairly steep ascents/descents. Some swing gates and a railway crossing.
A War Memorials Walk, Barkway
Easy 7.3 miles / 11.8 km
A circular walk using generally well signed footpaths and bridleways. The walk features war memorials.
A hill walk, can choose to go through the woods or alongside the golf course.
Circular Walk Melbourn to Shepreth
Rough estimate of time and length: about 2.5 hours and about 7.5 miles (possible extensions To Barrington Or Fowlmere)
MAP: OS EXPLORER 209
START FROM TL 381 449 Opposite Sheene Mill Restaurant and Pub (SG8 6DX).
Take the footpath with the house on the left, ascending some steps. Once on the recreation ground turn left and follow the river Mel on your left, passing the pavilion on your right and crossing under the A10 and across the railway line until your reach Topcliffe Mill (the British Queen pub can be accessed through a gate labelled “permissive path”). If you are lucky you may see a kingfisher, a water vole or a trout.
Cross the bridge by Topcliffe Mill and come to the road (North End). Turn right away from the church (with a possible detour to see the medieval wall paintings) and follow the road until you reach the SHEPRETH sign. Continue and go through the kissing gates on the right into L Moor (a nature reserve with an interpretation board) follow the path and then turn right and cross the small wooden bridges towards the railway line. Go under the railway bridge and continue along the path, bearing left, until the gate. Continue along the track, turning left with Meldreth church on your left until you come to the road (High Street). Turn left and walk past the Plough pub (which offers a possible stop for lunch or a drink) until you come to the war memorial. If you turn left along Meldreth Road you can have lunch or a coffee at the excellent Tea Cake tea shop or visit Dowcra’s Manor gardens (do check opening times).
Continue past the war memorial onto Meldreth Road and turn left onto Station Road past the village hall (where you can see the book swap telephone box in the other direction). Continue along the road, crossing the railway line (Barrington Road) until you come to a car park on your left, just before a bridge.
(At this point, if you fancy a longer walk, you can continue along the road until you come to Barrington. If you turn right along the green you can return to Shepreth Church by a series of footpaths starting from the right of the green. You can then return via L Moor or continue along the Shep river onto Fowlmere and return to Melbourn via footpaths across the golf course and then along the Cambridge Road.)
Cross the car park and go through the gate. Follow the footpath across the meadows with the river Rhee to your right. Continue through a wooded area (now with Guilden Brook on your left) until you emerge through a grassed path to the road (Malton Lane). Turn left and continue to the T junction. Turn right along the road (Malton Road) and you will arrive at Meldreth Church again where you turn retrace your steps back to Melbourn along the Mel river.
If you want to follow a slightly different route back there is another footpath to Melbourn before you come to Meldreth Church. Turn right at the entrance to College Farm Business Centre. Bear right along a tarmac track and cross the railway line then the A10 (broken stiles) then across a field to a footbridge. Continue across the field over a bridge and turn right onto a track you come to a road: The Moor, Melbourn. Turn left down this and you will come to Melbourn High Street. Turn right and continue to the four way junction at the war memorial. Turn right along Station Road and you will soon be at Sheene Mill (time for a pint or a cup of tea?).
WARNING: There maybe cows in the fields before Topcliffe Mill, on L Moor or on the Riverside Walk. These have never caused any problems for me.