Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Walk from Wandlebury and a discovery

Sunday, 4th May 2014:I apologise for the lack of Blogging – sometimes when you are busy something has to give. Having been on holiday I have been catching up. I am a little behind in terms of cycling distance and so trying to squeeze in a few more rides. I have also had to catch up on work-like stuff.

Lastly, I generally write a set of emails (with pictures naturally) and send them to mainly family and some friends about the Summer hols. When my Dad was alive he particularly enjoyed a set of emails sent en-route that I wrote about my “adventures” cycling from Bangkok to Saigon and so I have kept up the tradition. Although over the years it would seem that the number of pictures I take has grown considerably. This year I must have taken over a thousand during our tour of the Scottish Highlands. Some will make it to my Blog when I catch up.

It has been a good old summer though and I have succumbed to temptation and bought a new bike, which will also feature later on. My old MTB has gone to my son.  One of the pleasant things has been that I have discovered a rather nice new off-road riding route near Cambridge – not that long but it is a loop without too much road. 

I won’t claim to know all the places to cycle, but I have cycled a fair few. This route came about because of the excellent work of the Shelford and District Bridleways Group. I commend them and thank them for their work. It seems they switched they way their publish their website – here is their home page – more up to date.

So how did I make the discovery? Well it started one nice sunny Sunday morning when I went for a walk with my wife. It was a walk she does with her friends that looped out to Stapleford from Wandlebury.

The route she normally takes is a little longer, but the walk we did is here on Bike Route Toaster. It is just under 10Km/6.25miles in length and has a more-or-less u-shaped elevation change of 70m, with nothing too steep.

You do have to cross the A1307 though, twice – take care it is a very busy road – even on a Sunday. You also have to pay for car parking (£3), but that helps support the upkeep of the park, so don’t moan. You can also cycle. There is a shared-use cycle path from the Cambridge direction. There is also a cycleway being built to connect the park with the Babraham Research Park, which is scheduled to be open by August 2014.

As we walked across Magog Down we could see the Old Linton Water Tower on Rivey Hill.

Linton Water Tower on Rivey Hill

The route cuts across Magog Down and then follows Haverhill Road into Stapleford. At the corner of Haverhill Road and Bury Road there is a gravel track.  The last time I cycled this way it was marked as a footpath, so I have never explored it.However this time I noticed that one of the signposts indicated it was a bridleway. Not that it mattered as we were walking –but a route to explore when on my bicycle.

When I got home further checking indicated that it was the excellent work of the Shelford and District Bridleways Group back in 2010. I know I moan abut traffic when cycling for horse-riding it must be even worse. So the on-line OS map provided by Streetmap is out of date.

Once a foot path now a bridleway – Stapleford (Rowley Lane)

The skies were fairly clear and the wind was low – making it pretty good for flying a Microlight. Although there was a gap in the weather according to the University Digital Technology Group.

It is a P&M AviationQuik GT450, with weight-shift control.  Here is a picture of it on the ground.

Microlight above the Skies of Stapleford

The view back down the path to Stapleford. Just past the trees on the left-hand side is the ACE Foundation in Stapleford Granary (formerly Bury Farm).

Jogger on the path bridleway between Stapleford and Babraham

This is the view the other way – a good track between the fields.

Bridleway between Stapleford and Babraham

An interesting house on the hill – but I can’t quite place it.

Gently Rolling Hills towards Worsted Street

The bridleway continues on through yellow fields – past the black barn

there is a bridge and ford for those wishing to cross the River Granta.

Crossing the Granta

The Ford

Our walking route took us through the woods to re-cross the Granta.

The Granta

Horse chestnut Candle

the footpath then headed North-ish along the end of rolling fields. Where we then had to re-cross the A1307- which is pretty atrocious.

Rolling Landscape near Babraham

The route took us along Mile Road, a restricted byway to the Roman Road (Worsted Street). once again we could see the Linton Water Tower in the distance. 

Linton Water Tower on Rivey Hill in the distance

After a short walk along the Roman Road we headed back through Wandlebury Park.

Clarks’ Corner

Wandlebury Woods

Apart for having to cross the A1307 twice it was a very pleasant walk – I am going to have to explore the bridleway on my bike I reckon.

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