The Bogtrotter

St Ives and Hemmingfords circular walk

by on Sep.29, 2012, under British Walks

This six mile cirular walk takes you through some of the best Cambridgeshire countryside, including part of the Ouse Valley Way.

We start in the centre of Hemmingford Abbotts, next to the Axe and Compass pub. From here, follow the quiet road of Common Lane for approximately a third of a mile until you see a public footpath signpost on your right for “Houghton”. Take this path (down Meadow Lane) and cross the bridge to enter the meadow. Follow the path across the meadow until you reach a small gate and footbridge, next to the river lock at Houghton.

Houghton Mill


The path continues around a small island until you come out at Houghton Mill. Go through the passage at the mill, and then carry on across the car park. Follow the left hand side of the field until you come to a gate with a sign for the Ouse Valley Way. Turn immediately right after the gate and follow this alleyway for 200 metres until it ends. Turn left for 20 metres then right to continue along the Ouse Valley Way. The path now continues for nearly two miles, past “The Thickett” until you emerge at the back of a Scout hut.

St Ives Church

Carry on past the Scout hut along another alleyway until you reach All Saints Church. Go through the churchyard, past the impressive collection of gravestones. At the far end, go through a gate and follow the road into St Ives with the (always immaculate) flower borders on your right. Once you reach the pedestrian area in St Ives centre, look for Bridge Street on your right to take you up to and across the bridge.

Just after the bridge there is a footpath off to the right that goes through the grounds of the Dolphin Hotel. Take this path and go through the passageway and then the gate, to come out at the start of the water meadows. You will see the path heading off in front of you across the meadows, gradually cutting across to the left hand side of the meadow. At the far corner you will go through a kissing gate to enter a small country lane with a few houses.

The road continues for 400 metres, taking a dog leg round until you come to a junction. Go straight ahead and take the alleyway, with houses on your left and a field on your right. You emerge on Church Street at Hemmingford Grey. Turn right and go to the churchyard at the end of the road. The path cuts through to the left of the churchyard, and you then follow this path alongside the river for half a mile. After going through a couple of gates the path cuts across a field leaving the river to go round the back of some more houses.

You are then suddenly on the High Street at Hemmingford Abbotts, and turn right to return to the Axe and Compass pub nearby.

Map of walk

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