15 Best Walks in Cambridge (Hikes & Nice Walks)

15 Best Walks in Cambridge (Hikes & Nice Walks)

By will

Are you looking for a way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life?

If so, then look no further than Cambridge!

Located in England, Cambridge is the perfect destination for an outdoor adventure.

From peaceful riverside strolls to breathtaking hikes, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors.

Here are 15 of the best walks in Cambridge that will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.

1. Cambridge City Circular

Cambridge City Council
Photo by N Chadwick

If you’re looking for a great walking experience in Cambridge, the Cambridge City Circular should be at the top of your list.

This 5-mile route takes you through some of Cambridge’s most treasured landmarks and scenery.

You’ll get to explore the stunning architecture of the city’s main streets, as well as its tranquil gardens and parks.

It’s a great way to get to know this charming university town.

The tour begins at the iconic Round Church in Market Square, a 12th-century building that is one of the oldest round churches in England.

From here you can take a leisurely stroll down historic cobbled streets lined with beautiful buildings, such as St John’s College and King’s College Chapel.

As you meander further along your journey, you will come across many other delightful sights like Trinity College, Queens College, and Corpus Christi College.

The walk then continues into peaceful parks and gardens, such as Parker’s Piece and Jesus Green.

Here you can take in some spectacular views while enjoying a picnic or just relaxing on the grassy bank with friends.

The route ends at Castle Mound – a motte-and-bailey castle dating back to 1068 – where visitors are rewarded with panoramic views over Cambridge city center and beyond.

2. Castle Inn Pub Walk

The Castle Inn, Cambridge
Photo by Stephen McKay

The Castle Inn Pub Walk is one of the best walks in Cambridge.

It takes you through an area bursting with history, past pubs, and picturesque countryside.

The route starts at Castle Inn pub, nestled on the edge of Grantchester Meadows.

This ancient pub has been a watering hole since the early 12th century when it was listed in the Domesday Book.

From here, you’ll pass by quaint cottages with thatched roofs before entering a wooded valley.

On your left will stand Magdalene College, its gothic towers looming up over the trees.

As you walk onwards, you’ll be surrounded by lush green meadows and fields full of wildflowers.

You’ll also come across wildlife such as deer and foxes in this stunning countryside setting.

After about 2 hours of walking time, you’ll arrive back at the Castle Inn pub where you started your journey.

Here you can reward yourself with a well-earned drink from the bar and soak up some local history!

3. Milton Country Park Circular

Playground in Milton Country Park
Photo by Bill Boaden

Leaving the Castle Inn Pub behind, we set off to explore the Milton Country Park Circular.

This route is a great way to enjoy some of the best walks in Cambridge.

It’s a pleasant walk through the beautiful countryside and offers lovely views of the historic city.

The first part of our walk takes us along quiet country lanes, past fields and meadows full of wildflowers.

We can feel ourselves unwinding as we head towards Milton Country Park, with its ancient woodlands and tranquil lakeside setting.

As we wander around this peaceful oasis, we can take in the sights and sounds of nature: birds singing, trees rustling in the breeze, and carpets of bluebells in springtime.

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We finally reach Milton Creek Nature Reserve, where we can spot a variety of wildlife such as kingfishers and herons.

Here, on the banks of the River Cam, we can pause for breath before heading back to the Castle Inn Pub with happy memories from our stroll around this beautiful landscape – an experience that will stay with us long after our visit is over.

4. Grafham Water

Grafham Water is an idyllic spot for a relaxing walk.

Located in the English county of Cambridgeshire, this stunning reservoir is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The reservoir’s banks are lined with peaceful footpaths that meander along its shore, offering an array of stunning views that are sure to take your breath away.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy some leisurely strolls or a more challenging hike, Grafham Water has something for everyone.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of trails and paths that can be explored.

From scenic woodland walks through the forest to riverside rambles alongside the River Great Ouse, there’s no shortage of places to explore here.

For those who want a more challenging trek, why not try one of the many hill walks available?

With stunning views across the landscape and wildlife spotting opportunities, these trails provide an experience like no other.

So why wait?

Get out there and explore all that Grafham Water has to offer!

5. Houghton Mill And The Hemingford Loop

Houghton Mill and the Hemingford Loop is one of the best walks in Cambridge, offering stunning views and plenty of fresh air.

Starting at Houghton Mill, you can choose to explore either way along the loop.

To the West lies the meandering River Ouse and to the East, a path that takes you through fields and pastures.

Either way, you’ll be treated to open skies dotted with fluffy clouds, rolling hills, and a variety of wildlife.

The route follows an old railway line; it’s easy going underfoot and there are plenty of opportunities for birdwatching.

Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers darting between reeds or wading birds searching for food in shallow pools, as well as pheasants, rabbits, deer, and foxes roaming around in their natural habitat.

The wildflower-filled meadows also provide a wonderful opportunity to take nature photos.

The walk culminates with a visit to Houghton Mill itself; a fascinating example of industrial history that dates back hundreds of years.

Here you can learn about how grain was milled by windmill power and enjoy some refreshment in its café before taking a leisurely stroll back towards Cambridge.

A perfect ending to this delightful journey into nature.

6. Godmanchester Nature Reserve

For those looking for a more rural walk, the Godmanchester Nature Reserve offers stunning views of the Cambridgeshire countryside.

Located just a few miles from Houghton Mill and Hemingford Loop, this reserve captures a tranquil expanse of nature.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike, there are plenty of trails to explore.

The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds and butterflies that flutter among the wildflowers.

The paths offer plenty of opportunities to take in the scenery and spot wildlife – so don’t forget your binoculars!

There are also several points along the way where you can stop for lunch or simply sit and enjoy the peace and quiet.

With its picturesque views, diverse flora and fauna, and peaceful ambiance, Godmanchester Nature Reserve is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.

7. The Hills And Holes Of Barnack To Burghley House

The Hills and Holes of Barnack to Burghley House is an unforgettable walk with stunning views.

An 8-mile journey through the Cambridgeshire countryside, it starts in the small village of Barnack and ends near the grand Burghley House.

The route takes you across rolling hills, with glimpses of historic churches, manor houses, and ancient monuments scattered along the way.

The highlight of this walk is definitely the Hills and Holes – a collection of ridges and depressions created by iron age farmers over 3,000 years ago.

The path winds through these undulating hills providing breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

With its varied wildlife, tranquil atmosphere, and stunning views, it’s impossible not to be in awe of this area.

As you continue your journey to Burghley House, enjoy this peaceful haven; a perfect end to a remarkable walk.

8. Castor Hanglands Nature Reserve

Castor Hanglands Nature Reserve is a popular destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Cambridge.

Its stunning vistas, combined with its rich wildlife, make it a nature-lovers paradise.

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The reserve is dotted with trails that take you past some of the area’s most breathtaking scenery.

For the more adventurous, there are even longer hikes available that take you through the heart of Castor Hanglands.

Along the way, you’ll see rolling hills and valleys, with plenty of opportunities to spot birds and other wildlife.

Picnic spots and benches provide plenty of rest stops along the way.

And while it may be tempting to linger in this tranquil setting, don’t forget to keep an eye out for hidden gems like old ruins or mysterious lakes.

The Castor Hanglands Nature Reserve offers something for everyone – from leisurely walks to challenging hikes – making it a great choice for a day out in Cambridge.

Come explore this special part of England and experience its beauty firsthand!

9. Cambridge To Grantchester Along The River Cam

The walk from Cambridge to Grantchester along the River Cam is one of the most beautiful and peaceful walks in England.

Starting in the heart of Cambridge, you’ll quickly find yourself surrounded by lush green trees and rolling meadows, while the river lazily winds its way through.

As you follow it past old bridges, quaint cottages, and small villages, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the countryside.

This is a great opportunity to take a break from everyday life and explore nature at its finest.

You can walk or cycle the entire route, stopping off for picnics or to just take in the fresh air.

The path is well-maintained and suitable for all ages – even dogs are welcome!

So why not grab your friends or family and head out on this relaxing journey?

There’s no better way to get away from it all than venturing down this peaceful stretch of riverbank.

10. The Gog Magogs

The Gog Magogs are a must-see on any visit to Cambridge.

Located just outside of the city, this beautiful landscape is an ideal spot for a peaceful stroll or a more adventurous hike.

The trail winds through lush fields and woodlands, past ancient standing stones and archaeological sites.

Along the way, you’ll have spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, with its rolling hills, meadows, and streams. You can even catch glimpses of wildlife while you walk!

At the highest point of the trail, you will find yourself looking out across a stunning panorama of Cambridge below.

It’s like stepping back in time – here you can really appreciate the beauty and history that this region has to offer.

With so much to explore and take in, it’s no wonder this is one of the most popular walking routes in Cambridge.

So why not head out and discover what The Gog Magogs have to offer?

Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or an energetic hike, these trails will surely leave you feeling refreshed, inspired, and ready to explore more!

11. The Thicket, St Ives

Unraveling the beauty of nature, one can find solace in The Thicket, St Ives.

Located just a few miles from Cambridge, this tranquil spot is an ideal spot for a peaceful walk.

This picturesque forest boasts a wealth of flora and fauna, making it an excellent place to explore with friends and family.

The Thicket, St Ives offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

With plenty of paths winding through the woods, visitors can take their time wandering and discovering the hidden gems of nature.

Whether you’re after an invigorating hike or a leisurely stroll, The Thicket has something for everyone.

For those looking to travel further off the beaten track, there are plenty of unmarked trails that offer more challenging routes.

When exploring The Thicket, St Ives be sure to keep your eyes open for wildlife including badgers, foxes, and even deer!

You may even find yourself surrounded by birdsong as you traverse this woodland paradise – a truly magical experience!

Whether you’re looking for peace and quiet or an adventure-filled day out in nature – The Thicket will not disappoint!

12. Wimpole Estate

The Wimpole Estate is a stunningly beautiful place to explore.

Its 3000 acres of gardens, parkland, and farmland provide a unique and serene setting for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike.

This National Trust site offers an oasis of peace and quiet, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Meandering paths lead through the vibrant landscape, past ancient trees, with wildflower meadows scattered in between.

With its rolling hills and far-reaching views, this is a great spot for picnics or simply enjoying nature’s beauty.

Keep your eyes peeled for the resident wildlife; badgers, roe deer, and rabbits are all here waiting to be spotted!

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There are also plenty of activities on offer, from visiting the walled garden to exploring the farm buildings or taking part in outdoor games such as croquet or skittles.

Wimpole Estate is an ideal place for those seeking solace in nature.

With its tranquil atmosphere and stunning scenery, it’s easy to see why it has been inspiring visitors for decades.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure with friends or some peace and quiet on your own – Wimpole is sure to satisfy you!

13. Cam Towpath

Moving on from the Wimpole Estate, a great way to explore more of Cambridge’s countryside is by taking a stroll along the Cam Towpath.

This scenic path winds its way through the city, offering an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The towpath is perfect for leisurely walks, with plenty of picturesque views to enjoy along the way.

As you wander along the towpath, you’ll be able to spot some fascinating wildlife such as swans, ducks, geese, and even otters if you’re lucky!

There are also plenty of landmarks to take in along the route such as bridges, locks, and weirs.

You can also enjoy stunning views over Granchester Meadows and Jesus Green while following this peaceful route.

So don’t miss out on this opportunity to explore one of Cambridge’s most beautiful outdoor areas – hop onto the Cam Towpath and let yourself get lost in nature!

14. Blue Ball Inn Pub Circular

The Blue Ball Inn Pub Circular is a must-do for any lover of the great outdoors.

This nine-mile hike through rolling hills and lush meadows offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

It’s easy to see why it’s one of Cambridge’s most popular walks!

The route starts at the Blue Ball Inn pub in Dullingham, where you can grab a bite and refuel before heading out.

From there, you’ll traverse across the stunning East Anglian landscape, with its gentle inclines and golden fields.

You’ll pass by several quaint villages, as well as a few local attractions.

There are plenty of opportunities to take photos along the way, as well as numerous pubs and restaurants offering refreshment stops throughout your journey.

This walk is perfect for those seeking a leisurely stroll or an invigorating hike – whatever you choose it won’t disappoint! With its breathtaking views and abundance of wildlife, this route has something for everyone.

So if you’re looking for an escape from city life – look no further than the Blue Ball Inn Pub Circular!

15. Fen Drayton Nature Reserve

Continuing your journey in Cambridge, the Fen Drayton Nature Reserve is a great place to explore.

This expansive reserve provides a peaceful getaway that is perfect for walking and hiking.

With its large lakes, rivers, and wetland habitats, the area provides a perfect opportunity to take in the natural beauty of Cambridgeshire.

The reserve has plenty of pathways for visitors to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, there’s something here for everyone.

There are also plenty of wildlife-watching opportunities as well as birdwatching spots.

The reserve is home to many species of birds and other animals so if you’re lucky, you may even spot some rare species!

The Nature Reserve is also a great place to take in stunning views of the Cambridgeshire countryside.

So if you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, then Fen Drayton Nature Reserve is just what you need.

Take some time out and enjoy this tranquil oasis with its spectacular views and awe-inspiring wildlife.

Best Walks in Cambridge – Final Thoughts

My journey through the best walks in Cambridge has been an adventure like no other.

From the peaceful, picturesque sights of Houghton Mill and Milton Country Park Circular to the stunning views from Grafham Water and Wimpole Estate, I’ve enjoyed every step along the way.

I’d highly recommend a visit to all these places for anyone looking for a great walk.

Each one offers something unique that can be enjoyed alone or with friends and family.

What’s more, there are plenty of pubs dotted around the routes, so you can refuel after your strolls with a delicious pint or two!

Overall, I had a wonderful time exploring some of Cambridge’s best walks.

The scenery was breathtaking and there was no shortage of enjoyable activities to take part in along the way.

So if you ever find yourself in this area, be sure to give at least one of these fantastic trails a try – you won’t regret it!

FAQs

What are some easy walks in Cambridge?

Some easy walks in Cambridge are the Cambridge City circular, Cam Towpath, and Waterbeach Station to Green Dragon Bridge.

What are the best circular walks in Cambridge?

Some of the best circular walks in Cambridge are Blue Ball Pub Inn circular, Wandlebury circular, and Quy Fen circular.

What are some good family walks in Cambridge?

Some good family walks in Cambridge are Cambridge City circular, Ely Cathedral walk, and River trail.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.