It is another cold, miserable day, grey skies and no sign of the sun. I get the impression we are not seeing this area at it’s best, but one thing is for sure the biting easterly wind will be long remembered. It is a lazy wind; one that cannot be bothered to go round you so goes straight through you.
It is tempting to turn the heating up a notch and hunker down in the caravan. However, the dogs need exercising and surely once we get going we will warm up? The start point for today’s walk is Prickwillow. A friend at home told us about the pumping station in the village so that’s where we head. Unfortunately it is too early in the season for it to be open but it is a good place to start our walk. As we lace up our boots Lynnie spots a Kingfisher perched under Prickwillow Bridge. It rapidly flits around and despite her best efforts Lynnie is unable to get a picture. We could sit here for a while, but if we are going to get our walk in before dark we need to press on.
We cross the road (B1382) and head along the bank besides the River Lark we have to leave the bank to go under the railway line and then continue along the track, Padnal Bank.
On reaching Branch Bridge we go under the road and emerge at the junction of River Lark and the River Great Ouse. Here we turn left and follow Branch Bank south towards Ely.
Walking along the bank we try to ignore the busy road down to our left. We are well away from the traffic so it is safe walking but there is a constant stream of cars and vans. We pass Clayway Farm and continue on the bank towards Queen Adelaide.
On reaching Queen Adelaide Bridge we turn left and walk besides the road for a short section.
After crossing the railway line “Stop, Look, Listen” we reach a footpath sign on the right and take this to join a track, which is the route of the Ouse Valley Way. There are geese on the path, they make a lot of noise on seeing us but decide to make a hasty retreat as we approach.
At a junction of tracks we turn left along Middle Fen Bank, we are now following the Hereward Way, soon passing Hawthorn Farm, we stay on this route back to Prickwillow.
In the village we turn right to follow the pavement besides the B1382 and soon pass the Primitive Methodist Chapel, I cannot recall a chapel with a name like this before. The chapel first opened in 1846 and was rebuilt in 1894. In 1988 it was converted to a private dwelling.
Further along the road we see the Baptist Chapel. This was built in 1875, like many buildings in the village it is built on oak piles. Most of the village is below sea level. Apparently the draining of the fens causes the village to continue to sink.
A bit further along we come to yet another place of worship. This is St Peter’s Church, built in 1866 it is another building built on wooden piles. Due to it’s low-lying location it has no graveyard. The church closed in 2011, apparently it once had a magnificent font carved from Italian Marble. It was originally given to Ely Cathedral by Dean Spenser in 1693, after the church closed the font was returned to the Cathedral.
Back at the car it is just getting dark, we have wandered nearly 7 miles. Another chilly walk where the leaden skies and muddy winter landscape have merged uninvitingly.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 228 – March & Ely
15th March 2018
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2018)