Bluntisham to Earith circular walk

This walk includes one of the most active bird breeding lakes in the area. Plenty of dragonflies, butterflies, wild grasses and flowers. Historical interest too, and a few picnic sites thrown in for good measure. One of the few spots to see Egyptian geese. You'll walk past the sporting home of Bandy. Relax with a picnic watching cabin cruisers drift by on the Great Ouse.

Cambridgeshire Walks Bluntisham to Earith

Good points of this 4 miles (8,800 steps) route are easy walking along field edges and the Great Ouse, as shown in the image above. Includes opportunities to vary the route. Lots of wildlife and wildflower interest and great locations to sit and picnic or ponder the views. In winter, the first few hundred yards can be muddy.

Starting point
Park at the village hall car park, just off Mill Lane. Walk back to Mill Lane, and at the end continue straight into East Street. Just over 200 yards and you'll gradually turn to the left into High Street. 

Point 1
At the bottom of the High Street, cross over the A1123 Station Road and turn right. After a few yards, turn left to follow the public footpath signpost.

Pass around a farm gate and follow the track as it turns right and then left. The route is now straight, following the edges of two fields.

After 500 yards, you'll come to the bottom of the first field and a small wooded area on the right. In summer, this is an oasis for wildlife. If lucky, you might see several mating butterflies in mid-air, looking like they're attached to each other by string.

At certain times of the year, you might wonder what the commotion is, coming from a wooded area diagonally to the right. It's the bird population of Barleycroft Lake, part of the Hanson RSPB Wetland Project, Ouse Fen.

Point 2
After walking 300 yards along the second field edge, you'll see a signpost on your right. It's well worth having a look at Barleycroft Lake and its noisy residents. Turn right through the stile and walk a hundred yards and then to the left to the lake's edge to get a good view.

You can also extend your walk by a mile to walk around the lake, shown on the map by the blue dotted line, where there are lots more secluded spots to sit, rest and have a picnic. Keep an eye out for nervous terns, who might decide to have a spell of dive-bombing.

To continue the route, return to the signpost and carry on walking along the field edge for almost 200 yards. Take the path off to the left so the river Great Ouse is on your right. You walk along a raised bank, separated from the river by a few yards of vegetation.

Point 3
After a third of a mile a small copse will separate you from the river view. Another couple of hundred yards and you find Bury Fen on your left. As shown above, the Fen floods every winter and spring.

It's also the sporting home of Bandy, an even faster version of indoor ice hockey. James Tebbutt, a Bluntisham local, was the first to set out the rules in 1891 and spread the game abroad. It is now one of the most popular winter sports in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA and may even be included in the Olympics.

The fen is home to a great variety of bird life. Keep an eye out for Egyptian geese. Clouds of lapwings and widgeon skim over the water. You're almost certain to see herons. It's one of the few locations they nest in spring, amongst the trees on the opposite side of the fen. You also get a beautiful view of Bluntisham and St Mary's church.

Point 4
A further 500 yards will bring you to a track leading off to the left. Take this route as shown by the blue dotted line on the map to shorten the walk by half a mile. Jump to Point 6 to continue the shortened walk.

Turn right towards the river, and after a few steps you'll find a part of the riverbank where, in summer, you can lay out a picnic blanket to sit and have lunch on this idyllic spot while cabin cruisers quietly float past, as the image below shows.

To continue the slightly longer route (by about half a mile), continue to follow the track, keeping the river on your right. Go through a small copse and gateway. Just beyond this you'll see the remains of supports for the railway track from Bluntisham on its way over the river towards Earith.

Walking on, you'll find an open field to your left. Sometimes there are a few cows in this area, but there's plenty of room to give them a wide berth.

Point 5
You'll find yourself approaching a caravan park. Before you turn left and head away from the river, admire the longboat beached in the corner and converted into a home. If you see a 'For Sale' sign, please let Cambridgeshire Walks know!

Follow the track heading away from the river for almost 300 yards to come out on the A1123 Earith High Street. Turn left and walk for a third of a mile.

Point 6
The shortened route mentioned in Point 4 comes out here. Walk along the tarmacked path with the main road on your right for almost 400 yards, heading to St Mary's Church. At the rear, there's a peaceful churchyard with benches ideally placed for a picnic. The church has stood looking over the fens for centuries.

Continue walking along the road into Bluntisham. A further 350 yards on the right is Bluntisham House, a grade II listed building once occupied by author Dorothy L Sayers. The rather grand pillared doorway is from Slepe Hall in St Ives, the house of Oliver Cromwell.

Walk just under 200 yards further to arrive back at Bluntisham High Street on your right. Feeling peckish? At the petrol station further along Station Road is The Lounge, where you'll find great quality food at reasonable prices.

To return to the start, follow your route back up Bluntisham High Street to the start point.

Click the 'Print Friendly' button below to print out this walk to take with you. Or for more walks click the 'Return Home' button at the foot of this page. Did you enjoy the walk? Notice anything unusual? Why not add a comment below to tell fellow amblers what you liked about it?


  1. Just completed this walk, amazing what's on our doorstep if we know where to go. A stunning walk with lots to look at and great for photography too.

  2. Tracy D4:36 pm

    Never done this walk before, even though it's right on our doorstep! Gorgeous day, lots of lovely views and peaceful.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the walk, Tracy. Hope you try some of the other walks listed.

  3. Excellent walk with amazing wildlife. Thanks for the detailed description.

    1. Thanks for the positive feedback. Glad you enjoyed the walk.


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