Walking blog

Open Gardens in Cambridgeshire
It's no secret Cambridgeshire Walks likes an amble around an attractive village. Throw in a few pleasant surprises and some food and drink and you've got the perfect recipe for a wonderful day out. That's where Open Garden events comes in. Stunning gardens, some of them jaw-droppingly beautiful. Great ideas to consider. Lots of homemade food and plants to buy. And really enthusiastic owners. One owner even bagged up some unusual seeds to take away.

Favourite walks lists, both national and local
Time to think about a summer break. Why not try a walking holiday? Do a touring trip, stopping at various places to take in some fabulous walks. Or maybe do one really long walk over several days. Here are two lists of national and local favourite walks. No lack of choice!

The Thicket footpath. A victory for common sense!
Following the public enquiry, the inspector's report refusing Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) the right to make The Thicket footpath a cycle track seemed a somewhat hollow victory. Her conclusion was she could find no reason why the route could not be shared. The primary reason for refusal was lack of any risk assessment or impact analysis. In fact, her comments guided CCC for a better attempt next time.

CARE ABOUT THE THICKET PATH? Last chance to register your view!
The Government has appointed an Inspector to decide on Cambridgeshire County Council's plan to change The Thicket footpath into a cycle track. The Council have referred the decision because they've already received a lot of opposition. Nevertheless they're pressing ahead. A Local Public Enquiry is being held at 10.00am on Wednesday 22 March and Thursday 23 March in Commemoration Hall, Huntingdon.

1900 OS maps being added to walks!
There's rarely a walk that doesn't involve a few minutes pondering the origin of some feature in the landscape. Take the Brampton circular walk as an example. Wander around the back of RAF Brampton and you come upon a field filled with bumps and hollows. Interesting enough in itself. But it's the pronounced hillock to the right that's always been a puzzle.

The beauty of ivy
Close your eyes and think of ivy berries in winter. What colours do you see? Bet you're way off the mark. Next time you wander along a hedge containing ivy, stop for a few minutes and look. The berries are subtly beautiful with shades of dark and mid grey, pink and coffee. Ivy can be invasive, but is a very important plant for wildlife. Ivy nectar and fruit appear when there are few equivalent food sources around.

Walking in the Jurassic
Even Cambridgeshire Walks hates muddy boots. Amble anywhere around St Ives during a wet winter and you're going to encounter sticky clay. When you do, look down with fascination rather than distaste. You may be walking through a Jurassic sea bed laid down 150 million years ago. That sea was tropical, warm and full of life. Ammonite, belemnite and devil's toenail fossils are quite common finds.

Do you count?

As usual at this time of year, there are a couple of extra pounds going spare around the Cambridgeshire Walks' waistline. Often takes until April to get back to fighting weight. With the gift of a second hand Fitbit Charge HR, this year things have changed. Within two weeks all trim and tidy in spite of being surrounded by sweet stuff. Here's the low down on losing weight. Cambridgeshire Walks is all about gentle exercise.

Spindle tree
Spot something exotic in a hedgerow while out walking in autumn or winter? Plants that add colour at this time of year are rare. A dash of dark pink and orange is most likely to be a native spindle tree. Wander along the Thicket Path and you'll find several examples. What attracts your attention are the seed pods. The leaves also add to the interest, turning a rich orange-red before dropping in winter. The plant is valuable to a wide range of wildlife.

Mad for maps
You've probably clocked that Cambridgeshire Walks just loves maps. There's adventure in every map. So where do they come from? Access free online Ordnance Survey maps at Footpath Maps. When out and about, do you ever spot a footpath sign heading away from the road and wonder where it leads? Check the route to see if it's worth following using this website. Pop your postcode into the search box in the top right hand corner and click go.

All the snowmen in St Ives are lost!
Got a three-nager to occupy in December? Why not walk them around St Ives town centre, looking for snowmen? The storyline is all the snowmen in St Ives have been lost, and only your little one/s can find them. The snowmen can be found in most of the shop windows. Equally riveting from age two upwards. There are several hundred, from large single displays to lots of little ones. Best time for the expedition is after dark, with the streets lit by Christmas decorations.

Five ways to spot if you're a dromomaniac
Do you get an uncontrollable urge to wander? Not just the standard itchy feet. We're talking serious psychological urge to get up and go. If you've got this far into reading without scooting off, you probably haven't got it. A modern example is Charles Veley, the Guinness Book of World Records most travelled man. By the age of 47 years he'd travelled two million miles and visited 95% of the locations on earth.

Go get lost!
Ever been to London and just wandered? The French have name for you... flâneur. An inquisitive ambler. And it's a wonderful thing to do. No time schedule, no route. Just idly stroll. In the process you'll discover some amazing things. Around every corner there's an adventure. The Flaneur Society have a Guide to Getting Lost. You're just an hour and the price of a rail ticket away from a wonderful adventure. What's stopping you?

Five good reasons to go for a walk
In this 24/7 world when we're busy all the time, taking an hour or more out of a busy schedule to go for a walk is just going to add to the pressure, right? Strangely enough, not. The busier you are, the more important it is for you take time out to do something which relieves stress and forces you slow down. Why pay a fortune for a gym membership and end up queuing for equipment in a sweaty room? Walking is free and doesn't need any special clothing.
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