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Famous for one of the most revered and ancient seats of learning on the planet, Cambridgeshire hosts more than just world-class academia. Walks in Cambridgeshire take you to the lowest lying ground in Great Britain, across mile after mile of lush, marshy fenland and amongst stunning wildlife.
The extremely flat countryside rewards with massive horizons under spectacular open skies. Experience the morning mist lift off the fens with shafts of sunlight illuminating the sparkling watercourses. Have your binoculars at the ready, the vast wetlands found here are a paradise for thousands upon thousands of birds.Your boots won’t get a rest. Hikes in Cambridgeshire explore charming market towns, delightful local woodland, a network of tranquil rivers and the historic streets of Cambridge itself. As the day draws to a close, you may be lucky enough to catch the evocative sight of flocking starlings silhouetted against the setting sun.
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In the north of the county sprawl the Cambridgeshire Fens, covering 200 square miles (322 km2) of remarkably flat, low-lying marshland. Over the centuries, much of the land has been drained and the watercourses managed into channels known as dykes, leaving behind a fertile agricultural plain that seems to stretch indefinitely.
Some of the best hiking trails in Cambridgeshire can be unearthed here, amongst the rich ecology of this gorgeous region. Boardwalks and trails allow you to stride out into this lovely landscape and get a little closer to its natural wonders. Holme Fen makes for a curious objective. At nine feet (2.75 m) under sea level, it is the lowest physical point in Britain. The nearby silver birch woodland is one of the finest in the country.
The Fens is one of the best places in the UK to witness the phenomenal sight of a murmuration – when thousands of starlings swoop in beautiful coordination, creating transient patterns in the open sky. Your best chance of catching this evocative sight is between October and March. Spring welcomes a host of wildflowers in the meadows as well as an influx of snipe, lapwings and curlews for the breeding season..
Perhaps the quintessential walks around Cambridgeshire are those that explore the hallowed ground of Cambridge and its famous university. The city is wonderfully picturesque, with punters gliding peacefully on the verdant River Cam, elegant church spires rising into the sky and ancient college buildings sporting neatly manicured grounds. Look out for the daffodils and crocuses along the river in spring.
The county is not known for its contours, but to the south of the city are the wonderfully named Gog Magog Hills. An adventure here represents the more strenuous hikes in Cambridgeshire, though with high points only reaching 243 feet (75 m), they’re still pretty gentle. However, for the invigoration of fresh air and pleasing panoramas they’re certainly worth your time.
To the east of the city are the beautifully curated grounds of the Wimpole Estate. Spanning 3,000 acres (1,214 ha), they offer some lovely walking with grand follies, scenic lakes and ornamental bridges. Belts of woodland offer opportunity for quiet contemplation to the soundtrack of birdsong.
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