The Old Engine and the Lazy Otter

Along the Great Ouse to a historic pumphouse and a popular riverside pub.

Technical sheet
No. 17425360
A Wilburton walk posted on 23/11/21 by Walks from the Door. Update : 24/11/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h10[?]
Distance Distance : 14.39km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 21m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 20m
Highest point Highest point : 16m
Lowest point Lowest point : 1m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Wilburton
Starting point Starting point : N 52.361995° / E 0.222492°
Download : -


(D/A) Walk out to the road and turn left. By arrangement with the local farmer, residents can turn right after a few yards and follow a field edge to meet a public footpath by a drain. Turn left and follow the footpath out to the road. Turn right; again by arrangement with the local landowner, residents can walk their dogs along the field edges outside the ditches to either side of the road, subject to farming operations.

(1) Cross the busy A10 with care and cross a footbridge indicated by a public footpath sign to the left of the road sign. Follow a grassy headland between fields with a ditch on your right, bending slightly right after 250 yards. A similar distance beyond this bend, pass a pumphouse on the right (opposite a similar path heading off to the left, which is our return route). Continue beyond the pumphouse, shortly passing the rear of the first houses of Stretham. The path ends at the drive of Berry Green Farm; turn right. The route as described now visits the centre of Stretham village; for a minor shortcut, you can bypass the village by turning left opposite Berry Green and following a footpath that passes a cemetery and rejoins the described route at step (2), where you turn left.

For the village centre, continue along Wood Lane to a T-junction. Turn left past the school entrance, then turn right into Top Street. Pass Hazel Court on the right. At the end of the road, turn left along High Street and walk down to the church, pub, shop and cross. Follow Chapel Street (to the left of the Red Lion) to its junction with Pump Lane, and turn left (left of the red-brick chapel). Beyond the chapel, a tarmac path leads to Read’s Street. Turn left, then turn right almost immediately, down another surfaced path between house numbers 23a and 23b, which leads shortly to Brook Lane. Turn left, then after 100 yards turn right into Plantation Gate. At the end of the houses on the left, pass the end of the cemetery path on your left and continue along the farm drive ahead, passing the end of Kisby Walk and new housing on your right.

(2) The concrete track continues across open fields to Plantation Farm, where you pass two houses on the left to a barrier, then bear half-right across the farmyard. Join a track beyond the hard-standing area that curves to the left (ignoring a grassy track off to the right) and then heads out between fields and passes left of a small copse. Follow the track round a shallow left-hand bend then, within sight of an isolated barn, leave the obvious track onto a lesser track on the right which heads across to a row of trees (the track straight on past the barn is more direct but is not a right-of-way). On reaching the line of trees, turn right and follow the track as it curves left to the railway bridge over the Great Ouse.

(3) Climb to a gate and turn right along the embankment, with the river on your left. Climb a stile by a gate and continue along the bank; the embankment runs a little way away from the river and leads to a footbridge over a drain with gates on either side. Beyond the bridge, there may be cattle in the fields. Continue with care along the bank and pass a small pumphouse before you reach a stile onto the A1123 Newmarket Road. There are paths on either side of the river beyond the main road to the next bridge, and again there may be livestock in the riverside fields.

(4) You may prefer to make your choice depending on their presence, but the described route uses the southern bank: turn left along the main road across the river, then turn right through a metal kissing gate. The path runs along the embankment to Stretham Old Engine, with the river now on your right. Drop down onto the road and walk past the museum to a bridge.

(At this point, if you are not visiting the Lazy Otter, you can shorten your walk by a little over 2 miles by crossing the bridge and jumping to step (6).)

Follow the southern embankment of the river past a solar farm. After about a mile, you reach a road just off the A10; turn right and cross the river to the Lazy Otter. Suitably refreshed, take a path that leaves the garden at the rear of the pub and runs between the holiday lodges on the left and the river and marina on the right. A mile further along, you will find yourself back at the bridge near the Old Engine; turn left, away from the river. Turn left along the lane (Green End).

(6) Follow the lane for 500 yards then, at a bend, take a signposted track on the left (FP12 Middle Common Drove). After 350 yards, turn right over a footbridge and through a hedge onto a footpath (signposted FP20 Wakefields Way). This path runs along the edge of a series of fields with a ditch on the right, passing a number of gates and footbridges. On the edge of Stretham village it runs between garden fences to a path junction by a dog bin and footbridge; turn left. You emerge into a residential road (Fieldside); follow the road for a short distance then turn right along a narrow signposted path between houses. This leads to the end of Cage Lane.

(7) Follow the road out to the A1123. Cross into the High Street and walk up the road, passing the church on the left and cross, shop, and pub on the right.

(8) Turn right into Top Street then, at the end of the road, turn left. Just beyond the primary school entrance on your left, follow the road round to the right. After the last house on the left (Berry Green), turn left onto a public footpath signposted to Little Thetford and Ely. Follow it along the back of the gardens then across a field to a pumphouse. Ignoring the path to the right, continue ahead to the A10. Cross the road carefully and retrace your steps to White Cross Farm.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 5m - White Cross Farm
1 : km 0.54 - alt. 9m - A10
2 : km 2.33 - alt. 7m - Concrete track
3 : km 3.99 - alt. 2m - Gate
4 : km 5.94 - alt. 3m - A1123 Newmarket Road
5 : km 6.93 - alt. 3m - Bridge
6 : km 10.41 - alt. 4m - Green End
7 : km 12.21 - alt. 8m - Cage Lane
8 : km 12.64 - alt. 15m - Top Street
D/A : km 14.39 - alt. 5m - White Cross Farm

Useful Information

There may be cattle in the fields in the vicinity of the A1123 Newmarket Road and the Old Engine.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

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