Now that the Great British BBQ Summer has now surely set in for the next three months, this gentle hike through Fenland countryside and the historic centre of Cambridge will also include not only the obligatory picnic, but also the chance to swim in a very, very long outdoor swimming pool!
After enjoying our lie-ins before the civilised train departure at 09:45, we will need to work up an appetite for our picnic, so we will first enjoy a 8 mile stroll along fenland waterways supporting not only the most fertile soils in England, but probably the noisiest birds too. We will include a completely necessary deviation past Anglesey Abbey, a National Trust complex that also boast lovely gardens and a working water mill - note that we will stop here for the toilets, but we will not be entering the paid part of this attraction, as there is a substantial entrance fee and there will not be sufficient time on this occasion to do it justice.
Our picnic destination (at around 14:30) is Jesus Green, a riverside park close to Cambridge city centre, where the energetic can enjoy park games including free tennis courts (bring a racquet if you want to play), or swim in the solar heated outdoor pool opened in 1923 (£4.20 extra admission). In the unlikely event of inclement weather, we will divert to a nearby pub for our lunch stop instead. We will briefly stop (for 15 minutes only!) at Tesco prior to the picnic stop to pick up extra provisions.
Our final 4 mile leg will take in the attractions of the city centre, most notably the challenge of not losing too many of the group absorbed into the hordes of Summer tourists or mown down by the kamikaze cyclists. There are also many university and ecclesiastical buildings of unique architectural and historic interest, the punting on the River Cam, the fudge making shop and a fine pub or two to marvel at.
This walk is relatively easy, as it is not particularly long, there are no significant hills and the paths are well surfaced. You will thus have no excuse not to play tennis with me!!
The hike will end at around 18:30, when those who want to head home can do so using the two fast trains per hour to Kings Cross, taking ~50 minutes. The rest of the group will stay on for post hike socialising and refreshments at a suitable establishment and there are plenty of great options in Cambridge, so this is highly commended.
If, like me, you need a coffee to join the land of the living at this time of the morning, getting a free Bite card gets you 20% off at many station outlets: https://www.bitecard.co.uk/Home
As usual, our hike is train assisted to and from London. Our train departs from London Kings Cross, platform 3, at 09:45 and is due to arrive in Waterbeach at 10:43. The cost, including the return train tickets (traveling as a group), is £15. The organisers will purchase the tickets for the group - please pay them in cash on the train.
Extra things to bring this time:
- Picnic blanket, food and drinks - sharing is encouraged!
- Park game, such as a frisbee, ball or even tennis racquet.
- Swimming gear - pool shoes are also recommended for anyone up for a river dip on the Cam
Only RSVP YES if you are certain that you can come to this event and update your RSVP if you can no longer attend. Meetup events are organised by enthusiastic volunteers and we restrict numbers at many events for logistical, safety or quality reasons. If you don't show up to three events that you have RSVP'd YES to without good reason, you may be banned from the Club, as you could be preventing other members from attending events. Changing your RSVP in the last 24 hours prior to the event is strongly discouraged.