A Lode side Walk

Approximate distance 11.3km

Hope you enjoy the walk whichever route you take

 

 

This walk starts as with the other riverside walks by following the Burwell Lode from the Anchor for 2.7km to the Burwell Cock Up Bridge. As you make your way along the river past the Factory there are chances to spot deer in the meadows to the left. These meadows are also patrolled by Kestrels and Owls and on occasions Marsh Harriers. Once you reach the Cock Up carry on ahead to the footbridge. Walking up onto the bridge you are rewarded with a good panorama over the surrounding fields and is well worth spending a few minutes scanning the fields for wild life. After crossing the bridge turn left to go through the kissing gate below the bridge. As you make your way along the riverbank you have good views over the National Trust Reserve either side of the river. The grasslands to your right are home to various birds and at times these are also patrolled by birds of prey. Keep your eyes open as deer also hide in the grasses. Rounding the slight bend in the river you are at the dizzy height of 3m above sea level. Mind you, if you go down into the fields you are at sea level. Passing the Borrow pits to your right you may spot Hobbies patrolling the waters edge searching for dragon and mayflies. Once you reach the junction with the Reach Lode you are 2.75m from the Burwell Cock Up Bridge.

At the junction of the rivers you have the opportunity to take photos looking back down either river. Keeping to the bank side, ahead it is roughly 600m to the Wicken Cock Up Bridge. This bridge is a reproduction of the original tow path bridge and was also the style of the original cock up bridge over the Burwell Lode. As you make your way past the reed beds to the right you may spot Marsh or Hen Harriers gliding above. If you are lucky you may hear the booming call of a Bittern in the extensive reed beds.

Approaching the bridge cross the stile and turn right to now follow the Wicken Lode. Keeping to the bank top the path now angles across the other side of the reed beds to go through a five bar gate as you make your way to Harrisons Drove 925m ahead. At the time of writing there is No official right of way at this end of the drove. But this is the subject of a public inquiry. ** The turning into Harrisons Drove is near a stile and a lone post on the corner of the track. The track can become very muddy and resembles a battle field during wet weather so can be hard going. After roughly 800m the track becomes hard core and then a concrete drove and this is a public right of way. 250m along the drove is a hide overlooking the water logged Rothschilds plot and the chance to watch the various ducks, geese and waders on and around the waters edge. From the hide carry on along the drove for 500m to the junction with the track leading to the Cock Up Bridge. Turn right for the 75m walk to the bridge and then right again for 70m to the footbridge. Crossing the bridge with the river on your left it is only a 2.7km walk back to the Anchor for that well earned drink.

** At this point you can extend the walk by keeping to the river side for 1km to the junction of the Wicken and Monks Lodes. Carry on ahead to the wooden bridge over Monks Lode (Normans Bridge named after the farmer who owned the land prior to the National Trust).

*** Now follow the gravel path ahead for 150m to a raised bank and gate (second gate) on the right. Going through the double gates follow the bank top path for 700m (good views over Bakers Fen to the left) to Harrisons Drove. Turn left to follow Harrisons Drove from the end of the concrete drove as described earlier.

*** The walk at this point can also be continued by keeping to the river side path for a further 8oom to a gate and cattle grid across and below the bank Go through the gate and turn right to follow the path then drove for 1km to the Burwell Cock Up Bridge ahead in the distance. From the bridge the route back is as described earlier.

 

 

© Trevor Fuller 2007