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Take a hike: the best walks near Cambridge

Fresh air, a few sights and a bit of exercise. Maybe with some friends, family, or your dog by your side. You can’t beat a walk sometimes. No matter your fitness level, there are lots of lovely walks near Cambridge you can enjoy at your own pace, come rain or shine. We’ve picked out five of our favourites here, and because the best walks usually have a watering hole somewhere along the way, we’ve also pointed out some of the best pubs to visit in Cambridge and its surrounding area. 
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Wandlebury Country Park to Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits

Length: 3 miles
Time: 1.5 hours

If you love strolling among wildflowers and spotting wildlife, you’ll love Wandlebury Country Park. Offering sweeping views on a nice day, you can wander around the paths and trails before heading along Babraham Road and turning right onto Cherry Hinton Road. This leads to the chalk pits, although you may prefer a little detour around Beechwoods Nature Reserve if you want to extend your walk a little. The pits stretch across 27 acres and are home to dozens of bird species. They’re also right next door to one of the top pubs in Cambridge, the Robin Hood, where you can fill up on great food and a couple of drinks after your stroll. 


Shrubbs Marina to Milton Country Park

Length: 5 miles
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Small and quaint, Shrubbs Marina is a few miles from the northeastern outskirts of town and is the perfect starting point for one of the best walks near Cambridge. After spotting the colourful boats moored by the River Cam, walk by the water along the towpath to Bottisham Lock and cross over to the opposite bank. Continue heading south towards Clayhithe Road, where you can cross back over the river and pull up a chair with a view over the water at the Bridge. After a drink and a bite, carry on south until you get to Fen Road, which leads to Milton Country Park, right on the edge of town. Here you’ll find lakes, forest trails and gardens, as well as a BMX track and play area – perfect for if your little ones still have energy to burn. 


Houghton Mill to Fen Drayton Lakes

Length: 5 miles
Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Start at the picturesque Houghton Mill, where you’ll find a working 18th-century watermill set within scenic National Trust grounds. Make your way towards St Ives and pick up the northern bank of the River Great Ouse, strolling past Holt Island Nature Reserve. Then continue heading east out of town towards Fen Drayton Lakes, a former quarry that’s now a wildlife haven with a network of lakes, lagoons and ponds fed by the river. Spot some birds, look out for some otters, then head to the Old Ferry Boat on the edge of the nature reserve for a meal with views out over the river. 

George Hotel (Huntingdon) Exterior

Hinchingbrooke Country Park

Length: 2.3 miles
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Let’s finish with a gentle circular route around this lovely country park. The trail’s popular for hiking, running, bird watching and dog walks, while you could also hit the mountain bike trail if you fancy something speedier. You can still enjoy a peaceful walk if you time it well though, taking in delightful views as you meander through fields and forests, and make your way around a collection of ponds. When you’re done, walk around a mile along Brampton Road to the George Hotel for some classic pub food. Book a room to stay the night and explore the nearby Brampton Wood or Grafham Water the next day. 

Top tips for your next walk

There are lots of beautiful walks near Cambridge to explore. Whichever one you choose, careful planning is key. So, how can you make sure you’re properly prepared? 

Feet first

Start on the right foot by wearing appropriate footwear. Trainers are fine if you’re only doing a gentle walk that sticks to well-kept paths, but you’ll want a sturdy pair of well-fitting walking boots for anything more strenuous. Plus some thick socks to avoid blisters.


There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. So make sure you’re ready for the conditions you’re likely to face, including a decent windproof and waterproof jacket if necessary.

Sun cream

If conditions are going to be sunny, don’t forget your sun cream. It’s easy to burn when you’re on the go, especially in the wind or at high altitude when you may not realise how strong the sun is. 

Stay hydrated

Water’s super important no matter the weather, but you’ll obviously need more when it’s hotter. Yes, it’s an extra thing to carry around, particularly if you’re bringing some for your dog too. But the load will soon lighten as you gulp it down. And there aren’t many water fountains in the great outdoors.

Time it right

Leave yourself enough time to complete your walk by catering for stops, as we’ve done with our timings above. Allowing half an hour per mile gives you room for a gentle pace, and plenty of time to stop and smell the flowers. Watch out for fading sunlight, as well as the hottest part of the day in summer. 

Charge up

Make sure your phone has plenty of battery – not only as a safety precaution, but also to capture plenty of pictures while you’re out. Whether it’s for your social accounts or family albums, don’t miss out on capturing that photo-friendly scenery.

Finish at the pub

An ice-cold beer, glass of wine or well-deserved hot drink is the perfect way to reward yourself after a good walk. Not to mention a big plate of hearty pub food to accompany your drink. So wherever you’re heading, find your nearest Cambridge pubs and book yourself in.