MARPA LINE WALKS
WALK 11 - Newmarket to Soham
Closure of the intermediate stations at Fordham and Soham has left a long trek for walkers heading for Ely, but hourly bus service 12 linking Newmarket, Fordham, Soham and Ely can be conveniently used to break the walk into shorter distances.
Chippenham Fen National Nature Reserve is of great botanical interest, a reedy wildscape where fens and breckland merge. The public path through the fen is often wet underfoot and may be boggy or even flooded in winter. Access is limited to the path unless you have a permit from Natural England.
Fordham Woods Nature Reserve and a network of short paths within the village repay exploration, notably the Ironbridge Path leading to the Townsend arboretum.
Distance 11 miles - allow about 5-6 hours, but add on time for refreshments, visiting nature reserves and churches Download the PDF format A4 trifold leaflet (575 kb)
WALK 12 - Soham to Ely
This is a continuation of the walk from Newmarket to Soham and until the campaign to re-open the station at Soham is successful walkers will have to make use of local bus 12 to reach the start.
Beyond Soham (church and steelyard) the route is along part of the towns millennium walks and art trail, including the site of the explosion in 1944 when a truck of an ammunition train blew up. But for the bravery of three railwaymen it might have been much worse.
The clear, reedy waters of Soham Lode skirt the former mere and from its elevated bank top path there are wide panoramas over the surrounding fens, with Ely cathedral (the ship of the fens) dominating the view, an ever larger and more magnificent backdrop to the Gt Ouse as the walk nears its end.
Distance 6½ miles - allow about 3-4 hours, but add on time for refreshments, visiting nature reserves, churches, etc. Download the PDF format A4 trifold leaflet (1947 kb)
WALK 14 - Fordham to Landwade and Newmarket
The idyllic parkland setting of Landwade church is a highlight of the walk. Old guidebooks locate it in Cambridgeshire, but it has since migrated to Suffolk! Spring snowdrops and aconites abound. Locally quarried clunch, a hard form of chalk, can be seen in older buildings and walls in Fordham and Exning. Clear waters from St Wendreds Well flow beside Church Lane in Exning.
Surfaced paths, tracks and minor roads make for easy walking along much of the route and the HQ of British horseracing is approached by Cycle Route 51, providing a vehicle-free route into Newmarket town centre.
Experienced long distance walkers can combine this walk with part of MARPA Walk 11 (see above) to make a circular route of about 15 miles.
Distance 8 miles - allow about 3-4 hours, but add on time for refreshments, visiting nature reserves, churches, etc. Download the PDF format A4 trifold leaflet (486 kb)
See also Walk 7 - Kennett to Newmarket 11 miles (5-6 hours) and Walk 8 - Dullingham to Newmarket 7 miles (3-4 hours)
Walks selected by Roger Wolfe, Suffolk Area of the Ramblers' Association