Windmill ride

Windmill picture

Sunday 24 June 2001

Start: Hobbs Pavilion 9.30am

Morning coffee: Anglesey Abbey

Lunch: picnic in Wicken or bought lunch in Soham

Afternoon tea: Upware pub and/or Quy Hotel


1) Hobbs Pavilion to Fulbourn windmill

Leave Parker�s Piece by Pizza Hut and follow Hills Road LEFT crossing the Catholic Church junction at the traffic lights and moving into the right hand lane to continue straight past the War memorial and over the railway. There is a solid white mandatory cycle lane for most of this section. At the traffic lights get into the special cycle lane and turn LEFT along Cherry Hinton Road. It is permissible to cycle on the shared use pavements here, but if you do, you must give way at every driveway and side-road. Continue straight across at each road junction or roundabout. When you reach the second roundabout near the Yarrow Road Tesco site, it is useful to cross Yarrow Road using the traffic islands and join the shared use cycle path on the pavement until Fulbourn mill. Watch for traffic coming out of the Fulbourn Hospital entrance � you need to give way here. Can you see the windmill?

What sort of mill is Fulbourn mill? What is leaning against the mill to the left of the white door? (The mill is on private property � view from the gate).

2) Fulbourn windmill to Little Wilbraham

Continue down the hill to the T-junction / grass triangle, signposted

The Wilbrahams. Turn LEFT along School Lane. Passing the church on your right, follow the road to the right, over the level crossing and continue to Great Wilbraham. In the village turn LEFT into Church Street at the village sign for Little Wilbraham. You will pass Great Wilbraham church on your right and the school on your left. Follow the lanes to Little Wilbraham and at the 30mph sign continue straight ahead along Church Road � do not take the right hand bend. Follow Church Road to the T-junction, turn LEFT into High Street and continue until the road forks at the blue and white cottages. Take the LEFT fork (unmade road) to the gate. The mill is a private house so view from the garden gate.

What type of mill is this?

3) Little Wilbraham to Swaffham Prior windmill

Return to Little Wilbraham High Street and take 1st LEFT after the phone box and pass the pub The Hole in the Wall. Head for Bottisham via Primrose Farm Road, going straight ahead at crossroads to cross over the top of A14 and reach A1303. Turn RIGHT along A1303 and then 1st LEFT into Bottisham. Continue straight through Bottisham, passing the Village College and continuing until you reach the crossroads with the B1102. Here I suggest a refreshment stop at Anglesey Abbey. Turn LEFT onto the B1102 and 1st RIGHT into Anglesey Abbey car and cycle park. Alternative refreshments are available at Quy Hotel, near the Stow cum Quy tunnel under the A14. Retrace steps to the centre of Bottisham and at crossroads, take the LEFT road to Swaffham Bulbeck and continue until meeting the B1102. Take the RIGHT fork of the B1102 for a short distance until the road forks again. Take the LEFT fork into Swaffham Prior. The two parish churches are worth visiting. Continue past the village�s only pub and take the 1st RIGHT until it meets the B1102. Dismount and walk along the pavement to Swaffham Prior windmill. It is normally open to the public on Sundays. Flour, honey and muesli are available for sale.

What type of windmill is this?

When were the sails fitted and where did they come from?

How many windmills can you see from the top storey?

4) Swaffham Prior to Burwell Steven�s Mill

Continue on the B1102 to Burwell using the cycleway if you prefer. On entering Burwell, take the road to the RIGHT signposted EXNING (Isaacson Road). Follow this round a big left-hand bend and look out for an unmade lane on LEFT (no name) beside an old stone barn. Follow this lane until you reach the tarmac, bear RIGHT and go on until you see the MUSEUM finger post. Turn RIGHT to see the windmill and museum of Fenland Life.

What structure do you see to the left of the museum gateway?

[There is an option to return to Cambridge from here. The most direct, though busy, route is to follow the B1102 back past the Swaffhams and Lode and Quy and use the tunnel under the A14 to join the cycle path alongside the A1303 Newmarket Road. On crossing the railway with the Lepers� Chapel to your right, take 2nd RIGHT (Stanley Road) to join RIVERSIDE and continue LEFT along the river towpath. You will need to dismount for the last section at Quayside which brings you to Magdalene Bridge and central Cambridge.]

5) Burwell to Soham Down Field Mill avoiding Fordam

Return to Museum fingerpost and turn RIGHT downhill to T-junction of Mill Lane with High Street. Turn RIGHT and follow B1102 towards Fordham for about 3 miles. Look for NESS FARM on your left, then half a mile or so further on take LEFT turn with LEVEL CROSSING sign visible. There is also a level crossing over B1102 a little beyond � if you reach that one turn back to find correct route. Leave B1102 and cross railway, go up and over redundant railway bridge before you pass Lark Hall Farm on your right. At the next farmhouse turn RIGHT along unmade track to join A142 opposite water tower. Turn LEFT along A142 for a short distance to roundabout. Go STRAIGHT on towards Soham, looking for a sign very soon to Down Field Mill to the LEFT. The mill is open for viewing and there is flour for sale.

How many sails does Down Field Mill have? At what percentage of normal power does it operate?

There is an option to visit Soham�s other working windmill Soham North Field or Shade Mill.

6) Soham Down Field windmill to Soham North Field windmill

At the roundabout, take the quiet road into the centre of Soham and follow through the centre passing a pub, cemetery, College and church. Continue on this road until you reach the roundabout with A142. Go round the roundabout and take lane 1st LEFT to North Field mill. This mill is privately owned and restored.

What type of windmill is this?

What, if anything is unusual about it?

[There is an option here to cycle north to join the B1104 to Prickwillow, continuing to Ely where refreshments and trains back to Cambridge are available.]

7) Soham to Wicken windmill

Retrace steps to Soham North Field roundabout. Take A1123 to Wicken. This road is windy but not usually too busy. At Wicken village green beside pub, dismount and cross road to Wicken corn mill. Tours are available. This is the last mill on our travels. Wicken Corn Windmill will be open on Sunday 24 June from 2pm to about 6pm. If the wind is suitable the sails will be turning.

Who owns and is restoring this mill?

What or who is the connection between this mill and the mills at Over and Willingham?

Where is/was the other mill in Wicken? What type is it?

8) Wicken to Swaffham Prior

Continue along the A1123 out of Wicken and towards Ely. Take LEFT turn signposted UPWARE and stop at pub by marina. Refreshments and toilets available. The Sustrans route from Ely to Cambridge will cross the river at this point (when a bridge is built). Follow fen roads back to Swaffham Prior. It may be useful to refer to the OS Landranger 154 here. At Ducketts Farm, just South of Upware the road forks. Take the RIGHT hand road. At the next crossroads turn RIGHT.

9) Swaffham Prior to Cambridge

Finally follow the B1102 to Swaffham Bulbeck and past Lode to Quy. Using the Quy tunnel, go under the A14 and follow the cycle track alongside the Newmarket Road back to Cambridge. Refreshments are available at the Quy Hotel. When the Newmarket Road crosses the railway at the Lepers� Chapel in Barnwell, take the 2nd left (Stanley Road) to the Riverside.