The Trail

The Fen Edge Trail route

Each part of the route is being researched by a local partnership, with some ready for publication soon, whilst others are in the initial planning stages. As each section is finalised, we will be putting the details on the website together with leaflets for downloading. We will also be organising visits to walk parts of the route at various times.

Our Trail takes a meandering route around the edge of what we have called the Fen ‘Basin’ (the land that lies near, and sometimes below, sea level). We are guided by the ‘line’ (contour) where the land reaches 5 metres above sea level, representing (very approximately) the maximum limit of wetland in the past. The map using the ‘hill shade’ shows how flat the fenland area is and gives an idea of the extent of the low-lying land, a region of sometimes dramatic changes including freshwater flooding, inundation by the sea, emergence and disappearance of islands, and formation and destruction of water channels. By following the Trail you will take a journey to discover the past as well as explore the present.

Starting near Peterborough, where the fenland reaches the heart of the city, we travel along the western edge of the Fens through Stanground, Farcet, Yaxley, Stilton, Holme, Conington to Sawtry, and then on to Woodwalton, Ramsey Heights, Ramsey, Ramsey Forty Foot, Bury and Warboys. Further south the route passes through Pidley, Somersham, Earith, Bluntisham, Needingworth, St Ives, Fenstanton, Fen Drayton, Swavesey, Over, Willingham, Rampton, Cottenham, Landbeach, Waterbeach, Milton, and further on to Cambridge, another city with the fenland at its heart. The eastern route passes through or near Fen Ditton, Horningsea, Stow cum Quy, Lode, Swaffham Bulbeck and Swaffham Prior, Reach, Burwell, Fordham, Upware, Wicken and Soham before reaching Isleham and the Suffolk border.

Within the fenland there are several ’islands’ the largest of which is Ely (including Witchford, Sutton, Wilburton, Haddenham and Chettisham), with others being Whittlesey, Chatteris and March (including Doddington and Wimblington), and our Trail travels around their borders. Other islands include Manea, Stretham, Stuntney and Littleport. Each part of the Trail will have a leaflet to describe the route options and places of interest along the way, to explore the geology, wildlife, history and culture as you go.

© Cambridgeshire Geological Society