This part of the Trail is divided into two walks. The first is from Ramsey to Wistow and the second is from Wistow to Warboys. The first of these two walks is now available. The Map leaflet and the Walk details leaflet can be downloaded below. If you use a GPS and wish to have the GPX file for the walk, this will be available for download soon.
Walk 1 Ramsey to Wistow
4.9 miles (7.9 km)
Walking guide time 2hrs 20mins minimum plus stops
‘My favourite area on this walk is at the start – the Church Green and Abbey Green – it’s an attractive place to be on a sunny summer’s day.’
The route: ‘follow the ancient brook’
Having travelled across from Sawtry in the west, the Fen Edge Trail turns south to link the historically important town of Ramsey and the picturesque, riverside town of St Ives. This walk, from Ramsey to the village of Wistow is the first part of this journey. Optionally, you can begin by exploring Ramsey itself, following one of the walks through the town (www.discoverramsey.co.uk). A significant religious centre developed on the remote ’island’ that extends out into the fen. The location of the town was fundamental to its growth, being on the edge of a peninsula of higher land in a strategic position between the extensive wetlands to the north, east and west, and more hospitable, dryer land to the south. Ramsey Mere, to the north east, was a rich source of food and other resources, and the town’s value increased when it became a fen edge port connected to the River Nene. Starting at the Ramsey Abbey Gatehouse, the walk follows Bury Brook, a tributary of the old Nene, before crossing low lying fenland to reach Bury and the brook again. Passing over low hills, it finishes in Wistow, further up the valley, with the next walk continuing up to Broughton before going on to Warboys.
Two maps are provided. The first gives directions and the second shows the landscape of the area, with the contours and geology. The contours (measuring height above sea level) reflect the underlying geology in most places and this is particularly distinctive around the Fen Edge.
Download here (667KB):
The Details leaflet gives practical advice as well as information on features and places of interest to be found on the walk. This walk was developed in partnership with Warboys Archaeology Project.
Landscape and Geology
In this area there are four general types of ‘rock’ currently at the surface. The oldest is the Oxford Clay, which is about 160 million years old (from the Jurassic Period, famous for its dinosaurs). An extensive sea covered this part of Britain at the time and the clay formed from material on the sea floor – it is famous for the fossils of huge marine reptiles such as Pliosaurs and Ichthyosaurs. There is also a small area of Ampthill Clay (Jurassic but younger than Oxford Clay). The other surface ‘rocks’ are much younger, all being from the current ‘Ice Age’ which started 2.6 million years ago. The first are glacial, river and slope deposits (including gravels and finer ‘till’) from the Pleistocene epoch (which ended 11.7 thousand years ago), the second are river deposits (Alluvium) left during the Holocene epoch (the last 11.7 thousand years) and, finally, there is Peat, which formed in the last few thousand years in the fenland basin.
Geology map from walk leaflet
Walk 2 Wistow to Warboys will be available in summer 2018
Ramsey to Warboys area showing the contours and geology. Download the map leaflet (from the link above) to see the route of the walk from Ramsey to Wistow, which is already published. For a key to the geology see the British Geological Survey map viewer.
© Cambridgeshire Geological Society