Waterbeach 20th June

Clayhithe Bridge


Last night we were treated to a rather good sunset. The trees across the way glowed from the setting sun and the sky looked like dragons had been breathed a huge smoky sigh.

A slow start to the day, yesterday we’d decided to wait another day before heading into Cambridge. I’d hunted around places that we could visit locally. Anglesey Abbey 4 miles away, too far to walk there and back and using public transport would take well over an hour. Another Abbey, Denny, still a 3 mile walk and only open Thursday to Sunday.

Then Waterbeach Military Heritage Museum caught my eye. Sadly only currently open on the first Sunday and Wednesday of every month. Oh well, we’d go and see what we could see in Waterbeach, maybe try to find the airfield.

From Clayhithe Bridge you can walk through Cow Hollow Wood a local nature reserve. We took the path to the Remarkable Reedbed, not very remarkable, but the areas were named by school kids when it was first put together in 2000. It makes a nice walk into the village avoiding the road.

We followed Station Road into the village, now classed as a new town since 2018. Plenty of nice looking smart houses around the place. A triangular village green with a post office, convenience store and a couple of pubs.

St Johns

A stop to look round St John the Evangelist, dating back to the 12th Century the tower and spire collapsed and were replaced in 1821. It undertook a Victorian restoration in 1871 by JM Fawcett and John Ladds in 1878. The mosaics on the pulpit and behind the alter most probably date from this time.

Life buoy halo

There was a plaque and book of remembrance for 514 Squadron Bomber Command who were stationed at RAF Waterbeach between 1943 and 45, just how many had given their lives.

We carried on walking through the centre to try to reach the airfield which is quite obvious on Google maps. But today an area of it is now used for NHS staff accommodation. We walked down to the cemetery to see if we could see anything from there, sadly failing. It kind of looks like the airfield is being redeveloped, most probably for housing.

Wonderful reflections

We walked back to the river on Bannold Road crossing the railway line which brought us to Bottisham Lock. A wonderful view upstream to be had from the weir.

Loads of room today

Today there was plenty of space on the GOBA mooring, NB Cleddau and the others having moved off this morning. We then followed the flood bank back to Clayhithe, at times having to lift our arms to avoid the masses of nettles.

All blue and green

The list of places to visit in Cambridge is long and could get expensive. I think this evening we will have to pin the tail on the donkey to choose which things we’re going to do and see.

0 locks, 0 miles, 4 miles walk, 1 church, 17 hollyhocks, 0 airfield, 2 abbeys 2 far away on foot, 2 far away for the bus, 2 sessions of shore leave, 8 times no, 8 courgette and pea fritters for the first time.