Escape to the Countryside: Grantchester Meadows

I couldn’t settle in Cambridge for good; for one thing, owning a house would never be more than a pipe dream, but for another, it’s distinctly lacking in mountains, in hills even, in dirt tracks and trails, all things which make me feel at home. But, I digress. Today, I’d like to take you on a virtual walk to Grantchester, a quaint village to the south of Cambridge, home to chocolate-box cottages, a medieval church and more pubs per capita than most other settlements of its size.

Grantchester (1)
Paradise Fen Nature Reserve

While you could punt your way upstream, I’d take the walk by the river any day (not least because punting is hard work). From Lammas Land, head towards Paradise Fen Nature Reserve, a woodland path and boardwalk which hugs the River Cam. In ten to fifteen minutes, you’ll emerge onto Grantchester Meadows (a street, not the meadows proper). Turn left, then left again to remain on Grantchester Meadows. Keep going straight ahead, and you’ll reach the meadows: expansive fields of green, complete with grazing cows in the summer months.

Grantchester (2)
Grantchester Meadows
1-Grantchester Meadows 6.05 (12)
A four-legged friend grazing on Grantchester Meadows

I’ll normally veer left and skirt the river, but if you prefer you can stay on the top path (which usually isn’t so muddy). Now, it’s just a case of following the path until you reach The Orchard Tea Garden, on the outskirts of Grantchester. Loop through the orchard and exit the car park onto Mill Way. On your left, you’ll see the Church of St. Andrew and St. Mary, which dates from the fourteenth century. It’s a pretty little parish church, and well worth a detour.

Related: An A-Z of Cambridge

Grantchester (3)
Church of St. Andrew and St. Mary
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Just one of many chocolate-box cottages

Continue along High Street and you’ll pass Grantchester Village Hall, and the first of four pubs, The Green Man. It’s characterful enough inside, but my favourite pub is a little further on, on Broadway. The Blue Ball Inn has a cosy log fire inside (ideal for warming yourself up after a winter walk) and a beer garden to the rear, which is a real suntrap in the summer months. Once you’ve had your fill of the local ales, cross the stile opposite the pub to rejoin the top path along Grantchester Meadows and return to Cambridge.

Grantchester (4)
My favourite pub in Grantchester
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Another furry friend
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Spring blooms on the meadows

Tips:

  • Lammas Land has free parking, though this tends to fill up quickly on weekends.
  • If it’s rained within the last couple of days, wear wellies, or shoes you don’t mind getting muddy. Parts of Paradise Fen Nature Reserve, and the riverside path further on, can get very boggy.
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13 thoughts on “Escape to the Countryside: Grantchester Meadows

  1. I read ‘Lammas Land” as Llama and thought there was a whole llama-related attraction there too! I also saw ‘blue ball’ and couldn’t help but laugh, I’m not sure if they realise what medical condition this refers to! I do love pubs that have beer gardens for the nicer weather though and a fire for the winter, you can’t beat those things =]
    The scenery is beautiful, what a relaxing, breath of fresh air. I do like chocolate box cottages, though I guess growing up for 20 years in a small town I got frustrated with the quaint-ness; now some time has passed and I’m in a larger town, I can appreciate the quietness again.
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Llama Land would be great fun! If only, eh 🙂 I think we can safely assume they weren’t thinking of that when they named the pub! There’s a hot air balloon on the sign, but I’d never call that a ‘ball’, so who knows where the name came from. It’s what I’d call a pub for all seasons 🙂 I can see what you mean: sometimes it’s a case of needing distance from what you grew up with/are surrounded by to truly appreciate it. I mostly just get frustrated by the volume of tourists, as the city centre just isn’t built for the hordes of visitors it attracts! X

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the variety in ‘countryside’ across England, from moorland and mountains further north to rolling pastures down south. I find a walk really helps to clear my head, and it’s great to have such a nice walk on my doorstop!

      Liked by 1 person

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