Pedal Power: Cycling from Cambridge to St. Ives

Rewind to last summer: searing heat, endless sunny days (a stark contrast to the grey days and downpours this year). Sun’s out, bikes out. Destination: St. Ives. Cripes, that’s a long way, I hear you say. Fear not: I’m talking about St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, here, which is only 20-odd kilometres away from Cambridge on the world’s longest guided busway. (Yes, that is St. Ives’ claim to fame.)

1-Cycle to St Ives 7.05 (1)

Early to rise, for the roads are quieter first thing. We cut across Cambridge towards the River Cam. Past Stourbridge Common, over Green Dragon Bridge (named after the pub of the same name). Outside the Green Dragon, stacks of free books: fiction, non-fiction, hardback, paperback, all sorts of genres. We took a couple, then carried on to Cambridge North where we joined the guided busway.

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Flocks of geese waddled through farmers’ fields, lambs frolicked in the sunshine. Past Swavesey, a prosperous market town in medieval times with a large estate, castle and priory; today, it’s a small commuter village. Further along the busway, RSPB Fen Drayton Lakes. Home to a host of feathery residents, it counts common terns, great crested grebes and lapwings amongst its star species.

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Up ahead: St. Ives, its bank holiday market already in full swing. We locked up the bikes and scouted out a snack (sausage roll for Laurence, garlic naan for yours truly) before wandering round the town.

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Tucked away on The Broadway, is the Norris Museum, founded by Herbert Norris. Norris died in 1931, leaving his vast collection of Huntingdonshire curios (St. Ives was historically part of Huntingdonshire, and only became part of Cambridgeshire in 1974) to the people of St. Ives. The result is a verifiable treasure trove of local history and culture, and one of the nicest local museums I’ve ever visited.

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We pottered along by the River Great Ouse, stumbling upon the chapel on St. Ives Bridge on our way back towards the market square. Although St. Ives isn’t brimming with things to do, it makes for a pleasant day out from Cambridge – and not having to contend with maniacal drivers to get there is a major plus.

1-Cycle to St Ives 7.05 (30)

1-Cycle to St Ives 7.05 (37)


  • If you’re travelling by public transport, catch a train to Cambridge or Huntingdon followed by a bus. Check the bus route and times here.
  • For those pedalling over to St. Ives, take care not to get too close to the buses. They speed along, and accidents have been known to happen. The guided busway is pretty exposed, so slather yourself in sunblock before setting off if the sun is shining.

8 thoughts on “Pedal Power: Cycling from Cambridge to St. Ives

  1. What an amazing adventure! I think there’s a definite plus to cycling when not having to contend with the manic drivers & roads, and you get to take more of it in as you go. You’ve got some great photos, too, and I love the art on the side of that building! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Take the manic drivers (of which there are plenty!) out of the equation, and cycling gets my vote as a way of getting around! It’s a great way to cover a bit more distance and see places which are otherwise awkward to get to 🙂 I really like that piece of street art too. X

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I doubt I’d be up for a 50km return trip ride on anything other than a sunny day, if the truth be told! It was nice to get out of Cambridge and explore the local area a bit more 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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