Another lovely walk from Arkesden
Take the A 1301 south out of Great Shelford, down the Sawston by-pass, cross the A505, and at Stump Cross take the B1383 towards Newport. Just beyond Audley End House, turn right towards Royston on the B1039, go under the Mil, and soon afterwards turn left to Arkesden, as the Royston Road bears right. In the village bear left.
Park carefully opposite the Axe and Compass, not blocking entrances and bridges over the stream.
The Walk is about 5½ to 6 miles, and will take about 2½ hours. Most of the walk is pretty dry (we hope!)
Walk down the village High Street, with the Axe and Compass on
your right, and the post office on your left. Soon, turn left off the main road,
over the weak bridge, and very soon turn left again up the track. Keep on up the
field on an excellent grass track, with ditch to your right; bear right and enter a
wooded section. Emerge and soon after passing under the power lines, turn
right onto a very solid track.
Walk down this track into Wicken Bonhunt. Turn right on reaching the main road, pass in front of the pub, cross the road and head up green track to right of house called Greenacres. At top of track, turn right and follow this track as it winds up the hill, through a gap in the hedge, on up, swing to left and then to the right. Eventually reach farm buildings and cottages.
Follow the tarmac road round to the right, and after passing barn conversion on the left, turn right towards Rickling church, and pass through the church yard with church to your right (bench under the tower). Climb over two stiles, and turn left along hedge/wall side to reach main road.
Turn right, and after short distance turn up the first farm-drive on the left, advertising HERBS (this is not the name of the farm). Walk up the drive, and on reaching the top, turn sharp left, noting waymark on post to reassure yourself. Enter gardens of Orchard Farm and admire the lovely moated farmhouse to your right. Walk to the left of the garages, and head for gap in garden hedge, and then turn sharp right before reaching the field hedge, again noting waymark to reassure yourself.
Enter delightful wooded track, and at the end turn sharp right up field edge track. On reaching the top of the rise, you will find another path emerging through the hedge on your right, which conceals a trig point (a monument to pre-GPS technology). Turn sharp left along grassy track, under the power lines again, and then turn sharp right down hill.
Half way down the track, do NOT turn left as track swings left, but carry on down hill on grassy track. Emerge onto main road and enter Clavering, swinging sharp in front of the Cricketers (earlier home of Jamie Oliver), and continue up road, (do NOT turn left to Stickling Green). Country House is soon followed by Summer House on the left, and after that, opposite a thatched house, turn left down narrow path with high hedge to left.
Cross over stream, and turn right into field. Now follow the field edge first left, through a hedge gap, up field edge, turn sharp left with line of trees to your right, passing sign saying NO HORSES.
As hedge comes up from the left, turn right onto substantial track, and go first up hill and then down. Keep straight ahead onto field edge path, and head down hill with village and church coming into view.
This path leads down to Arkesden, and on meeting the road turn right to the Axe and Compass.
Neither the author nor his dog accept any responsibility for accuracy or for any injury or mishap that might befall any person who follows this walk. First published by "one man and his dog" in Great Shelford Village News June 2005