Summer star gazing walk at Wicken Fen

Lode Lane, Wicken, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 5XP

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Wicken Fen is one of Britain's few surviving ancient fens © Carol Laidlaw

Wicken Fen is one of Britain's few surviving ancient fens

Look our for redshank from March to August © northeastwildlife.co.uk

Look our for redshank from March to August

With its dark skies, Wicken Fen offers a great place to view the night sky © National Trust/ Carol Laidlaw

With its dark skies, Wicken Fen offers a great place to view the night sky

Route overview

On a clear night you can see some 4,000 stars sparkling in our universe. Perfect for families and anyone unfamiliar with astronomy, this guide will introduce you to star gazing in the low-lying landscape of Wicken Fen, offering a broad skies which are perfect for star gazing. 

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Wicken Fen Summer Stargazing walk map, Cambridgeshire
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: National Trust car park, grid ref: TL565706

  1. Turn left out of the car park. Continue in a straight line past the entrance to the Visitor Centre along the hard-surfaced path (waymarked NCN11). Shrubs and trees are on your left; the reed-edged water of Wicken Lode is on your right take care to stay on the paths.

    Show/HideSummer Triangle

    The Summer Triangle is made up of three bright stars positioned in a triangle, directly overhead. Look out also for the Plough and Great Bear.

    Wicken Fen is one of Britain's few surviving ancient fens © Carol Laidlaw
  2. After 492yds (450m) follow the path round to the left, and then turn right across the footbridge of Monks Lode. The bridge is wide, but has no hand rails, so again take care.

    Show/HidePerseid meteor shower

    The Perseid meteor shower is due on the 23 July, reaching its peak on 12 August. Whilst looking for stars, listen out for the eerie bark of the Muntjac deer, or the Tawny owls familiar toowhit-twhoo. In June and July, Glow worms might light your way and from March to August lapwing and redshank (pictured) call. You may also hear a chorus of widgeon and teal from October to March.

    Look our for redshank from March to August © northeastwildlife.co.uk
  3. Turn left to follow the path, keeping Monks Lode on your left. After 109yds (100m), turn right off the hard-surfaced path on to the grass path. Within 10yds (10m) the landscape broadens to give you views over Bakers Fen. Find a comfortable spot and settle down to an evening of star gazing. Retrace your steps to return to the car park.

    Show/HideMilky Way

    The stars you see in the sky are part of a spiral group of millions of stars called the Milky Way galaxy. With its dark skies, away from the intrusive lights of towns, the fens offer a great place to view the thousands of stars and other objects in our universe.

    With its dark skies, Wicken Fen offers a great place to view the night sky © National Trust/ Carol Laidlaw

End: National Trust car park, grid ref: TL565706

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 0.5 miles (0.8km)
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • OS Map: Landranger 154
  • Terrain:

    The terrain is flat and, apart from the last 11yds (10m), the route follows a hard-surfaced path.

  • How to get here:

    By bike: National Cycle Network route 11 passes the reserve boundary

    By bus: Service 12, Cambridge to Ely. Alight Soham High St, then 3 miles (5km) on footpaths to Wicken

    By train: Ely, 9 miles (15km)

    By road: 17 miles (27km) north-east of Cambridge and 3 miles west of Soham, just off A1123

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