Houghton Mill, St Ives and the Hemingfords Cycle Route - Cambridgeshire
Enjoy a couple of hours delightful cycling through picturesque meadows from Houghton Mill to the historic town of St Ives and back through the charming villages of Hemingford Grey and Hemingford Abbots.
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Take the path diagonally across Houghton Mill car park and through the kissing gate and turn right into the narrow path called Love Lane.
The start and end point for this walk - Houghton Mill - is the last working mill on the River Great Ouse. There has been a mill on this site for over 1,000 years.
At the end of the path turn left and in a few yards you will come to Thicket Road. Turn right onto Thicket Road and follow it straight on until it becomes a path and cycle way.
Continue on this path alongside the river to St Ives to come out opposite All Saints' Parish Church. Holt Island Nature Reserve is over the bridge to your right. Follow Church Street and Church Place around All Saints' church yard and turn right onto Ramsey Road.
All Saints' parish church and the Norris Museum
The church marks the site of the original Saxon village of Slepe. Amongst those who later worshipped here was Oliver Cromwell, whose signature has been left in the vestry book. The Norris Museum is on your right just at the end of the quay. This is well worth a visit to discover local history.
After a short distance Ramsey Road becomes The Waits. Cycle along the Waits, past the Norris Museum into The Broadway until you get to the Victoria Memorial. Take the one way street ahead of you to the left (Crown Street).
The Broadway and Victoria's memorial
The memorial celebrates Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, although it wasn't actually erected until 1902. Leading off either side are two routes, Crown Street and Merryland. There is some debate over how Merryland got its name. Some think it's a reference to the Virgin Mary; others say that it derived from the fact that there used to be at least five pubs in the small area.
Take the first right hand turn down Bridge Street and go over the old bridge.
The bridge and chapel
Built in the 1420s, St Ives bridge is one of only four bridges in this country that still have a chapel built onto them midstream. The key to the chapel is available from the Norris Museum.
After crossing the river Great Ouse, Bridge Street becomes London Road. Continue past the Dolphin Hotel on your right and continue along London Road until you reach a crossroads.
At the crossroads turn right onto Hemingford Road. Follow this road around until it becomes St Ives Road, you will pass Hemingford Grey Primary School on your right.
Continue to follow St Ives Road until it becomes the High Street. Continue along the High Street past Hemingford Grey Post Office to the Cock PH.
Immediately after the Cock PH turn sharp left onto Braggs Lane. Continue a short distance until you come to a crossroads.
At the crossroads turn right onto Manor Road. Follow this road until it becomes the High Street.
Continue along the High Street past the Axe and Compass PH and on to Common Lane.
Continue along Common Lane and turn right into Meadow Lane beside the post box. Follow Meadow Lane over the Black Bridge. Cross Hemingford Meadow to a lock. Dismount and walk back through Houghton Mill.
Welcome back - and now you deserve a treat! Perhaps a Miller's breakfast or delicious cream tea and a slice of cake in our cosy riverside tea-room. Open daily 10.30am - 5pm (9.30am on Sundays).
Ensure you visit our historic mill, where you can see paintings of the Mill, St Ives and the surrounding area dating from the late 19th and early 20th century.
Houghton Mill TL281720
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