Huntingdon and Godmanchester walk, Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire

Walking trail

Head off through a watery landscape in search of lost mills on this eight mile walk through the delightful landscape of the Ouse valley. Starting at Houghton, the last working mill on the Great Ouse, discover the sites of some of the lost historic mills in this part of Huntingdonshire. Visit the site of Godmanchester Steam Mill, Castle Hill and the remains of Huntingdon's Norman motte-and-bailey castle, demolished under the orders of King Henry II in 1174, Portholme Water Meadow the largest water meadow in England, and the site of the Old Mill at Godmanchester, demolished in 1927.


Suitable for active families. Not suitable for little feet...


Map rpute for Huntingdon and Godmanchester walk


Houghton Mill, grid ref: TL281720


Walk from Houghton Mill up Mill Street to the clock tower. From here take Huntingdon Road and turn right at Were Lane.

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 An old painting of Houghton Mill c1906


Cross the A1123 and follow the bridleway that runs straight ahead. The bridleway joins Ruddles Way, which continues until you come to a large hedge where you turn left and continue down to the road.


Turn right and walk along the road. Use the Crossing at Hartford marina and branch left to follow Houghton Road. Turn left at The Grove and follow the path until you reach Main Street.


Continue down Main Street until reaching the Barley Mow. Turn left down The Hollow to All Saints' church. Turn right and walk along the river around the churchyard and along Church Lane.


Continue along Church Lane until the road turns suddenly right. Here, take the path directly ahead, following the river all the way to the old bridge to Godmanchester.

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Godmanchester Steam Mill was built in 1863


Cross the road at the crossing towards the Old Bridge hotel and continue beyond the hotel to Castle Hills. Follow the path past the hills and out on to Mill Common.

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Jeffery's Map of 1768


Turn left at Mill Common and down into Portholme water meadow. Take the path across the meadow to the Godmanchester lock.

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Portholme Water Meadow


Follow the path over the lock and along the river, past the Chinese Bridge to the site of a former water mill.

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The Old Mill at Godmanchester c1920


Turn right and walk along Mill Yard to Post Street. Cross the road and head into Church Place and into Saint Mary's churchyard. Walk straight ahead across the yard until you reach a gate. Turn left and follow the footpath as it bends to the left and then turn immediately right and follow the trail alongside the cricket ground and under the A14 bridge.

Image of St. Mary the Virgin in Godmanchester dates from 13th century and is Grade 1 listed.


Follow the path around the lake and take the small footbridge to Westside Common. Walk along the boundary fence of Westside Common and turn right along the route of the old railway line until heading left over a bridge which leads around the lakes. After two stiles follow the path under an avenue of poplar trees. Cross a track and carry on until you meet a bridge after a weir.


Cross the bridge over the Fisher's Dyke backwater. Continue to follow the riverbank on your left until you reach the main river. Bear right still following the river and then divert to another bridge.

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Bridge over Fisher's Dyke on Huntingdon and Godmanchester walk


Once over the bridge cross the meadow to another large bridge. Divert across a field to a sluice bridge and then continue to follow the riverbank to Houghton lock. Cross over the lock and follow the path to return to Houghton Mill.


Houghton Mill, grid ref: TL281720

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Huntingdon and Godmanchester walk, Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire


Level ground, with several stiles, gates, and steps. Dogs welcome on leads and under close control.

Huntingdon and Godmanchester walk, Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire

Contact us

Huntingdon and Godmanchester walk, Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire

How to get here

Houghton Mill, Mill St, Houghton, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 2AZ
By train

Nearest station is in Huntingdon. Contact Cambridgeshire County Council's Public Transport Section for details: (01223) 717740

By road

National Trust pay and display car park (free for members) at Houghton Mill. Follow brown signs from A1123

By foot

On the Ouse Valley Way

By bus

Bus station in St Ives and the Huntingdon - St. Ives bus service regularly stops at Houghton.

By bicycle

National Cycle Network Route 51 between Huntingdon and St Ives

Huntingdon and Godmanchester walk, Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire

Facilities and access

  • WC's : Adjoining tea room
  • Food and drink : Riverside National Trust tea room serving cakes, light lunches and beverages.
  • Shopping : Gift Shop selling freshly-ground Houghton Mill wholemeal flour.
  • Parking, 20 yards, £2.50 (pay & display) - free to National Trust members
  • Dogs on leads in grounds only
  • Baby-changing facilities
  • Mobility park in main car park, 20 yards
  • Accessible route around grounds. Level tarmac surface from drop-off point to ground floor entrance, through mill to nearby lock