Wicken Fen - Nature Trail, Cambridgeshire

Walking trail

Enjoy the wildlife in this unique habitat on an easy walk. Visit 3 wildlife hides including the 10 metre Tower Hide, with commanding views across the reserve. Suitable for active families.


In spring and summer take a short detour onto the Butterfly Trail.


Map or Wicken Fen Nature Trail


Wicken Fen Visitor Centre, grid ref: TL5651070686


Starting from Visitor Centre turn right onto the boardwalk trail, heading towards the wind pump.

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Wicken Fen - Bird Watchers and Sunset over Sedge Fen


Follow the boardwalk in the direction of the wind pump. Before the advent of steam and diesel pumping engines, wind-pumps were the main method used to drain turf pits and fields.

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Wicken Fen - Sedge Fen with Windpump in background


Leave the Broadwalk trail here and continue straight on with the Rodger Clark hide on your right.

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Wicken Fen -  Kingfisher on a branch


In the spring and summer it is worth taking a short detour here on your right along the Butterfly Trail. Return to this point to continue on the Nature Trail.

Wicken Fen - Painted Lady butterfly


Follow the path or drove (droves are fen-land paths that are cut back every year and are rich in plant diversity) past the willows and on towards a grove of aspens. The willows grow here because 19th Century naturalists used willow sticks smeared with sweet sticky food to attract moths. The sticks were not always cleared away and some took root. This area becomes completely waterlogged in winter.


At the aspen grove the path turns sharp left onto Mitchell's Drove - named after Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Mitchell, the first full-time warden of Wicken Fen.


Follow the path along Mitchell's drove, with Spinney Bank on your right, until you come to the Pump House where the Trail turns sharp left. The engine in the pump house drains water from surrounding farmland into the dyke.


Follow the trail south with Drainers Dyke on your right. On your left you will pass a tower hide built in 2001. This hide provides views over Verrall's Fen.

Drainers Dyke


Follow the path past a stand of Birch trees. Birch and alder are home to countless insects and are favored woodpecker nest sites. Continue past Gardener's Drove until to come to a waterway. Turn left.


Tower Hide - the path passes another tower hide on the left. This hide was built in the 1950's and it overlooks the Mere and Adventurer's Fen.

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A hen harrier in flight


Sedge Fen - on your left you will pass a working sedge field, with strips cut every three years in summer. The trail follows the drove along the waterway (or Lode) past a wind pump which draws calcium-rich water from Monks Lode and pumps it into ditches to irrigate Sedge Fen. Continue back to the Visitor Centre.

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Wicken Fen - sunset over Sedge Fen


Wicken Fen Visitor Centre, grid ref: TL5651070686

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Wicken Fen - Nature Trail, Cambridgeshire


A well-signed route along wide grassy paths which can be muddy. Some sections may be closed in wet weather to protect the fauna in this special habitat – please check at the Visitor Centre before setting off. There are many other routes at Wicken Fen, including a Boardwalk Trail, accessible for wheelchairs, year round. Take care near waterways and ponds. Dogs on leads welcome. Please clean up after your dog.

Wicken Fen - Nature Trail, Cambridgeshire

Contact us

Wicken Fen - Nature Trail, Cambridgeshire

How to get here

Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, Lode Lane, Wicken, CB7 5XP
By train

Ely 9 miles

By road

South of Wicken (A1123), 3 miles west of Soham (A142), 9 miles south of Ely, 17 miles north-east of Cambridge via A10.

By bicycle

NCN11 from Ely; Lodes Way from Anglesey Abbey and local villages

Wicken Fen - Nature Trail, Cambridgeshire

Facilities and access

  • Car park £3 (NT members Free), 150 yards; disabled parking bays outside main Visitor Centre.
  • Toilets in main car park and next to Visitor Centre; disabled and baby-changing facilities in both toilet blocks.
  • Café selling drinks and hot and cold snacks.
  • Shop: Selling local crafts and wildlife books.
  • Cycle hire.
  • Picnics welcome.