Wicken Fen Octavia Hill Trail, near Ely, Cambridgeshire

Walking trail

This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. Please check our homepage for the most up to date information about visiting. Starting from the original area of Wicken Fen, acquired in 1899, head along the Lodes Way and out on to Burwell Fen. This Fen is a piece of land acquired in 2001 as part of the Wicken Fen Vision, a project to create a nature reserve to protect the original fen and create more space for people and wildlife, meeting the aspirations of Octavia Hill more than a century ago. Suitable for active families.

Birds of prey

The whole area is a great place to see birds of prey in winter, and it’s not unusual to see buzzard, marsh-harrier, short-eared owl, barn owl, sparrowhawk, peregrine falcon, and occasionally hen-harrier.


Wicken Fen Octavia Hill walk map


Wicken Fen Visitor Centre, grid ref: TL5651070686


Starting at the visitor centre, Wicken Lode will be on your right. Following the path (National Cycle Network 11), keeping the water to your right and Wicken's poor fen to the left. This is common land from where, traditionally, local villagers had the right to collect sedge and peat.


Cross Monks Lode at Normans Bridge then turn left and continue on NCN11 with the Lode on your left.


Turn right to follow the cycle track; you're now walking across Bakers Fen. Look out for Highland cattle and Konik ponies.

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Konik ponies at Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire


Pass Priory Farm on your right and when you reach Burwell Lode, use the concrete footbridge to cross over the Lode to Burwell Fen - look out for herds of Roe Deer on the Fen. Continue on the cycle path (NCN11).

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Picture of a snipe as could be seen at Wicken Fen


Cross over Reach Lode Bridge. Turn right after the bridge and walk along the river bank with Reach Lode on your right.

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Follow Reach Lode past Pout Hall Corner, the triangular pond where Reach Lode and Burwell Lode meet, and then continue on to Upware.

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Pout Hall Corner Upware


At Upware use the road to cross over the Lode and walk back down the other side until you reach the wooden ‘Cock-up Bridge’.

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Cross Cock-up Bridge and turn left, following Wicken Lode on your left. Here's a good place to see the height difference between the undrained land on the opposite side of the bank compared to the land on the side on which you're walking, which has been drained - the peat has shrunk much lower than the Lode Bank.


Continue walking along Lode Bank, you will pass Tower Hide on the opposite bank and eventually arrive back at Normans Bridge. Cross over Normans Bridge and turn left to return to the Visitor centre, café, and the end of your walk.

Wicken Fen Visitor Centre


Wicken Fen Visitor Centre, grid ref: TL5651070686

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Wicken Fen Octavia Hill Trail, near Ely, Cambridgeshire


Even surfaces, follows a cycle path for part of the route. The rest is along wide, grassy lode banks. Dogs welcome on leads on the reserve, and visitor centre.

Wicken Fen Octavia Hill Trail, near Ely, Cambridgeshire

Contact us

Telephone : 01353 720274

E-mail wickenfen@nationaltrust.org.uk

Website: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wickenfen

Wicken Fen Octavia Hill Trail, near Ely, Cambridgeshire

How to get here

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

Ely train station (9 miles or 15km from Wicken Fen).

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 bus

No.12 from Cambridge-Ely (alight Soham High St, then 3 miles (5km) on footpaths to Wicken).

By bicycle

NCN 11 from Ely, NCN 51 from Cambridge connecting with NCN 11 (Lodes Way) at Bottisham.

Wicken Fen Octavia Hill Trail, near Ely, Cambridgeshire

Facilities and access

  • Parking 120 yds, £3 NT Members Free
  • Food and Drink : Café next to Visitor Centre.
  • Cycle Hire
  • NT Shop selling local crafts and wildlife books
  • WC's located in main car-park and in the Learning Centre behind the cafe