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Walking Through History Around Cambridge

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If you are staying in one of the many fine hotels or bed and breakfasts in the Cambridge area you may want to take a walk to explore the many historical points of interest that lie in and outside of the city. Whilst there are a wealth of things to see in Cambridge there is some beautiful countryside that surrounds the area that most visitors to the city will miss. There are ancient Roman roads, Iron Age forts, Byron's Pool and the Gog Magog hills, a few things to whet your appetite.

The Gog Magog hills are 300ft above sea level but offer fine views of the towers and spires of Cambridge. They are thought to have acquired their strange name from an ancient bloody war. Many skeletons, often mutilated, have been found here along with lots of Bronze Age weaponry. Students of Cambridge were forbidden to enter the area in 1574 which may have been for superstitious reasons. A good walk that will take you around this area starts on Worts Causeway at Beech Woods which is a nature reserve. Head East along Worts causeway and turn right after Shelford Road which will take you onto the Roman Road called Via Devana that runs arrow straight 9 Miles to Haverhill. Marvel at the engineering skills of the ancient Romans that mean these roads still exist today. After about a mile turn right onto a path towards Wandlebury that will take you into the Wandlebury Country Park which is a nature reserve. Here you will find the remains of Wandlebury Ring, an Iron Age hill fort, the ditch surrounding the fort is all that remains but is still clearly visible and is up to 5 metres deep in places. A trip around the ring will lead you back to the Wandlebury path to retrace your tracks back to the starting point.

Another walk which is closer to the city starts at the junction of Grantchester Rd and Barton Rd. Go down Grantchester Road and turn down Eltisley Avenue which will lead you onto Grantchester Meadows Road and out into Grantchester Meadows. Following the river will take you to the edge of Grantchester where you will find the Old Vicarage once occupied by the famous World War I poet Rupert Brooke and which is now owned by Jeffrey Archer. Following Mill Way out of Grantchester will take you past the old mill and mill pond; turn right onto a wide track after crossing the bridge that will take you to Byron's Pool. Lord Byron, another famous poet who studied at Trinity College, is reputed to have swum here hence the name, as well as Rupert Brooke. Head back to Grantchester Road and turn right heading towards the village of Trumpington where you will find Maris Lane, named after the famous Maris Piper potato that was developed by the Plant Breeding Institute established in Trumpington in 1912. Heading north along the High Street will take you back towards your starting point in Cambridge.

These two walks are just a small sample of the many places threaded with centuries of history to see in the Cambridge area.

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