I walked this, the fourth stage of the Great Ouse Odyssey at the start of June 2012.
I set off early from Ely on a pleasant Sunday morning. The plan was to walk the 16 miles to Earith where Jo would pick me up in the car and we’d head on down the Ouse Valley to her mum’s house for lunch.
A mile into the walk I came across some wild campers who had clearly had a good night celebrating something or other (a certain monarch’s jubilee, so I hear). They were all fast asleep so I crept quietly past.
After two miles the Great Ouse is joined by the Cam (which flows down to Cambridge). At this point the Ouse takes a sharp turn to the west.
An hour later I passed the Stretham Old Engine, a steam-powered pumping station built in 1831. It was this engine and hundreds like it that have helped keep the fens from flooding.
The Ouse Valley Way, at least at this point, is clearly under-used by walkers. The path was almost lost in the undergrowth for much of the way and after a while the my shoes and trousers were pretty much soaked through by the morning dew.
However, the day was turning out to be quite warm so I trudged on happy in the relative isolation of the walk.
I finally reached Earith where I was picked up by Jo and driven to Brampton for a lovely Sunday roast after which I promptly fell asleep on the couch. Perfect.
The next stage will take me on to Brampton.
One thought on “Great Ouse Odyssey stage 4: Ely to Earith”
Superb . A long walk . Believe the 17thC dykes dug by Vermuyden started out higher than the Ouse . They drained naturally but as the peat dried , it contracted . Thus they ended up lower than the river , the river banks had to be built up to contain the water which is now pumped up into them ,