Gog Magog! Troy! Romans! – a hike in the Cambridgeshire hills

Cambridgeshire may well be one of the flattest counties in the UK but it does contain some hills, small hill but hills nevertheless.

Not far from Cambridge we have the Gog Magog hills, see the contours below, pretty impressive eh?

Contours around Gog Magog
The hills! The hills!

So one sunny morning, the first true Autumn morning of the year, I set out for the town of Great Shelford, just to the south of Cambridge.

Autumn leaves in Great Shelford
Autumn leaves in Great Shelford

Pleasant paths and quiet roads led me through the village and finally towards the hills themselves.

On the way I passed a lonely copse and was tempted to commit TRESPASS to investigate, but the wide open fields left me feeling a little exposed so I chickened out.

The lonely copse
The lonely copse

I ascended Gog Magog and enjoyed the views from the summit. Writer Iman Jacob Wilkens claims that ‘Troy was situated on the Gog Magog Hills near Cambridge‘.

Troy!  Just fancy that.  I’m prepared to fully support this theory based solely on the grounds that it sounds like a grand idea.

The view from Gog Magog
The view from Gog Magog

There’s a little wood on the summit of Gog Magog, it has a fence around it.

Someone had built a camp in that wood….

Camp at Gog Magog
Ruins of a camp at Gog Magog

It’s a rather pretty little wood, I loved this green carpet.

Green carpet - Gog Magog
Green carpet – Gog Magog

I descend the hills and made my way to Wandlebury Country Park where I planned to pick up the Roman Road trail.

The Roman Road Walk is a 40km (25 mile) way-marked route which I’m hoping to complete one day, it would be a long day but fun, I think.

On the Roman Road trail
On the Roman Road trail

The Roman roads were glorious in the Cambridgeshire afternoon.  Lush, green and very straight.

Roman roads
Roman roads

On the return walk back to Great Shelford I passed over the River Granta, a tributary of the River Cam.

River Granta
River Granta

I arrived in Great Shelford hoping for a pint in the pub by the station but alas, the pub was boarded up, probably to be turned into flats or something.

Yes, the Peaks, Lakes, Wales and Scotland have all the big, sexy hills but we have Gog Magog, we have TROY and…we have ROMANS.


10 thoughts on “Gog Magog! Troy! Romans! – a hike in the Cambridgeshire hills

  1. They used to offer the most delicious Thai meals at the pub – a great loss.

    I really ought to revisit the Gog Magogs and Roman Road – the last time I did the roman road was after heavy snow, nearly ten years ago. A beautiful walk.

  2. Always intrigued by the name Gog Magog, which seems to have great resonance. I also remember reading TC Lethbridge’s ‘Gog Magog’ many decades ago. I like the idea of a little fenced wood atop Gog Magog – sort of like a living monument.

  3. Great landmark from Cambridge city . Obviously lovely walk and pics. Yes people now buy a 6pack for same price as pub pint , then slump in front of tele instead of walking to local or on Gogs. Takes the heart out of village life

  4. Has Gogmaygog anything to do with the coloney of Hu Gadarn who arrived in Britain before Brutus the Trojen. Hu G purportedly arrived in britain about 1365 BC while Brutus who succeeded him in 1152 BC. The solution to this conundrem I sugest is a land confrontation between Brutus and Hu G’s coloney. Phoenicians would find it hard to make through the ice age meltdown in 1500 BC. John

  5. Hi Martin do you think there is any connection between Gogmaygog and Hu Gadarn? I’ve looked at the Welsh triads and there’s no hint of Gogmaygog in them so it looks like we have got a real connundrem here.

    Problem is some ancient chroniclers place Hu before 1500 BC (That is before the ice age meltdown according to creationist historians) and indeed some after this time ca 1365 BC.

    If 1365 BC is’nt it more likely that the land confrontation was between Hu G’s coloney and that of Brutus who came to Britain in about 1152 BC?

    Interestingly the John Chappel website has equated Hu Gadarn with Herculese. Please let me know your thoughts on this. Many thanks John

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