The countryside around Hatley
Hatley is a great place for wildlife – because there’s such a wide variety of habitats and places where plants and animals live.
And we humans are very fortunate to have so many footpaths and bridleways running to and from East Hatley and Hatley St George.
If you really want to, you can probably make your way from Hatley to almost anywhere in the country via the UK’s unique, extensive and mostly very ancient rural footpaths and by-ways.
Click on the ‘definitive maps’ image above for copies of the excellent local maps showing all the footpaths and bridleways around Hatley – footpaths are for walking on (only) – bridleways are for walking or riding on, either on a pedal bike or horse.
Around Hatley the paths are, for the most part, in good condition, although wellingtons are probably sensible footwear during the winter and spring when paths tend to be rather muddy and puddly.
And before wellies?
While you’re walking and looking at the fauna and flora and enjoying the sounds, sights and smells, think too what it must have been like before waterproof boots and coats were developed and when most people had to walk everywhere, horses being for the well off.
It would have been a necessary part of life, of course – dodging a considerable amount of horse poo as well as many puddles and a lot of mud.
Click on the images above for some relevant articles we’ve collected – if you’d like to contribute an article or photographs, please send them to this site’s webmaster, Peter Mann.
Walks around Hatley
Cambridgeshire County Council has produced this handy leaflet on the Clopton Way, the footpath running from The Gamlingay Cinques Nature Reserve to Wimpole Hall.
A shortened, and more local walk, is to take the bridleway opposite the houses at Newlands, along the edge of the Hatley Park estate, all the way until a ‘T’ junction, where it joins the footpath shown on the leaflet going to New England Farm. Then, in Croydon, turn left at the war memorial up the hill and onto the bridleway to East Hatley.
Hatley’s grid references are:
TL 28257 50876
Greensand Ridge Walk
Another localish walk is through Greensands Country, which stretches from Leighton Buzzard to Gamlingay – a landscape said to be ‘rich in wildlife’ and which contains all of Bedfordshire’s remaining heathland, more than half of its woodland and 29 historic parklands.
The Greensand Ridge Walk is some 40 miles in all, but there are shorter sections around Gamlingay, detailed on this excellent map. The Greensands video may whet your appetite for an outdoor adventure.
Walking in Cambridgeshire
In addition to walks just around Hatley, there are plenty of suggestions for local walks from your home or by driving a short distance in John Harris’ Walking in Cambridgeshire.
Go to the ‘Free walks’ section for Walks near Cambridge, with walks from Hatley St George, Arrington, Croydon, Little Grandsen, Longstowe and Wimpole. There’s also a section (based on walks near St Neots) which includes walks from Gamlingay.
If you have any favourite walks, do send them in and we’ll gladly add them to the website – please send them to Peter Mann
Page created 4th July 2018; checked and updated 28th October 2022.