Cambridgeshire part 1: Wicken Fen

Cambridgeshire is flat. Like, really really weirdly disconcertingly flat. I’d forgotten how flat (it’s a good few years since I’ve been to Cambridge and I’ve never been anywhere else in the county).

I was intrigued to read about the fens in my guidebook. Up till a couple of hundred years ago, the towns in the fens were pretty much islands surrounded by wetlands. It took an industrial-revolution draining project to create the eerily flat farmland that’s seen today.

On the one dry day of our week-long holiday, we visited Wicken Fen nature reserve which is a section of fen that’s being reverted to how it was hundreds of years ago – still managed by grazing and reed-cutting but not fully drained. There weren’t many people visiting and I really started to appreciate the landscape and its big sky. Unfortunately we couldn’t get round all the walking paths since we were lacking wellies but we managed a few miles. There’s a short accessible boardwalk and most of the other walks could be reached from one direction or another.  There was a very enthusiastic chatty volunteer and some rather expensive ice-cream.  Yes, I know, there are quite some clouds in some of the photos but it was the best day we had… should have been there this week!

Wicken fen

Wicken fen is wet

Wicken fen waterway

with many waterways

Wicken Fen

and yes it really is flat


Old style windpump

Modern windmill

New style windpump

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9 Responses to Cambridgeshire part 1: Wicken Fen

  1. attethersend says:

    Those photos are stunning. :) xx

  2. That’s just down the road from us but we haven’t had a chance to go yet, we’ve only just moved to The Fens :) We’ll have to go soon after reading this.

    • Kate Adamson says:

      Do take your wellies! and some insect repellant – though you may not be as interestingly allergic to bites as I am. I forgot to say, there are loads of different butterflies and dragonflies to try to identify, and some hides if you happen to be a birdwatcher. It’s a lovely place.

  3. Bernie Hough says:

    Nice photo’s.

    I live in Wicken and absolutely love it here. It’s nice and quiet and the people are really friendly.

    Hope you have a fab day


  4. I love Wicken Fen. I grew up in Wicken and spent a lot of my childhood exploring the fen and it’s wildlife. Absolutely love it! But I might be biased!


    • Kate Adamson says:

      It is really beautiful! I have certainly recommended it to a couple of friends who will be visiting nearby. We never see dragonflies in Scotland so those were a big treat.

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