Ouse Valley Way
229 km / 142 miles
Beds, Bucks, Cambs, Milton K, Norfolk, Northants
Access to the path from Newton Blossomville to Cold Brayfield will be closed this summer (2017) because the bridge across the Ouse is being removed and rebuilt slightly further upstream. This will mean a detour along the road of a couple of miles. Work is due to begin in May I believe and is expected to last 2/3 months.
A source-to-sea route on one of Englandís longest rivers, it follows the River Great Ouse on its meandering passage from close to its source to the tidal river at Kings Lynn, linking many towns and villages. It passes through Stowe Park to reach Buckingham, then fringes north of Milton Keynes and Newport Pagnell. It heads via Emberton Country Park to Sharnbrook (with H E Bates connections) and visits Bedfordís Priory Park and passes a Danish Camp at Willingdon, then links St Neots, Huntingdon (Cromwellís birthplace), St Ives and Earith. After Earith, the Dutch engineer Vermuyden worked to shorten the river across the Hundred Foot Washes, while the Way keeps along the Old West River where the Stretham Old Engine tells the story of the draining of the Fens. Before Ely, with its cathedral visible on the skyline, it meets the River Cam, and after Ely it runs in common with the Fen Rivers Way, crossing the Bedford Level to Downham Market and Kings Lynn, where the river finally flows out into the Wash.
As it passes from rolling Buckinghamshire countryside to reach open black-soiled fenland landscapes, now sunk some 10ft below the elevated riverbanks, it offers a mixture of riverside and canal walking, sections alongside old flooded gravel pits, and gentle countryside with few other climbs. Some stretches leave the river to avoid areas flood-prone in winter and there is some road walking, some alongside busy roads.
The former Ouse Valley Walk (13 miles) follows the River Great Ouse between Buckingham and Milton Keynes and connects with the North Bucks Way at Iron Viaduct.
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