Kings Ripton circular walk

Distance 7 miles, 15,400 steps.

Good points of this walk are...

  • Easy walking of great variety through woodland, fields, and a pleasant village.
  • Serene... you're unlikely to meet anyone else on this walk.
  • Quiet places to sit and rest.
  • Great food and snacks available.
  • Wildlife friendly management of the Abbots Ripton Estate, so plenty of wildlife and historical interest.

Bad points are...

  • It's best not to take a dog with you on this walk. There are dogs on the Abbots Ripton Estate which can become defensive when seeing strange dogs about.
  • In winter during wet spells it gets very muddy in certain areas.

Park in School Lane, Kings RiptonAbout half way down the lane you’ll see the footpath signpost. Within about a couple of hundred yards of the start you’ll come to a T junction. Turn right to walk along the field edge.

After the first field you'll find the route getting increasingly wildlife friendly, with a stream running to your right, untended field borders, hedges and copses. In summer there are many butterflies and moths, and if you're walking early or late in the day you may surprise a marauding fox.

Continue to follow the path along several field edges and through or over stiles. Finally you'll cross a style and head across the middle of a field where the path is barely discernible because of trampling by sheep. After about 300 yards you'll reach a style on the other side of which is a road. Turn left.

You'll find yourself walking into Broughton, an ancient village of probable Anglo-Saxon origins with a great community atmosphere. The houses are very attractive, many dating from the 17th century.

What is particularly worth a visit is The Crown Inn. The food is something special, service great, and the surroundings stylish and relaxing. If you're aiming to have a weekend meal it might be advisable to call first. I've made the mistake of popping in at Sunday lunchtime, only to find everything booked.

To continue walk up School Road, the road that leads at a right angle away from the pub, and past the church. After 200 yards follow the footpath sign to the right. After admiring the gorgeous chickens that live in the garden to the left, climb over a field gate and continue along the left-hand side of a field.

At the top of the field it's worth turning back to admire the view, that of a peaceful English village perfectly blending with its surroundings.

Cross the style at the top corner of the field and follow the track and marker signs for a short while, making sure you follow the route by turning left over a small bridge through the hedge rather than continuing round the field to the right. After the bridge you should walk across the middle of the field to the opposite side.

By continuing to follow the signs you’ll approach Rectory Farm. It was just before here I once had a magical experience when observing two young hares. After a short period they saw me and slowly approached until they stood right beside me. After a few minutes they got spooked and raced away. Keep an eye out for hares in the fields from this point on.

Walk through the farm and at the very end of the farm track take the path to the right that goes along the field edge, following the route of the road.

After about 300 yards, at the field end, look over to your right. Above the line of trees you might be lucky to see red kites wheeling in circles high in the air.

You'll see a wooden footpath sign across the road to the left. This is the start of the Abbots Ripton Estate. You'll find the route from this point on generally well tended and highly supportive of wildlife, since the Estate is very keen to enhance the wildlife habitat and increase bird and insect populations. They also record birds seen on the Estate, you can view this by clicking here.

Follow the field edges for just over half a mile until you come to another road. Cross this and take the path to the right leading towards Wennington Wood (not the one heading towards some houses).

Follow the track until you reach Wennington Wood (if you have a map with you it may be more correctly shown as Raveley Wood) and walk along the wood edge. Unfortunately you can't enter the wood, but as you round a corner to the right you get a much better view of the interior. It's also a perfect spot on a sunny day to sit down and take a break.

Continue walking along the wood edge, passing an area for farm silage and general rubbish. After a short distance take the road to the left leading away from the wood.

Three hundred yards down this road take the route to the left, called Bough Lane (although it may not be signed). After about half a mile, being the first track to the right after a part of the track lined with trees, walk down a field edge to the bottom, then turn left along the bottom of the field.

After a short distance route signs will take you away from the field edge into an area of trees and more natural planting. Walk along here in late spring or summer and you'll find it full of wild flowers and insects. There are also one or two very old trees.

Follow the path for a mile or so to cross a road and find yourself back over a bridge, cross the road and within a few yards you’ll find yourself back at the T junction. Turn right to return to the start.

Click the Print Friendly button below to print out this walk to take with you. Or for more walks click here.

Did you enjoy the walk? Why not leave a comment below to tell others what you liked about it. 

The start of the walk on a frosty December morning.

Along the first field edge.

More field edge walking towards Broughton.

Broughton, and The Crown Inn.

Looking back at The Crown Inn.

The viewpoint looking back from Point 3.

Crossing a field, heading towards Rectory Farm

Looking back as rounding Wennington Wood
Heading up Bough Lane.
One of the old trees from Point 7 onwards.
Wild flowers and masses of insects.

Looking backwards on the last part of the walk.


  1. Anonymous2:37 pm

    We did the walk on Sunday 29/01/12 dull day, cold but almost no wind. We didn't see a single person. We missed the turn to the Church as we were looking for one on the left.....should be turn right by church and park! Instead we drove on and walked from Broughton parking on the road outside Old Rectory.
    In winter with the newly emerged crop the track across the field wasn't obvious after the footbridge and hedge....initially we thought we went round until i remembered the photo in summer showing a track across a field with a crop growing in it.
    After leaving the road which goes to Abbot's Ripton Hall we had some more confusion with
    "and then turn right at the first opportunity after a part of the track lined with trees"
    need to make it clear it's the section with trees lining both sides of the road as before this there are tree's lining oneside and there was an earlier opportunity to turn left but as we had a full map of the area we could see we needed to go further which you might not realise if you haven't got a map.
    Great walk, though we had to do it quick as we started at 3pm due to delays and sunset was 4.40pm!

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, text updated. John

  2. Anonymous12:12 pm

    As a family of four with a dog, we attempted this walk on Friday 07.09.12 - but have to admit that having got lost using the directions we made up our own walk instead, which was just as lovely.

    We took the turning next to church and headed over the first field, reaching the T junction. Decided to turn right as per the instructions and reached a field whereby the farmer had put up a sign saying private land - this ended up in us turning left and having to add about an extra mile onto our walk over ploughed rough mud!

    We then decided to cross over the road and walk towards wennington woods, past the nursery along the paved track directly next to the secret garden party entrance, past the game keeper’s cottage and around the woods. Dogs must be kept on leads due to the wildlife this did not bother us as there were plenty of smells to keep the dog amused.

    However...this is not a public right of way and Lord de Ramsey has only given permission to walk this route to avoid claims of a right of way later on. And although the signs clearly say dogs must be kept on leads....this obviously does not apply to his 3 Labradors that decided to form a pack and try and attack our dog that was on a lead, resulting in us having to form a circle to protect our dog until the young girl that was walking the dogs came to collect them minutes later, and the dogs failing to respond to her. Hearing our shouts to get her dogs on leads she informed us that she didn’t have their leads with "she lived here" and never uses them. Eventually she managed to get the dogs away, and rather shocked from the ordeal we decided to walk straight back to the car and go home.

    Although this area is lovely to walk in and has beautiful scenery - beware of the dogs! I do not think they would harm walkers but if you decided to take your dog please be careful. We spent a lot of money and time training our dog to get on with other dogs and within 5 minutes all that has been destroyed!

    1. Oh dear! The encounter with the dogs must have been frightening!

      In all the times I've done this walk I've not only never met any dogs along the route, but no humans either. Sounds like you accidentally wandered off the route onto private paths, hence the encounter. Also sounds like you therefore missed one of best parts of the walk, as shown in the last couple of photos above.

      Did you take a copy of the map to guide you? I'll do the walk soon to check out about farmer's sign saying private land... I remember there were some th elast time but these were only to keep you on the right track.

      Hope you try the walk again on a more summery day.

      Thanks, John

    2. Anonymous11:56 am

      Hi John,

      We printed this whole page with the map and instructions to help us but unfortunatly my map skills arent too great and as my dad told me when we got home, a sensible walker takes an ordanance survey map and checks the route before he leaves home. A tip for the next time we try this walk I guess.

      Having seen the pictures, I am sure we will certainly try the correct walk again sometime in the near future, perhaps when the weather improves.

  3. Anonymous4:53 pm

    We too have encountered Lord De Ramsey's dog attacking our dog as they leave the gate open and he runs outside to the roadway and attacks dogs that are on a lead. He is a menace and they should do something about it.

    1. Thanks for letting me know that this problem continues. I've sent an email to the estate, text as below, and until there's more certainty about the issue I've added a warning at the top of this walk. Regards, John


      Hi… the circular walk described in the walk web page at the link below goes through the Abbots Ripton Estate. It's a beautiful walk, much due your environmental management of the land and the tidy upkeep of footpaths. One of my favourite walks, it's also loved by many other ramblers.

      As you can see from the comments at the link below, there have been a few unfortunate incidents when walkers' dogs have been attacked by dogs from the estate. In one worrying incident three labradors formed a pack and the walkers had to circle their dog to protect it. It appears the walkers are following your rules and keeping their dogs on leads.

      Could you give me a comment about this. If you feel the problem may continue I will put a note against the walk stating that there may be problems if walkers take their own dogs on the estate land.

      Here's the link to the walk web page :

      Thanks, John

    2. Lady De Ramsey kindly responded to explain that the estate dogs act defensively when they see strangers walking past their home. She is not aware of them attacking other dogs but they do bark and appear boisterous.

      In view of this I've put an advisory note in the walk summary to suggest dogs are not taken on this walk.

  4. Anonymous8:48 pm

    Hi John, We did this walk today, June 22nd 2014, lovely hot day, did not help my hayfever! Started out of Broughton, found it easier to park, though when we got back the place was alive with people and cars, as unknown to us there was a village garden typr ramble etc going on, so it added to an enjoyable day. Read all the comments other people had placed, so had ordnance map and your instructions to hand and set off. Basically never found anything wrong with the instructions, so any alterations you have done are now ok. It was very well way marked, and for half the walk the paths were easy to follow as the grass paths had been recently cut, so just a question of walking and enjoying the stroll. Found the walk a bit arable in places, but enjoyable. Took us just under 3 hours to complete, but had two sit down breaks in that time. Finished off with a drink in the garden of The Crown Inn at Broughton, which looked busy but can't comment about food as we never had any. Broughton itself is a gem, countless thatched roofs and well tended gardens. At Abbots Ripton close to Grange Farm, you pass some ponds to your right, and sitting right behind one pond was a huge Dog or Wolf made out of straw. Any ideas why? Done a number of walks in this area St Ives, Huntingdon all the way to St Neots. Can you recommend any other areas close by please? Many thanks for this walk, very enjoyable. Paul

    1. Hi Paul... Glad you enjoyed the walk. Appreciate the comment and feedback.

      The 25ft straw fox was originally displayed in 2011 outside London's Royal Festival Hall to celebrate 60yrs since the first Festival of Britain.

      Not sure how you accessed this walk, but there are loads more listed at Cambridgeshire Walks ( I'd recommend trying the Needingworth wetland nature reserve walk to Bluntisham (, or the St Ives to Houghton via Wyton ( But all the walks on the site are personally vetted by me and well worth trying.

      Regards, John

  5. Anonymous8:23 pm

    Hi John
    Thank-you for the information regarding the 25ft Straw Fox, interesting. Accessed the Cambridgeshire Walks site and took this walk, also printed St Ives to Houghton, so toss of coin was used to choose!! Will look at the Needingworth walk in time. Certainly pleasant walking in this area, well worth an hour drive to get there, and we will continue to spread out more. Do love the villages as well.
    Kind Regards