Brampton circular walk

This walk is packed with history. Misericords 800 years old, something from the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Wander past the house of a famous diarist from the 1600s and an ice house in a field full of mysterious bumps and hollows.

After ambling through woodland, fields and riverside, admire the listed buildings of an attractive village. Try a warm cheese scone with chutney and a pot of butter that's a meal in itself.
Four miles (8,800 steps) of woodland, riverside, leafy lanes and fields. Food and snacks available. Wildlife and historic interest. Can be very muddy or impassible between points 1 and 2 if the River Great Ouse is in flood.
Starting point
Park at the bottom of the High Street. Walk out of the High Street and turn right into Church Road, crossing to the opposite side. Walk into the churchyard of St Mary Magdalene, a church with 1300s origins.

Pop into the church if you can. In the sanctuary are three choir stalls with hinged seats (called misericords) depicting village life, which date from the 1200s. They are considered by Pevsner to be the best of their type in the county. Behind the altar there is a curtain once part of the hangings in Westminster Abbey for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Head to the left of the church and follow the track through the churchyard and trees as shown the photo at the top of this walk. Next a couple of fields, the last of which has distinct medieval ridge and furrow features. You walk around the back of a house once owned and occupied by Samuel Pepys, most famous for the diary he kept from 1660. There is a rumour that following his death, the family buried his gold in the garden of the house.

Point 1
You come onto Huntingdon Road at the entrance to a private house called Water Meadows. Follow the footpath sign on the other side of the entrance, heading across a field. Once you come to the golf course, head for the blue post, and then the orange post to walk through a small copse. When you enter a small field head left towards the caravan park, then right down the park's access road to the entrance.

On exiting the caravan park, turn immediately right to walk up what appears to be a drive to a house. Cross the bridge on your left displaying a sign limiting vehicle weight. The route then turns right and passes a peaceful picnic spot beside two ponds. Soon the path skirts the River Great Ouse.

The riverbank, pictured below, is very pleasant, lined with wild flowers, dragonflies and butterflies. In summer cabin cruisers float by. After half a mile head up River Lane on your right, leafy, green and filled with dragonflies.
Point 2
Another half a mile brings you to Buckden Road. Cross the road and turn left to walk for just under half a mile. Follow the footpath sign on the right heading along a field edge. Turn right around the back of the housing estate to walk along another field edge for just over 300 yards.

You skirt what is now the disused RAF Brampton on your right, planned to become a housing estate. The area is currently subject to much development. Originally Brampton Park, the site's history goes all the way back to the 1100s. As recently as 1937 it remained a private estate, although the rather grand house was destroyed by fire in 1907.

Go through a hedge and cross a field that looks like it has some history to it, full of bumps and hollows. Pass a hillock on your right with trees atop as shown below, once an ice house for Brampton Park. Continue past a pond to come upon Park Road.
Point 3
Turn left and almost immediately right into Sandwich Road. After 200 yards you walk between fields for another 300 yards.

At the end of the field, cross over a ditch and up a short alley way between houses to come out at Layton Crescent. Walk right and then left to keep the two islands of trees on your left. Walk straight ahead into the small cul-de-sac, at the top of which is a footpath heading off to the left and then right, into Cranfield Way. After 100 yards, as the road starts to bend to the right, take the footpath on the left.

Point 4
You'll come out on a road called The Green. Turn right and walk straight on into the High Street.

After a quarter of a mile you'll come to The Willows Cafe on the right. The warm cheese scone with chutney and a pot of butter is a must, a meal in itself. Especially nice to sit on one of the picnic benches in their cosy garden.

Continue along the High Street. There are many fine listed buildings in Brampton, an attractive village most likely of Anglo-Saxon origins. You'll pass many of those buildings in the High Street. Another quarter of a mile and you're back at the bottom of the High Street and the start of the walk. Another food option is The Black Bull in Church Lane past St Mary Magdalene, a pub frequented by Pepys dating from the 1500s with an attractive garden.

Here's the route shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1900.
Click the 'Print Friendly' button below to print out this walk to take with you. Or for more walks click the 'Return Home' button at the foot of this page. Did you enjoy the walk? Notice anything unusual? Why not add a comment below to tell fellow amblers what you liked about it?

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