3.3 of 5 (11 votes)

The Hundred Foot Washes

A strenuous walk (countryside) in Cambridgeshire, England, about 23.40km (14.54 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 7:00h. It is suitable for families with children, but unsuitable for prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Ascent 51m (167ft)
Descent 45m (147ft)
Max. Elevation 30m (98ft)
Altitude Gain & Loss 96m (314ft)
Start & End
Ely Station
Distance 23.40km
Duration ~7:00h
Car Free Walks TeamCreated by Timwoods on 28 Jan 2012
This walk explores the fens northwest of Ely. The routes leads you to the New Bedford River, also known as the Hundred Foot Washes. This is an artificial river built to drain the fens. it makes for a slightly quirky walk, a perfectly straight river cutting through the flat countryside, but it's very serene and peaceful. Look out for birdlife on the river too.

Walk Functions


Nearby Walks

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Littleport to Ely along the River Cam

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A moderate, linear walk (riverside) starting in Cambridgeshire, England, about 9.70km (6.03 mi) long, duration: ~2:45h.

Cambridge to Grantchester

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Walk Map

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OS Grid TL540793
Start the walk at Ely Station. it's the wrong side of town for reaching the fens, but it's a pleasant town to walk through so no real hardship. There are occasional buses to Little Downham if you want to cut this first bit out.
OS Grid TL541803
Take the time to pass the impressive cathedral. From here, follow the high street out of town.
About 0.95 km (~0.59 miles) from
OS Grid TL527810
Pick up the Hereward Way, a long distance footpath that passes through Ely. It's named after Hereward the Wake who fought against William the Conqueror, when he wasn't walking I guess.
About 1.53 km (~0.95 miles) from
OS Grid TL522839
Pass through Little Downham, a village in the fens.
About 2.95 km (~1.83 miles) from
OS Grid TL517860
Continue along the Hereward Way to Dunkirk.
About 2.20 km (~1.37 miles) from
OS Grid TL507892
Cross the railway at the level crossing and follow the Hereward Way to the Washes.
About 3.31 km (~2.06 miles) from
OS Grid TL484862
Follow the path along the Washes down to Oxlode. Pass back under the railway and then go straight.
About 3.75 km (~2.33 miles) from
OS Grid TL497838
After leaving the Washes, follow the path across the fens heading southeast to Downham Hythe.
About 2.73 km (~1.7 miles) from
OS Grid TL526832
Another path takes you round Little Downham and rejoins the Hereward Way.
About 2.92 km (~1.81 miles) from
OS Grid TL530807
Retrace your steps back to Ely. There are buses back to the station if legs are tired by now.
About 2.55 km (~1.58 miles) from

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