The burst of posts recently may lead you to believe there’s no such thing as a dry day in the retiredmartin house, but don’t be fooled.  Three dry days a week minimum, and no drinking bottles at home stronger than Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

So here’s a walk in the Sunday sun through the dullest part of the Fens.  It even starts at a pub I didn’t go in (yet).


Here’s the exciting route map.


And from the Navigator,with lots of lovely pink marker.

Top pinking by retiredmartin

Who could resist a walk that goes though Pymoor, Dunkirk and California in two hours ?

January is a big time in the Fens calendar, with the burning of straw bears at Whittlesey and the erection of signs warning of the flooding of the A1101 at Welney.  I believe twitchers find this time of year particularly exciting along the Washes.

Few people walk the villages north of Ely, or even drive them.  I am their tourist.

Interactive info boards

I only did this self-made circular walk from Little Downham as I’ve done all the other villages and had a vague recollection that Pymoor had an Elgood pub.

It has nothing.  This is the genuine What Pub extract for the area between Ely and the Wash;

Pymoor WhatPub.PNG
Beer desert

But it has those big open skies eulogised by David Bellamy.

Blue skies

If it’s so beautiful, why is everyone else at B  & Q ?

Art shot

Halfway to Pymoor I stumble over the highlight of the walk, as I find my namesake (probably cousin, we’re all related in the Fens) is actually making Corkers crisps on my doorstep.  I guess that explains my lack of sponsorship from Piper’s.

Beware false crisp makers

Incidentally, you can smell those potatoes (I presume) for the entire walk, one of few actual features of note. Black earth dominates the area.


Apparently some of  “Atonement” was filmed here, goodness knows why.  There are no plaques to mark the visit of Keira Knightley.

Village sign

A man on a bike says “Hello“.  I think of asking about pubs, but assume that either;

  • He’ll eat me
  • He’ll bore me to death
  • He’ll invite me back for scrumpy

and I walk briskly on to Dunkirk, which is presumably the “Atonement” connection*.

Just for Duncan, here’s the football ground.  Duncan has probably been and served himself a pint of Tiny Rebel from the club bar.

Future micro

The only enterprise in Pymoor is in the black economy.

This is a local shop

I tick off the only other object of note.

Future microbrewery

And that’s it, apart from some nicely coloured farm vehicles.

Fen life

As I said, it’s not a place you dawdle in. And NEVER LOOK BACK.

Finally I arrive in California.

California Dreamin’

I’ve walked 2 hours, and seen nothing but bungalows, a crisp factory, fields, two cars and three trains in the distance.

Twilight over California

And there’s not even a pub for you at the end.


*I really don’t care.






    1. Thanks Martin. Sadly Mudgie has banned me from his website for occasionally disagreeing with him.

      Love pymoor. Played cricket there once. Pitch like a ploughed field. Went for a pint in downham as there are no pubs in pymoor.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even if I was daft enough to want to spend my time on interminable CAMRA meetings, they’d never be daft enough to let me get somewhere I could visibly decry any idea they decide to try and impose as soon as it gets proposed.
        My manifesto, though, would include the banning of pre-mixed soft drinks dispense. Those are covered by CAMRA’s remit these days aren’t they?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In seriousness, you’ve given me more laughs than I can cope with today on Discourse.

        I couldn’t care less about CAMRA & revitalisation, but there are some smashing folk who help promote pubs via the Beer Guide and What Pub (I hope this blog does a bit to promote pubs too). But this whole debate is going nowhere, is it ?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The soul has been going since the deals with Cask Marque and Spoons came, along with the obsession with membership numbers, preferably ones who do nothing except spend their vouchers.
        There should be some sort of overall beer organisation, it just shouldn’t be CAMRA. That should evolve into a heritage/pub preservation entity.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “Who could resist a walk that goes though Pymoor, Dunkirk and California in two hours ?”

    I would’ve bet good money that anyone not named Jesus couldn’t walk from Dunkirk to California. 😁

    Crap. The wife found me. Have to stop posting for now. 😮

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ….and just when you thought you were safe from Dryanuary….

    A downbeat, desolate day then, but on a positive note – beautiful scenery and big skies and proof that you don’t necessarily need to go in a pub to do a good post…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pymoor has a Beautiful Methodist Chapel in Main Street how did you miss seeing that building when in Main Street? It’s quite big.


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