You left me on the 15:30 out of Waverley Station, waving as I passed Berwick.

Back home, it was time for a week off from pubs.

But I know how much some of you love to read about Greater Waterbeach, so here’s a walk I did with James, home from Sheffield to be fed back to health.

Sort of circular

Never mind B****T or pumpkin sours, the biggest issue in the Fen Edge is the new A14 we’ll finally get at the end of 2020.  A bit too late to improve the journeys of northern Premiership fans visiting Carrow Road next season, but never mind.

Four years of making life worse for workers, tickers and publicans in villages like Conington; it had better be good.

The helpful Highways England video seems to envisage an almost traffic-free route with all freight now delivered by canal boat rather than lorries overtaking at 56mph.

Alongside the new road we’re getting new towns all over the place, most notably Northstowe.  After nearly 20 years, there’s some movement on the 10,000 new homes plan.

In essence this is infill between Oakington and Longstanton, two of Cambridgeshire’s dullest villages but perfect for a 2 hour amble on a warm Thursday in April.

Dull but pretty, to be fair

Luckily the pubs en-route, neither of which I’ve ever been to, were just closing for their afternoon nap.

Oakington – Typical unexceptional  Greene King local.  Si is bored of these.

Oakington‘s sole claim to fame is as the home of Snowy Farr, charity fundraiser and cat lover.

Pic :

The main development is on the former RAF Oakington, approached by a series of hurdles just north of the village.

Don’t be put off, thrill-seekers !

There’s a lot of site clearance, but houses look a long way off, let alone the Brewhouse & Kitchen and Five Guys that future residents demand.

Action shot

Longstanton is, if anything, even less exciting.  Long, certainly, but also straight and dull.

“Look James”,  I said, “Longstanton is unusual in having two Cof E churches in the same village”

Oh” said James.

St Michaels
All Saints

At least Russian tourists could justify making two visits.

Sadly the unique cask dispense mechanism on the High Street and less unique “phone box as library” failed to spark enthusiasm either.

Yeovil Ales ?
Note quaint post box for sending “letters”

The Black Bull village pub is obviously closed, but there’s a new Co-Op to cater for the craft beer needs of new homes to the north of the village.

We then got a bit lost exploring the vast building site west of the Cambridge-St Ives Busway, but luckily we’d filled our pockets with Reece’s for the return journey and survived the ordeal.

Excitingly, the Busway shelter has information leaflets (most about Nottingham and Leicester) and coffee for £1.20, which makes it the best culinary option in town until one of the big PubCos build the inevitable family diner.

The last New Town in Cambs got a Marston’s so we live in hope of something exciting for Northstowe, too.

Failing that, tiny Westwick (pop.120) clearly has some craft beer bar potential judging by the street art at Jolly Lollies, which appears to actually be an IT consultancy.

No lollies

By the time we’d walked the three miles along the Guided Busway back toward Oakington we’d counted 27 bikes and 20 buses.  When you’ve resorted to counting bikes you know it’s time to hit the road again. In my case to Dudley the next day. (Be patient, be patient).

At least in Oakington we had a cheery face to greet us near the White Horse.

“It’s shut, lads”


  1. Quite a disconcerting morning for your readers. I for one was at a loss for over an hour with how to process a post that did not include real ale much less low quality real ale. Imagine my surprise when I realized how much I enjoyed a walk with James. Is housing in short supply or do people just want new built homes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The biggest slice of demand for housing in the UK is that caused by divorce, not by what the Daily Express claims, Dave!


  2. “a week off from pubs” – yes, there’s no harm in that.
    Abstinence is okay in moderation, and it’s not like P P-T’s recent few weeks at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The positively,definitely last Mexico post.
    The 24-hour,four flight return home went off like clockwork.
    And oh my,the four pints of London Pride in the Fuller’s pub at LHR T2 at 10am on a Sunday morning were like nectar.
    Cool,clear,fruity and with a white foamy head expertly pulled through by the lovely
    East European barmaid.
    When it’s as good as this Pride is one of the greatest pints in the world.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Although interesting, the Highways England video would have been improved by some sound. Perhaps the budget didn’t stretch that far, but I look forward to faster trips oop north, by the end of next year.


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