Back from Southend 1964 to Cambridge 2020, and my daily 59:30 minute walk round the University playing fields of Newnham, Grantchester‘s cheaper but no less proper sister.

£6 billion worth of property in this one, largely empty, OS extract

This was a pleasing walk, not because it’s exciting, but because it’s new.

Permissive footpaths not shown on OS

20 minutes through the rapefields, a view to nothingness but a gorgeous smell and only the odd jogger to break the peace.

View to the travelling radio telescopes
Always take a photo of the map when you’re walking

An aimless stroll past tennis courts and rugger fields brings you down to Grantchester Meadows, named for the Pink Floyd track on their only decent LP.

Spot the pub

The studentz have largely gone home, but the Newnham to Grantchester walk along the Cam is still inexplicably popular with folk who have never experienced Manchester or Margate.

Of course, the national hobby in the UK is going out for a walk and complaining about other folk out for a walk. I think Cambridge must be under different rules.  This is Lammas Land, one of Cambridge’s busiest parks when the sun shines.

Spot the human

Across the Fen Causeway, Coe Fen houses the dissenters.

Cows disobeying the lockdown

My immediate thought was “I really fancy Crispy Beef and Singapore Rice“, but BOTH the Chinese takeaways on Lensfield Road were closed, probably for the first time since Cromwell left Sidney Sussex College in 1617.

No pubs open, of course, and there’s only one left in Newnham.

From the classic Cambridge CAMRA Guide of 1994

Note the 1994 local CAMRA Guide directing you to proper beer such as Bass, Tetley, Flowers and Websters Bitter.  Where did it all go wrong ?

The Red Bull was a smart Whitbread pub with Castle Eden Christmas Ale (yum) and basket meals back then, but hasn’t touched the Guide this century.


But I’d have popped in if it was open yesterday.


12 thoughts on “NEWNHAM – ALL COWS, NO BULL

  1. Why are Chinese takeaways closed? I would think they would do well during the shutdown. Quite a few in the US are still open.


    1. Hard to say. May be family is isolating, as I think demand is still there given queues for KFC.

      Our local Indian and Fish & Chippy also closed though now back with one in, one out. Very sad.


      1. Yes, a lot of our restaurants are doing take away in order to not go under. One with a loyal following told me they were at 40% of their normal revenue doing the take away. Not great, but it seems to help. My pub seems to be keeping its head above water doing take away. Very tough times for that industry. Most of our aid programs are not tailored well to the restaurant\bar industry.


      2. Exactly the same here.

        The smaller breweries with a weekend tap room seem to be doing a lot more trade than the big ones, but that may just reflect what I see on Twitter.


  2. Our bucolic walk was spoiled today due to noise from local ragstone quarry -damn them for working ! We usually moan about other walkers being about during our ramblings -we saw a field full of cows & calves too & the bluebells in wood behind our house are a delight.We don’t have to go past any pubs so no sadness in that direction,although the sadness inside never goes away

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I believe Cromwell was a Singapore Noodles man. Glad you found a new walk- it looks lovely. Our old railway path (complete with old station platform) is now a cycle racetrack.


  4. Looking at the Ordnance Survey Map there’s a Miniature Railway at Newnham. Is it still there?


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