“Who wants the world ?” A walk round Somersham and crispy beef will do me fine.


My best day for two months, easy.

Despite concerns, gleaned from MumsNet last night, that Somersham’s locals would be standing on the B1050 with pitchforks to keep out visitors, I made it my first trip outside Cambridge since lockdown.

Venerable original Philip Navigator showing its age as well as its pinking

29 minutes on (still) quiet roads to a village of 3,802 souls and no open pubs or toilets, which is going to be my main issue with any adventurous socially distanced travel.

The Navigator extract confirms I’ve been before, but not for years, and not since The Windmill was the default soup and panini lunch stop for my Dad after golf at Pidley, home to the Mad Cat and the Pidley Mountain Rescue Team, of which less later.


And if The Windmill sounds vaguely familiar, IT WAS ONLY ONE WEEK AGO that it cropped up in conversation as the pub that Dave Greenfield ran.

Actually, Mrs RM and I brought our motorhome a mile or so from here last year when we did the “Soft Fruit Trilogy“.

Lots going on here

And today I was back, for no better reason than curiosity and the prospect of a walk without a sweaty gobby bloke running past me with four inches to spare.

Theoretically I could have gone anywhere in the world England for my walk,

but Somersham looked just fine.

Disused railway tracks dominate Fen towns
Nature Reserve

Four people in the Local Nature Reserve, three of them taking advantage of their new freedom to fish.

Sloppy social distancing there

Frankly, after eight weeks trudging the same paths in Waterbeach, I could feel my brain waking up as I explored the little woods and disused rail tracks of somewhere, anywhere NEW.

Lost in a forest

No joggers, no cyclists, just the odd sheep in the next field and some ponies attempting to reclaim the streets, Llandudno style, but coming a cropper at the gate.

My footpath blocked

I can’t say it’s idyllic, but like most of the Fen Edge it’s less scruffy than Fen Proper and folk keep their gardens neat.  At a push, you can understand what folk are saying, though you’ll still hear “Are y’alright boy“. I can see why a Strangler would like it.

Postal address “The Green House”

It’s on the Meridian Line, whatever that means; something to do with the place where the two halves of the globe join up I guess.


Rural Cambridge villages like this generally have one plain pub, one smarter dining place, a Tesco Extra or Co-op, a church on a tiny “hill”, and some unused ’60s artefacts.

Unique handpump style for barley wine
Unique handpump for Mango DIPA

Apart from that the highlights are low-key, though to be fair the Tourist Information Office is furloughed so I couldn’t ask about the gnomes and Action Men.

Runner-up to Tunbridge Wells and Newport (Gwent) in Gnome of the Year Shows
Looking for his scared mate in Stafford

Two pubs, the Windmill and the Rose & Crown, which was offering Nick’s special Scotch Eggs from a takeaway menu for the ages.

Note busy village at 1pm
Rare Cambridge pub I haven’t been in
For the traditionalist

I bet I come back, do the Rose & Crown, and then find the British Legion is in the GBG22 serving Doom Bar from bottles.


90 minutes walk, including 2 minutes buying essential supplies from the Tesco Express.

Essential for James’ birthday cake, apparently

And when I got home, I was first on the phone to the Chung Hwa, newly repurposed for social distancing.  Our first squid, crispy beef and Singapore rice since March.

Stand in the boxes

Said it before, but never truer; the best Chinese takeaway in England. Welcome back.

12 thoughts on ““Who wants the world ?” A walk round Somersham and crispy beef will do me fine.

  1. Had a good laugh at “of which less later.” Don’t think I’ve ever seen this joke before, caught me off guard!

    Not that I have personal experience in the matter, but I’m going to say that there is no squid, crispy beef and Singapore rice quite like the squid, crispy beef and Singapore rice you’ve had to wait a couple months for. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get very bored of thin, university type jokes like the “mountain rescue service in the flattest village in England” 😉

      I can assure you my NCTSS scores are not at all affected by my drought, any more than a dull pint of Greene King IPA would be bound to score NBSS 5 in any pub in England tomorrow!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Feoffee…a feudal term, still in occasional use today to mean a trustee, invested with a freehold estate held in possession for a purpose, typically a charitable one…toffee…coffee…the story of Kaldi, the ninth-century Ethiopian goatherd, who discovered coffee when he noticed how excited his goats became after eating the beans from a coffee plant, did not appear in writing until 1671 and is, I must inform the reader, probably apocryphal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That Chinese takeaway meal looks scrumptious. It’s making me feel hungry, even though I only had breakfast (two slices of toast), an hour ago.

    Lovely photos as well, and glad too that your escape from the confines of Waterbeach has lifted your spirits. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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