Despite starting and ending at hostelries this is not a pub-crawl but a country walk on a fine sunny November day.
I jumped off the bus at Stapleford
which is just a couple of miles from Cambridge. I know two things about the village:
Barack Obama is a direct descendent of one Thomas Blossom who left Stapleford some time in the 16th century.
The pub has very low beams which made it impossible for anyone of average height or above to hit double 20 on the dart board.
After a mile or so between wide arable fields which didn't provide much interest for the camera, I found myself among meadows and plantations. The helpful landowner had provided several additional footpaths to explore.
Although the sun was shining down there were still signs of the overnight frost in a few shady places.
Here's the River Granta, such as it is. Don't worry, it will be bigger when we've travelled upstream a bit. I know that sounds wrong but, trust me, it's true. You'll notice that there's not much of a valley either, just flat like most of Cambidgeshire. Which makes you wonder if there can be any hidden beauties here. Lets go and see.
As we approach the village of Babraham the landscape takes on a pastoral feel.
This is Babraham Hall, part of the campus of The Babraham Institute which is a research and development facility for molecular biology. The river here has been straightened as part of the landscaping of the Hall grounds. There are also weirs across the river to hold back the flow and create the wider, more scenic watercourse we see today.
There is more to tell about Babraham (and the other villages on today's route) which lack of space precludes me from writing about here. No doubt it will turn up in later posts for those who stick with me. Now lets move on to the Abingtons.
Great and Little Abington are strangely quiet villages being off the modern through-routes. Little Abington in particular is very leafy and secluded; even the modern houses appear to have sprung up between the trees rather than standing in the open.
Above is just one of the photos I took of Great Abington church. The two churches, Great and Little Abington, both dedicated to St Mary, stand less than a quarter of a mile apart on opposite sides of the Granta.
We're on our way now across grassy meadows to Hildersham where there's an interesting church which you will of course see, by and by. But for now we'll just make do with......
.....a picture of the river which was taken, not with me standing in the river or even hanging down from the bridge, but from the place where the ford crosses the stream....
....and a photo of one of the many attractive old cottages.
Then we pass between paddocks and fields on our way to Linton. This patient little Shetland pony was interested in the strange man with the camera, but not enough to come over and investigate.
And here's the pub at the end of our travels, the Dog & Duck at Linton. I'd timed my walk rather too well - the next bus was due in just eight minutes - so I didn't have time to pop in and see Sam and Julie who run the establishment and serve some wonderful food and excellent beer.
I'm informed that next time I do this walk my brother's coming with me and we're going on a Wednesday, when the Dog & Duck do a special deal on their fish and chips!
But that's not quite the end of the day. As I made my way across the football field to my house I saw this....
Start: Stapleford, Cambridgeshire 10:20
End: Linton, Cambridgeshire 14:50
Distance walked: 8.5 miles (13.7 Km)
Notable birds: Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, Kestrel, Jay, flocks of gulls and wood pigeons feeding on fields, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer, Linnet.
Mammals: Grey Squirrel.
Farm animals: Sheep, Cows, Horses, Pony.
Churches: Babraham (locked), Little Abington (locked), Great Abington, Hidersham.
People with dogs: 3
Dogs with people: 4
People just enjoying a walk: a group of 12 ramblers.