Hinxton and Ickleton

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Start: Hinxton Distance: 3.9 miles (6.2 km) Climbing: 20 metres
Grid Ref: TL 49635 45054 Time: 2 hours Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File About Hinxton
Start: Hinxton Distance: 3.9 miles (6.2 km)
Climbing: 20 metres Grid Ref: TL 49635 45054
Time: 2 hours Rating: Easy
GPX Route File Google Earth File
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (1:25,000)

The Walk: Tucked away in the gentle rolling countryside of south Cambridgeshire are the pretty, medieval villages of Hinxton and Ickleton, with their thatched cottages and half timbered houses. The walk takes you across fields and meadows and along country lanes, exploring the villages and visiting the watermill at Hinxton.

Hinxton village centreHinxton village centre
A 16th century former manor house in IckletonA 16th century former manor house in Ickleton

Starting from Hinxton church, the walk goes past the attractive Church Green cottage, with thatched eyebrows lifting over the dormer windows, and then passes the old village water pump before proceeding along the High Street and on to the ford over the Granta branch of the River Cam. From here, the route continues across fields and meadows to Ickleton.

Ickleton is a historic village which grew up where the prehistoric Icknield Way crossed the River Granta. This ancient trackway and trading route ran from Norfolk, through the Chiltern Hills and down to the Dorset coast.

Entering Ickleton you pass Mowbray's Yard, an attractive conversion of some old farm buildings and then the cottages and houses along Abbey Street. Many appear to be 19th century, but their brick facades reveal their medieval origins.

Further on, the 11th century church of St Mary Magdalene contains some very fine 12th century wall paintings and a 14th century 'Doom' painting over the chancel arch. The main paintings here are some of the oldest known in England and were only discovered after a disastrous fire destroyed the roof of the church in 1979.

From Ickleton, the walk goes across country to the river, the haunt of wild ducks and other water fowl, and leads on to the back of Hinxton Mill, restored by the Cambridge Preservation Society (now Cambridge Past, Present and Future). In 1988 it won a prestigious ' Europa Nostra' award.

Back in Hinxton, spare a few minutes if possible to see the inside of the church. Inside, in front of the organ, and sometimes hidden under a carpet, there is a fine 15th century brass of a knight and his two ladies.

Acknowledgments: Text derived from the Out and Out Series; Discovering the Countryside on Foot. Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia.

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