Walks index

The Chisholm Trail


The Chisholm Trail is a walking and cycling route which aims to provide a mostly traffic-free link between Cambridge North and Cambridge stations and communities in between. It is not yet finished (2024).

This webpage gives the part betwwen Coldhams Lane and the river Cam.

In the map below, there is a scale. 200 metres is similar to 200 yards and and a kilometre is about half a mile.

Other websites about the Chisholm Trail:

Camcycle
Greater Cambridge Partnership

On this page:

Coldhams Lane foot and cycle bridge
Underpass (under the railway)
Football
Underpass (under Newmarket Road)
Leper Chapel
River Cam foot and cycle bridge
WWII pill box

Coldhams Lane bridge Underpass (under the railway) football stadium Underpass (under Newmarket Road) Leper Chapel River Cam foot and cycle bridge WWII pill box

Map of Greens, Commons and Pieces in Cambridge

Click on the photos for a bigger version.


The start of this walk is near the eastern end of the Coldhams Lane foot and cycle bridge.

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You take the left-hand path. There are sometimes cows grazing. They are not aggressive, but not wise to annoy them, of course. This time, there was just a jackdaw (who wasn't aggressive either).

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The path goes under a branch of the railway line. Since there are sometimes cattle, there are cattle grids and gates everywhere, such as either side of the bridge.

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As usual with Cambridge countryside areas, there are ditches and little streams. But there are good bridges over.

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The football stadium starts to appear on the right.

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There is now a junction. If you turn right, you end up on the Newmarket Road. But we need to turn left, to go under Newmarket Road instead. By the way, at any point, if there is a sign post, then take the road to Cambridge North (the northern railway station).

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You follow the path round (avoiding toads, apparently!), over another stream, and by a small lake (which is private), to walk through the underpass, which is decorated with artwork. See Public Art for more about this.

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Once through the underpass, the Leper Chapel appears on your left. There is more about this chapel under Old Buildings. There is an entrance to get to the chapel, but the next field along sternly refuses entrance (which you should, of course, respect).

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This part of the walk is a little raw, as it's new. There are lots of tree plantings (I hope they survive!) Eventually, you come to another junction. Turn left (following the sign post to Cambridge North, as before).

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This path is now heading for the river. There is a stream (still!) to your left, with the railway the other side. Ignore the little bridge by the way. The bridge is rather rackety, and it ends up at a very tall bridge (with steps) taking you to Coldhams Common.

On your right is a more open area, called Ditton Meadows, with (in winter at least) a fair amount of sog.

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The bridges over the river start to appear. At the junction, turn left. (The right turn takes you onto the river bank on this side of the river.).

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The rail and foot bridges lie side by side, making an interesting contrast. The railway line is quite busy, so you may well see a train.

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Here are some views from the other side of the river.

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This cartoon is from "A Cambridge Scrap-book" by John Lewis Roget (1859).

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To actually get to Cambridge North railway station, you need to walk under the rail bridge, then turn right after a bit, and navigate your way to the station via ordinary roads. Which is a bit boring. So I've decided to end the walk here. However, there is one more thing to look at. Tucked between the rail and foot bridge (which are quite close together), there is a WWII pill box (a small gun emplacement). Apparently, there used to be these pill boxes right along the Cam, every quarter mile or so. They were intended to be used if Nazi Germany had managed to invade Britain.

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