Car-free adventures nearHuntingdonCambridgeshire

Tourists often overlook the area round the market town of Huntingdon, twenty miles north east of Cambridge. Trains take just an hour from London and there are some hidden gems hiding here among the thatched villages beside the River Great Ouse. Explore them by bike and boat, on foot and using the world’s longest guided busway.

  • County: Cambridgeshire
  • Great for: animals | bird watching | birds | gardens | history | mills | riverside walks |
  • Refreshments: pubs, cafes and restaurants
  • Please note: researched/updated September 2018. If anything’s changed or you have tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 3. Messing about on the River

    If you’d like to paddle along the river as well as walk beside it, you can hire punts, rowing boats and canoes from the riverbank just behind Houghton Mill for about £10/hour. Contact Neil Chapman of Houghton Boats (07759 316260) to find out more. The National Trust suggest a canoeing route to St Ives and back. At St Ives, you can canoe around Holt Ingle, an island nature reserve in the river and see the impressive medieval bridge with its chapel in the middle.

    • Alternatively, you can loop back along the Houghton Trout Stream from Hemingford Lock. This version means carrying your boat around the lock before returning upstream past waterside St James’ Church.
    • If all that sounds like too much work, there are hourly cruises available on an electric boat from St Ives to Hemingford Lock.
    • The charitable Ladybird Boat trust also runs pre-booked river tours for groups on a wheelchair-accessible boat. They start from the Hartford Marina, close to the Busway stop.
    • Whatever you decide to do, St Ives is a great place to end for tea. From there, you can take the Busway back to Huntingdon or on to Cambridge, through the Fen Drayton RSPB reserve. Some buses stop at the new Cambridge North Station, making the area even quicker to access since the bus doesn’t need to battle through the notorious Cambridge traffic.

Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount

Visit car-free in 2019!