Walk 1938 - printer friendly version
The Devil's Dyke from Reach Walk
Author - Tony Kellett
Length - 5.8 miles / 9.4 km
Ascent - 100 feet / 30 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference TL567661
Lat 52.2707290 + Long 0.2951191
Postcode CB25 0JD (approx. location only)
This Cambridgeshire walk explores the rural landscape to the southwest of the village of Reach. The route includes a section of the 7 mile long Devil's Ditch (or Devil's Dyke) an ancient dyke that in places is 30 feet high and some 120 feet in width. The start is the small car park on the south side of Reach beside Fair Green (grid ref. TL567661).
After parking exit the car park and walk north-east along Fair Green passing the chapel and Reach Village Centre on your right. Follow Fair Green around to the left to reach a T-junction (grid ref TL566662). Turn right here, staying on Fair Green, to reach the first junction. Turn left into Great Lane. Continue to the end of the wall on your left to turn left down a track with a fingerpost. Follow this track as it bears right to reach a junction after 300 metres (grid ref. TL565659). Bear right following the track and go almost immediately left onto a footpath. Keep the field boundary on your right and continue for 400 metres to reach a track (grid ref. TL562657). Turn right along the clear track to reach Great Lane (grid ref. TL561658).
Turn left along the lane. Where the lane bends right keep straight ahead onto the Barston Drove track. Stay on this track as it turns to the southeast reaching Swaffham Road (grid ref. TL571648) after a mile of easy walking. Turn right along Swaffham Road initially using the grass verge and then a pavement towards the village centre of Swaffham Prior. Keep straight ahead at the junction with Rogers Road and after 25 metres take the signed footpath (grid ref. TL571645) on your left just before the Beeches.
Follow this footpath as it turns right to exit on Cage Hill (grid ref. TL570641). Turn left along Cage Hill to the crossroads with the B1102. With care, go straight across into Heath Road. Take the first signed footpath on the left, up steps (grid ref. TL572640). Continue on this path for just over a mile eastwards to reach the Devil's Ditch (grid ref. TL591638). Turn left and follow the clear path along the Dyke. Reaching the B1102, cross straight over with care, and continue on the footpath opposite. This leads back to the start.
Suggestion There is a very nice pub called the Dykes End in Reach for lunch at the start/end of the walk. We did the walk in the morning and then walked round the National Trust site at nearby Wicken Fen after lunch.