Cambridge Trails?

Hi - am going to be in Cambridge for the weekend and am looking for some good running routes. Can anyone recommend any? Preferably trails away from sidewalks/streets.
Thanks for any help!


  • Don't know of any trails as such, but there are plenty of large open grassy areas such as Midsummer Common and Stourbridge Common. There is also the towpath up towards Milton, but I find that a bit rough on the ankles. Email me if you need directions to anywhere.

  • Try running along the Backs (Queens Road) which gives great views of the medieval city centre and then down Sidgwick Avenue, Grange Road and Granchester Road down to Granchester (nearby village, v. pretty, and then in the middle of the town is a pub (Red Cow?), turn left, you end up at a path running back into town right along the River Cam, keep running in the same direction and you end up back on Grange Road. Its about 1.5-2 miles from Grange Road to Granchester one way.

    Or, run out along the River Cam towpath north east from the city centre (you can pick it up near Magdalene College and beyond, or, easier, by running across Jesus Green - Jesus Lane and Victoria Avenue are the relevant roads) and you will end up near the college boathouses, quite atmospheric. Can be a bit muddy in the rain and you get the occasional loony student cyclist. If you keep running you will eventually get to Ely but at least you can't get lost!

    Queens Road

    Jesus Green

    Have a great weekend, it's a beautiful place.

  • Trickle, despite being Cambridge born and (ill)bred I don't know how to find the Grantchester footpath from the Cambridge end. Any clues?

    Dani, I don't recommend the Backs (Queens Road bit) after dark - it's poorly lit and the paving slabs are uneven. I made this mistake the other weekend and found it very scary.
  • Trickle's run to Grantchester is one of my favourites. I can't think of any easily accessible trails from the centre of Cambridge other than along the river. If you want to get off-road, you could drive to Wandlebury, some woodland about a mile past Addenbrookes Hospital on the A1307. There's several circuits through the woods - not that long so you may have to do several laps, but you can join up with the Roman Road which runs past the north of Wandlebury for a longer, if very straight, trail run, with some great views from the only hills in the area.
  • Glenn - have to say that the last time I ran in Cambridge was 10 years ago (in Hi-Tec silver shadows which I blame for all subsequent lower leg injuries) and I couldn't find the footpath then either. I always ran down the Granchester Road quite early in the morning (well, 7am, seemed early at the time)and came back in via the footpath. I've just tried to combine my memory with multimap and it seems from the map to come in on South Garden Road/Grantchester Meadows, but I seem to remember that the path continued along playing fields back to much closer to Grange Road.

    Hmmmmmm, Dani, take a map!

    Sorry, thats rubbish, isn't it.
  • Yep, from where Newnham Road and Barton Road join, take Grantchester Street, at the end diagonaly opposite is Eltisley Avenue. Go along this and at the end bear right onto Grantchester Meadows. The footpath is in front of you as the road swings to the right. It's all potholed, with loads of cars parked for dog walkers. Two reasons to be careful where you are treading.
  • Hi,

    I'm currently at Cambridge University. Try the Cambridge Hare & Hounds website:

    There is a link "running routes" that is full of maps with routes highlighted. Basically, if you're doing less than 5 miles you'll be hard pushed to fit many trails in, unless you run up and down the River Cam (quite good in the morning because you can race the rowing boats), or do reps on Jesus Green/Parker's Piece (refer to maps). However, if you're doing a long run there are plently of footpaths and trails outside the city - the "lode run" on the site is probably the easiest to do without getting lost.

    In general remember - when in doubt, run along the river!

    Tom Offord.
  • I'm very dull I'm afraid - all my runs tend to be variations on the ring road, starting from the station (or near enough). If it's an hour I go across to Trumpinton Road, Long Road, ring road (Perne Rd), Coldhams Lane and cut across Mill Rd to the station. For a short run I go down Hills rd rather than Trumpington Rd.

    For really long runs, I go across Lammas Land to Grange Road and then out on the Coton Footpath to Coton and through to Madingly Rd, then turn around back the way I came until I get back to Tumpington Road - and then it's off round the ring road again!

    I have gone to Grantchester a few times on the footpath but it doesn't actually take as long as you might think. Haven't tried the road route though - is there a pavement to run on?

    Whereabouts in Cambridge are you going to be?

    Would also recommend Wandlebury ring.
  • My favourite is out to Grantchester. What nobody seems to have said yet is there is a way to get back in to Cambridge without retracing your steps.

    At Grantchester turn left, follow the road down to the river, across, and up the other side. Past the church in Trumpington bear right past the new Waitrose. Make use of the pedestrian crossing to cross Trumpington Road, Head briefly back towards Cambridge on it, and then turn right into a housing development.

    Within a hundred yards you come to green with a path leading diagonally across it. Follow the path, which leads to a snicket between two houses to let you out onto a road.

    Left on the road as far as you can, right onto a dirt track. You are now facing the hospital. 200 yards, take the first left onto a disused railway line (do not cross the railroad).

    Under Long Road, another 400 yards, turn left along the edge of a field til you meet a stream (Hobson's conduit). Turn right to follow the stream. When you reach the allotments the less muddy option is to leave the stream and go left around them.

    The last bit is worth it because it is the best place to catch a glimpse of a kingfisher. Keep your eyes open!

    At the end of the path, keep running in the same direction and in half a mile you will be back in the centre of Cambridge.

    (Obviously not for the dark!) Have fun. I'd offer to run with you (could do Sat pm) except almost everybody would despair at how slowly I go.
  • The towpath along would be a good one for a visitor, as it is pretty straightforward, and you are unlikely to get lost.
    You could follow the river, West to East. Running on the South Side of the river, starting at Jesus Green, crossing to the North side at Stourbridge Common, Water street and continuing East until you run out of tow-path or you get too tired. Maybe an 8 mile run could be go out of that, and if you want more, any number of circuits of Midsummer common/Jesus Green at the end.
    Also, if you want to fit a quick run in on a treadmill, you could go to the gym at Kelsey Kerridge Sports Hall, Gonville Place(as you don't have to be a member). I have done this before on a weekend visit to Cambridge, to refresh me between getting off the train, and going out on the town!
    Also, for anyone who has moved to Cambridge in the Histon Road/Arbury area and is looking for a short 3M local run, off the roads, there is a field off the Histon Road. Head away from the city centre on the Histon Road (the busiest part of the run), past Tavistock road on your left, and there is a track in a farmer's field. You could then turn left on a track back into a housing estate which includes Carisbrooke, Warwick Road etc. Makes a nice break from the roads. Or instead of turning left, continue the track which will lead onto housing estates off the Huntingdon Road (not so nice).

  • and you can always use the uni athletics track if you get desperate (wilberforce road/adams road) one else seems to use it much....i haven't been a student for ages but i still use it whenever i get injured....
    people seem to have mentioned the main of my favourites though are the paths behind grantchester ...once in grantchester go up coton road, then left onto burnt close which brings you out in a big green area with paths going to barton and haslingfield....when i started at uni 5 years ago i went out with the hare and hounds (running club) and they went down these paths....after 8 miles or so i decided i needed some nice hard road and found my own way back from haslingfield on the road ...maybe have a go on multimap just to make sure!
  • I'd have to back up the Wandlebury ring suggestion. It is a bit out of the way, but IMHO well worth it, especially if you like that "closed in" feeling from all the tall trees. It's very picture postcard to me, and different from the Aussie bush I'm more familiar with. I generally run to the ring from where I live about 2 miles south, then sprint around it for speedwork, but there are plenty of other paths within the park. Get yourself lost and find your way again, you won't be disappointed!
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