Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Grafham Water Circular

Grafham Water Circular

Distance - 13.7 Km - 8.5miles
Time Taken - 3hrs
Assent - 86m

With the good weather due to end abruptly this afternoon I decided to head to the closest thing to the seaside in the area!  Bedford is one of those places that are pretty much as far from the sea that you can find.  So it was off to Grafham Water before it pee'd it down.  Grafham is a big man made reservoir sat in open countryside, so good for a nice circular walk around the edge.

It's a big lake...
The walk it self was very easy to navigate along an obvious path with a helpful landmark to work from.  Most of the path follows a cycle route so the track is wide and is mostly in good condition.  It does mean that in summer it will be very busy (Hire bikes are available, along with parking for over 1000 cars...).  The land is owned by Anglia water and this means (along with the cycle route) there are more H&S and warning signs than should be allowed in the countryside!  Every slope had a warning to cyclists to dismount...

Grafham Water itself didn't seem to be suffering from the drought and apart from a few walkers, fishermen and cyclists was pretty quiet.  It was quite easy to get a feeling of getting away from it all.  Not all the route is directly by the Water, a few sections move through nice woodland which brings a nice change and more wildlife.  The quietness was only interrupted by the loud birdscarers in nearby fields (bit strange as the woods are promoted by the Wildlife Trust and contain a number of bird hides...

I had a couple of 10 minute breaks but on the whole I slightly rushed the walk to try and beat the approaching rain.  I do have waterproofs but would rather not get wet if I can help it!  The slightly ominous discovery was the amount of midges (especially over the dam), clouds of these wild beasts were lined up in what only can be described as an organised ambush.  In the end the rain hit 10 minutes of getting back to the car.  And it was torrential with hail...phew!

The grey smudges are clouds of midges...


  1. Don't like the look of those clouds of midges!

    We sometimes walk around Pitsford Water, a similar reservoir owned by Anglian Water near Northampton. There is a causeway across the water and they have made the top half a nature reserve and the bottom half the activities area, which seems to work quite well.

    Needless to say, we like the top half!

  2. They were lined up for an ambush! Slight worry considering the time of the year! Grafham gets very busy in the summer, so nice to get round on a quiet day.