Fifteen PolyRamblers and one guest turned out for stage five of the Icknield Way on Saturday. Heading east from Royston, the weather seemed more promising than forecast and we were soon shedding waterproofs and fleeces. We passed the Greenwich Meridian line and then left the busy A505 to head across country, following field edges and green lanes. Soon we left Hertfordshire for Cambridgeshire. The sound of birdsong replaced traffic noise but competed with Spitfires from nearby Duxford. Before long we were heading uphill to reach the village of Heydon, which is claimed to be one of the highest in Cambridgeshire (not much of an accolade!). We stopped to eat our sandwiches and had a drink at the very pleasant King William IV pub. As we approached the next village of Chrishall we crossed another county border into Essex and some of us paused to buy boxes of eggs on sale by the roadside. Chrishall also had a pub with a thatched roof, the Red Cow, but we couldn’t really justify stopping so soon after lunch. The route took us alongside some lovely woods full of bluebells and then to the village of Elmdon where sadly the pub had closed. We continued past calves in a farmyard to the village of Strethall where some of us made
a short diversion to visit the church (no pub). From there it was another two miles across country and up to cross the M11 and then the railway to reach the station at Great Chesterford. A very enjoyable day at a good pace and the countryside was prettier than I expected (in spite of being flat!). It’s encouraging to see such a high turnout for a 13 mile walk.
Photos: Gillian and Pam