Thorpe Wood - Nene Park – Embankment - Peterborough Cathedral - Thorpe Hall - Longthorpe Tower Circular

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Peterborough has always had a very significant position on the edge of the fens, being positioned on one of the first inhabitable pieces of raised land, as evidenced by the famous Flag Fen settlement to the south of the city, which dates back to the Bronze Age.

The area was settled by the Romans and became an established town. The Anglo-Saxon period saw the construction of a monastery which later became Peterborough Cathedral. Much of the wealth of the city derived from the wealth of resources that came out of the fens.

However, it was the 1850 opening of the Great Northern Railway's main line from London to York that transformed it from a market town to an industrial centre, particularly noted for its brick manufacture and engineering. The city was transformed a second time when in 1967 it was awarded New Town status; this led to the city's population increasing threefold in a single generation from 70,000 to 200,000 as the townships were created.

This walk goes for a lot of its route through Nene Park, a quite remarkable space. At 1,022 hectares (2,535 acres), it is one of the largest city parks in the country; and it has a mix of natural habitats, informal areas and visitor attractions, including woodland, flood plain meadow and arable fields; it even has a steam railway that runs through it along the old Nene Valley line.
There's one other remarkable thing about Nene Park: it is entirely self-funded through rental income from commercial and park properties, concessions and investments at no cost to the taxpayer.

England - East England - Cambridgeshire - Town or city


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Good for Wheelchairs, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Museum, National Trust, Nature Trail, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
11/7/2021 - Peter Holland

The last part of the riverside path referred to in instruction 9 has collapsed into the river. It is quite easy to find a way around it and regain the route. The picture with instruction 15 is misleading: it invites you to pass through the barriers to a spur of Thorpe Road. If you do this, when you reach Thorpe Road proper, you are already past the narrow gap described in instruction 16 and will need to cross the road and head back towards the roundabout, looking for the path on your right. If you totally disregard the picture, instruction 15 makes sense. Instruction 17 is to “------ turn left towards Melrose Close ----” there is no Melrose Close. There is, however, a Melford Close and I think you are expected to go down it. There is a cut through about 100 metres along Melford Close that emerges on Thorpe Road but nowhere near the Longthorpe Tower. There must be another cut through further down the Close.