Grafham Water – Walks Near Huntingdon

Grafham Water – Walks Near Huntingdon

Grafham Water is one of the most popular places to go for a long walk or bike ride near Huntington, Cambridgeshire. When I was growing up, hiking (or cycling) the entire 14km around the lake was a major achievement. You’ll often see families or groups of friends traversing this lake-side pathway.

On this occasion, we went out for a mini walk, with my new niece Nell, in a baby harness. We only wanted to walk for a few kilometers to stretch our legs, so we explored part of the nature reserve in one corner of Grafham Water.

Grafham Water walking map

This is the teeny route we took. If you would prefer to do the entire Grafham Water circular walk, you can see the full map here.

This was the middle of winter, so you can expect this walk to be much greener and prettier in the spring or summer. Still, it is nice to walk in the wintertime as it was very quiet and calm.

Grafham Water walk – the basics

We were hiking with baby Nell, so we only did a teeny portion of the circular walk around Grafham Water. However I’ve included the details of the longer walk, in case you fancy it.

Distance: 3km (or 13.7 km for the loop all the way around Grafham Water) 
Elevation Gain:
Minimal – 40m (70m for the whole loop)
Time: 50 mins going slowly (2.5- 3.5 hours for the whole loop)
What to bring:
You may need wellies if it is muddy
Bring some cash in the summertime, as there is often an ice cream van in the car park by the visitor center.
Dogs: Yes! Dogs will love walking in this area!
How hard is it? The teeny section we did is super easy! As a child, I remember thinking the Grafham Water circular walk was super long, but if you walk regularly, you’ll be able to manage it in just a few hours.

Grafham Water Nature Reserve

Grafham Water is a large reservoir created in the 1960s to supply water to the local area. However it was quickly colonized by wildlife including plenty of birds. By the 1980s the area was so popular with great crested grebes, geese, ducks and coots that it was designated as biological Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Wildlife Trust website states that you might even see osprey here!

Path Around Grafham Water

Once you have made it down to the reservoir, there is an easy to follow path the whole way around. The path is a few meters away from the water’s edge, but there are plenty of little beaches if you’re walking with a dog that needs to get its paws wet! My sister’s dog Asher, did some great stick-fetching!

We found the whole way along the edge of Grafham water there were foam bubbles.

It’s pretty cool isn’t it? I guess it was made my the windy day churning up the lake’s water.

The woodlands around Grafham Water are a mixture of ancient woodlands along with plantations. The last part of our walk was along an old train line so it is flat, with a wide opening between the trees. I loved seeing the older, gnarled trees covered in moss.

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Leave no Trace

We didn’t actually see any rubbish on this walk (woot!) so it seems like local walkers are good at picking up their litter. I did find this super fluffy dog poop though! It was kind of cool to see it, but if you walk here, you really should pick up after your dog!

That is a super-short post for a super short walk. I hope you like the look of it anyway. Please click on the pins below to save them for later.

If you like seeing the English countryside, I wrote a couple of similar posts about winter walks. One near my village in Molesworth, and one in the Nottinghamshire countryside where Marc grew up.

Grafham Water - Gorgeous on a grey day. It's be stunning in the sun Grafham Water a fab area for dog walks Grafham Water for a winter walk

27 thoughts on “Grafham Water – Walks Near Huntingdon

  1. Brilliant that you saw no rubbish as it should be. I’ve never seen foam like that in real life before.

    1. It’s pretty cool isn’t it!? We used to see it after storms in Ireland, and I’ve seen it below waterfalls. I think it just happens when the water is all churned up.

    1. Thanks George!

      I wasn’t sure if I should bother posting about it as it was such a mini adventure…and the UK is so brown in December. Then I decided it’s fun to showcase smaller trails on soggy days to show life isn’t just about the most epic peaks. Min adventures can be fun too.

      1. Absolutely. I really enjoyed this one.

        Still super impressed to learn (on your last post) that the village sign for the place you grew up is based on your design. That’s brilliant!

        1. Aww thanks! It got even better. The local town (Huntingdon district council) asked me to design some gates for them a few years later. I don’t think I have a photo, but they are still there!

          They even paid me £200, so I was sooo happy!

  2. Yay for no rubbish! 🙂 I saw a couple of plastic bottles and quite a few tissues around Mam Tor last weekend. I’d normally pick them up, but with the current coronavirus fears, I had to leave them be…

    1. That is so depressing. I am always so grossed out by people that leave tissues behind. I mean no-one wants to pick up another person’s snot!

              1. I got a new URL a little while ago ( but the old one is supposed to work too I think? Let me know if it still doesn’t work with the new URL. 😊

  3. I love this, when I read about England I always get the cities and not the nature. I def want to do more parks. This would be the perfect place to have a nice run. Looks so peaceful. Loved the pics!

    1. Thanks Amber!

      You know, even in the cities there are some fabulous nature trails that would be great for running. The best one in London is called the capital ring. It follows parks and green areas the whole way around the city in a giant loop. 😀

  4. Okay so first off I have to admit that I totally thought your post said graham wafer and not Grafham Water so now I’m 100% laughing at myself haha! That’s SO awesome to hear that you didn’t see any trash. Unfortunately that seems pretty rare here in Canada but this gives me hope that just might change!

  5. This looks like a really nice, charming walk. I like the fact that you’re out in nature but the walking itself seems easy. That could be great for my husband. Thanks for this tip.

  6. What a beautiful place to take a walk! The foam is really cool to look at. And happy for you that there was no trash around and people are respecting the saying to only leave footprints.

  7. I came via SIPB on Facebook, I must have lost you for a while but am pleased to havevjoined you isolating in style with the dog. Asher and seafoam, sea and sky what could be better. My children learned canoeing at Graffam Water so this reminded me of way back then. Thank you.

    1. Ellen! How are you lovely? Did your kids go to school near here? Once my friend taught me to sail on Grafham Water, but I can’t remember what to do now…I’d have to re-learn!

      I should go and say hello in SIPB. I always arrive late, so rarely received any interactions from that group, so I slowly stopped visiting. I miss you all though. 🙁

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