Village Walks – Old Weston to Molesworth

Village Walks – Old Weston to Molesworth

I’d like to share another easy countryside ramble near the village where I grew up, Molesworth. On this occasion we started walking with my parents and Asher (my sister’s dog.) My parents came with us from Old Weston to RAF Molesworth (an American military base a few fields away from our village). Then we continued the rest of the walk back home as we wanted to keep walking.

This post will give you a taste of what it’s like to go for a wander in the countryside in Cambridgeshire. If you like the look of it, you may also like my previous post about walking in Nottinghamshire.

I didn’t realize this before, but Molesworth has been designated a conservation area by Huntingdon District Council, due to its “typically rural English character”. This isn’t the kind of place tourists visit, but it is a great place to grow up.

These photos were from a soggy day in December, so if you’d prefer to see Molesworth looking pretty in the summer, look at the post about us getting hitched at our English Countryside Wedding.

Old Weston Ravine

This is one of my mum’s favourite dog-walking spots near Molesworth. She called it the Old Weston Ravine, and it follows along an old Roman Road from the edge of the village of Old Weston. The path was very clear and easy to follow, although there are not many sign posts.

It was all looking a bit soggy, but pretty anyway. You can walk along the ravine to RAF Molesworth, then back to Old Weston in a mini loop.

Dog dunking time

My sisters doggo, Asher, loves to go into the ravine, but he always needs a bit of encouragement. My mum solves this by throwing sticks into the water for him to jump in and fetch. He LOVES it. You just have to be careful to get out of the way when he shakes off his fur. He seems to like to walk up to one of his humans before shaking off and soaking everyone!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My parents only needed a mini walk, so dad dropped us off in Old Weston then drove back and parked at the edge of RAF Molesworth to meet us half way. It’s so nice to get out and walk with them! These are the hiking stars that got my siblings and I interested in mountains and walking in the first place.

Molesworth Peace Garden

Next to the entrance of RAF Molesworth is a small Peace Garden. This is the location of a Peace Camp that was set up to protest about the nuclear missiles that were kept in RAF Molesworth in the 1980s. My parents used to make soup for the protesters and apparently I even made it on tv by protesting from my pushchair as a toddler! Still, I don’t have any memories of protests here at this entrance of the base – I only remember armed guards coming out to see what we were up to if we ever played near the gate closest to Molesworth village.

If you’d like to read more about this protest, I found a photo with more information here, as well as a mention of it on the Christian CND page here.

Even though I knew about the protests I have walked past this Molesworth Peace Garden many times without realizing it was there! In June 2019, The Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament rededicated this garden and added a sign about the history of it all.

Part of the new sign says:

Eirene (the name of the chapel that was built here) was built as a prayer that one day, people of all faiths and nations would learn to live as one. The spirit of Eirene lives on in the lives of all those who share that vision and are prepared to act it out. The trees and flowers of this garden will stand now as witness to the hope that fences will come down, preparations for war will cease and people of all faiths or none will stand together, never as enemies, but always as friends.

RAF Molesworth Base

Nowadays, although the Moleworth base is still used as a Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre (JIAC), there isn’t much going on there, and all the nuclear weapons have been removed. We normally walk close to the giant fence. But on this occasion we got a bit bored of the fenced-in view, so we found footpaths on the edge of fields instead.

If you decide to walk along the edges of fields in the English Countryside in winter, bring wellies! It was so, soooo muddy!

Elephant Grass

On our walk back to Molesworth, we found a field full of Elephant Grass. This is not a crop that I remember seeing when I grew up in this area, so I did a bit of research to find out more about it. It’s scientific name is miscanthus, and in the UK it is grown as environmentally friendly means of producing large amounts of biomass for renewable energy. It grows 3 meters tall, without the need for replanting. It is left in the field over the winter to reduce the water content and to help more nutrients be reabsorbed into the soil, then they harvest it in early spring. Apparently it is even good at increasing biodiversity as animals and bugs can hide in the grass. Cool eh!?

Pretty soon we found the public footpath that leads between the next village, Brington and Molesworth. So we could easily walk along the muddy tracks towards home.

Molesworth Mini Library

When I was growing up, people still used the old fashioned red telephone box in the middle of the village. Nowadays almost everyone has a mobile phone, so villagers have turned the phone into a mini library.

The Molesworth Village Sign

Okay, so this is going to sound a little boastful…Β  But back when I was a teenager, our village got a new signpost. There was a competition for locals to design it, and my entry won! The sign was then made from black wrought iron, and has been displayed in the center of the village ever since. The Molesworth sign includes a mole (of course, I mean, this is Molesworth), the church, some crossed keys (because the local pub is called the Cross Keys) people digging as well as a dog. We grew up with a labrador retriever, so he made it into my design.

We walked via the jitty field and up through the Millennium Green to get home. If you do ever visit Molesworth, do go to this green spot in the middle of the village as it has the best views of the surrounding countryside.

Molesworth Church

The last thing to see on our walk was Saint Peters Church is at the top of the village. The chancel was built around 1270 and then the tower was added in the 15th century. The register for Saint Peters Church dates from the year 1564. It’s funny to think the teeny church in my village is over 300 years older than the country I now live in!

I hope you like the look of this little walk. I have far better photos of mini dog-walks near Molesworth, but it is kind of nice to hike around on grey days and see the soggy English countryside.

Old Weston to Molesworth via RAF Molesworth and the Peace parkΒ Countryside walks in Cambridgeshire - near Molesworth Hikes near Molesworth, Cambridgeshire (UK) take your dog for a walk

37 thoughts on “Village Walks – Old Weston to Molesworth

    1. Thanks Rebecca. It’s even prettier in the summertime. I have to admit though, I thought the church was really boring when I was growing up – it’s just part of the landscape. It was only after I lived in Japan that I started seeing my village (and the English countryside) with new eyes.

    1. They are great aren’t they!? I’d seen them in mini shelves or post boxes, but I reeeally love this use of the phone box.

  1. Dear Josy, just one small thing about elephant grass. I believe it is harvested 3 times a yea here..It is a superb crop for farmers as they plant it just once, , and then never ever have to do anything more than keep harvesting it occasionally. So less soil compaction by heavy plant, and really lazy farming. Bliss for all concerned. It just keeps coming back again. Love, Lis

    1. Thanks mum! It must be good for stopping people cutting through the fields too – you couldn’t walk through it…

  2. I love your design so cool that you won. I really like the upcycling of the phonebox for a mini library idea.

    1. Thanks Rachael! The artist that actually made it did the hard part, but I was sooo chuffed to have been involved in that design.

  3. I just love your posts. They provide such a nice taste of the English countryside. It certainly looks soggy, but I’m glad you didn’t let it dampen your spirits. And how smart to turn the old telephone booths into little libraries! That elephant grass is so cool!

  4. We’ve never heard of Molesworth! and we had to zoom our your map to see that it’s actually in the UK! haha… Looks like a great countryside place to walk and hike around. And that mini library in a red telephone booth is such a gem! One day, we’d love to have something similar in our village here in Luxembourg!

    1. Lol don’t worry, most English people have never heard of Molesworth either!

      Do you still have phone booths in your village? Maybe you can be the ones to set up a mini library!?

  5. What a great place to grow up in! Did you love for hiking start with walks around Molesworth?
    Ended up going through your wedding post too πŸ™‚ Such beautiful pictures! Loved your dress – brilliant on getting it so well priced!

    1. Aww thanks Smita, I am so glad you liked the look of it. We had soooo much fun getting married in Molesworth.

      We did always go for dog walks as kids, but Cambridgeshire is really flat. My mum is an artist so we’d spend summers in Ireland climbing mountains there. I think that is where I first started to love walks and views from up high!

  6. I absolutely LOVE reading about these walks and rambles through the English countryside! I think walking paths should connect every single town. Even in December the path looks lovely.

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment. πŸ’– You know, most villages and towns in the UK do have walking paths that connect them. I found it really strange that that is not always the case in North America. I think it is from previous centuries when farmers used to have to walk to the nearest market – they needed rights of way to allow them to walk everywhere.

  7. Lovely post and beautiful photographs! You’ve inspired me to plan a relaxing getaway to this charming corner of the English countryside and head off for a leisurely stroll just as described. I hadn’t heard about Molesworth until I read your post but I’d love to explore it next time we plan a trip to England.

  8. What an interesting read! This is what I love about small towns: that you can actually hone in on little details without feeling like you’re missing some larger picture. The history behind the peace park is fascinating, and it’s good that a sign went up giving a bit more information! Also, I’ve never seen elephant grass before but I like that it was planted for renewable energy! As someone who’s never been to the UK before, I feel like this was a perfect introduction to the English countryside! Reading blog posts about London is fine, but I’m the kind of traveler that wants to see a country beyond the capital city πŸ™‚

  9. What a lovely walk, those muddy village treks are so good to do as long as it doesn’t pour with rain. Looks like you had a dry day thank goodness. Designing the sign is something to be proud of isn’t it? Just think of how many people have seen it over the years. Historic.

  10. That looks like a lovely walk, and a great chance for you to reminisce. I hope your name is recorded on the sign for posterity. Well done with winning that competition!

  11. Molesworth looks like such a cute little town! I would love to visit it sometime. That is so cool your entry won for the town signpost!

  12. I thought I knew the name Molesworth but then when you said about the nukes and protests I remember the news reports.

    The elephant grass reminds me of cornfields in Pennsylvaniaβ€”huge crops that tower over your head.

    Love your sign. That’s fantastic. It must be lovely to return to your family home and see your personal legacy still proudly displayed.

  13. It is so amazing you got to grow up here! I can only imagine how beautiful it is during the summer and also love that you can take the doggie with you!

  14. I love walking through the English countryside! I’ve not explored much of Cambridgeshire, but lived in Cheshire for a few years. It’s so fun how the walks take you through nature, to churches, villages, and more! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: