The Shape East Devil's Ditch Tour:
Shape East is delighted to bring you our audio tour of the Devil's Ditch, funded by English Heritage. The walk is suitable for all ages, although due the rough terrain in some places, unfortunately it is not suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users.
To use this tour, you should download the Map and the Audio Zip file, which contains the 15 mp3 stop files below. If you are unable to download the whole zip file, you can also download the files individually underneath the Zip file. These can then be used on whichever device you choose, I Pod, Mp3 player, burnt to CD or even to your phone.
Podcast and Map:
The map is in four sections for ease of use on the ditch. The hardy can attempt the entire walk in one go but for others footpaths and roads are marked so you can create your own circular routes. The walk can be done in either direction. Therefore there are two podcasts that can be downloaded from the website. One podcast runs in the direction Reach to Woodditton and the other from Woodditton to Reach. Both routes are identified on the map. The Reach to Woodditton stops are indicated by the red circles and the Woodditton to Reach stops are indicated by the blue squares.
What you will need:
The ditch covers various different terrains. The Reach end is easier underfoot and can be walked in normal comfortable footwear. However it is very open and can be cold and windswept to baking hot with no shelter from the sun. Therefore suitable clothing, protection and water is advisable. The Woodditton end is more heavily wooded with more uneven ground underfoot and narrower tracks. It is recommended that you wear sturdy footwear such as walking boots and you may benefit from a walking stick.
Dogs and the Countryside Code:
Dog owners should note that there can be animals such as sheep and horses en route so dogs should be kept on a lead. You can find a dog bin in the Newmarket car park but please come prepared to collect and carry any mess. Similarly the only litter bins will be found in car parks or village centres so please be considerate to other users and the countryside. You can find out more about the countryside code at the following link http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/enjoying/countrysidecode/default.aspx
Travel and Parking:
The ditch is served by a number of regular buses. You should check with the operators Stagecoach or Burtons before you travel. Please see the following links http://www.stagecoachbus.com/ http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/around/buses/atoz.htm?L=N&Loc=Newmarket
The nearest train stations are Dullingham and Newmarket. Details can be found at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ You will need to either walk or take a taxi (pre book for Dullingham) from these stations to your starting point on the ditch.
There are two car parks which are marked on the maps. One is next to the July course in Newmarket on non race days, the other is between Swaffham Prior and Burwell and is signposted off the main road. Otherwise street parking can be found in Reach and Woodditton but please remember to park considerately.
Part of the ditch from Newmarket to Stetchworth forms part of the Stour Valley path. For more information please go to the following link http://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_id=437
Eating and Drinking:
There are a number of pubs and tearooms within the nearby settlements, many of which have been indicated on the map. At the Woodditton end of the walk, there is a pretty, 17th Century thatched pub plus beer garden called The Three Blackbirds. It serves lunches and dinners made with fresh, seasonal produce, an ever-changing selection of local real ales and an extensive wine list. All walkers (and wellies ) are welcome there, as are dogs!
The pub website is www.thethreeblackbirdswoodditton.co.uk