This walk takes you from the Cambridgeshire village of Hardwick to the nearby Hardwick Wood Nature Reserve. The route uses part of the Harcamlow Way long distance footpath to visit the site before continuing to the village of Toft.
Start the walk, just south of Hardwick where you can pick up the waymarked Harcamlow Way. The path runs west toward Caldecote before turning south to reach the site. The medieval woods are full of interesting flora and fauna such as hazel, hawthorn, early-purple orchid and yellow archangel. Look out for birds including willow warblers, marsh tits and blackcaps.
After passing through the woods you can continue on to the pretty village of Toft. Here you will find a noteworthy 14th century church while just to the west of the village is Cambridge Meridian Golf Club, which has the Prime Meridian running through the 14th fairway. You can also stop here and enjoy refreshments at a cafe before picking up footpaths to take you north to Wood Farm. Other public trails then return you to the Harcamlow Way which you can follow back to Hardwick.
To continue your walking in the area you could pick up the Wimpole Way and follow it east into Cambridge via Coton.
Hardwick Wood Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Hardwick Wood Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Hardwick Wood OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Hardwick Wood Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Just a few miles to the south there's the worthy village of Haslingfield. Here you'll find pleasant walks along the River Rhee, rows of quaint thatched cottages, a church dating back to the 12th century and a noteworthy Tudor Manor House where Queen Elizabeth I stayed during the 16th century.
Near here there's also the new settlement of Cambourne. There's some pleasant walks around this modern village with a lovely local nature reserve to explore. The wildlife rich reserve includes pretty lakes, wildflower meadows and wetland areas. On the walk you can also visit the ancient Bourn Windmill, the oldest surviving windmill in the United Kingdom.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Cambridgeshire Walks page.