Over the years, we’ve progressed from pushing buggies along the boardwalks, to running around the more wild parts of the Fen – spotting butterflies, dragonflies and birds along the way.
On a sunny day in September it’s stunning – lush, green and brimming with wildlife. Huge, plump sloes and blackberries are in abundance. This Autumn we’ve tried two new ways to explore this familiar landscape – by boat and by bike.
What better way is there to explore the Fenland landscape than by boat? Between Easter and October you can take a trip down the waterways on the Mayflower. It’s £16 for a family ticket, and the trip lasts for about 50 minutes.
Our guide was brilliant and I learnt a few new things about eels and the like. Some of the passengers even spotted a Kingfisher but I was too busy stopping Tom from wiggling overboard to notice. It was an electric boat, so the motor was incredibly quiet – perfect for enjoying the peaceful surroundings. As family, we’re all a bit fascinated by boats at the moment, so this trip was well timed.
The following week, James and I returned to the Fen while the boys were at school. This time we wanted to explore it by bike. I’ve cycled to Wicken from Ely with James before, but I haven’t been on the cycle paths around the Fen.
It was another stunning September day. We whizzed around the cycle paths for an hour or so, stopping half way to eat our picnic. Excitingly, we finally tracked down the wild Konik ponies.
Tom was thrilled to see a photo when we got home. Now we know where they like to hang out, we’ll be taking him to see them soon.
As it was a weekday, it was blissfully quiet. Living in the Fens can sometimes feel a bit flat and boring, but on a bright day it comes into its own. Plus, no hills, means easier cycling!
You can cycle to nearby Anglesey Abbey, or just explore the paths round the Fen. If you don’t have a bike of your own with you, then you can hire one at the visitor centre. Wicken Fen is about 9 miles from Ely. If you like to cycle you could catch a train to Ely with your bike and ride there.
We’ll be back there soon!