Cambridge Guides


Nestled in the heart of the Cambridgeshire countryside lies the picturesque village of Fowlmere.
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About Fowlmere

Fowlmere is a charming village located near Cambridge in the United Kingdom. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of what the village offers. From its rich history dating back to the medieval period to its stunning natural surroundings and welcoming community, we will take you on a journey to explore the best of Fowlmere. This guide is perfect for those seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone looking to discover a hidden gem off the beaten path. 

Location And Population

Fowlmere is a charming village near the historic city of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Cambridgeshire countryside, Fowlmere is an idyllic destination for those seeking a tranquil getaway with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

With a population of just over 1,000 people, Fowlmere is a small and tight-knit community with a strong sense of local pride. The village has a rich history dating back to the medieval period. It is home to a number of significant historical landmarks, including St. Mary's Church and Grade II listed Fowlmere Windmill.

Regarding demographics, Fowlmere is a diverse community with various ages and backgrounds represented. The village has a mix of families, retirees, and young professionals, with a growing number of commuters who work in nearby Cambridge and other surrounding towns.

Despite its small size, Fowlmere has a number of amenities and facilities to cater to the needs of its residents and visitors. Several local shops, including a post office and convenience store, as well as a village hall and community center, host various events and activities throughout the year.

In terms of transportation, Fowlmere is easily accessible by car, with the village located just a short drive from the M11 motorway. There are regular bus services to and from Cambridge and other nearby towns for those traveling by public transport.

History Of Fowlmere

Fowlmere has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the prehistoric era when early humans first settled in the area. The village's name itself is thought to be of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the Old English words for "bird" and "pool," a reference to the village's position next to a small lake that was once a popular hunting ground for wildfowl.

During the medieval period, Fowlmere grew into a thriving agricultural village, with a number of farms and smallholdings producing crops such as wheat, barley, and oats. The village was also home to a number of craftsmen, including blacksmiths, carpenters, and weavers, who provided essential goods and services to the local community.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Fowlmere underwent significant changes as the Industrial Revolution swept through the country. The village's population grew rapidly as workers flocked to work in the many new factories and mills that were springing up across the region. These included a silk mill, a paper mill, and brickwork, all of which helped to transform Fowlmere into a bustling industrial hub.

Despite the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution, Fowlmere retained much of its rural charm and character. The village's many historic landmarks and buildings are a testament to its rich and fascinating past. They include St. Mary's Church, which dates back to the 12th century and features a stunning Norman doorway and a 14th-century tower.

Other significant historical landmarks in Fowlmere include Grade II listed Fowlmere Windmill, which was built in the early 17th century and was once a thriving center of grain production, as well as the Fowlmere Nature Reserve, which was established in the 1960s and is now a protected area of wetlands and grasslands that is home to a wide range of rare and endangered wildlife.

Nature And Wildlife

At the heart of the village is the Fowlmere Nature Reserve, a 120-acre protected wetlands and grasslands home to a wide range of rare and endangered species. The reserve is managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and features a range of habitats, including reedbeds, shallow pools, and wet meadows.

Visitors to the Fowlmere Nature Reserve can enjoy various activities, including birdwatching, nature walks, and educational programs. The reserve is home to various bird species, including the bittern, kingfisher, cuckoo, and mammals such as otters and water voles. Numerous species of insects, reptiles, and amphibians are also found in reserve.

For those interested in birdwatching, Fowlmere is a must-visit destination. The village's location on the migratory route of many bird species makes it an ideal spot for observing residents and visiting birds. The Fowlmere Nature Reserve is a particularly popular spot for birdwatchers, as it provides a range of habitats and feeding grounds for various bird species.

Education And Community

Fowlmere has one primary school, Fowlmere Primary School, which caters to children aged 4-11 years old. The school has a strong reputation for academic excellence and offers a range of extracurricular activities, including music, sports, and drama. For older students, a range of secondary schools and further education colleges are located within easy reach of the village.

The village also has a range of community events and activities throughout the year. These include an annual village fete, which features a range of stalls, games, and activities for all ages, as well as regular community meetings and events that provide opportunities for residents to get involved in local initiatives and projects.

In addition to these community events, a range of local organizations and initiatives are active in Fowlmere. These include the Fowlmere Community Land Trust, a community-led organization that is working to promote sustainable development and affordable housing in the area, as well as a number of sports clubs, social groups, and charitable organizations that provide support and services to residents.

Accommodation And Dining

There are a number of hotels and B&Bs located in and around Fowlmere. These range from small, family-run guesthouses to larger hotels with modern facilities and amenities. Some of the most popular options in the area include The Chequers, a historic coaching inn that offers comfortable accommodation and a traditional pub atmosphere, and The Pear Tree Inn, a charming B&B located just a short distance from Fowlmere Nature Reserve.

For dining options, there is a range of restaurants and pubs located in and around Fowlmere, offering a variety of cuisines and dining experiences. The Green Man is a popular pub located in the heart of the village, offering a range of traditional pub dishes and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The Queen's Head, located just a short distance away in the nearby village of Newton, is another popular option, offering a range of seasonal dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients.

If you're looking to try some local specialties and dishes, there are a number of options to choose from in the area. One popular dish is Cambridgeshire beef and ale pie, typically made with local beef and rich ale gravy. Another local speciality is Fenland celery, which is grown in the nearby Fens and has a distinctive flavor and texture. For dessert, Cambridge burnt cream (crème brûlée) is a must-try, with its delicious combination of creamy custard and crispy caramel topping.

Getting To And Around Fowlmere

Fowlmere is located approximately 10 miles southwest of Cambridge and is easily accessible by car or public transportation. Depending on traffic, the journey from Cambridge to Fowlmere typically takes around 20-30 minutes by car.

For those traveling by public transportation, a range of bus services run from Cambridge to Fowlmere and the surrounding villages. The 26-bus service, operated by Stagecoach, regularly runs from Cambridge to Royston via Fowlmere, with stops in the village center. Several other bus services connect Fowlmere with nearby towns and villages.

For those who prefer to drive, many car rental options are available in Cambridge, with many major rental companies in the city. Driving in the UK is generally straightforward, but visitors should know that traffic can be heavy in and around Cambridge during peak travel times. It is also important to note that driving is on the UK's left-hand side of the road and that speed limits are in miles per hour.

In terms of getting around Fowlmere itself, the village is relatively small and can easily be explored on foot or by bicycle. There are a number of footpaths and cycling routes in and around the village, including the popular Fowlmere to Melbourn Greenway, which runs through Fowlmere Nature Reserve and provides a scenic route for walkers and cyclists. Taxis and private hire cars are also available for those who prefer not to drive.

Fowlmere offers a unique blend of history, nature, and community that is sure to captivate anyone who visits. From its medieval landmarks and fascinating history to its diverse wildlife and natural beauty, Fowlmere has something to offer everyone. The village's strong sense of community and welcoming locals make it a perfect destination for those seeking a peaceful escape.

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