Fenland Tourism logo
Official website for Fenland Tourism

Ouse Washes

Counter Wash, Chatteris, PE15 0NF

Facebook button Visit website
01353 860850

About Ouse Washes

In the heart of The Fens, the Ouse Washes forms the largest area of washland (grazing pasture that flood in the winter) in the UK. The Ouse Washes Landscape, surrounding this 17th century master-piece of drainage engineering, is a fascinating man-made place to visit whether you're looking for fun-filled outdoor activities, rich and diverse history and culture or perfect tranquility.

The Ouse Washes Landscape, stretching for over 48km between Denver Complex near Downham Market and Fen Drayton Lakes in between St Ives and Cambridge, is a very distinctive landscape that also happens to be immensely beautiful. Huge open skies, expansive views, strongly linear landscape features and isolated settlements give it a sense of mystery and tranquility.

The area has unique historic origins, is an important food production area, contains abundant and internationally significant wildlife, and offers rich fenland cultural customs, folklore and arts. It's been home to Oliver Cromwell, the Hovertrain trials of the 1970s and Fen Skating champions.

The Ouse Washes Landscape makes a fascinating place to visit no matter what you're in to and no matter what time of year it is:

  • Have amazing wildlife encounters in all seasons by visiting the RSPB Ouse Washes reserve, the WWT Welney Wetland Centre, or the nearby RSPB Ouse Fen and Fen Drayton Lakes nature reserves. The RSPB Ouse Washes reserve and the nearby WWT Welney Wetland Centre attract thousands of ducks and swans in winter, and in spring, hundreds of snipe, lapwings and redshanks breed here.
  • Learn about the unique drainage story, the people who dug the channels and those that maintain the waterways. Take a trip to the hugely important Denver Sluice Complex or visit one of the fantastic museums in the area such as Ely Museum, Prickwillow Museum and Norris Museum in St Ives.
  • Relax on the river: Take boat trips or be your own captain starting in March, or in nearby Ely or St Ives.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities: There are several long-distance walk and cycle routes crossing the Ouse Washes Landscape. Or try some other activities including archery and canoeing at Mepal Outdoor Centre, fly a microlight with Airplay Aviation or take a trip on the Fenland Light Railway.
  • Enjoy local customs: The Ouse Washes Landscape is rich with distinctive Fenland customs, traditions, folklore and arts including Molly Dancing and Plough Monday celebrations. A huge programme of festivals, exhibitions and performances take place throughout the year, waiting for you to join in!

The Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership scheme (OWLP) has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, in order to promote the area surrounding the Ouse Washes, its fascinating wildlife and heritage, and to encourage community engagement with the area's diverse heritage. You can check out the partnership's website at www.ousewashes.org.uk for our regular and varied events and ideas for things to do in the area: see for instance our extensive What''s On Calendar, our Interactive Map and Volunteer opportunities sections.

For the second year running, we will also put on a good show during our fortnight of events from 18-31 July 2016, OuseFest 2016, with over 100 events lined up this year!

Supplied by Mark Nokkert
mark.nokkert@cambsacre.org.uk
01353 865030

Prices

Free.

Facilities/Tags

Find Ouse Washes

Places nearby

2.21 miles away
Taste of India

Taste of India

March

Highly-rated Indian restaurant.

View place
2.35 miles away
Classics Restaurant

Classics Restaurant

Manea

Located in the Fenland village of Manea. Offering a very traditional dining e...

View place
3.46 miles away
The Three Pickerels

The Three Pickerels

Mepal

The Three Pickerels is a traditional English pub situated on the New Bedford...

View place
3.88 miles away
AAA Microlights

AAA Microlights

Chatteris

Find out what it's like flying over the Cambridgeshire countryside and s...

View place
3.88 miles away
North London Skydiving

North London Skydiving

Chatteris

At North London Skydiving Centre parachuting is their passion. Qualified skyd...

View place
3.96 miles away
Skylark Events

Skylark Events

Wimblington

Skylark offers a year round event for the school holidays and over the festiv...

View place
3.96 miles away
Skylark Garden Centre & Cafe

Skylark Garden Centre & Cafe

Wimblington

Fenland's largest garden centre. Cafe Skylark serves quality food...

View place
4.56 miles away
Stonea Camp

Stonea Camp

March

Stonea Camp is an Iron Age hill fort located at Stonea near March in the Camb...

View place
4.67 miles away
Cafe Delight

Cafe Delight

Chatteris

Traditional English cafe with extensive menu of sandwiches, breakfast options...

View place
4.67 miles away
Grove Barn

Grove Barn

Sutton Gault

The accommodation is situated in two converted outbuildings, with five large...

View place
4.68 miles away
Chatteris Museum

Chatteris Museum

Chatteris

Discover the ancient market town of Chatteris from earliest prehistoric settl...

View place
4.68 miles away
The Golden Lion

The Golden Lion

Stonea

The Golden Lion in the small hamlet of Stonea is a country pub and restaurant...

View place
4.72 miles away
St Peter and St Paul

St Peter and St Paul

Chatteris

St Peter and St Paul is well sited in the centre of the town of Chatteris. It...

View place
4.73 miles away
New Vision The Chatteris Centre

New Vision The Chatteris Centre

Chatteris

Air-conditioned gyms are an ideal place to reach your fitness goals with late...

View place
4.74 miles away
The Old Bakery Tea-Room & Restaurant

The Old Bakery Tea-Room & Restaurant

Chatteris

Long established cafe and restaurant. Excellent sandwich menu, with light sna...

View place
4.74 miles away
Saffron Cuisine

Saffron Cuisine

Chatteris

Saffron Cuisine is an authentic Indian restaurant and takeaway serving dishes...

View place
4.74 miles away
Bramley House Hotel

Bramley House Hotel

Chatteris

A family run bed and breakfast, centrally located in the small town of Chatte...

View place
4.74 miles away
The Cross Keys

The Cross Keys

Chatteris

The Cross Keys, Chatteris - a 16th century coaching inn - is in a pleasant Fe...

View place