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Written by Brian Carter - 26 Jun 2004
last update by Marcus Dawson - 14 Nov 2009
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Location notes
On the northern outskirts of Cambridge. The bridge is over the Cambridge to Newmarket line.
Railway type and traffic
Usual traffic is the Cambridge to Ipswich local service. Operated by National Express East Anglia the service will usually be worked by Sprinter units, 150/156s.
You will be standing on a footbridge in the middle of a common, close to a residential area (and not far from Cambridge United's Abbey Stadium). Locals are generally friendly. The bridge itself is of lattice construction so there are no problems seeing over the sides.
Road directions
There are slightly shorter ways from the A14 junctions, but they are likely to hit traffic jams. Cambridge is quite a congested city! Coldhams Lane is busy road in itself.!.

From A14 Cambridge northern by-pass, travelling eastbound:
Leave at the B1047 (Fen Ditton, Horningsea) junction, and turn right towards Cambridge and through Fen Ditton. At the traffic lights (T junction) turn right, and follow the 'joint' directions below.

From the A14 Cambridge northern by-pass, travelling westbound:
Leave at the A1303 (Cambridge, Stow-cum-Quy) junction and turn left at the roundabout (1st exit) onto the A1303 towards Cambridge. After passing Cambridge airport and entering the built-up area, follow the 'joint' directions below.

Joint directions:
Turn left at the roundabout (1st exit) into Barnwell Road, and then, immediately after the railway bridge, turn right (3rd exit) at the roundabout beside Sainsbury's into Coldham's Lane. About 0.5 miles along this road Coldham's Common appears on the right; park here and walk across the common to the footbridge you can see (past the children's play area).

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Cambridge - Coldham's Common map co-ordinates
Park on Coldham's Lane or one of the side roads.
Public transport
Walk from Cambridge railway station - about 1.25 miles.
Go through the station car park to the far corner, by the cycle bridge, and turn right along Devonshire Road. At the end turn right on Mill Road, over the railway bridge, and then 3rd left into Sedgewick Street. Continue along its length (it becomes Cromwell Road by the vehicular width restrictions), and you eventually reach Coldham's Lane - the footbridge is visible across the common.

Walk from Drummer Street bus station - about 1.25 miles.
Cross Christ's Pieces (the 'park' area beside the bus station) to its far corner and the Four Lamps roundabout (by Wesley Methodist Church). Turn right at the roundabout along Maid's Causeway and at the big roundabout go straight ahead into Newmarket Road (use the subways), staying on the right hand side of this dual carriageway. At the traffic lights turn right into Coldham's Lane, and continue over the railway bridge - Coldham's Common is on the left, and the footbridge will be visible.

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Asda supermarket 0.25 miles west along Coldham's Lane (over railway bridge and turn left at the roundabout); Sainsbury's supermarket 0.5 miles east along Coldham's Lane (see road directions). Other shops (including chippy and other take-always) on Mill Road (see walking directions from railway station). Plenty of pubs within 0.5-1 miles, many serving food, and several listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide - head towards station or city centre for most of them. City centre just over 1 mile away.
Several hotels and Bed and Breakfasts in the area.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Cambridge - Coldham's Common

Googly map
Streetmap links
Cambridge - Coldham's Common general view map
Cambridge - Coldham's Common close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Cambridge - Coldham's Common

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Photographic notes
The line runs north west - south east, and when the line was singled in the 1980s the down (eastbound) line was retained. The best shots are of eastbound trains (or going away shots of westbound trains) from mid to late morning until late afternoon (or later with the sun off the nose) - stand on the footbridge steps. Shots from the north side of the line earlier in the morning are not possible due to line side bushes. In winter, beware of shadows from line side vegetation. Use a standard lens.
For videographers there may be a little faint background traffic noise - Coldham's Lane is quite busy.

General views - All photographs © Brian Carter unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north west

Fig 1 - Looking north west

Taken on 31st March 1999 at around 12.30, with the angle of the light being perfect. It shows the front of a Cambridge-Ipswich working.

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