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August, 2017

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We lived for years within a few miles of the place and never visited. Having moved 60 miles away we made the journey to visit two old friends. One was restricted to a care home but the other came to meet us at the Green Man,Thriplow.

It’s a community pub: how the second world war pilots of Duxford would have loved it, just four miles away and a perfect example of the countryside they’d signed up to defend. There was even an aerobatic display in progress during the afternoon.

The Green Man is an archetypical feature of bygone England: a wild man of the woods both good and bad, something also to do with Robin Hood. Today it offers a good range of well-prepared food, not easy to find at reasonable prices within the so-called necklace of villages around Cambridge. We went for a selection of tapas, priced at £3, £4 and £5 respectively, and with a dessert, wine for two and a soft drink for one plus a cup of coffee each the bill was around £20 each. The need immediately after was for a walk, and Thriplow has a selection of varying lengths. Before leaving the pub, though, we noticed they offer free taxi rides home to surrounding villages. What better value can there be?

Our walk began at the former village smithy, thatched yet still standing though almost a contradiction in terms. Nearby is a monument to the Thriplow daffodil, a recognised species and a tourist attraction in early spring. The village green is generous in size, a speciality in East Anglia.

We followed Church Road, past the village school to a house of the seventeenth century. This was where the road turned and we found the footpath across meadows. Livestock are a feature in what should be an overwhelmingingly arable landscape: the cattle and pigs will be found on the menu at the Green Man later in the year. Hens provide the fresh eggs used in the custards; there are sheep too. None of these are normally characteristic of Cambridgeshire, although this isn’t part of the Fens.

Part of our route was overhung by trees, a reminder that South Cambridgeshire is an ancient landscape. There is a tumulus near the footpath, though we didn’t see it.
Back at the pub business was still going strong. We wish them well and will meet there again.


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