From the A1(M), the southern part of Holme Fen can be reached from the B660, turning left into New Long Drove about half a mile after the railway crossing at Holme village. For the western part of the reserve (including Holme Fen posts) there is access from Yaxley Road, the minor road leading from Yaxley to Holme village. The northern part of New Long Drove was, until recently in very poor condition, but resurfacing has now made access much easier between the two part of Holme Fen.
Taking a peaceful walk through birch woodland and bird watching on the meres.
657 acres (266 hectares)
Cattle are not found on this site at any time of the year.
Along the two roads in Holme Fen there are several laybys in which vehicles can be parked free of charge. This is a remote site so it is advisable not to leave any valuables in your car. There is currently no designated cycle parking.
Blue badge holder parking: There is currently no specific disabled parking at this site.
Contact us for more information
Explore the finest silver birch woodland in England and visit the famous Holme Post where you will be 2.75 metres (9.0 ft) below sea level - the lowest land point in Great Britain. Holme Fen is managed by Natural England.
If you had visited Holme Fen a few hundred years ago, you would have had a view of the largest lake in southern England - Whittlesea Mere. An impressive three miles across, it was a place for ice skating, sailing and home to many species of wildlife found nowhere else. Some of these species, including the large copper butterfly, became extinct when the mere was drained to create farmland in the 1850s.
After drainage, an area on the Mere's southwestern shore was still too wet for farming. This became Holme Fen and survives as one of the only fragments of ancient wild fen. There are still small areas of acid grassland and heath as well as a very small piece of raised bog.
However, drainage of the adjacent areas meant that this National Nature Reserve itself dried out and became the largest Silver Birch woodland in lowland England. One of the aims of the Great Fen project is to prevent further damage to this habitat by ceasing to drain the surrounding land.
Livestock will be grazing throughout the year so dogs are welcome but must be on a lead and under close control at all times.
There is a great deal of wildlife to see, including woodland birds, the strange shapes of more than 500 types of fungi, and some rare species of plants from the reserve's ancient fen history. Find out more about the Wildlife of Holme Fen.
Fixed Point Photography is being used across the Great Fen to monitor vegetation changes, particularly in the areas that are under restoration. Please click here to see views of an area between Holme Fen and the railway line.
A network of pathways across the nature reserve allow you to do your own exploring, but the paths are often very muddy and have exposed tree roots, and undulating slopes (up to 1 in 6).
Another place explore is the Trundle Mere Lookout, on the northern edge of Holme Fen.
In 2013, travel writer, Christopher Somerville, wrote an article for The Times in which he described a walk through Holme Fen that in the company of local artist, Carry Ackroyd. The article is reproduced on Christopher's website with full details and a map of the 6-mile walk.
The Great Fen team and volunteers have produced several booklets including stories about the history of Holme Fen. Please contact us. Also take a look at the history pages for more heritage information.
You can walk through Holme Fen to reach this area which is in the early stages of restoration. It lies northeast of Holme Fen and can be viewed from the Trundle Mere Lookout. Read more about it here.
This new reserve lies alongside the B660. There are maps and information about the Great Fen and you can walk around some of the previously cultivated fields that are now being restored. Details are here.
Take a look at the visit Woodwalton Fen page for more information on visiting this beautiful nature reserve.
Take a look at The Wildlife Trust Countryside Centre page for more information on this site.
If you need more information about access, if you have any special requirements or would like to check conditions of the paths before you visit, please contact Craig Bellwood, the site manager.
Please note that barbecues, fires and camping are not allowed at Holme Fen.