"On your visit to Bourn Hall Clinic, Cambridge, you will immediately see a beautiful, old hall and well kept grounds but there is a hidden gem I’d like to share with you," writes Ruth Moulder from Bourn Hall's QA department.
“Because my job is mainly office based, whenever I can and weather permitting, I take a lunch time walk around the hall and through the village of Bourn that always leaves me feeling revitalised. If you feel the same way, we’re not alone as Albert Einstein said:
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
If you’re interested in doing the Bourn Hall Clinic circular walk and have about 30 minutes, you can use the map opposite (click it to enlarge) and take a look through my photos below, with some of my highlights and a little bit of history:
The walk begins on the hall steps, which by the way was built in about 1602 for John Hagar and stands on the site of a castle. From the hall you’ll walk down the drive and bear right at the stone Bourn Hall Clinic sign onto a path.
Once you’ve crossed the field with a panoramic view across the village, on your right is an old barn and field. This view always reminds me of my time spent in America and the small, family farms of New Hampshire.
As you turn left onto the lane by the garage, although you might not see them you’ll certainly smell the hundreds of violets that grow in the springtime. You might even see a startled rabbit in the woods that run along the lane.
Walking through the village, on the right you’ll see a modern building addition almost diagonally opposite one of the oldest. It’s a little blue cottage and dates from the 1600’s.
On the return journey, you’ll go through the churchyard of St Helena and St Mary’s Church. Here is the final resting place of Dr Patrick Steptoe, who along with his colleague Dr Robert Edwards, pioneered IVF treatment and founded Bourn Hall in 1980. Their decades of work resulted in the successful birth of Louise Brown on the 25th July 1978.
The lane that runs down the back of the hall is edged with Bluebells in the spring. As you turn left into the grounds, there are some magnificent, ancient trees close to newer apple trees planted by staff members. The vegetation in this area has been managed to encourage the butterflies you’re likely to see on a sunny day. You’ll go past an old, overgrown Victorian bathing pool where if you’re quiet, you might catch a glimpse of the resident turtle.
As a member of Bourn Hall Clinic staff, supporting our patients IVF journey is extremely important to us. We do understand this journey can involve a roller coaster of experiences and emotions that sometimes feel overwhelming. I hope you enjoy this walk as much as I do either as a short distraction from a waiting room or on a deeper level. As Rachel Carson said:
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”