RSPB Lakenheath Fen sits at the southern point of The Fens, a vast flatland that extends northwards to The Wash near Kings Lynn. This was once all salt marsh, drained centuries ago, intersected by long man-made watercourses and today prime agricultural land.
The Little Ouse River bounds the northern edge of the reserve and you’ll follow a raised riverbank past wetlands that not long ago were fields of carrots. Keep your eyes peeled, as you’ll have a very good chance of seeing some of Britain’s rarest birds, including golden orioles, bitterns and cranes.
ASK at the visitor centre for the path to Washland viewpoint. The viewpoint looks over the Little Ouse River and a small wetland. Here there are often dozens of herons, egrets and swans.
The viewpoint is on a public footpath. Turn left and follow the footpath along the riverbank, keeping the river on your right. After about 1.5 miles you reach a metal kissing gate.
Immediately after the gate, turn left to drop down onto a mown path into the RSPB reserve. Take the first turning right, signposted viewpoint, to a wooden shelter. This is Joist Fen viewpoint. It’s usually a very good spot to watch marsh harriers.
Continue just past the viewpoint to pick up the long straight track. This track leads all the way back to the visitor centre. On the way, divert to New Fen viewpoint, another good place to see marsh harries, plus the elusive bittern.