County: Norfolk (The Hamlet nearby is in Cambridgeshire)
Nearest Town(s): Ely
Time: 20 minutes
Height: -0.5 m
Map: OS Explorer Map (228) March and Ely*
The Lowest Trig Pillar in the UK
There is a certain appeal to bagging the lowest trig point in the UK. The Little Ouse trig pillar takes the title, but it is also the only UK trig pillar to be below sea level. Approaching the pillar by road, it is easy to see why this pillar is so low. There isn’t a hill in sight.
This does mean that my usual attempts to take photos of the beautiful rolling countryside is somewhat hampered but there is still a certain beauty to the flatness. I can imagine that in the winter it is probably largely under water.
Where to Park
If you follow the sat nav into the hamlet of Little Ouse itself there are a couple of spots where you can safely leave the car off the road without blocking anyone. We parked opposite the private iron bridge, and headed out from there. This is, however, very much a hamlet so be warned there are little in the way of amenities in the surrounding area.
Head over the iron bridge and turn left along the canal side path. If you don’t cross the bridge you won’t find the trig pillar as it is in the field alongside the canal path and there are no further bridges between this and the pillar itself. Once over the bridge follow the tow path for around five minutes, but be aware that the pillar is in the fields down the bank to the right hand side. We visited in late spring/early summer and the surrounding brush and tree was doing a great job of concealing the pillar. Luckily we had taken our eagle eyed chum, who spotted the tip peeking out of the bush.
This area is flat, we are talking M25 Hedgehog flat. Combine that with the pillar being mostly hidden in a tree, the view from the pillar itself isn’t amazing. There are a couple of pretty furrowed fields if you look down to the pillar from the tow path, but as the walk is easy I didn’t need to be rewarded with a super view.
We desperately wanted to bag the lowest pillar, and for that and the easy walk this really didn’t disappoint. The area is beautiful but certainly not our usual cup of tea, largely due to the lack of hills. We linked the walk with the nearby Redmere Farm Trig Pillar. Our route map below shows an easy walk for the pair.