Lincolnshire Wolds



16th - 18th March 2012



With several weeks working on a project in Shannon, on the west coast of Ireland, having gone by much quicker than I thought, I had hoped to finally find the time to renew my association with the Xerox Hiking Club, the name a misnomer in itself, for a variety of reasons. No longer subsidized by the company of the same name, which has sold off much of its development operations to an Indian-based company, many of the hiking club members no longer work for the company or never have. Having missed the Lulworth weekend hike and London walk at the tail end of the 2011 hiking season as well as Gower Peninsula trip early 2012, which I was desperately hoping to attend, a public holiday Monday in lieu of St Patricks Day provided me with the opportunity I needed, providing a bit of space prior to jetting out to Ireland once again.

The location was Brook House Barn, situated in the village of Scamblesby in Lincolnshire, a quaint bunkhouse recently kitted out to great expense, with carpeted stairways and wooden floors. Martin's preamble read as follows: "Lincolnshire is situated between the Humber and the Wash, for many and undiscovered part of England. Huge expanses of its countryside and coast are still undeveloped drawing wildlife and bird watchers. The quiet roads win many friends from the increasing number of visitors eager to escape city life. There is plenty to see and discover, either by bike, or walking. The county town of Lincoln is home to the beautiful and stunning cathedral, one of the finest in Britain. The Wolds is an area of outstanding natural beauty with rolling chalk hills in the centre of Lincolnshire stretching for 40 miles and rising to over 500 feet. It was the inspiration for Alfred Lord Tennyson who was born in the village of Somersby in a cottage Lincolnshire and studied at the grammar school in nearby Louth. The Lincolnshire Vales is an area around Grantham and Stamford of hills and valleys in gentle countryside. The vales have a number of stately homes and small villages with traditional cottage Lincolnshire dwellings and is an ideal walking and cycling destination". The area had held a fascination for me to a large degree, as neighbour to Norfolk, the coastal area of which, with it's canals and wetlands, I love so much.


Setting out on the Viking Trail, through the village of Scamblesby.


The route sign indicators identify the Viking Trail; Stairs, stiles and kissing gates, near Scamblesby.


Across the pond towards Scamblesby.


On the path just outside Goulceby.


The path we had chosen for the day is known as the Viking Way We headed out of the village of Scamblesby Saturday morning in a contingent led by Maeve. Martin had to fetch his boots from the B&B up the road and would follow, though we would end up meeting later, after lunch. Despite not having a map, Steve Rogers charged on ahead regardless with one or two others in tow until, somewhere near Goulceby, Maeve and the rest of the gang were yelling to us and waving their arms frantically from the other side of a small stream, having taken a slightly different route. Order was restored once we met up near Top Lane however that didn't deter Steve from repeating his wayward behaviour. Jane just shook her head in bewilderment.  Leaving the village by the cemetery, we passed east of Market Stainton, stopping for a tea not far from the River Bain. The peace didn't last long, as Peter Mathews' dog was disturbed by a herd of cows in a paddock that had come over to investigate. We reached Donington on Bain, where Maeve managed to pick up a Saturday newspaper at the local village newsagent.

Heading further north, at the medieval village of Biscathorpe, we stopped for lunch, in the grounds of St Helens, a gothic-style Anglican parish church and Grade II listed building. The Church of St. Helen, Biscathorpe, sits between Burgh on Bain and Donington on Bain, just off the High Street. It was consecrated in 1847, rebuilt in 1850 and restored in 1913. The church seats only about 60. Whilst the interior of the church is in need of repair due to the existence of damp and a leaking roof, the exterior is adorned with an extraordinary arrangement of gargoyles, a number perhaps representing the faces of ecclesiastical figures, the remaining few distorted, almost comical somewhat incongruous by comparison.


On the road just east of Market Stainton, near the River Bain.



The curiosity of cows during our lunch break, somewhere between Steinigot and Donington-on-Bain.




Just so's the rest of us don't tramp in it! Courtesy to ramblers and general townsfolk who don't have dogs.

The Viking Way is a long distance footpath in England running 147 miles (237 km) between the Humber Bridge in North Lincolnshire and Oakham in Rutland. The Countryside Commission recognised the significance of the Viking Way as a high quality long distance walk linking other major routes in Eastern England, these being the Yorkshire Wolds Way at the northern end, the Hereward Way and Macmillan Way from Oakham and indirectly via the Hereward Way, the Jurassic Way from Stamford and the southern end of the Peddars Way from Thetford. Most of the route is designated as part of the European path E2. Many prehistoric settlements were established on dry ground in the Lincolnshire Wolds and on the Limestone Heath. The route passes sites of early settlements. There is evidence that the Vikings exercised influence over the county in the 9th century: eg the place names ending in by, Scandinavian names recorded in documents and also names marked on coins - wiki.



Donington-on-Bain - Maeve gets her Saturday Guardian. Pete Mathews and feline companion.


Anglican Church of St Andrew with its Norman west tower.


On the Viking Trail once more, just north of Donington-on-Bain, near the River Bain.



Homestead on the Viking Trail just north of the Welsdale Road, near Biscathorpe.


The Viking Trail leads to the medieval settlement of Biscathorpe; Maeve & Andy enjoy lunch in teh grounds of St Helens Church, Biscathorpe.

Lincolnshire borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the northwest, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders Northamptonshire in the south for just 19 metres, England's shortest county boundary. The county is the second largest of the English counties and one that is predominantly agricultural in land use. The county can be broken down into a number of geographical sub-regions including: the Lincolnshire Fens (south Lincolnshire), the Carrs (similar to the Fens but in north Lincolnshire), the Lincolnshire Wolds, and the industrial Humber Estuary and North Sea coast around Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

On the historical side, Lincolnshire derived from the merging of the territory of the ancient Kingdom of Lindsey with that controlled by the Danelaw borough of Stamford. For some time the entire county was called "Lindsey", and it is recorded as such in the Domesday Book. Later, Lindsey was applied to the northern core, around Lincoln, and emerged as one of the three Parts of Lincolnshire, along with the Parts of Holland in the south-east and the Parts of Kesteven in the south-west, which each had separate Quarter Sessions as their county administrations. In 1888 when county councils were set up, Lindsey, Holland and Kesteven each received their own separate one. These survived until 1974, when Holland, Kesteven, and most of Lindsey were unified into Lincolnshire.

Lincolnshire is an agricultural area, growing large amounts of wheat, barley, sugar beet, and oilseed rape. In South Lincolnshire, where the soil is particularly rich in nutrients, some of the most common crops include cabbages, cauliflowers, and onions. The Bain valley was formed by a glacier in the most recent ice-age and, although small, is very obvious. The River Bain is very susceptible to flooding and many floods have occurred during its history, about once evey 30€“50 years, the most recent being the 2007 United Kingdom floods, when the river overtopped its banks all along its course. Horncastle was particularly badly hit.

(courtesy of wikipedia)



This map was created using GPS Visualizer's do-it-yourself geographic utilities.

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GPS route and elevation - not much in it!


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