Saturday, July 17, 2021

Lindsey Trail part 2 - Market Rasen, Willingham Woods

On Weds 14 July I continued my walk of the Lindsey Trail, picking up where I'd left the path last time.

The big surprise of the day was the amazing facilities on Willingham Road for Willingham Woods. There's a proper brick cafe there, picnic benches, WC, loads of parking and information boards. 

I wish it were possible to find these things at the start/finish of every walk!

This part of the Lindsey Trail does go through some woodland and once again is accessible. 

Then a chunk of it is on road. Not my favourite kind of walking. Sadly we're a long way from the Viking Trail this time, so in order to form a circular walk it was necessary to find some suitable footpaths to complete the circle back to the car park. Willingham Lane fits the bill, it's a nice farm track, picturesque and (mostly) easy walking.

The route I devised is published here on There you'll find an interactive map and GPX file which works in various mapping and navigation apps.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Lindsey Trail, part one. Circular walk including part of Viking Way

The time feels right to revive this blog. I've moved to a new area and have been doing a lot of walking; exploring my new area and revisiting some older routes.

I now live close to the Lincolnshire Wolds whose beauty is a well-kept secret. South Lincolnshire is flat and fairly featureless but the Wolds are an area of outstanding natural beauty. I happened to see some information about the Lindsey Trail and decided to investigate. It's a long-distance trail, 69 miles altogether. Quite a challenge to do in one go, but perhaps good for breaking down into weekly walks and devising some circular routes.
The council decided to make the Lindsey Trail accessible, which is good news for those with mobility issues but it does mean that a great deal of it is on road. Off-road, the forest tracks are surfaced and well-maintained which makes for very pleasant walking and easy navigation.  I decided to start with the northernmost part of the trail, starting at Walesby, heading for Market Rasen and then circling back.
The details of the actual route are here on the uk-walks website.  After walking 4 or 5 miles of the Lindsey Trail, this circular route heads back towards Tealby, picking up the Viking Way. I have seen another part of the Viking Way before while walking at Rutland Water. 

This part of this circular walk is not accessible in the same way as the Lindsey Trail. It uses regular public rights of way, fields and stiles etc. 
I was not expecting the stunning views. I felt that I could have been in the Peak District. 
This being Lincolnshire, though, it wasn't a surprise to meet some Lincolnshire Longwool sheep. 
And a field of deer. 

The 8.5m route I devised this week is published here. You can see the route against an interactive OSM map and download the GPX file which will open in any mapping / navigation app including OsmAnd and OSMaps. The map used is Explorer 282 which, if you buy the paper version, now includes the offline mobile download too for use in the OSMaps app.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A sad day

As I watched this JCB digging up this field with a very heavy heart, a lady at the bus stop asked me "have they started building the new shop?"

I told her that an application was in for hundreds of houses, a school, a shop and a health centre. But so far the health centre was the only thing that had permission, so I assumed that's what they had started to build.

"Ah. I'd heard they were building a shop", she said hopefully.

She wasn't an elderly lady. We were less than 100 yards from a corner shop and not terribly far from the town centre. But the fact that her view is about to be ruined, what used to be a small friendly town is to have hundreds more households-worth of people parachuted in (this is one of many developments being built onto the edge of the town), more green fields are being concreted over and more hedges dug up, all seemed to matter not a jot compared to the convenience of a shorter walk to get her fags.

I despair. And I don't want to live any longer in the rapidly-growing Ashby de la Zouch.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Ivanhoe Way blocked south of Ashby

I live in Ashby and it's been very difficult watching North West Leics council grant permission for one major development after another to be built on the green land around the town.

I could have a real rant, but local democracy [or rather, lack of] aside, there are implications for our paths. Today was the first time that I tried to use the Ivanhoe Way path leaving Ashby to the south-west since work started there. From the Moira Road you used to head across fields at around SK346166. Here's what that field looks like now:

There are new houses standing on the spot that you used to enter the field. It would be fab to discover that you have the right to walk through one or more of those houses in muddy boots but I expect Leicestershire County have done the necessary legal stuff with the path.

I don't know whether it'll eventually be possible to get through this development and join the Ivanhoe Way just beyond - as I write this on 1 Jan 2015, half of this site is still a building site and therefore fenced off with no signs giving information or a detour. So the IW is blocked.

There's nothing on LCC's Ivanhoe Way page, I've written to them asking about this and will post the reply here.

[edit 2 Jan] Leics council are visiting the site, I'm very pleased, having been expecting just a quick answer.

In the mean time, I suggest continuing out of town on the Moira road and picking up the footpath that heads off at Shellbrook and joins the Ivanhoe Way.

It's gutting to see so much green land being built on, especially when the local people are strongly opposed to it. It's also a shame that it further spoils this long distance walk. There are already too many housing estates to walk through on this route and there will be more; there's another one imminent on the other side of Ashby (the 'Money Hill' site).

Monday, February 03, 2014

A flood plain is...

From Wikipedia: "an area of land adjacent to a stream or river that stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls and experiences flooding during periods of high discharge"

That means the flat land around a river. It's designed by Mother Nature to flood when it rains a lot.

People who live in houses built on such land should hold the moneygrabbing developers responsible when they inevitably get flooded and invite those people along to personally bail them out. With a small bucket.

Someone said to me when I stood on the bridge over the Trent (Cloud Trail - National Cycle Route 6) and pulled out my camera, "it's impossible to capture the extent of it!" That's right, the flooding is spectacular. I tried a couple of panoramas from the bridge, and another when I was on higher ground by Stanton by Bridge.

This is by the road just before I took off my boots and waded through flooded road
In the distance here is Swarkestone Causeway (showing the arches. Those driving across only see the tarmac top and miss the beautiful stonework). Usually the water here is grassy with animals occasionally grazing on it. It floods when there's too much water, when the water goes away the grass recovers and the animals come back. Hakuna Matata.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

"It only comes half way up my ducks..."

I generally avoid tarmac but in a wet February it's the way to avoid sloshing around in water and mud. You'd think.

Sign: Flood. Me: Really?

The alternatives were a very long diversion, or braving Swarkestone Causeway on foot (I'm not that brave). It's not the first time I've taken my boots off for a wade. I'd seen 4WD's and large vans ploughing through it so I assumed it wasn't as deep as it looked.

 What I hadn't really thought about was how far it would go on....
 ... and on....
It wasn't deep at all in places. In some places it came knee-high.

The other thing I hadn't considered was that the water would be *really* cold. Silly thing to do? Probably. But fun.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Malvern Hills

Distance: 10 miles
Walked: Saturday 16 September 2013
Total miles walked this year: 230
Route: Malvern Hills

August Bank Holiday Walk

Distance: 25 miles
Walked: Saturday 26 August 2013
Total miles walked this year: 220
Route: Starting from Shobnall, follow Millennium Way along the Trent and Mersey canal and through to Yoxall. Leave the MW and take footpaths to Braken Hurst Woods, pass the airfield and head north, skirt south of Tutbury and back to start point via Anslow

I've been doing this walk every year on August Bank Holiday since 2006 and I think I've been lucky with the weather every time.

Not really edible but used to give flavour to beer, these are hops growing wild.