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Covenham Reservoir and Louth Canal

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Covenham Reservoir and Louth Canal
Author: NickC, Published: 09 Sep 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Wolds
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Covenham Reservoir and Louth Canal
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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This steady circular walk takes in two expanses of water: the Covenham Reservoir, the largest stretch of inland water in Lincolnshire, and a section of the old Louth Canal, a twelve mile inland waterway dug to connect Louth to the Humber, south of Grimsby. It starts in the village of Fulstow, which sits on the meridian and has a pub, the Cross Keys.

The walk is relatively flat and easy, but you should allow the best part of three hours to complete it. Bring binoculars for bird-spotting on the water, and a picnic and water if you are walking in the middle of the day. This is a difficult walk to get wrong - just follow the signposts with a boat icon.

Park in the village hall car park in Fulstow (LN11 0XJ). The village lies eight miles to the north of Louth and is reached by minor roads to the east of the A16, just after the spur to the A18 if heading north.

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Walk Sections

Start to Firebeacon Lane
Start to Firebeacon Lane

Start point: 53.4544 lat, -0.0024 long
End point: 53.4455 lat, 0.0122 long

Head left out of the village hall car park and follow the road around a double bend until you reach 'The Willows', a lovely terracotta painted cottage. Cross the road and head down Coving Lane, heading past farm buildings and continuing straight ahead.

Cross over a field and through a gap in the hedge before following the footpath diagonally across a field until you reach Firebeacon Lane.

Firebeacon Lane to Grange Farm
Firebeacon Lane to Grange Farm

Start point: 53.4455 lat, 0.0122 long
End point: 53.44 lat, 0.0348 long

On reaching Firebeacon Lane, head left, following the road, until you reach a small car park on your right with some steps to the left that take you up to Covenham Reservoir, via stiles. At the top of the steps bear right and pass through a gap in the gate to head for the corner of the reservoir, where you bear left, passing the clubhouse for the Covenham Watersports Centre.

Follow the reservoir, taking the opportunity to spot the vast variety of birdlife that lives here. At the next corner of the reservoir, follow the path round to the left and continue until a slight kink in the southern edge of the water's boundary. Here you will see some steps leading down, and you need to take these down to a bridleway. Turn left here and follow the bridleway up to The Grange.

Grange Farm to Firebeacon Bridge
Grange Farm to Firebeacon Bridge

Start point: 53.44 lat, 0.0348 long
End point: 53.4526 lat, 0.0365 long

Follow the path, skirting to the right of The Grange, and then left, with a drain to your right. This eventually diverts diagonally to the right across a field, with the drain now to your left. Head for the pumping station and the Biergate Footbridge, which takes you over the Louth Canal. Linger here to contemplate what the canal might have looked like when full and busy. Currently it has little more than a slight flow with ducks and swans the only traffic, although the banks are impressively steep and deep.

The path is now predictably straight, and you can either follow it along the towpath or along the flat section to your right, which can be easier if the towpath is overgrown. Continue with the path until Firebeacon Bridge, where there is a boatbuilding yard. It is around here that water from the canal is pumped into the reservoir, explaining perhaps why one is so full and the other is so empty!

Firebeacon Bridge to Low Farm
Firebeacon Bridge to Low Farm

Start point: 53.4526 lat, 0.0365 long
End point: 53.4617 lat, 0.0212 long

Cross over the road and follow the roadway that runs parallel to the canal for around half a mile, before diverting slightly to the left along the towpath. Stay with the towpath until you reach Fulstow Bridge and a kissing gate. Pass through this and over the bridge to the left at Heelgate Farm. Follow the road until Low Farm, where there is a vast shed that rears turkeys.

Low Farm to End
Low Farm to End

Start point: 53.4617 lat, 0.0212 long
End point: 53.4544 lat, -0.0024 long

Ignore the road to the left after Low Farm and continue straight ahead, eventually passing the disused Harness Farm on the right. There is in fact a large pond to the left here near The Moorings, but it is obscured from view by high trees and hedges.

Pick up the second road to the left and follow this for about quarter of a mile to Enfield Farm. At the road junction head right and follow the road back to your starting point, looking out for the old painted sign for the Lord Nelson pub on the side of a house and an attractive thatched cottage tucked away just to your right.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author NickC and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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