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Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way

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Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way
Author: CountrysideNK, Published: 23 Mar 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way Walking Guidestar0 Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way Walking Guidestar0 Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way Walking Guidestar0 Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way Walking Guidestar0 Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way Walking Guide
Lincolnshire, Navenby
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way
Length: 9 miles,  Difficulty: boot Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way Walking Guide boot Stepping Out: Navenby and the Viking Way Walking Guide
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An 8.5 mile (13.5km) circular walk (can be shortened to 3.5 miles) from the village of Navenby in Lincolnshire. The walking route gives you chance to explore the village itself, which is a conservation area with plenty of listed buildings, before heading out to enjoy the countryside to the south and east. You will follow a stretch of Lincoln Edge with far reaching views, part of the Viking Way long-distance path plus a section of the old Roman Road, Ermine Street. There are some beautiful architectural gems along the way, including a pretty church and the imposing Wellingore Hall. This walk is part of the Stepping Out network, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and North Kesteven District Council to inspire more people to enjoy the district’s landscapes, ancient woodland, historic buildings and charming villages.

The walk is relatively flat, with just a few gentle slopes. It follows a mixture of field edge paths, cross-field paths, grass tracks, farm tracks, roadside pavements and quiet country lanes, with some stretches that can be muddy after periods of rain. You will need to negotiate two kissing gates and one simple gate, but there are no stiles on route. You will not be sharing any of the paths with livestock. There are a couple of road crossings that need care. Please remember the Countryside Code. Some paths are provided by kind permission of the landowner, please only use the waymarked paths. Where young stock may be present, please make sure your dog is under firm control in these areas. OS Map Explorer 272. Allow 4 hours.

If you are looking for refreshments, you will be spoilt for choice in Navenby at the beginning or end of the walk, with pubs, tea rooms, cafes, restaurants and takeaways. There are also a couple of pubs in Wellingore, about 2 miles into the walk.

Navenby village is located on the A607, about 8 miles south of Lincoln and 9 miles north-west of Sleaford. The walk starts and finishes on Navenby High Street, at the bus shelter directly opposite the Lion and Royal pub. If you are coming by public transport, there are bus stops directly outside the pub. For information on bus transport, call Traveline on 0871 2002233 or visit If you are coming by car, there is free roadside parking along the length of the High Street, but please be careful not to block any driveway access for residents. Approximate post code LN5 0DZ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Lincoln Edge
Start to Lincoln Edge

Start point: 53.107 lat, -0.5248 long
End point: 53.1056 lat, -0.5345 long

Standing at the bus shelter, facing the road and the Lion and Royal pub opposite, turn right along the pavement and follow this heading south. Pass the famous family butchers shop on your right, ignore the first side road, Gas Lane, and just 50 metres later turn right into the next side road, Clint Lane. Continue all the way to the end of Clint Lane, passing a pretty pond on your left, to reach a pair of metal field gates ahead.

Pass through the gap to the left of these gates and follow the field edge path with a garden stone wall running on your left. Stay with the boundary path around this same field as it bends left and then right to continue with a hedgerow on your left. At the end of the field keep ahead, with a woodland on your right, for about 80 metres to reach a path junction marked with a fingerpost.

Lincoln Edge to Memorial Hall
Lincoln Edge to Memorial Hall

Start point: 53.1056 lat, -0.5345 long
End point: 53.0995 lat, -0.5362 long

Turn left at this junction, onto the path signed as a public footpath and marked with the Viking helmet symbol that denotes the Viking Way. The path leads you through a kissing gate and continues along the ridge of Lincoln Edge, with a hedgerow on your left and fenced fields plus far-reaching views across the valley on your right.

Continue ahead on this footpath for two field lengths, passing through a small metal gate along the way. The Viking Way is a long-distance footpath which runs for 147 miles between the Humber Bridge in North Lincolnshire and Oakham in Rutland. The Vikings exerted great influence over Lincolnshire in the 9th and 10th centuries, most notable from the number of settlements with names ending in -by, including Navenby. This name ending denotes a Scandinavian name and translates as homestead or settlement.

At the end of two field lengths, you will reach a fingerpost ahead which marks a path T-junction. Turn left (still following the Viking Way) and follow the path ahead, leading you along the edge of a crop field and then passing through the village playing fields (with a fenced playground on your left). Keep ahead for a few more metres, until you are alongside the large brick building on your left, Wellingore Memorial Hall.

Memorial Hall to High Dike
Memorial Hall to High Dike

Start point: 53.0995 lat, -0.5362 long
End point: 53.0946 lat, -0.5157 long

With Memorial Hall on your left, turn right down the gravel entrance drive to reach a T-junction with a residential road, West Street. Turn left along West Street and you will emerge to a junction with Cliff Road, the A607. Taking care of traffic on this road (which can be busy), cross over to the far pavement and turn right along this.

A little further along, turn left into Hall Street. You will pass All Saints Church on your right and then the impressive limestone buildings, walls and gateway for Wellingore Hall also on your right. Wellingore Hall was built in 1760 as a home for the Nevile family, who abandoned their ancestral home in nearby Aubourn at that time. The family lived here until World War II, when the hall was requisitioned. It became a mess for nearby RAF Wellingore (more about that soon) and later in the war was used as a prisoner of war interrogation centre. The hall suffered and after the war the Nevile family finally turned their back on Wellingore and returned to Aubourn. Today, Wellingore Hall exists as a business centre comprising offices and apartments.

Where the left-hand pavement of Hall Lane forks, take the right-hand branch staying directly alongside the road. You will emerge to a T-junction with the main road, Pottergate. Cross over with care to take the kissing gate directly ahead, leading you into a crop field. Keep ahead on the field edge path to pass a house on your right and, after the house, keep straight ahead on the path leading you across the centre of the crop field. At the end of the first field, pass through the hedge gap alongside the waymarker post and bear very slight right to continue across the centre of this second crop field. At the far side, you will emerge via a hedge gap to reach a T-junction with the road, High Dike.

High Dike to St John the Baptist
High Dike to St John the Baptist

Start point: 53.0946 lat, -0.5157 long
End point: 53.0801 lat, -0.4933 long

At this point you have two choices:

For the shorter version of the walk (3.5 miles), turn left along High Dike and continue for some distance until you reach a junction with the side road called East Road on your left. Turn left into East Road and follow this past the cemetery and school to reach Navenby High Street where the walk began.

For the full version of the walk (8.5 miles), turn right along the grass verge of High Dike. Ignore the first footpath signed to the left and continue to the crossroads. Cross over with care and go straight ahead onto the small access road signed as Ermine Street and Holly Lane. This road, as the signpost suggests, follows the route of the old Roman road, Ermine Street. Ermine Street connected London to Lincoln and was constructed by Army engineers of the 9th and 14th legions during the conquest period. Settlements on the road were restricted to military posts every 10 Roman miles, with stations at Saltersford, Ancaster and Navenby.

Part way along the road, look out on your right for an old concrete pillbox and, soon afterwards, the sign that marks the site of the former RAF Wellingore. The airfield here had its origins as a naval landing ground in 1917, but RAF Wellingmore itself opened in 1935. With the outbreak of World War II, the site was rapidly expanded as a satellite airfield for RAF Digby. At the end of the war, the site was adapted for temporary living quarters for 1,000 Ukranian and German former prisoners of war. The site reverted to farmland in 1951.

After following this road for 1.1 miles, you will come to a fingerpost ahead marking a junction in the path. Glance to your right here and you will see a mosaic celebrating the history of Ermine Street. Do NOT keep ahead on the grass track Viking Way, instead follow the tarmac lane which swings left and then leads you between hedgerows. Follow this lane for about a mile, passing Griffin’s Farm on your left then swinging right and heading on to pass through a gateway (with metal farm gates each side).

Immediately after this gateway you will come to a junction. Turn left and follow the tarmac track which leads you to a junction with a minor road on a bend, with the church visible ahead. Turn right for a few paces and then turn left onto the access track which leads you past St John the Baptist Church on your left.

St John the Baptist to T Junction
St John the Baptist to T Junction

Start point: 53.0801 lat, -0.4933 long
End point: 53.106 lat, -0.4879 long

It is worth having a wander around the churchyard before you continue. This stone church was designed by James Fowler (an architect from Louth) and was built in 1873. To the side of the church are the old school rooms which were built at the same time as the church for up to 45 pupils, although the average attendance was only 22 even in these early years. We were lucky enough to run into a former pupil from the 1940s, who was one of just 12 school students at that time and remembers walking to school across the fields and seeing the World War II aircraft flying overhead. Today the school rooms serve as parish rooms.

Standing on the access track and parking area with the church to your left, walk ahead to join the grass track between hedgerows. This track is known as New England Lane. After about 500 metres, stay with the grass track alongside a crop field as it veers right then then left, then continues between hedgerows once again. After a further 600 metres, you will reach a T-junction with a farm track, known as Gorse Hill Lane.

Turn right for about 130 metres to reach a fingerpost and then turn left to join a side track with a woodland now running on your right. This side track (known as Gorse Lane Track) leads you ahead for about a mile to reach a T-junction with the road.

T Junction to End
T Junction to End

Start point: 53.106 lat, -0.4879 long
End point: 53.1074 lat, -0.5249 long

Turn left along to follow the lane, taking care of any traffic and using the grass verges if necessary. Follow this lane for 1.2 miles, passing Vine House Farm on your left along the way. At the end of the road you will come to a T-junction with High Dike. Cross over to the far pavement and turn right along this. Ignore the first side road on the left, Chapel Lane, instead take the second side road on the left, East Road.

Follow this residential road, passing a cemetery and a school, to reach the T-junction with Navenby High Street. Turn left along the High Street to reach the starting point and the end of your walk. You may wish to spend time exploring the High Street which features a wide range of interesting shops and eateries (many specialising in local foods), the perfect place to eat, drink and relax after your walk.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by the author countrysideNK 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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