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Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingore

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Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingore
Author: CountrysideNK, Published: 10 May 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingorestar0 Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingorestar0 Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingorestar0 Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingorestar0 Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingore
Lincolnshire, Cranwell
Walk Type: Long distance path
Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingore
Length: 10 miles,  Difficulty: boot Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingore boot Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingore boot Ridges and Furrows Part 2: Cranwell to Wellingore
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A 10 mile (16km) linear walk from Cranwell to Wellingore, forming the second part of the Ridges and Furrows Trail in Lincolnshire. The walk leads you through open countryside and ancients tracks, taking in some heritage gems, including the old horse gin in Brauncewell and the Knights Templar Preceptory, as well as a stretch of the Lincoln Edge and the pretty villages of Welbourn and Wellingore.

ABOUT: Ridges and Furrows is a 30-mile (48km) arts and heritage trail, launched in 2018 and linking The National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford with Whisby Nature Park via the Lincoln Edge. With beautiful countryside, panoramic views, traditional villages, bustling towns and contemporary art venues, there’s plenty to see and do. This guide is published through a collaboration between iFootpath and North Kesteven District Council.

ACCESS: The walk has several steady gradients throughout, but there are no steep sections. It follows a mixture of farm tracks, field edge paths, grass paths and country lanes. Some stretches can become very muddy at times. Whilst most of the land is arable, you will cross two pastures that may be holding livestock (these can both to avoided by using roadside pavements instead if you prefer) and one horse paddock (again this can be bypassed using a roadside pavement). You will need to negotiate a couple of kissing gates, some footbridges, a few steps plus four stiles (these are quite enclosed, so dogs will need a lift over – or you can avoid them by using the roadside options instead). OS Map Explorer 272. Please remember the Countryside Code. Allow 5 hours plus extra time for visiting attractions.

FACILITIES: Refreshments on this part of the trail are available at The Joiners Arms in Welbourn (8 miles into the walk) or at the pubs in Wellingore (at the end of the walk).

LOGISTICS: As a linear walk, you will need to make arrangements for your return journey. If you are walking the whole 30-mile trail in one go, it is possible to catch a train from Hykeham rail station (near the trail end) back to Sleaford rail station. There is some accommodation along the route, including The Joiners Arms in Welbourn (14 miles along), The Marquis of Granby in Wellingore (16 miles along), The Bell in Coleby (20 miles along) and The Horse and Jockey in Waddington (22 miles along). For individual trail parts, there are some useful bus routes, although connections and regularity do vary, so check the details carefully if you intend to rely on public transport. Check details via Traveline on 0871 2002233 or at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/busrailtravel. It may be better to use two cars, leaving one car at the end of the trail part ready for the return journey.

GETTING THERE: The walk starts at the western edge of Cranwell village, on the B1429 College Road, directly outside Cranwell Convenience Store. If you are using public transport, there are bus stops on College Road, alongside the start point. For information on bus transport, call Traveline on 0871 2002233 or visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/busrailtravel. If you are coming by car, there is roadside parking available on several residential roads throughout Cranwell village, but please park with respect for the residents. Approximate post code NG34 8DN.

Walk Sections

Start to Brauncewell Gin
Start to Brauncewell Gin

Start point: 53.0362 lat, -0.4709 long
End point: 53.0553 lat, -0.4897 long

Standing on the pavement of the B1429 with your back to Cranwell Convenience Store, cross over the road and take the grass farm track ahead (signed as a public bridleway). The grass track leads you past a few houses on your right and a communications mast on your left. When the garden fences on your right end, keep ahead on the signed public bridleway, leading you between hedgerows with open crop fields each side.

Follow the bridleway ahead, ignoring any side paths, for about a mile. You will emerge to a junction with Long Lane, with New Homestead Farm on your left. Cross over with care, dog-legging right and immediately left to join the next section of grass track, this time signed as a public footpath. Beyond the tree line on your right is the site of Brauncewell Quarry. The quarry has been supplying limestone, sand and gravel, decorative stone, topsoil and agricultural lime across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire for the last 35 years.

Follow the track leading you through a dip and then climbing gently to reach a fingerpost and the end of a tree line ahead. Turn left, to join the grass footpath between crop fields, soon with the pretty remains of a stone wall running on your left. Follow this path, taking time to enjoy the far-reaching views of the undulating patchwork of fields all around. When the wall on your left ends, you will come to a crop field ahead. The footpath continues ahead across this field, heading just to the right of the two speed limit signs at the edge of Brauncewell village, visible at the far side. (NOTE: If the field is impassable with crops, you can turn left along the field edge to reach the road instead.) Either way, as you emerge to the road, turn right along this (taking care of traffic) and follow it into the village of Brauncewell.

Just after the first property on your left, look for the circular stone building with exposed roof timbers – a restored Horse Gin. There is an information board directly outside. This polygon building was designed to harness horse power to drive threshing machines, with four horses walking around the building to turn the machine. It is thought this Horse Gin was used to crush bone which would have been used as fertiliser on the surrounding fields.

Brauncewell Gin to Knights Templar Preceptory
Brauncewell Gin to Knights Templar Preceptory

Start point: 53.0553 lat, -0.4897 long
End point: 53.0713 lat, -0.496 long

Continue along the village road through the village of Brauncewell. Immediately after passing the stone sphere-topped gateposts of Grange Farm on your right, look out for a fingerpost on your right. Turn right onto the stone track and follow this ahead. The track leads you past horse paddocks on your right and then continues ahead between crop fields. Follow the track ahead, ignoring any side turns for 1.2 miles (2km) and you will emerge to a junction with Temple Road.

Cross over with care and go ahead onto the stone access track marked with a fingerpost. The track leads you past a single property, Walnut Tree Lodge, on your right, heads through a dip and then bends left to reach the tower remains of the Knights Templar Preceptory on your left within the farm yard.

This tower is a rare standing remnant of a Knights Templar Preceptory. The Order of the Knights Templar was formed in 1118 after the first Crusade. Their role was to guard the shrines of the Holy Land and protect pilgrims against attack. They raised funds to support their work through a Europe-wide network of Preceptories which were religious houses from which they administered their estates. From poor beginnings, they quickly attracted widespread support and became both powerful and wealthy. By 1190, the Templars controlled 10,000 acres in Lincolnshire and in Kesteven they owned property in 50 percent of parishes – a record for England. Temple Bruer Preceptory grew to be the second wealthiest in England.

In 1291, after the fall of the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land, the Knight’s popularity waned and they were accused of corruption. In 1308, the Preceptor of Temple Bruer and the Grand Prior of England, William de More, was arrested here along with his Knights and imprisoned in Lincoln. The Preceptory passed to the Knights of Hospitaller until Henry VIII granted it to the Duke of Suffolk, and it is known that the King stayed here on route to Lincoln. Today the tower is managed by Heritage Lincolnshire and the door is normally unlocked should you wish to take a look at the intricate stone carvings inside. If you choose to follow the spiral staircase up to the upper floor, do take care as this is very steep with narrow treads.

Knights Templar Preceptory to Pottergate Road
Knights Templar Preceptory to Pottergate Road

Start point: 53.0713 lat, -0.496 long
End point: 53.0696 lat, -0.547 long

When you have finished at the tower, continue along the farm track to reach a track T-junction. Turn right and follow this access track passing a couple of properties on your left. Stay ahead on the track, now between crop fields, until you reach a track junction with a fingerpost on your left.

Take the left-hand branch at this junction, following the track as it leads you through a gateway (with metal farm gates each side). Continue along this track as it leads you ahead and then bends left to pass Griffins Farm on your right.

Keep ahead on the quiet tarmac access lane and continue to the point where this lane bends right. If you look ahead on this bend, you will see a beautiful mosaic artwork which depicts Ermine Street. Behind this mosaic is farmland which was once the site of RAF Wellingore. Turn left here, leaving the lane to join the grass track, part of the Viking Way and the line of the old Roman Road, Ermine Street. Continue on this grass track until you emerge to a junction with a road, Temple Road. Taking care of traffic, turn right to follow Temple Road. After about a mile, you will reach the crossroads with Pottergate Road.

Pottergate Road to Welbourn High Street
Pottergate Road to Welbourn High Street

Start point: 53.0696 lat, -0.547 long
End point: 53.0751 lat, -0.5593 long

Cross over with care and go straight ahead into Mill Lane. Follow the lane for just over 300 metres, passing Mill Farm on your right, to reach a footpath fingerpost within the hedgerow on your left. Turn left through the hedge gap to enter a crop field and bear left to follow the grass path with a hedgerow on your left and the crop field on your right. This is the first point at which the trail follows a stretch of Lincoln Edge (although there is plenty more to come as you continue on Ridges and Furrows). Take time to enjoy the sloping fields and long-distance views across the valley to your right.

Where the hedge on your left steps back, stay along the field edge as it bends left and then right, and go ahead through the hedge gap to enter a second crop field. Keep ahead to follow the left-hand boundary of this field, with a hedgerow on your left and the crop field sloping down to your right. Continue to the end of this second field, walk ahead through the hedge gap (to draw level with a farm on your left) and then turn immediately right. Follow the grass track leading you steadily downhill, with a hedgerow on your right.

Simply follow the field edge grass track winding ahead and, at the end, you will emerge to a junction with the A607 Cliff Road. Taking care, cross the road diagonally left to reach the entrance for a lay-by. Turn right into the lay-by and, before it emerges back to the road, you will see a fingerpost on your left. Turn left through the kissing gate to enter a pasture (which may be holding livestock) and bear right to walk along the right-hand boundary. (NOTE: If you wish to avoid the livestock, you can follow the pavement along the A607 to access the village instead).

At the far side of the pasture, exit via the kissing gate and follow the enclosed path between fences and hedgerows. You will emerge to a residential road, The Green, within Welbourn. Cross over to the far pavement and turn right along this to reach a T-junction. Turn left and follow this pavement to fork left at the next road junction. At the next junction, follow the main road to become the High Street (passing the Old Forge on your left). Follow Welbourn High Street ahead, passing The Joiners Arms on your left.

Welbourn High Street to Hooks Lane
Welbourn High Street to Hooks Lane

Start point: 53.0751 lat, -0.5593 long
End point: 53.0891 lat, -0.5469 long

Continue ahead along the High Street, passing the primary school on your left. At the top of the High Street, follow the road as it bends right and then take the first left turn into North End. Do NOT follow the pavement (which bears left towards the church gate), instead stay with the lane itself which leads you past the church on your left. At the end of the lane, pass between the gatepost for Beehive Cottage (on your left) and a small Anglian Water station (on your right) then turn immediately right on the gravel track which leads you into a crop field.

Standing at the entrance to this field, you will see a choice of three paths – one along the right-hand boundary, one ahead through the field (heading for the A607 road) and one diagonally left. (NOTE: This next stretch of trail crosses the centre of several crop fields – in the event that vigorous crops block the paths, head back to this junction to access the A607 road, turn left along the roadside pavement and use this to reach Wellingore village instead).

For the footpath route, take the left-hand option (about 10 o’clock) to reach a footbridge within the hedgerow at the far side. Cross the bridge and keep ahead on the footpath through three further crop fields to reach a stile ahead. Cross the stile to reach a quiet lane, Hooks Lane (there is a hedge gap in the right-hand field corner if you have a dog that needs to avoid the stile).

Hooks Lane to End
Hooks Lane to End

Start point: 53.0891 lat, -0.5469 long
End point: 53.0985 lat, -0.5342 long

Take the footbridge (with stile) directly ahead to enter the next field and cross this diagonally right (heading for the church spire, visible on the hilltop). Take the footbridge into a second field and you will see a choice of two footpaths. Take the right-hand one, still heading for the church spire. At the far side, go over the footbridge and up the steps to reach another lane.

Cross diagonally right, taking the next footbridge and stile to enter a hillside paddock (which may be holding horses). (NOTE: If you would prefer to avoid the stile or horses, turn right along the lane and then turn left on the pavement to reach the village). With your back to the stile, walk diagonally right and go through the gate to enter a fenced area of trees. Pass a bench on your left, passing to the right of the trees and then bear left to re-enter the horse paddock via another gate. Follow the grass path (still heading for the church spire) and take the stile which leads you onto the roadside pavement of the A607.

Follow the left-hand pavement into Wellingore village, passing the church on your right. Continue past a bus shelter on your left and, soon afterwards, you will see two side roads – High Street on your right and West Street (signed for Memorial Hall) on your left. If you are looking for refreshments, follow the High Street to reach the village pubs. This junction is the point at which this stretch of the Ridges and Furrows Trail ends.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and 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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