This site uses cookies please click 'Accept' to continue and remove this message or 'More....' to view our Privacy Policy

iFootpath uses first and third-party cookies to provide you with a personalised browsing experience. We do so in accordance with our Privacy Policy. By actively continuing to use this website, closing this banner or clicking the Accept button below, you consent to our use of cookies.

For full access to iFootpath, to join the walking community, rate the walks, print, leave comments, mark walks as Favourite & Completed (mirror in the App), and much more please Register and login. It's free (no subscription, no charge to view or download a walking guide or GPS route) and only takes a moment or two. Already registered? Login here.

Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington

There are currently 0 comments and 11 photos online for this walk.

Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington
Author: CountrysideNK, Published: 08 Sep 2017 Walk Rating:star0 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide star0 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide star0 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide star0 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide star0 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide
Lincolnshire, Metheringham
Walk Type: Long distance path
Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide boot Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide
iFootpath home page    Get the iFootpath iOS/apple app    Get the Android app from Google Play    Get the Android app from Amazon
pdf Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide
Download
the pdf

(click here)

0004_black_low_cloud Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Today's weather
18 °C, Overcast, Wind: 17 mph SSW
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0004_black_low_cloud Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide 0003_white_cloud Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide 0003_white_cloud Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a linear walk that uses public transport for the return leg, available Mon-Sat only. On Sundays you will need to use two cars instead.

An 8 mile (13km) linear walk from Metheringham to Ruskington, forming the third part of the Spires and Steeples Trail in Lincolnshire. The route leads you through a variety of villages, both large and small, with plenty of beautiful stone cottages, impressive churches, streams, old stone crosses, artworks and sculptures to enjoy.

ABOUT: The Spires and Steeples Arts and Heritage Trail is a 27 mile (43km) linear long-distance walk from Lincoln to Sleaford. The name refers to the spires of churches being the landmarks to which visitors make their way and to the rural sport of steeple chasing. This guide is 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.

ACCESS: The walk is generally flat and follows a mixture of tarmac paths, farm tracks, quiet lanes, grass tracks and field paths. The paths through crop fields can be very narrow and muddy at times. There are a couple of short stretches of road walking that need care. You will need to negotiate several footbridges, steps and kissing gates plus seven stiles (six of these have large fence gaps alongside which should be suitable for most dogs to pass through, although one – the sixth one, just before Dorrington – has a wooden fence gap suitable for medium dogs but large dogs may need a hand over). Most of the countryside is arable, but you will cross one pasture that is likely to be holding sheep and one pasture that is likely to be holding beef cattle (sometimes with a bull). The cattle ignored us when we walked with our dog, but do take care. OS Map Explorer 272 Lincoln. Please remember the Countryside Code. Allow 4 hours.

LOGISTICS: As a linear walk, you will need to make transport arrangements for the return leg. The return leg can be completed by a 9-minute train journey Mon-Sat or a 20-minute bus journey via Bus Number 31 Mon-Fri. Trains normally run hourly and buses every two hours. Check details via Traveline on 0871 2002233 or at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/busrailtravel. There is no public transport connection on Sundays, so you would need to use two cars instead. If this stretch sounds too long for you, it is possible to split it into two parts, breaking the trail at Digby and using two cars.

FACILITIES: Refreshments are available at The Royal Oak pub in Scopwick (2.5 miles along), at the Red Lion pub in Digby (5.5 miles along), and at two pubs, a cafe and a chip shop in Ruskington at the end of the walk.

GETTING THERE: The walk begins at St Wilfrid’s Church in Metheringham and ends at All Saints Church in the centre of Ruskington. Metheringham and Ruskington rail stations are each about a half mile walk from the respective churches. If you are coming by car, parking is available in Metheringham in Prince’s Street by the play area or roadside, preferably off the High Street which is always busy. Approximate post code LN4 3DZ.

View Larger Map

Walk Sections

Start to Blankney Church
Start to Blankney Church

Start point: 53.1381 lat, -0.4021 long
End point: 53.1263 lat, -0.4059 long

The walk begins at St Wilfrid’s Church in Metheringham, accessed via Church Walk opposite the White Hart. Standing on the tarmac walkway within Church Walk, with the church behind you, turn left along the walkway with the churchyard on your left and a stone wall on your right. Beyond the main churchyard the tarmac path continues between wire fences, passing another section of cemetery on your right. Where the tarmac ends, you will reach a crossroads marked with a fingerpost.

Go straight ahead on the grass footpath with an open crop field on your left. About a quarter of the way along this field, glance across to your right (beyond the telegraph poles) for a glimpse of the (now sail-less) remains of Metheringham Mill, which dates from 1867. You will come to a kissing gate ahead. Pass through this and continue along the right-hand edge of a grass field. At the far side, a gate leads you into the cricket field at Blankney. Cross the field diagonally, heading for the centre of the stone houses ahead, and exit via a kissing gate to reach the road.

Turn left along the pavement, passing between the impressive stone properties. Notice the elegant tall chimneys and matching green paintwork on the houses, this uniformity being a sure sign of a typical estate village. The estate developed by the early 1400s and came into the hands of the Chaplin family in 1719. The Chaplins were responsible for these estate cottages which were built during the 1830s and 1840s. Sadly, Blankney Hall was ruined by fire in 1945, but the stables and garden buildings remain (which we will pass later).

Cross over the side road and continue ahead, passing the golf course on your right and the old hall gates on your left. When the yew hedge on your left ends, you will see the entrance track for Blankney Church on your left which is worth a quick visit. St Oswald’s stands near the hall site and has a lychgate dedicated to the wife of Henry Chaplin, Lady Florence, who died in 1883. Henry and Florence rest together behind the chancel. Look up to see the particularly characterful gargoyles.

Blankney Church to War Graves Cemetery
Blankney Church to War Graves Cemetery

Start point: 53.1263 lat, -0.4059 long
End point: 53.1102 lat, -0.4042 long

When you have finished at the church, return to the roadside pavement and turn left to continue along this for 30 paces further. Turn left onto the surfaced estate road, signed as a public footpath, passing Blankney Church across to your left. Follow the road as it swings left (passing the estate’s old stable buildings on your left) and then swings right (passing the estate’s old walled garden and Hall Gardens cottage on our left).

Where the surfaced estate road bends left, go straight ahead on the grass and stone track (with a hedge on your right). Stay with the track as it bends right and then left, to pass Brickyard Plantation on your left. Beyond this woodland, follow the track as it dog-legs left then right to continue with a crop field on your left. In the field corner, pass alongside the field gates to reach a junction with a larger farm track. Go ahead to join this and, at the next waymarker, do NOT follow it bending right, instead go straight ahead on the grass field margin (with a hedge on your right).

In the field corner, pass through the hedge gap ahead and go straight on to join the wide grass avenue, a restricted byway known as Trundle Lane. Stay with the avenue ahead and then bending right to become a tarmac access lane, Vicarage Lane.

Part way along on the right you will see the lychgate for the War Graves Cemetery. At the far end is the white Cross of Sacrifice. Personnel from nearby RAF Digby who have been killed in action are buried here. During World War II many New Zealand and Canadian Air Force personnel were stationed at Digby and their graves predominate, and there are also five German aircrew buried here. One of those buried here is John Magee, a Canadian officer who wrote the poem High Flight. This was quoted by US President Ronald Reagan in the context of the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. Tap the listen button below (App only) to hear an extract of the poem.

War Graves Cemetery to Scopwick Church
War Graves Cemetery to Scopwick Church

Start point: 53.1102 lat, -0.4042 long
End point: 53.1088 lat, -0.4028 long

Standing with your back to the cemetery lychgate, turn left along the lane (retracing your steps) back to the end of the tarmac. Turn right here to join the tarmac path leading into a residential road. Keep straight ahead through the houses and join the enclosed path at the far side, which emerges to the main village road.

On your right you will see Holy Cross Church and ahead is the village green with its pretty beck. If you are looking for refreshments, The Royal Oak is about 200 metres along the road to your right. You will no doubt want to pause in Scopwick to enjoy the idyllic scene. The name Scopwick derives from the Old English for Sheep Farm and today, the wide main street is lined by ancient stone cottages and flanked by greens with the beck flowing through the middle; with plenty of ducks.

Scopwick Church is unusually dedicated to the Holy Cross rather than to a saint. The most ancient element is the Saxon chevron masonry built into the lower part of the tower.

Scopwick Church to Church Lane
Scopwick Church to Church Lane

Start point: 53.1088 lat, -0.4028 long
End point: 53.0992 lat, -0.3834 long

When you are ready to continue, stand on main street with your back to the church. Walk ahead to cross the beck via the clapper-style footbridge and then turn left to follow the lane with the beck running on your left. At the end of the lane you will come to a footbridge and gate. Turn right through the gate and follow the right-hand edge of this crop field (with a hedge on your right). In the field corner, turn left to stay in the same field and, just before the next corner, turn right over a footbridge.

Cross the crop field diagonally left, pass through a hedge gap, cross a grass track and continue in the same direction over a second crop field (heading just to the left of the pylon). Pass through the hedge gap to the left of the pylon and maintain your line across a third crop field (heading for its far corner). As you approach this corner, follow the grass path as it bears left, following a hedge on your left to reach a footbridge hidden in the hedge at the field corner.

Go up the steps to cross the bridge and turn immediately left. Follow the grass and then stone track which leads you past the end of a woodland belt on your right and ahead to reach the road, Church Lane.

Church Lane to Rowston Church
Church Lane to Rowston Church

Start point: 53.0992 lat, -0.3834 long
End point: 53.0937 lat, -0.3823 long

NOTE: The footpaths in this section are not particularly well-walked, so if you are walking at a time of year when there is lots of mud or undergrowth, you could use the lane instead. For the lane option, simply turn right along the lane (taking care of traffic), follow it ahead and then bending left to reach Rowston Church.

To follow the footpaths, cross over the road and walk ahead along the concrete access road for about 40 paces, to reach a waymarker post and fence gap on your right. Turn right here and follow the narrow path through the trees. As you emerge from the first section of trees, join the rough grass track bearing slightly left then right and follow a narrow path through more trees to reach the edge of a crop field. You will now be able to see the spire of the church ahead, your perfect navigational guide. Walk directly ahead across the centre of this crop field. NOTE: If the first stretch is blocked by sweetcorn, you may need to divert around the right-hand edge of this.

At the far end of the crop field, keep ahead on the enclosed path with a fenced paddock on your right. As you reach a gate on your right, dog-leg left then right to continue between a large barn and a row of conifers. Beyond the barn, keep ahead through the remainder of the farmyard and cross the stile (with large fence gaps for dogs) to reach the road in Rowston.

Taking care of traffic, turn left along the lane and follow it as it swings right to pass St Clements Church on your right. You will notice that St Clements is rather unusual, having an exceptionally slender tower. In fact, it measures only 1.7 metres across on the inside. The spire is also very narrow and the overall effect has been described as looking like a candle with a snuffer.

Rowston Church to Digby Church
Rowston Church to Digby Church

Start point: 53.0937 lat, -0.3823 long
End point: 53.0795 lat, -0.388 long

Continue ahead along the road, passing the stone village cross (dating to the 1300s) on your left. Follow the road leading you out of the village, passing Maidens Farm on your right and continuing ahead to reach the village sign for Digby. Follow the lane as it swings right, join the left-hand pavement here, ignore the side road (Chestnut Close) and follow the pavement bending left as it leads you into the centre of Digby.

Continue down to the T-junction, with the Red Lion pub on your right and the large village stone cross directly ahead. The cross probably originates from the 1300s but has been restored since. Turn right and continue just to reach the Church of St Thomas the Martyr (that being Thomas a Becket) on your right. A church has occupied this site since Saxon times. The lower section of the tower is Early English but is topped with a perpendicular, crocketed spire. Just a few metres further along the street on your left, you will see the six-foot high stone pepperpot. The precise function of this is in doubt; in some sources it is referred to as the village lock-up, but in official records as a wellhead. Either way, it dates from the 1600s and is a most unusual sight.

Digby Church to Wind Pump Stile
Digby Church to Wind Pump Stile

Start point: 53.0795 lat, -0.388 long
End point: 53.0688 lat, -0.3874 long

When you have finished at the church, head back to the stone cross, continue a few paces beyond this and turn right onto the signed public footpath. Turn left across the stone clapper bridge and then immediately right to continue with a house wall on your left and a stream on your right. Cross the stile and walk ahead along the right-hand edge of the orchard and allotments. Cross a second stile to reach the corner of a crop field.

Keep ahead along the right-hand boundary and then continue straight on through a clump of trees to cross a footbridge. Emerging from the trees, continue ahead to cross a second footbridge to reach a second crop field. Keep straight ahead on the path through this field, passing just to the left of a wooden power pole. On the horizon, at about 1 o’clock, you will be able to see Dorrington Church.

Unusually, Dorrington Church is not located in the village centre, but is isolated from the village. Local earthworks suggest that Dorrington is what archaeologists call a migrated village; in other words, over the centuries the village has moved, perhaps into the current less-exposed ground that had become better drained. However, not to be satisfied with this simple explanation, two closely-related legends tell their own stories (more about that later…)

When you draw level with a line of trees on your left, go ahead over the grass track and footbridge to reach the edge of the third crop field. Keep straight ahead over this, heading to a stile about 50 metres to the left of the wind pump. (If this path is not visible in the ploughed field or crops, there is a grass track which leads you around the left-hand field margin instead).

Wind Pump Stile to Dorrington Demons
Wind Pump Stile to Dorrington Demons

Start point: 53.0688 lat, -0.3874 long
End point: 53.0626 lat, -0.3867 long

NOTE: The next two fields are pastures that are grazed by beef cattle, sometimes including a bull. Cross the stile to enter the first pasture and walk across this between 12 and 1 o’clock to reach the next stile at the far side. Cross this into the second pasture, and continue in the same direction to exit via the stile in the middle of the far boundary (which large dogs may need a hand over).

Cross the footbridge and continue on the enclosed path with garden fences running on your left. You will emerge to the corner of the playing field. Cross the field diagonally left to reach the junction with the main village road. If you look to your right you will see the stump of a medieval stone cross protruding from a garden that once formed part of the village green. Opposite this on the far side of the road, you will see the large sculptural carving called Dorrington Demons by Nick Jones.

This is the perfect prompt for those village legends we touched on earlier. The first tells the tale of the church construction. When villagers attempted to build the church in the village on the site of this sculpture, each day’s work was mysteriously undone during the night. Even when the workman guarded the site overnight, their work was destroyed when they went for breakfast. One large stone was mysteriously moved to the site of the present church and, once work began there, it was uninterrupted. The second version is similar but involves Tochti, a Saxon Lord, who tried to build the church from stone taken from a pagan site. Again, the stones were stolen each night and guards were put in place. The guards witnessed a great oak being torn asunder as demons emerged to carry the stones away. The legend of the Dorrington Demons was born and some believe the site haunted.

Dorrington Demons to Sports Field
Dorrington Demons to Sports Field

Start point: 53.0626 lat, -0.3867 long
End point: 53.0495 lat, -0.3842 long

Turn right along the pavement, passing between the cross stump and the demons sculpture. Immediately after the sculpture, turn left across over the road with care and cross the grass verge to reach a small metal gate with a footpath waymarker. NOTE: This next small pasture is likely to be holding sheep. Go through the gate, walk ahead over the pasture and exit via a gate and footbridge at the far side. Keep ahead on the grass field path, crossing a further footbridge to reach the edge of a crop field.

Walk ahead over this field, aiming directly for the wooden pylon at the far side to reach a second crop field. Pass through the hedge gap beside the pylon and keep ahead over this second and then a third crop field, with the power lines running on your right. You will find a footbridge (a few metres to the left of the power lines), cross this and go ahead over a fourth crop field.

At the far side, pass alongside a stile to reach the corner of a meadow. Walk directly ahead with the hedge boundary on your left. In the corner, cross the stile to reach the corner of a sports field.

Sports Field to End
Sports Field to End

Start point: 53.0495 lat, -0.3842 long
End point: 53.0461 lat, -0.386 long

Keep ahead along the right-hand boundary and pass through the car park to reach a residential road. Cross over and continue ahead on the enclosed footpath. At the next road, cross diagonally right and go ahead down the access lane, with the rear of bungalows on your right. Turn right through the parking area and pick up the paved path at the far side.

Swing left at the path junction and follow the tarmac path between walls. You will emerge to the road junction in the centre of Ruskington, with the Reading Room (dating from 1877) on your left and All Saints Church ahead. This marks the end of this leg of the trail. All Saints is known to stand on the site of a (probably wooden) Saxon church and inside a massive tower arch from its Norman successor still survives. There was a spire until it collapsed in the early 1600s and the present tower was built in 1620. The south aisle east window is by William Morris and depicts the Ascension.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

Check out these resources for your walk

hotels Hostel Directory GetMap Rail

network Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 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.

Powered by World Weather Online.

We've an App too

Did you know that we have an iFootopath App? - includes all walks with directions and a live map...

No need to print and no more wrong turns....

Get the iFootpath App

appstore  en badge web generic

Click top right X to close.

11 gallery images for "Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington"

8979_0countrysideNK1504795612 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
The elegant tall chimneys and matching green paintwork on the houses in Blankney, this uniformity being a sure sign of a typical estate village
8979_1countrysideNK1504795612 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
St Oswald’s - look up to see the particularly characterful gargoyles.
8979_2countrysideNK1504795612 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
Personnel from nearby RAF Digby who have been killed in action are buried at the cemetery
8979_0countrysideNK1504796578 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
Holy Cross Church in Scopwick. The most ancient element is the Saxon chevron masonry built into the lower part of the tower.
8979_1countrysideNK1504796578 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
The clapper-style footbridge in Scopwick. The name Scopwick derives from the Old English for Sheep Farm
8979_2countrysideNK1504796578 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
St Clements is rather unusual, having an exceptionally slender tower that measures only 1.7 metres across on the inside.
8979_3countrysideNK1504796579 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
St Clements churchyard is full of some large and heavy stones.
8979_0countrysideNK1504797030 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
Church of St Thomas the Martyr (that being Thomas a Becket). The lower section of the tower is Early English but is topped with a perpendicular, crocketed spire.
8979_0countrysideNK1504797175 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
The precise function of the pepperpot is in doubt; in some sources it is referred to as the village lock-up, but in official records as a wellhead. Either way, it dates from the 1600s and is a most unusual sight.
8979_0countrysideNK1504797581 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
There is a legend behind the Dorrington Demons and some believe the site haunted
8979_1countrysideNK1504797581 Spires and Steeples Part 3: Metheringham to Ruskington Walking Guide Image by: CountrysideNK
Uploaded: 07 Sep 2017
Dorrington Church is not located in the village centre, but is isolated from the village

Share

 

Walks Nearby

Recently Added Walks.

Lancaster Canal and the Ribble Link, LancashireEnnerdale Loop, CumbriaEynsham Wharf Stream and Water Meadows, OxfordshireBallater and Old Railway East, AberdeenshireDuddon Valley, CumbriaWadesmill and Sacombe Park, HertfordshirePentewan River and Woodland Trail, CornwallCamelford and Fenteroon Bridge, CornwallCornish Coast: Lelant Saltings to St Ives, Cornwall

There are currently 1247 shared walks online. Add yours today!

What our customers say

We've an App too

Did you know that we have an iFootopath App? - includes all walks with directions and a live map...

No need to print and no more wrong turns....

Get the iFootpath App

appstore  en badge web generic

Click top right X to close.