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Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood

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Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood
Author: CountrysideNK, Published: 07 Nov 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide star1 Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide star1 Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide star1 Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide star0 Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide
Lincolnshire, Lincoln
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide
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0001_sunny Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide Today's weather
10 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 7 mph SW
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0001_sunny Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide 0001_sunny Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide 0001_sunny Stepping Out: Morton and Tunman Wood Walking Guide

A circular walk of around 4 miles (6km), just outside Thorpe on the Hill in Lincolnshire. The route takes you on a peaceful journey, through open countryside and beautiful woodland. Tunman Wood is a Local Nature Reserve, is recognised as being ancient woodland (an area where specific plant species are found) and supports diverse plant, bird and insect populations. 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 very little gradient. It follows a mixture of stone access tracks, farm tracks and woodland paths. The surfaces are generally very good, but a few stretches can be muddy after rain and in the winter months. There are no stiles, steps or gates on route, but you will need to negotiate one narrow squeeze gap. There is no livestock on route, but you are likely to see plenty of gamebirds. Between October and January there may be shooting activity in and around Tunman Wood. 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 271. Allow 2 hours.

If you are looking for refreshments, the pub at the start of the walk is currently closed (correct 2017), but there are alternative pubs and cafes a short drive away in Thorpe on the Hill, Eagle or Swinderby. Nearby attractions include Doddington Hall and Gardens and Whisby Nature Park.

The walk starts and finishes alongside The Dovecote pub (currently closed), just off the A46 about 8 miles south-west of Lincoln. The post code LN6 9HN will take you towards the Halfway House roundabout on the A46. From this roundabout, take the exit signed to Swinderby and then turn immediately right into a small access road. This road leads you directly to the pub. Please do NOT use the pub car park, instead park along the access road itself.

Walk Sections

Start to Tunman Wood
Start to Tunman Wood

Start point: 53.1575 lat, -0.6698 long
End point: 53.1714 lat, -0.6818 long

Walk to the end of the access road (past The Dovecote on your left) and follow the road as it bends left, to join the stone track bridleway, leading you directly away from the A46. After 680 metres, you will pass a low waymarker post on your left. The path to your right is the one along which we will return later. For this outward leg, keep straight ahead along the main track which leads you into the hamlet of Morton.

Ignore the restricted byway signed to the left, instead keep ahead on the main track which leads you between the cottages, farm buildings and Morton Grange, all in the hamlet of Morton. This north-western corner of North Kesteven was once dominated by the Knights Templar at Eagle Hall and there were Templar granges (tied farms) here at Morton and also in Swinethorpe and Eagle Woodhouse.

Beyond the hamlet, stay with the track as it leads you ahead between open fields. The track leads you directly to the corner of Tunman Wood, with an overgrown vehicle barrier ahead.

Tunman Wood to Stocking Wood Junction
Tunman Wood to Stocking Wood Junction

Start point: 53.1714 lat, -0.6818 long
End point: 53.1737 lat, -0.6673 long

Pass through the gap to the left of the vehicle barrier to join the narrow footpath which runs through the left-hand edge of the woodland. As you emerge from the trees, you will see a small group of brick cottages ahead. Look to your right and you will see a wooden gate, marked as the entrance for Tunman Wood local nature reserve.

Turn right to pass through the squeeze gap alongside this gate and follow the grass and stone track directly ahead through the woodland. Tunman Wood was bought by a partnership (comprising Lincolnshire County Council, North Kesteven District Council and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust) in 2009, to ensure continued access, to safeguard the walking route and for conservation. Please stick to the footpaths to protect the woodland. Although Tunman Wood was planted with coniferous trees from the 1940s, there are still areas dominated by native species including ash, beech, birch and oak. Wildflowers thrive in the open rides, margins and woodbanks. In the spring months, walkers can enjoy primrose, bluebell, water avens, dogs mercury, wild arum, red campion and celandine.

Keep ahead, ignoring any side paths and tracks each side. At the far end, you will reach a junction of paths (with a footbridge into a field ahead, and paths both left and right). Do NOT take the footbridge, instead turn right to continue around the woodland boundary. Further along, the woodland edge path reaches a junction with a grass track. Bear right to join this grass track and, about 100 metres later, you will come to a fingerpost on your right marking the next footpath junction. The woodland belt running away to your left is known as Stocking Wood.

Stocking Wood Junction to Hardstanding Area
Stocking Wood Junction to Hardstanding Area

Start point: 53.1737 lat, -0.6673 long
End point: 53.1668 lat, -0.6712 long

Do NOT take the footpath left into Stocking Wood, instead keep straight ahead on the grass track with woodland to your right and open fields to your left. Shortly, where the path splits, stay on the right side of the ditch and follow the woodland edge path. The path swings left before emerging to the corner of a meadow, with a single house visible at the far side.

Turn right here, to continue with the woodland on your right and the meadow on your left. At the end of the meadow, turn right through the hedge gap to reach a junction with a stone farm track. Turn right to join the track, still following the woodland edge on your right. Follow the track as it bears right twice and then turns left, leading you directly away from the woodland. The track leads you between open fields to reach an area of hardstanding on your left.

Hardstanding Area to End
Hardstanding Area to End

Start point: 53.1668 lat, -0.6712 long
End point: 53.1579 lat, -0.6704 long

Immediately after the hardstanding area, follow the track left and then right to reach the corner of a smaller area of trees. Follow the track as it swings left, passing this small woodland on your right. At the end of the woodland, the track swings right and then continues ahead, finally emerging to a T-junction with the bridleway track that you followed on the outward leg. Turn left at this junction and follow the stone track all the way back to the access road where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 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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