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Stepping Out: Doddington Circular

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Stepping Out: Doddington Circular
Author: CountrysideNK, Published: 07 Nov 2017 Walk 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, Lincoln
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Stepping Out: Doddington Circular
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 2 mile (3.2km) circular walk from the village of Doddington near Lincoln in Lincolnshire. The walk explores the distinctive countryside around Doddington and the parkland of Doddington Hall, with lovely views of the hall, the fishpond and the pyramid folly along the way. If you wish to visit the hall and gardens after your walk, opening is limited so check on the Doddington Hall website. 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.

Entry to the parkland is free of charge and dogs are welcome on the estate paths. The walk is relatively flat with only very gentle gradients. It follows a mixture of stone farm tracks, grass bridleways and paths across pastures and crop fields. Some sections can be very churned and muddy after rain and in the winter months, so good boots are a must (and wellingtons recommended in the wettest months). There are no stiles on route, but you will need to negotiate a few kissing gates. Some of the parkland pastures you cross are likely to be holding cattle or sheep. Please remember the Countryside code. Some paths are provided by kind permission of Doddington Hall, please only use the waymarked paths. Where young stock may be present, please make sure your dog is under firm control in these areas. Doddington Hall reserve the right to change/close permissive paths for health and safety reasons. OS Maps Explorer 271 and 272. Allow 1 hour.

If you are looking for refreshments, Doddington Hall has its own farm shop and cafe or there are pubs a short drive away in Skellingthorpe, Eagle or Thorpe on the Hill. Nearby attractions include a few retail stores within the Doddington estate, Whisby Nature Reserve and Daisy Made Ice Cream in Skellingthorpe.

Doddington village is located about 5 miles west of Lincoln. The walk starts and finishes at the free Doddington Hall and Gardens car park on the main B1190 road within the village. There are brown tourism signs to guide you from the A46. Approximate post code LN6 4RB.

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Walk Sections

Start to Fishpond Junction
Start to Fishpond Junction

Start point: 53.2203 lat, -0.6514 long
End point: 53.2186 lat, -0.6549 long

Leave the car park via the pedestrian exit (in the middle of the car park) to reach the road with the hall directly opposite. Here you will have lovely views of Doddington Hall ahead. Standing guard in the forecourt are four topiary unicorns, representing the Jarvis family crest. More about the hall later…Cross over to the far pavement and turn left along this, passing the hall and farm shop on your right. Pass the estate office on your right and, immediately afterwards, turn right onto the signed public bridleway, a concrete access road which leads you between farm buildings and the cycle cafe and repair shop.

Beyond the first buildings, continue ahead on the concrete track leading you steadily downhill with open parkland on your left and a preserved timber barn and the converted stable block on your right. In the bottom of the small valley you will see the lovely, ornate fishpond which has several benches and an ornate bridge. This is worth exploring if you have the time. Just before you draw level with the fishpond, you will see a fingerpost on your right marking a path junction.

Fishpond Junction to Woodland Gate
Fishpond Junction to Woodland Gate

Start point: 53.2186 lat, -0.6549 long
End point: 53.222 lat, -0.6617 long

Turn right onto the signed footpath and pass through the kissing gate to enter the grass pasture. NOTE: This pasture is likely to be holding estate livestock, either cattle or sheep. With your back to the gate, walk diagonally left (about 11 o’clock) on the subtle grass track across the pasture. This straight grass track will lead you directly to the fence corner of another field.

Glance to your left here and you will see the pyramid folly within the Doddington grounds, which you can take a detour to visit should you wish. The pyramid was added to the parkland in 2014 and sits at the end of a view from the hall down an avenue of trees. Despite follies being a popular feature, added to country house estates by their often eccentric owners since the 1600s, the pyramid is only the second folly built at Doddington Hall. The first was the more modestly-sized Temple of the Winds created in the 1970s. The pyramid has been built from recycled concrete and is ten metres tall. It has a built-in shelter for walkers, an owl roost and a bat chamber.

At the fence corner, turn right, following the line of the fence on your left. About 100 metres along, you will reach a kissing gate on your left. Pass through this to enter a second pasture. With your back to this gate, walk diagonally right (about 2 o’clock). Towards the end of this stretch, the path continues with a fence on your left and a woodland on your right, to reach a metal kissing gate ahead.

Woodland Gate to Grass Track
Woodland Gate to Grass Track

Start point: 53.222 lat, -0.6617 long
End point: 53.2239 lat, -0.6676 long

Pass through this kissing gate and continue directly ahead with the woodland on your right and a fenced field on your left. At the end of the field, you are forced to swing right and will emerge to a junction with a stone track, with a black vehicle gate immediately on your left. From this point, cross the track to walk diagonally right (about 1 o’clock) across the crop field, heading for a point immediately to the right of the pylon at the far side of the field. Once alongside this pylon, pass through the hedge gap to reach a T-junction with a bridleway grass track.

Grass Track to End
Grass Track to End

Start point: 53.2239 lat, -0.6676 long
End point: 53.2204 lat, -0.6511 long

Turn right along the grass track and after 80 metres you will emerge to a junction with a stone farm track. Go ahead to join this and then continue straight ahead, soon passing the woodland on your right. The track ends at a junction with the main road. Immediately before this junction, turn right to join the grass track (signed as a bridleway) with the road and hedgerow on your left and a crop field on your right.

Soon the rooftop domes of Doddington Hall come in to view above the trees ahead. This is the perfect prompt to return to some history about the hall and estate. Doddington Hall is a very fine late Elizabethan Mansion, completed in 1600. It was built by Robert Smythson for Thomas Tailor who was the registrar to the Bishop of Lincoln. It has been passed down through family members and never sold since. From 2006, it has been the family home of Claire and James Birch. The mellow brick exterior has barely changed since 1600, although the interior was redesigned in 1749. Over 400 years of unbroken family occupation has resulted in fascinating collections of furniture, weaponry, paintings, ceramics, textiles, household objects, porcelain and a wealth of amusing stories which are on display for hall visitors.

At the end of the grass track, you will emerge to a junction within a stone vehicle track with a private gateway ahead. Walk slightly left (about 11 o’clock) to join the narrow path with a tall wall on your right and the hedgerow and road on your left. The path emerges back out to the road alongside the village church. Cross over the road with care and turn right along the verge and then the pavement to reach the car park on your left where the walk began.

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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.

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