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|Stepping Out: Dunston Fen Circular|
|Author: CountrysideNK, Published: 02 Feb 2018||Walk Rating:|
|A 4 mile (6.5km) easy-access circular walk from the Dunston Fen picnic site, close to the village of Dunston in Lincolnshire. The walking route heads south to follow a circuit around the farmland of the fenlands, crossing the historic Roman Car Dyke, with big skies and plenty of wildlife to enjoy along the way. 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 and follows a mixture of quiet country roads, grass farm tracks and dirt farm tracks. The tracks can get muddy after rain and are quite uneven and churned in parts, so would not be suitable for pushchairs. For the main route, there are no obstacles (gates, stiles or steps) and you will not be sharing any of the paths with livestock. There is an option to take a shortcut, but this route crosses several sheep pastures and includes multiple stiles (which have wire fence surrounds, so dogs would need a lift over). 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 2 hours.
If you are looking for refreshments, The White Horse is located at the eastern end of Dunston Fen Lane (alongside the River Witham) or The Red Lion is located in Dunston village.
The walk starts and finishes at the dedicated Dunston Fen Stepping Out car park and picnic site, about 1.5 miles east of Dunston village. Being a remote site, the car park does not have public transport access, nor does it have a dedicated post code. Use the post code LN4 2HB to reach Fen Lane in the village of Dunston. From this point, drive east along this lane (which becomes Dunston Fen Lane) for 1.5 miles. Stay with the lane as it swings left (with Nocton Wood on your left) and, where the lane swings right, fork left into the parking area (signed with a brown Stepping Out tourism sign).
|Start to Hilltop Cottage|
Start point: 53.1606 lat, -0.3723 long
Leave the car park via the vehicle entrance fence gap and turn right for just a few metres to reach the T-junction with the road. Turn right to walk along Dunston Fen Lane (taking care of occasional traffic), which swings steadily right with Nocton Wood on your right. Ignore the first footpath signed to the left, instead continue on the lane. Immediately before a single property on your left, turn left onto the side lane signed to Metheringham Fen. You will notice a wide ditch running on your right, part of the 76-mile long Car Dyke which was constructed by the Romans. This impressive engineering feat controlled freshwater and tidal flows, allowing the fens to be drained.
|Hilltop Cottage to Field Corner Fingerpost|
Start point: 53.1516 lat, -0.3759 long
Continue ahead on the quiet lane between open fields, with far-reaching views all around. At the end of this stretch of road (with a road sign for Prior Lane ahead), follow the main lane as it bends left. Follow the lane just until it bends right. As you reach this right-hand bend, continue straight ahead to join a grassy track (signed as a restricted byway).
|Field Corner Fingerpost to Car Dyke Bridge|
Start point: 53.1457 lat, -0.3759 long
Ignore the bridleway signed to the right, instead go ahead through the wide hedge gap to enter a second field. Walk directly ahead along the left-hand field boundary, with the hedge on your left. At the end of this long, straight stretch, stay with the grass field edge as it bends right. About 30 metres later, turn left through the wide hedge gap (crossing a ditch), to reach a third crop field.
|Car Dyke Bridge to Fen Head Farm|
Start point: 53.1479 lat, -0.3588 long
Standing on Car Dyke Bridge (with the grass footpath from which the shortcut emerged to your left), walk ahead for a few paces to reach a fork in the farm track. Take the left-hand branch and follow this dirt farm track as it swings left and then right, before continuing ahead between fields, running alongside power lines.
|Fen Head Farm to End|
Start point: 53.154 lat, -0.3698 long
From this point we will be re-tracing our steps back to the car park. To do this, turn right onto the side road signed to Dunston. You will see Car Dyke running on your left once again. Continue to the T-junction and turn right, signed to Dunston Fen. Follow the lane as it swings steadily left, with Nocton Wood on your left. Where the lane swings right, fork left onto the stone track (marked with the brown Stepping Out sign). This track leads you directly to the car park on your left where the walk began.
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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