- 0.00 Miles
- 5-6 hours
An interesting walk from the Wolds to the sea, through an historically pastoral and diverse landscape.
- Linear Walk - 10.25 miles.
- Maps: OS Landranger 122 and OS Explorer 274.
- Parking: Free car parking is available in Alford off Millers Way, opposite the Anchor Inn on East Street (Grid Ref: TF 456 762). There are also pay and display car parks in Alford Market Place and South Market Place. Car parking is also available at Wolla Bank, Anderby (Grid Ref: TF 556 750) and Chapel Six Marshes, Chapel St Leonards (Grid ref: TF 559 742).
- Terrain: Along footpaths and bridleway which can be muddy at times. Roadside walking, including crossing the A52. Part of the route follows the Willoughby Branch Line Nature Reserve. Generally level.
- Refreshments: Tearooms, restaurants, pubs and shops in Alford. Also, the Red Lion pub and shop at Mumby.
- Toilets: Public toilets behind Alford Library in South Market Place car park. Also at Chapel Six Marshes, between Easter and mid-October.
- Stiles: Numerous. Some are stock proof and therefore may be difficult for some dogs.
- Let's set off!
From Alford’s central Market Place, turn right to walk past Barclays Bank into South Market Place, continuing past the library to turn next left into Caroline Street. Follow this road as it bends right into Hanby Lane, passing John Spendluffe Technology College on your left and Alford Primary School to your right. Carry on as the road narrows to a tarmac path, passing to the rear of house gardens, to arrive beside Farlesthorpe Road.
Turn left to pass Alford Cemetery’s main entrance, continuing along the pavement to the next road junction. There, follow the road as it bends right towards Farlesthorpe, turning right to follow the next signposted footpath across two stiles. This short section of path is part of the Mill Rundle Walk, a permissive walk around Alford following the Mill Rundle Drain. Leaving the Mill Rundle, carry on ahead along the edge of two fields, drainage ditch on your left and the rise of the Lincolnshire Wolds visible to your right.
At the field corner, turn right to continue along the field edge, then left to follow a stone track between fields, before turning right to walk beside a drainage ditch once more. In summer, look for dragonflies flitting over the water. Then, turn left onto a grassy track. As this track turns right, carry on ahead, following the signposted footpath across field, heading for the footbridge visible at the next boundary. There, follow the waymarked path over a second field to another footbridge, then across a third to a hidden signpost and the Willoughby Branch Line Nature Reserve.
Climb up the embankment steps to enter the Reserve, turning left to continue along the old track bed. Enjoy this quiet haven as you walk along, its colourful flowers and butterflies in summer and hungry migrant fieldfares and redwings in winter. Look out too for the ghostly barn owl quartering for its prey where once trains rumbled. Leave to the side of the field gate, emerging onto Farlesthorpe Road opposite the old crossing cottage.
There, turn left to follow the road around the cottage garden, then quickly right through a second field gate to continue along the eastern section of the Willoughby Branch Line Nature Reserve. Immediately after crossing a deep drainage ditch, turn right to walk along the field edge beside it. Notice the unusual building off to your left. This is Farlesthorpe’s remaining brick kiln and the nearby fishing pond, the pit from which clay was dug. Both bear witness to a once vibrant local industry.
At the field corner, follow the signposted footpath across field, heading for the footbridge visible at the next boundary. Then, continuing in the same direction, cross a second field, passing to the right of School Farm to join a stone track. Turn right to follow this track as it bends first left, then right between fields to a tall hedge. There, turn left to walk along the field edge, before quickly cutting through the hedge line to turn left onto another stone track.
Turn right to follow the next signposted footpath across field, aiming towards the outward corner of the drainage ditch ahead of you. Then, carry on along the field edge beside it to a large footbridge over Fisher’s Drain. Pause awhile to catch a glimpse of local bankside inhabitants, before following the footpath over the next field, heading for the signpost to the right of the farmyard. Listen for the lapwing’s characteristic pee-wit call, before turning right along the grassy track (Westfield Lane). Follow this as it bends first left, then right to emerge onto Willoughby Road in Cumberworth.
From there, turn left to walk through the village. Make out the corrugations of remnant ridge and furrow plough land, and other ‘humps and bumps’, in the grass fields adjoining the road. Notice also the ‘Primitive Methodist Chapel 1859’ to your right. Then, immediately after the Old School House, almost opposite Ivy House, turn right to cross a footbridge and stile onto a narrow signposted footpath between gardens. Follow this through a metal gate and across three stiles to emerge, over a stile and footbridge, onto Ings Lane.
Turn left to walk along the lane, then right at the T-junction. Pause by the bus shelter to notice St Helen’s Church, with its unusual bell turret. Then, keeping right with the road, carefully carry on towards Mumby. Look out for the ‘humps and bumps’ in the grassland to your left and the concrete pillbox on your right beside Main Drain. This is one of the surviving fortified gunposts constructed to defend the county from the very real threat of seaborne invasion during World War 2.
At the crossroads, continue straight ahead through Mumby village, arriving beside the A52 almost opposite St Thomas of Canterbury’s Church. The Red Lion pub and shop are just up to your left. Cross the road with great care to walk along the ‘loop’ of road connecting the Parish Church with Mumby Methodist Church. There, turn left to follow the signposted public footpath along a grassy track between ditches, listening for the blackbird’s characteristically loud pink pink pink call.
Crossing a footbridge, turn right to walk along the field edge to another footbridge and stile, then follow the waymarked path through old grassland to a double stile and footbridge. Continue over more grassland, keeping the fence on your left, to the next stile. From there, carry on across field to walk along the field edge to another footbridge, continuing beside the drainage ditch to a large footbridge and stile over Main Drain. Go on across the next pasture to emerge, over a stile and footbridge, onto Langham Road.
Turn left along the road, quickly noticing the tower of St Mary’s Church at Hogsthorpe on the skyline to your right. Ignoring the first turning left, pause at the roadside memorial to the four Canadian crew members of Halifax 11 BB216 who died near this spot in 1942. Continue past Meadow Side and Hawnby House, the offshore wind turbines visible before you.
Turn left down the next ‘No Through Road’ to follow Ember Lane. This area has close associations with John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, whose ardent supporter ‘Honest George Robinson’ lived at Langham Row away to your left. On your right is Quakers’ Hill which, some say, was the site of a Quaker village.
Just before the entrance to Langham House Farm, turn right onto a stone track. Ignoring turnings off to left and right, carry on along Ember Lane as it becomes a splendid green lane. Believed to have been ‘surfaced’ using embers from the local brickyard, Ember Lane leaves the undulating boulder clays of the Middle Marsh behind, crossing the flatter marine silts of the Outmarsh to the sea bank. On reaching Anderby Road there are two alternative endings to this walk.
Either turn left to carefully walk beside the road, passing Wolla Bank Pit on your left and turning right along the signposted track to Wolla Bank. Continue past Wolla Bank Reedbed into the car park, walking over the dunes to the beach beyond.
Or turn right to carefully walk beside the road, noticing the corrugations of remnant ridge and furrow plough land on your right and turning left along the signposted track to Chapel Six Marshes. Continue into the car park, walking over the dunes to view the sea beyond.
- You made it! Well done.