Three Towns Walks - Alford to Spilsby
- 0.00 Miles
- 4-5 hours
A delightful walk through an ancient landscape, with panoramic views of the coast.
- Linear Walk of 8 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. In Spilsby, there is a pay and display car park off Post Office Lane (Grid Ref: TF 404 661).
- Terrain: Along footpaths which can be muddy at times. Roadside walking, including crossing the A1028 and A158. Gentle hills throughout, with two short steep climbs.
- Refreshments: Tearooms, restaurants, pubs and shops in Alford and Spilsby. The Blacksmiths Arms at Skendleby. The Red Lion Inn at Partney.
- Toilets: Public toilets behind Alford Library in South Market Place car park. Also in Spilsby Market Place, next to the bus shelter.
- Stiles: Numerous. Some are stock proof and therefore may be difficult for some dogs.
- Let's set off!
Facing Alford Manor House, turn left to walk along West Street, quickly crossing over the Wold Grift Drain. Immediately after the Finnveden works, turn left onto Chauntry Road. Follow this road across the junction and through an area of housing to turn right, just past a bungalow named Newlyn (number 82), onto the signposted footpath.
Continue ahead, through a metal gate, to walk along a field edge, turning left to follow the signposted footpath between the Mill Rundle Drain and embankment of the disused railway, before turning right to climb to the embankment top. The Mill Rundle is a tributary of the Wold Grift Drain and was cut in the late 1970’s by Alford Drainage Board to reduce the risk of flooding.
Turn left along the course of the old railway line, then quickly right, through a metal gate, to follow the grassy track between fields to the road. There, turn right to carefully walk along Low Lane into Well. Notice the variety of species in the roadside hedges as you go, including dogwood, guelder rose, elm and hazel. Carry on past the entrance to Well Vale Hall and parkland. Then, just before Hop Gardens Wood, turn left over a stile to follow the signposted footpath along the woodland edge.
Immediately past the large stock pen above Well Vale Hall Lake, turn right to follow the signposted footpath over two stiles, marvelling at the old beech trees in between. Continue along the edge of the wood, walking between fences, to the signpost adjacent to a double field gate. There, turn left to cross straight over the valley floor, climbing steeply uphill to pass the front of St Margaret’s Church. Pause awhile to enjoy this peaceful place, before turning right to follow the fence line, past the graveyard, to the next stile.
Turn to appreciate panoramic views of the coastline, before carrying on along the grassy track beside Badger Hill Wood. Continue downhill, turning left to follow the signposted footpath through a long, narrow belt of woodland known as Handkerchief Piece Lane. Notice the plants growing beneath the trees. Some, such as woodruff and dog’s mercury, suggest that this is very old woodland. Bear right where the tracks meet, then quickly left, to walk along the field edge towards Fordington Wood.
There, turn left to walk with the wood to your right and more magnificent views to your left, with both onshore and offshore wind turbines visible on a clear day. Continue ahead along the hedge line, turning first left, then right, to drop down into the hamlet of Skendleby Psalter. The unusual name of ‘psalter’ derives from the Old English words ‘saltere’ and ‘haga’, meaning ‘the salters’ enclosure’. A small reminder of Lincolnshire’s once important coastal salt industry.
Cross Psalter Road, keeping Psalter Farm on your right, to carefully climb up the road opposite out of the valley. Deep dry valleys, such as this, were cut by meltwaters during the last glaciation and are a characteristic of the Lincolnshire Wolds’ landscape. Carry on along this road, noticing the large fenced enclosure off to your left. This was ‘RAF Skendleby’, a former nuclear bunker.
At the crossroads, pause to notice the Roman straightness of the Bluestone Heath Road, before crossing it with great care. For this section of the ancient ridgeway, now the A1028 and one of the main routes to Skegness and Lincolnshire’s holiday coast, has felt the tread of both Ancient Briton and Roman alike. Continue downhill towards Skendleby, listening out for the pheasant’s characteristically loud and explosive corr-kok call. Away to your right lie the Giant’s Hill long barrows, Neolithic burial monuments dating from 3500-2700 BC.
At the road junction, turn right to continue downhill into Skendleby village. Why not pause here awhile to visit the Blacksmith’s Arms? Alternatively, turn right opposite Skendleby Old School and the village noticeboard to follow the signposted footpath past a cottage and St Peter and St Paul’s Church, then across a wooden boardwalk and footbridge, to walk along a field edge.
After the next double stile and footbridge, turn left to walk through old pasture. Notice the distinct ‘humps and bumps’ in the grass field to your left, revealing the site of medieval Skendleby. Then, crossing the stile adjacent to a double field gate, continue past the small grassy spur, jutting into the field on your left, to follow the waymarked path straight over this large field towards the far hedge line. In Skendleby Park, off to your left, the site of the medieval Chapel of St James was rediscovered by a local farmer in 2003.
Passing through the hedge, follow the signposted footpath across another field to a footbridge and stile in the top right field corner. From there, continue diagonally left over grassland to a hedge gap in the top left field corner. Carry on, with the hedge to your right, along the edge of two fields, before climbing a stile into interesting old grassland.
Follow the waymarked path through a remnant hedge line, before walking diagonally left to pass behind Partney Primary School, with the tower and unusual ‘ship’ weathervane of St Nicholas’ Parish Church visible ahead. On reaching the far corner of the School’s fence, turn left to emerge, over a stile, down onto Maddison Lane. There, turn right, along the pavement and then quickly left to follow Chapel Lane, a narrow tarmac path leading past the Parish Church.
Carefully cross the old Skegness Road to continue along the gravelled drive between the Red Lion Inn and Partney House. Keeping the wall and hedge line to your right, follow the field edge path downhill to a footbridge, wooden gate and the re-routed A158 beyond.
Cross the road with great care to continue through a second gate, beside the drainage ditch to a footbridge across the River Lymn. From there, follow the waymarked path to bear right over the next field, heading towards the dense stand of trees visible on the skyline and the wooden gate at the next field corner.
Carry on into some very interesting old grassland, walking diagonally right towards the gate in the next fence line. From there, continue to the wooden gate in the top right field corner. Make out the corrugations of remnant ridge and furrow plough land, and other ‘humps and bumps’ in the grassland around you. These are the protected remains of a deserted medieval settlement.
Continuing straight over a stone track, walk diagonally right across the next field to a footbridge and stile in the hedge line. Then, bearing slightly left, carry on across old pasture to another. From there, cut left across the next field corner to emerge, over a stile, beside Ashby Road.
Turn right along the pavement towards Spilsby, the pinnacles of St James’ Church tower beautifully framed before you. Then, opposite the next road junction on your left, carefully cross Ashby Road to briefly walk along Ashby Meadows, turning right to follow the signposted footpath up bankside steps to a stile between bungalows. There, turn left onto the narrow path between hedge and fence, then right to follow the tarmac path.
Continue straight ahead as the path leads into Queen Street, passing Ivy Cottage on your right and the Post Office to your left. Carry on into Spilby’s east Market Place, with its historic Buttercross, your journey’s end. However, just a short walk to the west Market Place will reveal an impressive bronze statue of Sir John Franklin, a son of Spilsby who became one of the world’s most respected pioneers of Arctic exploration.
- You made it! Well done.