A Walk in the Life: Doddington Village Walk (Part 2)

Doddington is probably one of my favourite places to visit in Lincolnshire. I first visited Doddington Hall and gardens in December when the whole place was beautifully decorated for Christmas, however the gardens and surrounding woodland were looking fairly bare. Since then I have visited just as the weather was changing to try out the Doddington grounds circular walk as well as dropping by on Sundays to browse the delicious fresh produce in the farm shop. With the weather feeling very summery this week I decided to try out a slightly longer walk exploring the village of Doddington!

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Doddington Village Walk

This walk starts from the car park we used when visiting Doddington Hall and grounds, which is off the main road through Doddington, Lincoln, LN6 4RU. Parking is free, easy to find and only takes around 10 minutes by car to get there from the centre of Lincoln.

Off we go…

1. Begin in the main car park across from the hall and turn right onto the road, so that the church is on your left (If you get the chance, definitely explore the church of Saint Peter). Walk a short way until you see Kennel Lane on your right.

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2. Turn right onto Kennel Lane and follow this, through the houses and out along a grassy bridleway (Looking out across the fields you can see Lincoln cathedral in the distance). Follow this into woodland and continue on, past the ponds of the rendering works, until you reach a T-junction (Watch out for water fowl on the ponds! We saw some moorhens and coots swimming about when we visited).

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3. Turn right and follow this track around the barrier, along the edge of the works until you emerge onto the road. Continue right and follow the road for 2.4miles over two crossroads (We saw plenty of rabbits, squirrels and pheasants running around in the fields and across the roads when they were quiet).

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5. After the second crossroad, look for a public bridleway which leads right along the very edge of woodland just before you reach open fields. Turn right onto this bridleway (Look out for hedgerow birds darting back and forth, as well as butterflies and bees) and follow this track, with panoramic views over the Trent Valley, back to Doddington village.

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6. The track passes the start of the Fishpond Walk and back to the road (I would definitely recommend visiting the fish ponds nearby if you have the chance). Turn left and after a very short distance, the car park is on your right.

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This walk gives a great tour around the village of Doddington, is 4.9miles/7.9km in length and took around 2 hours to complete. I really enjoyed the first and last parts of this walk, however there is a fairly long section of road walking which isn’t something I like very much in a walk. Through out the walk we saw lots of public footpaths leading off our route, so perhaps with some exploring we could avoid the road almost completely.

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While walking past the rendering work ponds we saw loads of trees and shrubs covered in so much white pollen that it looked like it had been snowing! As we passed through some farm buildings we watched swallows dive in and out of the rafters from their nests, which was really great to see 🙂 It was good to be able to explore parts of Doddington I haven’t visited before, especially around the fish pond and the surrounding woodland. I would recommend this walk, however I think I would change it up slightly in the middle if I did it again.

A Walk in the Life…

A Walk in the Life: Ingham (Part 2)

It was a long time ago that I first visited the beautiful village of Ingham and ever since I have wanted to try out a second walk there. So, with the weather staying fairly sunny and bright we decided to head out. In case you haven’t seen my previous Ingham post, this walk comes from a series of walks in Lincoln I found online, many of which I have already tried out – particularly from the Lincolnshire Stepping Out series.

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Ingham 

The walk begins on the village green, opposite the village hall and old school buildings. We got there by car from the centre of Lincoln in around 15 minutes. There is plenty of free parking outside the village hall, and around the village green.

Off we go…

1. Leave the car park and walk towards the village green. Keep to the left with the village shop on your right. Turn left and walk along West End. Following West End as it bends to the left and then right, becoming Long Lane.

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2. Continue to follow Long Lane, looking out for hedgerow birds (Blue/Great tits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and Blackbirds) until the road bends left. To complete the longer walk to the coates, follow the road right.

3. If doing the shorter walk, keep straight along the lane, past the houses and onto a track.

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4. As the track bends right follow the footpath on the left into the field (When we visited this field was full of beautiful yellow oil seed). Walk straight across the field aiming to the footpath sign in the hedge line.

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5. Turn right and follow the field edge to the corner (If you stop here and look back you can see the working power stations at Cottam and West Burton). Turn left over the bridge and continue straight on along the field edge (Look and listen for skylarks hoovering over the fields!).

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6. Cross the bridge and continue along the field edge (The sound of the trickling stream underneath was particularly lovely to hear). At the end of the field cross the bridge on the right and walk with the dyke on your left heading towards the sewage works. Head to the left of the sewage works, cross the dyke, and continue with the hedge on your right (When we visited there where loads of swallows diving across the fields, which was great to see!).

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7. At the end of the field turn left towards the village. This footpath will lead you back to the Village Hall and car park.

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This walk actually has two parts: a longer walk down and around the coates (9 km/5½miles), and a shorter walk through Ingham’s surrounding countryside (2½ km/1½miles). We decided to follow the shorter walk, however we did extend it slightly by continuing along Long Lane before heading left at the junction for the coates. This made the walk a little longer than 2½ km/1½miles and took us through fields full of beautiful yellow oil seed covered in bees and butterflies.

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I really enjoyed this walk as it allowed us to explore the quiet lanes in Ingham village as well as grassy tracks through the surrounding farmland. We saw lots of wildlife throughout the walk, including a variety of hedgerow birds, skylarks and swallows. I’m glad we decided to extend the shorter walk, as I think it would have been a little bit quick for us! However, this is easily done due to the many public footpaths and bridleways around the village. I would definitely recommend visiting Ingham and enjoying one or all of it’s beautiful walks! 🙂

A Walk in the Life…

A Walk in the Life: Dunston, Lincolnshire, UK

A few weeks ago we decided to try out another of the Visit Lincolnshire Stepping Out walks, in the village of Nocton. I really enjoyed getting to explore the beautiful village of Nocton as well as the surrounding countryside. So once I got back from my Easter holidays we decided to head out to the neighbouring village of Dunston and try the walk there. During our visit we were lucky enough to see the beautiful blue haze of bluebells carpeting the woodland floor!

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Dunston Village Walk

This walk starts from the Red Lion Pub car park, Middle Street, Lincoln, Dunston, LN4 2EW accessed via the B1188 Lincoln Road. There is plenty of free parking behind the pub as well as along the nearby Fen Lane, which is really easy to find off the main road through the village. From the centre of Lincoln it took around 15 minutes to get there by car.

Off we go…

1. From the car park of the Red Lion Pub in Dunston, follow the road right down Back Lane, heading left towards the village school. Immediately after the school, look for a way marker pointing right down a tarmac path.

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2. Turn right here and follow this public bridleway between tall hedges until you see a way marker leading off to your right (Look out for hedgerow birds flying back and forth here. We saw a very hungry blackbird with a beak full of juicy worms!).

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3. Turn right and follow this footpath with Nocton Cricket ground on your left (We saw tons of different species of butterfly here, landing on the hedgerow flowers and shrubs).

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4. As the path reaches the steep banks of a reservoir, follow the way markers left through an area of woodland. Continue through the trees until you meet a T junction, as the path joins a tarmac lane (Here the walk shares a similar route to the Nocton Village walk which I wrote about a few weeks ago!).

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5. Turn right onto this lane and follow it through Burton Plantation (Look out for bluebells and cowslips as well as plenty of wild garlic covering the woodland floor). Continue straight on into Grotto Holt.

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6. Follow the path through Grotto Holt until you see a way marked path leading off right. This path offers a shorter route, re-joining the walk between points 8 and 9.

7. We decided to continue on the longer route and followed the track straight on until, just before a metal gate, the way markers lead right (We stopped here to look out over the farmland beyond and watch the pheasants running alongside the woodland).

8. Take this restricted byway through an area of woodland and continue on with Nocton Wood on your left (When we visited the wood was full of beautiful bluebells and birdsong). Keep an eye out for a way marker leading off to the right across open fields.

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9. Turn right onto this path and follow it over the fields towards the village of Dunston (As we were walking across these fields all we could hear was the beautiful sound of Skylarks hovering above us. It was really amazing to get to see so many flying about the open farmland). A way marked track leading off right is the point at which the shortcut described in Point 6 rejoins the walk.

10. Continue straight on over two wooden foot bridges, until you reach the houses at Dunston (We saw plenty of pheasants running around the fields, as well as buzzards flying high above us characteristically hovering and diving to catch food).

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11. Follow the way markers left, along a grassy track until you reach Willow Lane. Follow this left and back to the car park.

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This walk is 2.8 miles/4.5km and takes around an hour to complete at a leisurely pace, however it does have a short cut which you can take to decrease the original walk. This walk is a little short for me, so if you prefer a longer walk it may be worth thinking about extending this walk by combining it with with the nearby Nocton Village walk, as the routes briefly link. Despite that, I really enjoyed this walk as it offers great views of the surrounding countryside and farmland, as well as the opportunity to explore the village of Dunston.

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Throughout the walk we saw a good variety of woodland, hedgerow and farmland wildlife, including: Great/Blue tits, gold finches, blackbirds, butterflies, skylarks and pheasants. Before we started the walk we stopped to watch a flock of ducklings which were swimming in the stream as well as running back and forth across the quiet lane – needless to say they were very very cute! I would definitely recommend this walk, especially now all the spring flowers are blooming 🙂

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A Walk in the Life…

A Walk in the Life: Nocton, Lincolnshire, UK

Now that the weather is definitely starting to feel more like Spring and Summer we decided to head out for a walk in the nearby village of Nocton, east of Lincoln. This walk is one part of two neighbouring walks which explore both the villages of Nocton and Dunston, as well as the surrounding woodland, fens and heaths. As with many of the walks I have tried out this is another walk from the Visit Lincolnshire Stepping Out series, which I would definitely recommend!

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Nocton Village Walk

This walk starts from the Village Hall car park, Main Street, Lincolnshire, LN4 2BH, accessed via the B1188 Lincoln Road. There is plenty of free parking behind the village hall, which is quick to find off the main road through the village. From the centre of Lincoln it took around 15 minutes to get there by car.

Off we go…

1. From the car park behind Nocton Village Hall turn right and head towards the centre of the village.
2. Opposite the post office, follow the way markers along the restricted byway (Look out on the left hand wall for the Nocton cow and a small snail plaque!).

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3. Continue along this path until you reach a crossroad. Take the bridleway on the left, keeping the Nocton Cricket Ground on the right.

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4. Follow this path as it bends to the right (Look out for views over an orchard with the village church behind on your left!) and continue on through Burton Plantation.

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5. As the path bends left continue to follow it through Grotto Holt (Look out for buzzards flying overhead and smaller birds in the hedgerows – great tits, chaffinches and blackbirds).

6. When you reach a crossroad beside the driveway up to a large house, head straight over and continue up a gentle slope to a metal gate (Make sure to stop here and look out over the surrounding fields and listen to the birds in the nearby fir trees).

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7. Turn right here, through an area of trees and continue until you reach a crossroads of grassy paths.

8. Take the left path and follow this, keeping Nocton Wood on your right.

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9. As you reach the end of this path, head off left along a grassy path between young trees.

10. At the end of this path, carry straight on towards a group of houses known as Wasps Nest (Definitely stop and look out over the surrounding fields towards Whisby Nature Park).

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11. At Wasps Nest turn left and follow the ancient Roman Car Dyke until you reach a sharp right bend in the road.

12. Leave the road and follow the way markers left onto a grassy path heading back towards Nocton.

13. Continue along this path as it runs alongside a river and then into Nocton.

14. Follow the way markers through the houses and back to the car park (Make sure to stop and look around the old houses in the village, especially the post office).

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15. You are all done! 🙂

This walk is 4 miles/6.4km and takes around 2 hours to complete at a leisurely pace, however the walk does have several shortcuts/extensions which you can take to decrease/increase the original walk. When you walk through the village look out for several mosaics, carvings, cast metal panels and photography pieces which are part of a village trail. As we left the car park there were also loads of beautiful spring flowers (Crocuses and snowdrops) which were great to see!

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I really enjoyed this walk, as it not only allowed you to explore the beautiful village of Nocton, but also nearby woodland, surrounding fields and farm land. On our visit we saw plenty of interesting wildlife, including a variety of hedgerow birds (Great/Blue tits, chaffinches, gold finches, blackbirds and thrushes), Buzzards and mallards swimming along in the river. Nocton village itself is full of beautiful old houses and buildings, in particular the old post office built in 1833 and row of connected houses nearby. I would definitely recommend this walk, and I can’t wait to try out the Dunston walk in the next village!

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A Walk in the Life…

A Walk in the Life: Whisby Nature Park, Lincoln, UK

Along with Hartsholme Country Park, I have been visiting Whisby Nature Park since the first year I moved to Lincoln. For me, Whisby is where I go when I want to enjoy quiet and peaceful bird watching from hides over the lakes. However, there are still loads of great walks to follow for those who would rather seek out nature than watch and wait. The Natural World visitor’s centre is also a great place to explore, with changing art/photography exhibits, an environmental themed interactive area and restaurant.

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Whisby Nature Park

There are several designated walks around the park and lakes, which all begin from the visitor’s centre (Moor Lane, Thorpe on the Hill, Lincolnshire, LN6 9BW) accessed via the A46 Lincoln bypass. From the centre of Lincoln it takes around 15 minutes to get there by car and there is plenty of parking which costs £2 between the hours of 10am-4pm. Other than the parking charge the park is free to enter and is open from dusk until dawn (Exact times change throughout the year). While the visitor’s centre is open from 10am-4.30pm October to March and 10am-5pm April to September.

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The variety of signposted walks range both in terms of length and what part of the nature reserve they take you through. Some allow you to explore the large lakes throughout the park, while others take you through woodland and meadows. You can pick up a trail guide from the visitor’s centre or just make your own way around the park following the signposts. I have explored all of them before, and depending on what I want to see/photograph that day I vary which trail I take.

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My favourite bird – the bullfinch 🙂 Shame he wasn’t feeling very photogenic and wouldn’t turn around!

On this visit we decided to explore the lower part of the nature reserve as I usually tend to walk the trails over the railway tracks around the top part of the park (Currently this area of the park is closed while maintenance work is being conducted on the crossing – check the website for more details).

We began from the natural world visitor’s centre, following the path back towards the entrance of the park, round the lake and then over the pontoon onto the island. The hide on the island has great views out over the nearby lake and central island where many of the resident birds perch and fly above during the day – a great place for avid bird watchers/photographers! If you get the opportunity definitely explore the nearby ‘cave’ and adventure area which is built partially over the lake.

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A pair of hungry great tits! They were queuing up to try out these delicious looking peanuts 🙂

As you walk past the visitor’s centre and into the main park keep an eye out for the designated bird table/feeding area on your right, as it is perfect for close up bird watching and photography of more common hedgerows birds – blue and great tits, chaffinches, robins, goldfinches and sparrows. If you haven’t visited Whisby Nature Park before I would definitely recommend it! There is plenty to see and explore – even for those who aren’t huge bird watching fans and just want to enjoy a good, interesting nature walk.

A Walk in the Life…