Hills & Hamlets

This is an enjoyable, circular walk of 6.5 miles from Louth to Tathwell and Raithby. The route crosses fields and follows grass tracks to explore these small hamlets. Great views towards Stenigot Mast and beyond can be seen on a clear day.

Technical sheet
No. 2280285
A Louth walk posted on 15/07/19 by Lincolnshire Wolds. Update : 07/01/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h05[?]
Distance Distance : 6.18mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 272ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 266ft
Highest point Highest point : 285ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 95ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Louth
Starting point Starting point : N 53.366661° / W 0.007664°
Download : -


(D/A) From St James’ Church walk out of the town centre uphill, along Upgate. Cross the traffic lights carefully and continue past Meridian View and the disused quarry. Turn right along the next track, which leads past several houses.

(1) Turn left past a bungalow, over a gate onto the footpath. Continue on an obvious path across the field to the corner. In the next field bear left through the hedge continuing along the path as it crosses footbridges and three more fields to the bypass.

(2) Carefully cross the bypass and rejoin the footpath as it crosses the small stream, then head for the left side of Brock a Dale plantation. Follow the path, keeping the plantation on your right, up the track, cross the next field with trees on your left,over the bridge, then continue on the footpath as it crosses diagonally the next 4 fields and emerges onto a lane and crossroads.

If you would like to visit St Vedast’s Church at Tathwell, go straight over the crossroads into the village which is situated around a spring-fed lake probably created in the eighteenth century. The water flows out over a cascade just behind the War Memorial. Follow the road to the left of the War Memorial, marked unsuitable for heavy traffic, up the hill and turn right to follow a narrow gravel path to the left into the churchyard. Though mainly eighteenth century brick, the church contains a simple Norman tower arch and two imposing wall monuments to the Hambly and Chaplin families who once owned all the parish.

(3) From the crossroads, take the road right, signposted to Louth (Raithby Road). This is a quiet road but please be careful, walking on the right hand side of the road and facing oncoming traffic. Once the road begins to descend, look down into the valley on your left where you will see a small uneven grass field.

This is the site of the medieval village of Maltby, where a cottage would have stood within each of the raised rectangles. The distinct moated square at the end of the field continued in use for a longer period.

(4) After approximately 1 mile, you emerge onto the Horncastle Road. Cross carefully, turning left downhill, then turn right to follow the footpath past some trees. Follow the path over grassland and into the 2nd field, head left towards the left corner and over the footbridge onto the road. Turn left and continue to St Peter’s Church.

The church was almost completely rebuilt in 1839. The bright and pretty interior contains box pews and a working barrel organ on the west gallery. In the windows are oval medallions of early German glass depicting biblical scenes.

(5) Opposite the church, go through the gate and into the uneven grass field. Follow the bridleway as it crosses the field to the left of the brick pillars and cross the stream at the footbridge, and continue to the small gate through the hedge.

(6) Cross over the track, and turn left up a slight rise and turn left, keeping the hedge on your left as you walk along the grass bridleway at the edge of the field. Ignore the bridleway gate on your left, but continue to the next signposted left turn.

(7) Cross the old railway line and go into a small area of woodland. Follow the path through the woodland and continue along the edge of the field walking round the Louth Flood Alleviation Scheme to join the tarmac path to reach Hallington Road. Cross the road and turn right to walk under the bypass bridge and into Hubbard’s Hills.

Hubbard’s Hills has been a public park since 1907. It was given to the town by the trustees of Augutse Alphonse Pahud, a Swiss who settled in Louth to teach German and French at the Grammar School. Since then, the deep valley with its meandering river has been enjoyed by the town’s residents and visitors.

(8) Follow the path along the River Lud through Hubbard’s Hills, along Crowtree Lane and turn left into Westgate Fields with its wooden leaf sculptures created as part of Louth Art Trail. When you emerge into Westgate, turn right and continue to St James’ Church, your starting point.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 98ft - St James's Church
1 : mi 0.65 - alt. 190ft
2 : mi 1.37 - alt. 207ft - Bypass
3 : mi 2.64 - alt. 220ft - Raithby Road, towards Louth
4 : mi 3.37 - alt. 203ft - Horncastle Road
5 : mi 3.79 - alt. 157ft - Opposite the church
6 : mi 3.98 - alt. 157ft - St Peter's Church
7 : mi 4.38 - alt. 144ft - Old railway line
8 : mi 4.82 - alt. 138ft - River Lud
D/A : mi 6.18 - alt. 98ft - Arrival at end point

Useful Information

Maps: OS Landranger 122 and OS Explorer 282

Parking: Numerous car parks throughout the town centre – please check for parking tariffs

Terrain: Most footpaths are over arable land and therefore can be muddy. Some roadside walking and crossing Louth bypass.

Refreshments: Cafes and pubs in Louth.

Toilets: Public toilets on Eastgate behind the New Market Hall and at the Bus Station on Church Street.

Stiles: numerous. Many are stock proof and therefore may be difficult for some dogs.

The Lincolnshire Wolds is a nationally important and cherished landscape. Most of it was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1973. Covering an area of 558 square kilometres or 216 square miles, the AONB contains the highest ground in eastern England between Yorkshire and Kent, rising to over 150m along its western edge. Rolling chalk hills and areas of sandstone and clay underlie this attractive landscape.

The Lincolnshire Wolds has been inhabited since prehistoric times and the appearance of the countryside today has been greatly influenced by past and present agricultural practices.

A Countryside Service helps to protect and enhance the landscape through partnership projects with local landowners, farmers, parish councils, businesses and residents of the Wolds.

Office Address :
Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service
Navigation Warehouse
Riverhead Road
Lincs LN11 0DA

Phone: 01522 555780 Twitter: @LincsWoldsAONB

Website : https://www.lincswolds.org.uk

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The name Tathwell originates from the old English version of Tadewelle, the name recorded for the village in the Doomsday Book of 1086. The meaning of Tathwelle is a 'spring or stream frequented by toads'.

The former Louth to Bardney railway line was completed in 1876 to link the East Lincolnshire line (Grimsby to Boston) with the line along the River Witham from Lincoln to Boston. Its 20 mile course through the Wolds included two long tunnels under the Bluestone Heath Road and the Caistor High Street. Goods moved on the line included agricultural supplies, equipment, animals and armaments for the local bomber airfields. Perhaps the most unusual export was the bunches of white violets picked from a huge area of nearby embankment and sent to London. The line was never profitable, the last passenger train ran in 1951 and the last goods train in 1960.

Louth is named after the River Lud, which means 'the loud one, the noisy stream'. The Lud rises from the chalk Wolds and runs through Hubbards Hills. It is home to the water vole, affectionately known as 'Ratty' from the classic book 'Wind in the Willows'. The water vole makes its home in river banks, is a competent swimmer, a vegetarian and is very shy - in fact you may not see one, but you could hear the characteristic 'plop' as they drop into the water.

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