This route between two of the areas most renowned beauty spots, begins with a steady climb up the eastern rise of the Wolds but ends with a rewarding downhill return with spectacular views.
(D/A) Start from the car park at the southern end of Hubbard's Hills (TF 315 861) turn right from the car park, passing under the Louth bypass bridge. Continue climbing away from Hubbard's Hills towards Hallington.
(1) Ignore the right turn at Hallington fork. Continue downhill following the road round tight left bend.
(2) Ignore the road to Raithby and bear right. Continue to Poke's Hole, the bottom of a small dip with houses on your left.
(3) Continue past Poke's Hole, and climb steadily towards the Withcall turning.
(4) Ignore the turning to Withcall and continue to climb towards the Stenigot Mast.
(5) Give way as you meet the crossroads on the Bluestone Heath road. Cross directly over the Bluestone Heath road and follow the road to Stenigot Mast.
(6) Turn left at the mast, and follow a stone path which bears left onto a grass track. Follow the grass track until you meet again the Bluestone Heath road.
(7) Turn right onto the road and then turn right at the next crossroads. Continue on to the Red Hill Nature Reserve to explore the reserve on foot (no cycles allowed).
(8) Remount and retrace your route back to the Bluestone Heath road. Cross over the Bluestone Heath Road crossroads and continue to Raithby.Continue along, enjoying fine views to Louth as you coast downhill towards Raithby.
(9) Turn left at the next junction towards Hallington and past the old Station House.
(2) At the next junction carry on across the road and bear right up a steep hill. Continue steadily downhill, under the bypass bridge, and to Hubbard's Hills, the end of the route.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 138ft - Hubbard's Hills
1 : mi 0.81 - alt. 194ft - Hallington fork
2 : mi 0.93 - alt. 171ft - Hallington
3 : mi 1.55 - alt. 190ft - Poke's Hole
4 : mi 2.64 - alt. 364ft - Whitcall
5 : mi 4 - alt. 492ft - Bluestone Heath road
6 : mi 4.42 - alt. 505ft - Stenigot Mast
7 : mi 5.03 - alt. 489ft - Bluestone Heath road
8 : mi 6.38 - alt. 413ft - Red Hill Nature Reserve
9 : mi 10.17 - alt. 203ft - Raithby
D/A : mi 11.63 - alt. 138ft - Hubbard's Hills
Cycling is a great way to keep fit and appreciate the countryside. These easy to read leaflets provide useful information on mileage, approximate timing and gradient.
A simple map and points of interest are included – for those times when you need to catch your breath, admire the countryside or explore the area.
Good cycling code :
• Always follow the Highway Code and Countryside Code
• Be safe and be seen – wear a helmet and high visibility clothing and use lights
• Keep your bike roadworthy and carry a puncture repair kit
• Be courteous to other road users
• Take plenty of water and have a drink regularly
Route starts from the car park at the southern end of Hubbard's Hills (TF 315 861). Please check for parking restrictions.
The Lincolnshire Wolds is a nationally important and cherished landscape. Part of it was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1973. Covering an area of 558 square kilometres or 216 square miles, the rolling chalk hills of the AONB have been inhabited since prehistoric times whilst the appearance of the countryside today has been greatly influenced by past and present agricultural practices.
The Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service helps to protect and enhance the landscape through partnership projects with local landowners, farmers, parish councils, businesses and residents of the Wolds.
Places of interest/refreshments:
Hubbard's Hills, Louth www.hubbardshills.co.uk
Please walk your cycles through Hubbard's Hills to gain access to the public toilets and cafe facilities at the northern end of Hubbard's Hills - no cycling permitted in the Hills.
Tourist Information: Tel: 01507 601111
FB@LoveLincsWolds T@LoveLincsWolds IG LoveLincsWolds
Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service, Navigation Warehouse, Riverhead Road, Louth,
Lincolnshire, LN11 0DA 01522 555780 www.lincswolds.org.uk
email@example.com T@LincsWoldsAONB FB@LincsWoldsAONB
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Withcall was a medieval settlement of some sophistication. There were wells sunk at spring heads to provide water for the population and their livestock. There are two moated sites, one for the manor house and the other for the homestead. Some of the remains can be seen at ground level as undulations in fields while some are only visible in aerial photographs. Field boundaries, enclosures, terraces, trackways, stone foundations and old quarries have all been identified, building an image of a busy, thriving settlement. In modern times the Louth to Bardney railway also ran through Withcall, with a busy station attracting local goods and passenger traffic. The start of the long tunnel which cuts under the Wolds begins at Withcall.
Bluestone Heath Road
The intriguingly named Bluestone Heath Road is an ancient routeway that predates recorded history. The road is one of the highest in the Wolds, skirting on the southern edge of the escarpment. There are many prehistoric burial sites alongside the route dating from the Neolithic (4,000 to 2,000 BC) to the Bronze Age (2,000 to 800 BC). Overlooking the valleys and often near springs, these long barrows, round barrows and burial enclosures indicate the importance of this route in both life and afterlife.
As you cycle towards Red Hill Nature Reserve you will see a plateau of grassland on your right. This area, along with the roadside verges, is an ancient fragment of chalk downland. The short springy grass and areas of thicker scrub are home to a myriad of small creatures and plants. During the summer months yellow-wort, basil thyme, kidney vetch as well as pyramidal, bee and common spotted orchids all thrive here. As you walk along the paths on the reserve your arrival may trigger the flight of many species of butterflies and moths, in particular you might disturb clouds of the red and black six-spotted burnet moths. The grasses are managed through seasonal hay cutting and, where possible, livestock grazing.
Just below the escarpment the origin of the name Red Hill becomes clear, for here is a face of Red Chalk, which is only found in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Norfolk. The chalk was deposited in a warm tropical sea around 100 million years ago and is comprised of tiny shells of plankton. The red colour is the residue of iron-rich mud that was originally washed off the land and into the sea. The cliff face is unstable and should not be climbed, however at the foot of the cliff, fragments of fossils can be found such as squid-like belemnites and clam-like brachipods.
Louth to Bardney Railway
The old Station House at Hallington used to be part of the former Louth to Bardney railway line. Completed in 1876, it linked 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 and animals as well as armaments for the local bomber airfields. Perhaps the most unusual export were the bunches of white violets picked from an 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.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.