A delightful 6 mile walk from Fotherby taking in Utterby, passing Packhorse Bridge and St Andrew's church before joining the disused railway line. There are fine views of the eastern edge of the Wolds, across the marsh towards the coastline and round to the Humber.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Face the Interpretation Board and turn left. After walking 200 metres turn right along Short Lane and carefully cross the A16 bypass. Continue along to the lane junction and turn right, following the road up to Fotherby Common.
(1) Follow the track, ignoring the footpath on the left and Fotherby Beacon on the right, to the next hedgerow on the right. Turn along the footpath with the hedgerow to the left. Then follow the sign through the gap, continuing along with the hedgerow on the right.
(2) At the field corner go through the hedge and bear diagonally left. The pathway should be visible on the ground, but aim for the right hand edge of the woodland on the horizon. Continue across the field arriving at a grass area with a track to Grimble Wood. Don't go along this track, but bear right down the hill, with Grimble Wood to your left. Aim for a large gap in the hedgerow with the footpath sign visible. Walk up the steps and turn right onto the track.
(3) Continue along the track as it bears to the left and joins the road. Turn right and walk along the road through the village, passing the Packhorse Bridge and St Andrews Church. Continue to the A16, turning right onto the tarmac footway and carefully crossing the A16 at the refuge.
St Andrews Church Utterby - the main building of St Andrew's dates back to the early 14th century however just outside lies the base of a medieval cross, which would have served as the focal point for earlier services and meetings. As you venture inside, take time to view the carvings on the inner door frame - you should see depictions of a green man and animals. The community has created a small heritage display inside and the churchyard is managed for wildlife.
(4) Turn right, then left onto Holywell Lane. Follow the lane to the former railway bridge. Take the Permissive Bridleway on your left and join the disused railway line. Turn right and pass under the bridge, continuing along for approximately 2 kms, ignoring the first set of footpath signs. (This permissive route is part of the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway and it is hoped that trains will once again run along this track).
Grimsby to Louth Railway - East Lincolnshire Railway opened a passenger service from Grimsby to Louth in 1848. Fotherby Gate House station opened in 1852, used only on market days, but closed in 1872. It reopened in 1905 as Fotherby Halt, with the line becoming part of British Rail 1948. Passenger traffic closed in 1961 but the line remained open for freight until 1980.
(5) At the second set of footpath signs turn right, cross the track to the fenced footpath and continue to a footbridge. Go through the kissing gate, along the grass field to the second kissing gate. Continue along the lane passing St Mary's church to return to the Interpretation Board.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - Interpretation Board
1 : mi 0.6 - alt. mi 0.6 - Fotherby Beacon
2 : mi 1.42 - alt. mi 1.42 - Grimble Wood
3 : mi 2.05 - alt. mi 2.05 - Packhorse Bridge
4 : mi 3.48 - alt. mi 3.48 - Holywell Lane
5 : mi 5.24 - alt. mi 5.24 - Kissing Gates
D/A : mi 5.55 - alt. mi 5.55 - Interpretation Board
Maps: OS Landranger 113 and OS Explorer 282
Parking: Roadside parking in the village - please park considerately. Map Ref: TF 315 915 Postcode LN11 0UG
Terrain: A mixture of footpaths over grass and arable fields and stone tracks. Some roadside walking crossing Fotherby bypass.
Refreshments: Limited light refreshments at St Mary's Church - usually open Wednesday during the summer months. Brackenborough Arms Hotel is nearby.
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
Lincs LN11 0DA
Phone: 01522 555780 Twitter: @LincsWoldsAONB
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Almshouses - Everitt Allenby, Esq., born at Fotherby Manor in 1794 kindly provided funds for the six almshouses to be built in 1866 for the benefit of the village poor. Constructed by James Fowler of Louth, the red brick, slate roof and decorative ridge tiles form a distinctive feature within the centre of the village. Grade II listed in February 1986.
St Mary's Church Fotherby - Completely rebuilt by James Fowler of Louth in 1863, some aspects of the original building are retained, such as the font which dates from 1450 and the spire contains three bells cast in 1608. St Mary's is the hub of the village, with meetings and pop-in coffee and cake sessions held weekly - the interior is unusual in that the pews can be moved around for larger social events. Grade II listed in 1967.
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