This is a charming 8 miles walk from Alford to Well. There are steady climbs through beech woods to Ulceby, before following the road down to Skendleby Psalter. From here back to Well with its rare classical church and Well Vale Hall and its lakes.
On a clear day there are views of the coast and Wolds from the higher ground.
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) Start at Alford Manor House in West Street. Built-in 1611, it is reputedly the largest thatched Manor House in England; an H shaped building with an unusual brick & timber construction. Facing the house turn left and then cross the road.
(1) Turn left into Chauntry Road, and continue until near the end.
(2) Turn right onto the footpath, next to the bungalow “Newlyn” (no. 82) and through the kissing gate. Follow the footpath at the side of the field and over the Mill Rundle and then turn left along the Mill Rundle Walk.
Mill Rundle Walk - Part of the route is along a section of the Mill Rundle Walk: the Mill Rundle drain was built in the 1970s to reduce the risk of flooding in Alford. Close by is the embankment of the old East Lincolnshire Railway line, from Grimsby to Boston; opened in 1848, it closed in 1970.
(3) At the next sign turn right up onto the course of the old railway line. Go left for a few yards before turning right through a metal gate following the track between fields to the road. Turn right to walk along Low Lane into Well.
Well village is an attractive area and the walk from here up to Ulceby through woodlands is pleasant all year round.
(4) Carry on past the entrance to Well Vale Hall. At the top of the incline, enter a footpath through a gate into woodland. Keep left at the first fork and also left at the second.
(5) The path will gently climb and is then signposted right. Taking this turn you will see a farm (Ulceby Grange) approached through open fields. Walk towards the farm.
Ulceby Grange is the home of the famous 'Lincolnshire Poacher' cheese. In the spring the ground around Ulceby Church and the road leading to it from Ulceby Grange is covered in snowdrops and winter aconites.
(6) On the outskirts of the farm turn left and cross a stile to walk across a field. Walking towards the house the exit is on the right-hand side of the field. This brings you to the village of Ulceby.
(7) Turn left, walking through the village past the church to the main road. Turn left and walk, with extreme care, alongside the main road for a short distance. Turn left on a road signposted Claxby and Willoughby.
(8) Walk down the valley, alongside the road, until you reach the hamlet of Skendleby Psalter. After the red post box turn left onto the sign-posted footpath.
Skendleby Psalter is a small hamlet in the valley from Ulceby to Claxby St Andrew. The unusual name 'Psalter' derives from the Old English words 'saltere' and 'haga' meaning 'the salters' enclosure. A reminder of Lincolnshire's once important salt industry.
(9) Follow the path keeping to the hedge line, following the yellow markers through the hedge first left and then right. Fordington Wood will be on your left. As you climb the views are magnificent and the coast is visible on clear days.
(10) Turn right and then bear left where the tracks meet. Turn left and follow the footpath, called Handkerchief Piece Lane, through narrow woodland.
(11) Turning right, continue uphill to a track beside woodland. This is Badger Hill Wood.
(12) Climb over the stile and bear left to St Margaret’s Church, walking alongside the churchyard. Pass the front of the church and descend. Turn right and walk between fences, crossing two stiles. A large stock pen is on your left-hand side and Well Vale Hall and lake is on your right.
Well Vale Hall, described as 'the most beautiful setting of any house in Lincolnshire' was built in 1725. The house looks out over a lake to the surrounding parkland. This lake and another further down from the house are fed by the copious chalk stream that gives Well its name and finds the sea at Anderby Creek.
(13) Follow the path with Hop Garden Wood to your left. Go over the stile and turn right back through the village of Well. Past Well, turn left, following the footpath to Chauntry Road. Then retrace your steps back to the Manor House (D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 23ft - Alford Manor House
1 : mi 0.13 - alt. 23ft - Chauntry Road
2 : mi 0.46 - alt. 26ft - Mill Rundle
3 : mi 0.8 - alt. 33ft - The bridge
4 : mi 1.54 - alt. 56ft - Well Vale Hall
5 : mi 2.5 - alt. 223ft - Ulceby Grange
6 : mi 3.22 - alt. 299ft - Outskirts of farm
7 : mi 3.65 - alt. 292ft - Ulceby
8 : mi 3.96 - alt. 305ft - Skendleby Psalter
9 : mi 4.79 - alt. 177ft - Fordington Wood
10 : mi 5.55 - alt. 246ft - Handkerchief Piece Lane
11 : mi 5.93 - alt. 220ft - Badger Hill Wood
12 : mi 6.24 - alt. 161ft - St Margaret's Church
13 : mi 6.36 - alt. 118ft - Hop Garden Wood
D/A : mi 8.41 - alt. 23ft - Alford Manor House
Maps: OS Landranger 122, OS Explorer 274
Parking: Long term car parks in both Millers Way off East Street (Grid ref: TF 456 762 Postcode: LN13 9DY) and also in South Street (Grid ref: TF 455 759 Postcode LN13 9AJ). Please check for parking tariffs.
Terrain: Some of the footpaths are over arable land and therefore can be muddy. Some roadside walking in Well Lane and from Ulceby to Skendleby Psalter.
Dogs: Some fields may contain livestock – dogs should be kept on a lead at all times
Refreshments: Cafes and pubs in Alford
Toilets: In the car park in South Street. Also in the Alford Corn Exchange, weekdays 09:00 – 13:00.
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
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.
St Margaret of Antioch’s Church in Well was built-in in the Palladian style 1733 and is believed to be modelled on St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden. It was built “the wrong way round” in that the alter faces west. With four Tuscan Columns, it has a temple-like an appearance. Inside it has boxed pews and a fine three-decker pulpit.
Look out for the headstone of William Dadley in the churchyard. He was murdered on his wedding day on January 10th 1839. Dadley, a gamekeeper, left his wedding celebrations in pursuit of poachers and was shot. Local legend states that his white wedding clothes made him an easy target.
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Rigsby church has Norman features and a fine 15th century carved font.
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