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The Lincolnshire Wolds Cycle Route

Lincolnshire is a web of almost deserted lanes between dykes and deep hedges stretch from the coastal flatlands to the rolling wolds through quiet towns and villages, past abbeys, castles, stately homes and century old farms and some of the oldest churches in Britain.

More recent developments have also played their part in making this area so suitable for stress free riding. Canal side cycleways and reclaimed railway paths are the perfect traffic and hill free arteries to join farm shops, old inns, bakeries and tea rooms eager to treat you to delicious fresh local produce. 

  • Distance: 180km

  • Terrain: Country Roads

  • Starting point: Louth

  • Finish point: Louth or Little Cawthorpe

  • Difficulty Rating: ***

Highlights

Claythorpe Water Mill

Claythorpe Mill is one of Lincolnshire’s loveliest surprises. Tranquil and beautiful, Claythorpe is a little gem at the heart of 2.5 acres of loveliness. Sit by the river, meet the birds and animals, soak up some history, have a fabulous lunch, or let the kids off the leash in our woodland play area. There’s a little something for everyone... and something for every little one.

Alford Manor House

Museum, Tea Rooms and Gardens. The house, dating from 1611, is reputedly the largest thatched manor house in the country and is a perfect example of Georgian and Victorian design. Visitors can also explore the Hackett Barn Museum, which houses over 300 years worth of Alford's historic artefacts.

Caistor Arts and Heritage Centre

A beautiful conversion of a former Methodist chapel; delicious cakes, afternoon tea, snacks and lunches are served in the cafe and on our sunny terrace. Upstairs you will discover local history displays, exhibitions in our gallery and a well stocked public library.

Gunby Hall

Just 7 miles from Skegness is Gunby Estate, Hall and Gardens, home to the Massingberd family from 1700 until 1967. The Hall has three floors to explore while outside the gardens are full of colour throughout the seasons. Paths across the park and estate offer gentle strolls as well as longer walks, where you can tread the footsteps of Gunby’s former guests including Lord Alfred Tennyson and Ralph Vaughan-Williams. The tea-room offers cakes, sweet treats, savoury snacks and hot and cold drinks. There’s also a small selection of gifts for sale, a second-hand book shop and seasonal plant and produce sales.

Hubbards Hills

Hubbards Hills is an area of natural beauty to the west of Louth, formed by a glacial overspill channel at the end of the last ice age (about 40,000 years ago). The River Lud now meanders through it.

Louth Navigation Trust

Louth Navigation Trust aims to support the leisure and recreational use of the canaland towpath by the promotion of walking, cycling, angling and the use of small craft. The restored Navigation Warehouse, built in 1770, is situated on the Riverhead Road on the East side of Louth.

Red Hill Nature Reserve

Named after the exposure of red chalk, Red Hill is one of the most attractive and interesting fragments of ancient 'sheep walk' downland which once covered much of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Part of the site used to be a barley field but has been returned to a wildflower-rich grassland. It is one of the best chalk down land meadows in Lincolnshire.

Tennyson Country

Follow in Tennyson’s footsteps on a trail through Lincolnshire learning about his life, love, heartbreak and verse and see the places which gave him so much inspiration... Alfred, Lord Tennyson was the most successful poet of the Victorian era and his work is still read and loved by many today. He was a remarkable man, who led a remarkable life.
Born in the village of Somersby in the Lincolnshire Wolds in 1809.

Example Route Itinerary

Day 1: Louth to Alvingham to Saltfleetby to Louth

Leaving the beautiful Wolds town of Louth you’ll follow the canal path to Ticklepenny Lock – one of eight along this route – and head towards Alvingham. From here you’ll pass the watermill and windfarm, perhaps rest at the locally renowned Applebys ice-cream parlour, and wind your way to the Lincolnshire villages of North Somercoates and Saltfleetby, taking in the coastal views. Saltfleetby lends its self to a wonderful fish and chip stop whilst you take in the far reaching sand dunes.  From here you’ll rejoin the quiet Wolds lanes as you head for Manby, Grimoldby and then back to Louth.

41km

Day 2: Louth to Somersby to Louth

From Louth you’ll head towards Little Cawthorpe and then wind your way through the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds villages of South Thoresby and Calceby before heading towards the estate of South Ormsby, a picture perfect sleepy hamlet right in the heart of the Wolds.

The local pub, The Massingberd arms, opens at 12 and provides the perfect place to enjoy a spot of lunch and perhaps try a local ale.  Head towards Brinkhill and you are now riding through the 3000 acre South Ormsby Estate, home to a handsome herd of Lincoln Red cows.

Reaching the village of Bag Enderby you start to enter Tennyson country. Alfred, Lord Tennyson resided in the next village of Somersby. Visit the church Lord Tennyson attended and read the information on the board in the church yard. From Somersby you’ll enjoy a leisurely ride to Tetford village before you climb back up to the top of the Lincolnshire Wolds for the spectacular views along the Bluestone Heath Road.  On a clear day the views out to the Lincolnshire Coast line are stunning.

From here you’ll head back to Louth.

51km

Day 3: Louth to Red Hill to Louth

Starting at Hubbards Hills you’ll head out of Louth as you gently climb to the top of the Wolds and  Red Hill Nature Reserve.  From here you’ll meander down along the quiet Wolds lanes towards the villages of Goulceby and Ranby. Whilst riding around this area take in the views as you cycle through the rural, agricultural land. You are now riding through some of the most fertile countryside for arable crop in England.

The small rural town of Caistor provides a great opportunity for a break, with lots of small shops and places to eat.  From here you’ll wind your way to the lovely Wolds villages of Sotby, East Barkwith  and South Willingham, before you head backwards Louth via the Belmont Tower transmitting station.  Standing at 351m tall, lit red at night this can be seen from all over Lincolnshire.  Before it was shortened in 2010 it was the tallest structure of its kind in the world.

From here you’ll journey back to Hubbard’s Hills. Lending itself to a great rest point, take a gentle walk through the natural valley, following the river Lud to the quaint old wooden café at the other end of Hubbard’s Hills.

Once again in Louth your days ride is complete.

41km

Day 4: Little Cawthorpe to Alford to Little Cawthorpe

Starting at The Royal Oak (locally known as ‘The Splash’) head down through the ford and head along the river to Legbourne.  From here you’ll meander along the quiet Wolds lanes to the ‘The Carton’ villages of Great Carlton and Castle Carlton. From here you’ll pass through the lovely village of Authorpe on the way to Claythorpe Water Mill; a great place to stop for a visit and enjoy the Mill Café too.

From here the country lanes will take you to South Thorseby and then on to the small bustling market town of Alford home to Alford windmill and also Alford Manor (a lovely spot for lunch).

From the Manor you’ll head out to the small village of Well and then back toward South Thorseby. This road has both stunning Wolds and coastal views.   From here meander to the village of Mucton and then back into Cawthorpe.

45km