Spires & Steeples Arts and Heritage Trail

Lincoln to Washingborough — 3¾ miles

From the front of the cathedral walk through the Exchequer Gate and turn left down Steep Hill. Opposite Jew's Court bear left along Danes Terrace to reach "The Collection" and there bear right down Flaxengate, crossing both Clasketgate and Silver Street. Proceed down Freeschool Lane and on reaching St Swithin's bear slightly right across Saltergate into a lane leading down to the River Witham. Cross by the footbridge to turn left along Waterside South, using another footbridge to negotiate the dual carriageway. Continue along Waterside south, until at the end of the final car park beyond Stamp End and Beech House, the Water Rail Way commences.

Follow this for just under two miles to Washingborough old station. There turn right across the South Delph (drain) into Ferry Lane and in a few yards take the signed footpath to the left. This soon bears right through Chapel Park to meet the B1190 road in Washingborough. Turn left and after 200 metres or so cross into High Street and walk up to the small green with its welcoming seats outside St John the Evangelist's churchyard.

Washingborough to Branston — 2¾ miles

From St John the Evangelist in Washingborough continue uphill where High Street becomes Pitts Road. Cross the Park Lane junction with Pitts Road and enter the drive signed as a footpath bearing off slightly left, past the community carved seat depicting aspects of the village's story. Follow this as it becomes a surfaced path through Pits Wood and at the next road cross and turn left.

Take the first right turn (Millstream Road) and follow it as it curves to the left until reaching a footpath on the right between houses 14 and 16. Bear left behind their gardens continuing downhill until you see steps on the right up to the former GN & GEJR railway. Cross the tracks with care, descend the far side and keep forward to a road.

Walk along the footpath/cycleway parallel with the road and at the first bend bear left through a kissing gate keeping by the stream at the lower edge of a large meadow to another kissing gate, and just beyond that a 3 way footpath sign. Stay by the stream now as far as Cliffe Farm, pass a barn and continue (still by the stream) until you can cross it via a footbridge. A few yards uphill, at a path junction, go right along a field edge and into a lane (Paddock Lane) that leads into the centre of Branston. Cross the main road, pass the inn and bear left up to the church.

Branston to Potterhanworth — 2¾ miles

Cross the car park behind All Saints church Branston and enter a walled footpath at the rear. At a road (Silver Street) the path continues opposite by house number 23 and goes over a cul-de-sac to the next road (Villa Close). Turn left and on reaching the main road cross carefully and turn right to the junction with Moor Lane.

Cross Moor Lane to the signed footpath opposite that heads off diagonally over a large area of open grassland. At the far side go right by a hedge then left at its corner to reach a way mark. Now veer right through trees and then walk over more open grassland to the left hand corner of Longhills Wood seen ahead. Walk down the side of the woods, join a track and follow that to a road. Turn right.

Continue towards a small factory seen ahead (less than half a mile) and there turn left at another footpath sign. Immediately enter a field to bear half right towards a stile where the path crosses the railway. From the stile at the other side maintain your line over the next field to a track where there is a waymarker. Continue diagonally in the third field to its far corner before bearing half left on a rough grass path parallel with a ditch on your left. After 100 yards a waymarker points half right to another on a fence corner; now aim to a hedge corner by a house and a few feet away join a road.

Cross to a kissing gate in the hedge just to the left of Battle's Farm entrance and walk between a house and a barn, then behind a shed and through the farmyard to a road (Cross Street). You are now in Potterhanworth village with the Chequers Inn a few paces to your left, whilst almost opposite Middle Street leads to the village green and the church.

Potterhanworth to Nocton — 1½ miles

Set off past Potterhanworth church towards Nocton and at the first bend leave the road to take the field path directly ahead. Walk parallel to a line of electricity poles and keeping them to your right pass to the left of a small brick hut (a pump house) and then to the left of a small wood. After the wood join a farm track at a way mark and follow it to the B1188 road. Continue (with due care) into Nocton using the available pavement as soon as you can. At the second right-hand bend leave the road keeping ahead along the unsurfaced lane of The Avenue, which becomes a footpath through to the village green. The church is now a few paces distant and to your left; visit and then return to the green.

Nocton to Dunston — 1¼ miles

From Nocton green walk away from the church and take the surfaced lane (The Bridleway) on the left almost opposite the village PO. This eventually narrows to a path as it heads directly to Dunston entering the village at a road next to the village school.

The trail continues along the footpath just across the road to your right; this leads through to Middle Street where a right turn will bring you to the church with a small green and seat nearby.

Dunston to Metheringham — 1¼ miles

From Dunston church cross the road and leave the village along Chapel Lane past the village hall. (Do turn in here to see the George III statue.) At the edge of the village, where the road bears sharp left, a footpath ahead can be used to cut the corner and rejoin the road a little way nearer to Metheringham.

Follow the road into Metheringham village, go over Lincoln Road and walk along High Street into the village centre to arrive at the cross in the middle of the street (Cross Hill) outside the Star and Garter inn.

Metheringham to Blankney — 1 mile

In Metheringham village centre face the Star and Garter and set off following the road round to the left for a few yards before turning right into Church Walk. An enclosed path at the end passes the church and leads onwards to the cemetery. Keep ahead there as the path heads out into the countryside and to a small hand gate before continuing by a wire fence to another gate at Blankney cricket field.

Walk diagonally over the cricket field aiming for the right hand end of a row of cottages by the main B1188 road where there is a kissing gate. Join the road, turn left and keeping ahead at a "T" junction pass the former hall entrance to reach the spacious green by St Oswald's church.

Blankney to Scopwick — 1½ miles

Cross the green at St Oswald's, Blankney, onto an estate road and turn left soon passing the former stables to the hall and then bearing right by the walled garden. When the road bends left keep ahead on a farm track. This soon bears right and then left to pass Brickyard Plantation before doing a dogleg through a hedge. Stay on the track until it bends to the right at a waymarker.

At this point leave the track, keeping ahead on grass and with a hedge to your right. From a bridle gate and stile in the field corner join a green lane (Trundle Lane) and continue ahead until you must bear right as Trundle Lane becomes Vicarage Lane. About a hundred yards ahead of you now is the entrance to the war graves cemetery. If you are not visiting this, look on your left for a footpath signpost after about 25 yards. Pass through a small estate of bungalows and at the far end enter a walled path by the churchyard to reach Main Street, Scopwick. Opposite is a green with a seat overlooking the beck. The inn is about 200 yards to your right.

Scopwick to Digby — 2¾ miles

Before setting out for Digby few will be able to resist a stroll around Scopwick and alongside the beck.

When you are ready, cross the beck at a convenient footbridge opposite the church and turn left following the lane until it ends at a fieldgate. Go through the bridle gate next to it and swing right to walk up a field edge with a hedge to your right. At the field corner turn left, staying inside the hedge to reach a footbridge; turn right over it.

A clearly marked path now heads diagonally leftwards over a large arable field. At the far side there is a waymarker in a hedge and the path crosses a track to maintain its line over another field to a further way mark located to the left of a pylon seen ahead. Pass the pylon, cross a grassy track and maintain the same line towards some distant trees. As you get closer you will see that these form two woods. Aim to the right hand corner of the first one (where there is a waymarker) then bear round to the left to reach a footbridge. Cross this and turn left to join a farm track, which you should follow ahead to a road.

Cross over to where a track to a sewage works begins and turn right immediately behind the hedge - even though you may glimpse a waymarker ahead. After about 100 yards the path enters a large field through a hedge gap. Now bear slightly left along the edge of rough grass towards the corner of a large barn at Manor Farm, Rowston. From a waymarker on a fence corner to the right of the barn, and another one behind it, then walk across the farmyard to a stile at the road, emerging by the old school.

Turn left following the road through Rowston village going past the church and the cross on a little green. Stay on the road for another mile to the edge of Digby village still following it as it bends right then left for the village centre and the Red Lion inn. The church and lock-up are a short way to your right.

Digby to Dorrington — 1¼ miles

Cross the stone clapper bridge (a rare sight in Lincolnshire and the only one on this walk!) almost opposite the Red Lion public house and turn right between a stream and a house wall. From a stile keep forward to a second one and then pass a pond and arrive at a footbridge by another (smaller) pond.

You now have open fields ahead and the next two are arable! From the pond walk ahead but pass to the right of the first electricity pole, shortly after which the marked path swings slightly left. Follow it to reach a footbridge over a dyke and then continue uphill to a stile in the top hedge of the second field. This is located about sixty yards to the left of the wind pump seen on the horizon. Now back in meadows (note the mediaeval field strips and earthworks) keep directly ahead towards the distant houses of Dorrington. From another stile enter the final meadow and aim to the right hand end of the houses.

From a stile and footbridge pass the end house to finally cut diagonally across the grass area of The Playgarth to the road; on the opposite side is the "Dorrington Demons" sculpture.

Dorrington to Ruskington — 1¼ miles

The path to Ruskington begins just to the right of the "Demons" sculpture. Climb the stile and cross two paddocks and footbridges. Then walk over an arable field aiming towards an electricity pole in the far hedge. In the next two large fields (both arable) keep ahead but stay close by, and parallel to, a row of electricity poles to reach a stile in the second field's far boundary hedge. In the next field, back on grass, walk alongside the left hand hedge and from two closely spaced stiles enter a sports ground.

Proceed along the right-hand edge, through the car park and at a road cross into the fenced path opposite. At the next road cross over and walk round to the car park area at the rear of some bungalows. Turn right and at the far end join a walled path on the left, which emerges in the centre of Ruskington directly opposite the church. Cross the road to take advantage of the seats on the bridge over The Beck.

Ruskington to Sleaford — 5¾ miles

Walk away from Ruskington church along High Street South (Jubilee Street and the "Teatotal Houses" are on the right) and pass the youth club before turning right into Chestnut Street. At the end bear left to follow Station Road until a footpath sign is seen pointing left. (The path is also a school entrance) Cross the railway over a blue footbridge and continue on a track behind bungalows and in the second field veer off to the right towards a high black fence or leave the track just before the beck. Go over the footbridge near the fence and now with a hedge to your left, walk along a field edge to a gap in the far corner. Go through it and then aim between a telegraph pole and a large shed to a kissing gate seen ahead at a farm track.

Turn right along this, going left at the first junction along another (now grassy) track to the A153 road. Cross with care into the lane opposite and proceed to Haverholme Bridge and the Sleaford Navigation.

Take the footpath on the right immediately before the bridge. (Or use the far bank, rejoining the main route from the footbridge over Haverholme Lock.) The path stays close to the navigation until a waymarked detour goes round a private garden. This goes right to join a lane where almost opposite a permissive path swings left to rejoin the navigation bank. Now turn right and continue to Papermill Lane and the adjacent lock. Cross the navigation now using the opposite bank to reach the next lock at Holdingham Mill.

Continue by the navigation passing under the A17 Sleaford by-pass to Bonemill Lock; in a further mile or so the final lock at Cogglesford is reached. Now cross the navigation again to turn left and follow the waterside path through Lollycock's Field nature reserve and re-cross at the footbridge at the far end. Follow the towpath to another footbridge and cross this too. Bear left to pass between The Hub and the old canal wharf. Finally bear right past The Hub and Navigation House to emerge in Carre Street, Sleaford and turn right to arrive at the Market Place and St Denys's church.