This circular walk from Nettleton in the Lincolnshire Wolds was a perfect 5 mile, dog friendly walk in the sunshine. Not too much elevation, but still with remarkable and expansive views. Nature and history combined to create interest amongst the nature. The walk also follows a section of the Viking Way.
I found this walk to be completely peaceful and meeting not a single person, only a lone horse rider all the way round. Bliss.
The start point was the little village of Nettleton, less than a mile south of Caistor on the A46, situated on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds.
It is a beautiful little Lincolnshire village and as this is not a busy area you will find lots of available, and respectful, parking places on the streets. I parked the car by the church for instance.
There is a quirky tradition that Nettleton is known for. On Boxing Day, it was tradition for shoemakers to ‘beat the lapstone’ of the homes of teetotallers. This was done as a practical joke. It stems from a tale that dates back to the 18th century and a village resident man named Thomas Stickler. He abstained from alcohol for 20 years then on a Christmas Day he got drunk at the shoemakers on half a pint of ale. He told his wife he wasn’t drunk but that he fell over the lapstone.
St John The Baptist Church
So to start the walk. I have included a GPX file at the bottom of this post to help you find the route. I parked and started at St John The Baptist Church in Nettleton. A glorious looking building that is unmissable as you enter the village.
Rebuilt in the 1800s it has a base of the tower dating back to Saxo-Norman times and the doors are said to be dated to Norman times too.
Into The Wolds
Heading through the village you start to head into the Lincolnshire Wolds themselves. Many people think of Lincolnshire as being completely flat, but this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty rises up out of the flatness surrounding to command the horizon when looking from afar.
In Lincolnshire terms the wolds are high! But in fact the highest point, Normanby Le Wold is only 168 metres (551 feet) in height above sea level. To a local, a mountain, to us, a mere little hill. But, the area and views are spectacular trust me. Another walk that shows physical height does not mean best views and experience.
Up The Chalk Valley
The first half of the walk you gradually walk up a serene chalk valley, following Nettleton Beck for much of it.
This first half is also the part that is the Viking Way. The dogs absolutely loved it.
It is a very dog friendly route. There were cows grazing in the fields either side of the footpath, and crops growing too. But the farmers and landowners created a fence either side of the path so you could pass very easily and not walk into cow and bull fields easily either. The pathway ahead was very clear.
I kept the dogs close by in respect when cows and calves where in the field next door. The path really does guide you away from being amongst them. I found it a perfect example of how landowners think of walkers passing through easy, and how walkers can respect the livestock.
The Iron Mines
Half way up the valley you enter into some woodland that has the feel of being nature filled for centuries. However as you pass through, you see signs of a huge industrial past.
It is hard to believe today but this area, only within the last century, was a huge area for the mining of iron, and here in Nettleton Valley was not trees but an open landscape with tunnels into the hill for the mining of iron.
The entrances are still there yet bricked up. The mines actually did not close until 1968. So this now beautiful landscape, covered in woods would have looked a whole lot different even only 70 years ago or so. It would have been a moonscape of industrial work and debris from the mining activity.
So much work must have been done since to help nature take over so quickly again.
As you reach the top of the valley you reach where the path meets a lane (Normanby Road). It is here we say good bye to The Viking Way to head back to Nettleton on the circular.
Here you are on top of Nettleton Top and the views become a whole lot different and a whole lot more.
As I say, the Lincolnshire Wolds are not huge hills. But because all around these chalk hills the county is flat, they command a huge and far reaching view.
One way you can make out Lincoln Cathedral and the other, the Humber Bridge. Yes, this is a walk for clear skies if you want the best views for sure.
After turning right onto the lane you walk along it all the way down and back to Nettleton village. It is not a busy road at all. In fact when I did this walk, only 1 car came past the whole way down.
And yes, that view over Lincolnshire keeps with you most of the way down.
Refreshments await you at the bottom too if you so wish. Where the village meets the A46 sits the Salutation Inn. A great local country pub where you can unwind and recollect on a beautiful walk in beautiful countryside.
Distance: 5 miles
Parking: Park in the centre of Nettleton
Parking postcode: LN7 6NP