Walk 1429 - printer friendly version
Riverside walk at Sleaford Walk
Author - North Kesteven Council
Length - 6.4 miles / 10.4 km
Ascent - 100 feet / 30 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference TF074460
Lat 53.000561 + Long -0.401070
Postcode NG34 7HJ (approx. location only)
In 1872 the River Slea was described by Trollope as 'a never failing source of pure water'. As late as 1960 it was a trout river renowned with sportsmen as far away as Yorkshire. But in 1962 the river stopped flowing through Sleaford for the first time in recorded history and by the drought summer of 1976 the flow had seriously deteriorated. In 1983/4 the river completely dried up. This degradation was due to a number of factors, chiefly over-use of water from the limestone aquifer for agricultural purposes. Strains on the springs feeding the Slea also increased during the 1950s as the surrounding villages received piped water for the first time.
1 - From Cogglesford Mill, leave the car park and follow the River Slea on your left towards Sleaford, walking past Lollylocks Field Nature Reserve.
2 - Cross over the bridge and turn right past Sleaford Leisure Centre. Follow the path straight ahead to Carre Street, over the zebra crossing and into Money's Yard, passing the Tourist Information Centre and Money's Mill. Exit to Southgate, Sleaford's main shopping area. Turn right and cross Southgate at the pedestrian crossing opposite Walkers bookshop. Keep right and turn left into the Riverside Shopping Centre.
3 - Follow the course of the river through the Riverside Shopping Centre keeping the bandstand on your left and exit right into Westbanks. Walk along the pavement for about 500 yards, to the T-junction with Castle Causeway. The river is always on your right.
4 - Cross Castle Causeway and continue following the tarmac path along the side of the River Slea until the houses on the opposite side of the river end.
5 - Continue along the riverside with Guildhall and Cobblers Hole Springs on your left, and Bouncing Hill to your right until you see the A15 Sleaford bypass ahead. Follow the waymarkers to the right and with great care cross the busy A15. Once across the A15 follow the waymarkers left for a short distance and then bear right rejoining the River Slea.
6 - Follow this path until you see a group of farm buildings ahead. This is Boiling Wells Farm. At this point the path leaves the River Slea. Look for a waymarker leading diagonally right and take the path across the field towards a gap in the hedgerow ahead.
7 - Pass through the gap and follow the grassy path past Boiling Wells Farm and over a stile onto a field edge path with the hedgerow on your right. Follow the waymarkers as they lead along the edge of the field towards a small wood called Ash Holt.
8 - Pass through the woodland with the disused limestone quarry on your right until you see a metal sculpture. Entitled "In the Field" and designed by Richard Farrington for artsNK, the sculpture represents the fields around the village of South Rauceby.
9 - At the sculpture, follow the waymarkers as they bear left, until you reach a junction with a farm track with parkland beyond. The Bustard Inn Public House cam be found along Main Street in the village.
10 - Turn right onto this track, which leads towards Hall Farm.
11 - Once you reach Hall Farm the track forks. Take the right-hand path, keeping the farm buildings to your left and head into open countryside. With historic views of Sleaford across Bouncing Hill to your right, continue along this track, following the waymarkers as the track bears left towards another copse.
12 - The track takes you through the copse, and then bends right around the edge of the trees. Look out for an unusual bench carved for artsNK by Simon Todd entitled "Sleeping Shepherd Seat".
13 - Follow this track through open countryside until you see another copse on your left, the buildings of Field Farm on your right and you reach a junction of waymarkers. Carry straight on walking towards a small group of trees.
14 - Pass through the trees and join Drove Lane, which takes you back to the A15. Cross this road with care and follow the The Drove back towards Sleaford.
15 - Continue along the lane until you reach Northgate.
16 - Turn right down Northgate, turning left into and cross the market place, walking towards St Denys' Church. Keep the church on your left and continue along East Road to Lollylocks Field and return to the car park at Cogglesford Mill.
This route is from the Stepping Out series of walks produced by North Kesteven Council.