Walk 1913 - printer friendly version
Claxby and Normanby le Wold from Walesby Walk
Author - Hugh Marrows
Length - 5.5 miles / 8.9 km
Ascent - 450 feet / 136 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference TF134923
Lat 53.415327 + Long -0.29527199
Postcode LN8 3BZ (approx. location only)
This walk covers some of Lincolnshire's highest Wolds in the county's classic hill country. The walk starts in the village of Walesby and you are asked to park with consideration for local residents. This walk is the northerly section of walk 3224, which is the classic hill walk in the Lincolnshire. Parts of the route follows the Viking Way.
All Saints, Walesby's oldest church, sits amongst the earthworks of the mediaeval village, which has over the centuries drifted downhill to its present site. In spite of generations of neglect (or perhaps because of it!) All Saints genuinely mediaeval interior survived and was renovated in the 1930's since when it has famously hosted an annual ramblers service each Trinity Sunday. An apt, though modern addition is a stained glass window depicting Christ with C20th ramblers and cyclists. Although outside the village and off the route described, it is worth finding time to visit this historic church.
Below in the "new" village the replacement church is St. Mary's, built in 1913 after thirty years fundraising by the Rev. Percival Laurence, a devoted clergyman who by tragic irony died the very day that building work began. The design is rare in having central nave pillars reaching to the roof apex and constricting the aisle; a "problem" at weddings and funerals!
There is another unusual St. Mary's at Claxby too! Once inside an obvious misalignment of nave and chancel can be seen, a feature known as a 'nodding' chancel that may be a deliberate reference to the crucified Christ's head falling to one side upon death. On the chancel arch is a less rare but evocative example of a "toothache" carving.
Above Claxby, with the county's highest point less than a mile to the north, stands Normanby-le-Wold. Here an 1868 external restoration of St. Peter's conceals another glorious mediaeval interior and another toothache carving whilst across the lane is a little redbrick, Georgian Sunday School
Despite all the villages having something of historic interest, this walk is designed so you can enjoy the scenery. Although the terrain is demanding the views are memorable throughout and spectacular in places.
After parking in Walesby village, walk north through the "new" churchyard to reach Moor Road. Bear left and then right at a track signposted as the Viking Way. When this divides keep left and from a 3-way footpath sign keep left again first over rough grass, then along a stony track before finally going right along a lane to the road near Claxby. Walk ahead to a right hand bend then leave the road continuing on a permissive path to Claxby church.
Beyond the church follow the lane to a junction, turn right and then shortly left up Boggle Lane (part surfaced, part track) to emerge on Normanby Rise. Walk uphill for 200 yards to a footpath on the right. This climbs beside woods (and is possibly Lincolnshire's steepest footpath?) to a stile near the hilltop; keep forward to the road at Normanby-le-Wold and turn right.
Follow the lane past the church to the stile at the end by a gate and from it bear left along the hilltop. You will eventually reach a 3-way footpath sign. Bear right a little now, cutting below the shoulder of the adjoining ridge with its rocky outcrops, to rejoin the outward route and retrace your steps back to Walesby.