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Lincolnshire Walk
Tealby, Walesby, Claxby & Normanby-le-Wold

County/Area - Lincolnshire

Author - Hugh Marrows

Length - 10.5 miles / 17.1 km    Ascent - 950 feet / 288 metres

Time - 6 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Tealby, Walesby, Claxby & Normanby-le-Wold
Click image to visit gallery of 5 images.

This roller coaster route over Lincolnshire's highest Wolds is the county's classic hill walk. Park considerately along Front Street in Tealby or near the church. The route is adaptable offering shorter options by returning from Risby (3.5 miles - Walk 1712) or from the "Ramblers" church at Walesby (5 miles - Walk 1817). Or just do the Walesby to Normanby-le-Wold loop (5 miles - Walk 1913). Refreshments can be obtained in Tealby at the tearooms or one of the inns. Much of the route follows the Viking Way.

Tealby has long been regarded one of Lincolnshire's prettiest villages. Shown as "Tavelsbi" in the Domesday Book its abundant streams good water supplied fourteen watermills and in later years paper was milled there (there's still a Papermill Lane). On the hilltop the golden-coloured, ironstone church of All Saints has Tennyson family memorials inside.

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.

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 an1868 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

But on this walk it is the scenery we have come for! Although the terrain is demanding the views are memorable throughout and spectacular in places.

Route Guide

Walk through Tealby (as necessary) and enter Caistor Lane by the church. Go left behind the church and then turn right up a signed track, continuing at the top through a gate towards a waymark at a hedge end. Now bear half right to a stile in the field corner and then after two more stiles head down to North Wold Farm. From the farmyard turn right up a track to a road, go left for 300 yards then left again on another signed track down through Risby Manor Farm to a cattle grid.

Now turn right along the hillside before descending into a deep valley to a bridle gate and footbridge. Climb the far side beside a fence, veering left through trees from a waymark then crossing an arable field to reach Walesby All Saints "Ramblers" church.

From here a lane leads down into Walesby; keep ahead when you reach the road before turning right 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 via the "Ramblers" church to Risby.

Cross the farm road below Risby Manor, keeping ahead to a stile before veering left uphill to a waymark and stile at the edge of woods known as Bedlam Plantation. The path runs just within the trees, exiting near Castle Farm and then turns left down the valley heading back towards Tealby. In the final field head diagonally to a gate in top left hand corner.

You will arrive back just below Tealby church. (The path opposite leads down to Front Street, the tearooms and the inn.)


Other walks nearby

Walk 1712 Risby from Tealbyeasy3.5 miles
Walk 1817 Walesby from Tealbyeasy5.0 miles
Walk 1611 Tealby and Kirmond le Mireeasy/mod7.5 miles
Walk 1913 Claxby and Normanby le Wold from Walesbyeasy5.5 miles
Walk 1511 Caistor and Nettletoneasy4.0 miles

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Walking in Lincolnshire

The County of Lincolnshire has a long coastline on the North Sea to the east and varied landscapes inland. For walkers, this diversity means that there are a wide variety of walks including the cost, the rolling Wolds, historic villages and many nature reserves. For many the rolling hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds offer some the best walking in the county. In complete contrast the flat and often watery landscapes of the Fens are equally attractive. In the western half of the county the limestone escarpment running north-south also offers some outstanding walking.

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