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Bowthorpe Oak from Witham on the Hill Walk
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Bowthorpe Oak from Witham on the Hill

Lincolnshire Walk

County/Area - Lincolnshire

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km    Ascent - 400 feet / 121 metres

Time - 4 hours 20 minutes    Grade - easy/mod

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Bowthorpe Oak from Witham on the Hill
Click image to see photo description.

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This walk from Witham on the Hill (Lincolnshire) crosses pleasant agricultural land passing through the villages of Toft, Manthorpe, Braceborough and Carlby. The route follows signed footpaths although careful navigation is required in a few places. The highlight of the walk is the Bowthorpe Oak which is believed to be about 1300 years old. It is also reputed to have the largest girth of any oak tree in Europe.

The walk starts from Witham on the Hill where there is a small parking are on the left of the St. Andrew's churchyard (Grid ref. TF052166). After parking, take the footpath at the north end of the parking area. Pass through a gate, turn right and then left to reach a stile on your right. Continue through field to cross a small stream and continue ahead to reach a track (Grid ref. TF054168). Turn right along the track and just before a get bear left across a field. Reaching power lies, turn right to a fingerpost. Continue into the next field with hedge on your right. Maintain direction across two larger fields and drop down to the A6121 (grid ref. TF067170).

Turn left, cross a bridge, and turn right into a golf course by fingerpost. Turn right past the club house and follow red marker posts to pass a pond on your right. Veer slightly left to pass the 18th tee. Continue ahead to a marker post keeping left of the green and bunker before heading over the 16th tee to a stile. Continue ahead across a field to join a grassy track which leads to a road and the edge of Manthorpe village.

Turn right and follow the road through the village. Just after the second right hand bend and just past the last house on the left, turn left over a stile with adjacent fingerpost (grid ref. TF069159). Keep fence on your left and after 70 metres turn left and head for a get in the hedge. Once through the gate, maintain direction towards the farmhouse ahead. The path leads to the farmyard of Bowthorpe Park Farm (grid ref. TF068154).

To view the Bowthorpe oak, turn right or to continue turn left in front of the barn and then right up to a gate. The path follows the left-hand edge of the field. In the next field head towards the left-hand corner. Once in the next field aim for the large tree to the left of Spa Lodge Farm (grid ref. TF072146) and join the access track which leads to a lane. Follow the lane south to reach Braceborough. Turn right at the T-junction and the after 50 metres head right down a narrow-enclosed footpath just before a row of cottages (grid ref. TF080132).

Entering a large field, head half right and then left along the side of a drainage ditch. Continue beside the ditch to cross a track and pass in front of Braceborough Lodge (grid ref. TF071134). Pass barn and continue along path across field to a wood. Continue through the wood along a grassy track. Leaving the trees head straight across a large field and a smaller field. Entering a third field continue ahead and then bear half right to pass two small woods on your left. Just past the second wood, bear left to cross a small bridge. Immediately after this bridge, walk half right across a field. Pass through the wide hedge (grid ref. TF056138) and then maintain direction across the next field to a stile. Cross the next field to reach the A6121.

Bear right along the A6121 and take the first road on the left into High Street, Carlby. Follow High Street through the village. The road bends to the left and passes a side road (Stoney Glen) on your right. Take the footpath on the right (grid ref. TF049141). The fingerpost is on a lamppost adjacent to a dark green salt bin. Follow the path between houses to enter a field. Bear right and keep the hedge on your right. The path soon bends left and then right and the left again. Continue to reach a cross track (grid ref. TF048146). Go straight across the track with the path along the right-hand edge of a large field. At the end of the field, you reach another track. Go straight across and enter another large field. Head straight across this field to a hedge and into the next field. From here aim for the left-hand edge of a wood where you join a grassy track with the wood on your immediate right. At the end of the wood maintain direction across three fields to pass between houses to reach a grassy area and the main road through Witham on the Hill. Bear left and continue back past the church to reach the start.

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