1 hour
45 mins


Boston River & Rail Short Walk

On this walk you will experience both town and country taking in some of the historic streets of Boston, crossing fertile fenland fields and walking beside both a river and a man-made drain.

During medieval times Boston was a prosperous town with a thriving port dependent on the river. During the 18th and 19th centuries improvements were made to the river and the channel to the sea to ensure continued use of the port. At the same time the fens were being drained and large areas of fertile farmland were being created. As well as controlling the level of water in the fens the drains are now also used for recreation, including fishing, walking, cycling and boating. The railway arrived in Boston in 1848 and the early 20th century was Boston’s largest employer. Today the railway links Boston with Grantham and Skegness and is a popular service, especially during the summer months when people travel from the Midlands to the Lincolnshire coast for their holiday. This is one in a series of walks in the Boston area. The others are: Boston: Town walk Boston: Waterways walk We hope you enjoy them.

Starting point: The Guildhall, South Street, Boston, Grid reference TF 328 438.

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There are a number of interesting buildings reflecting Boston’s history between The Haven and the Market Place. Look out for the 18th century Fydell House, The Guildhall (now a museum), the Custom House, the timber framed Shodfriars Hall and of course The Stump, St Botolph’s Church. For more information on these pick up a copy of the Boston Town walk.

The Boston Woods Trust was formed in 2001 to provide the people of Boston with recreational opportunities such as walking and bird watching. So far 45 acres of trees have been planted in three woodlands:Beech Wood, Grange Wood and Westgate Wood.

  • 1Leave The Guildhall and turn right. Cross the Market Place and turn left along Church Lane (in front of the statue of Herbert Ingram near St Botolph's church).
  • 2Walk over the pedestrian bridge and turn immediately right. Follow the riverside path, signed to the marina.
  • 3At the Grand Sluice bridge cross the road. Turn left and cross the railway line, and then turn right along Witham Bank West to continue alongside the river and past the marina.
  • 4At the Rowing Club continue straight on along the riverside path. After approximately 0.9 miles (1.4 kilometres) leave the river bank down a slope to a road opposite one of Boston Woods Trust's woods, Beech Wood. It is well worth making a detour and exploring this woodland.
  • 5Turn left and follow the road, past Grange Wood, into the housing area. a) After the first group of bungalows on the left turn left along the public footpath next to a fence. At the road continue straight ahead along Carlton road and walk past the play area. b) At the end of the open green space turn left along the path to the river bank. Turn right and follow the river bank path back to the Grand Sluice bridge. c) Turn left over the bridge and follow the road to the traffic lights. Continue straight on along Witham Place. As the road bends, continue straight on along Wormgate. Turn left in front of the Stump (St Boltolph's church) to return to the Market Place.
  • 6Cross the Market Place and walk along South Street to return to the starting point.

 This walk uses roadside pavements, field paths and quiet roads. There are no stiles and you are unlikely to encounter livestock.

more information

Tourist Information Centre and The Haven, South Square, South Street, Boston. Grid reference: TF 328 438.