Enjoy a walk from the market town of Sleaford into the surrounding countryside. The walk uses town and field paths and crosses farmland. For some distance the walk follows the banks of the river Slea. It may be muddy in places if wet and there are stiles and livestock. The busy A15 road is crossed twice. The walk starts from the centre of Sleaford which lies approximately 17 miles south east of Lincoln. The walk starts from the train station so why not travel to the start by train?
Sleaford Railway Station
Grid reference: TF 067 454
The history of Sleaford can be traced back to Iron Age and Roman times. It belonged to the Bishops of Lincoln during the Middle Ages who built a castle to the west of the town. At the end of the 18th century the Slea Navigation was built to link the town to the River Witham.
This walk takes you through the pretty villages of South and North Rauceby. The villages appeared together in The Domesday Book and were known as ‘Roscebi’ meaning ‘Rauth’s farmstead or village’. The medieval village of North Rauceby was much larger than the current village and earthworks can still be found today on the village edges.
Although not a large river the Slea is still a great place to see wildlife. Look out for kingfishers and herons close to the water and buzzards soaring overhead. The heron is a tall graceful bird that will stand motionless by the side of water waiting for a fish to come into range of its bill. As well as fish, herons will feed on small mammals, insects, frogs and toads.
Look out for the ‘In the Field’ the sculpture which is based on the layout of the fields around South Rauceby village, and X marks the position of the sculpture. Included is an image of a bustard. The last bustard in Lincolnshire is said to have been shot in Rauceby, hence the village pub’s name, The Bustard Inn.
- 1Leave the station and cross the road. Turn left and then right along a path between two fences and signed Town Centre and site of Sleaford castle. At the end of the path turn left, signed site of Sleaford castle.
- 2At the junction with a road turn right.
- 3Just after Electric Station Road turn left along the public footpath beside the river Slea. Follow the path beside the river, crossing over an old railway line, for approximately 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometres) to the junction with the A15.
- 4 Follow the path to the right, cross the busy road with care, turn left and rejoin the path beside the river. Cross a footbridge and after approximately 250m, leave the river bank and bear right across the field to a gap in the hedge.
- 5Go through the gap and then the gate and follow the path through the chicken farm and then along the field edges. At the junction of paths continue straight on along the field edges for approximately 0.66 miles (1000m).
- 6Follow the path as it bears right into an area of woodland. Follow the path to the right past a metal sculpture to a road and turn left.
- 7At a T-junction turn right and follow the road into the village.
- 8At the Bustard Inn turn right along Tom Lane and walk into and through North Rauceby village.
- 9At the end of the village turn right onto a public footpath opposite Chapel Lane. Bear diagonally left across the field to rejoin the road at the end of the old hedge line across the field.
- 10At the road turn right onto a public footpath and stone track. Follow the track along the field edges and then alongside a woodland. Walk alongside the woodland for approximately 300m.
- 11Turn right onto a public footpath that runs alongside a line of conifer trees.
- 12At the junction of tracks turn right along a footpath towards the spire of North Rauceby church. Follow the track as it bends left past more conifers.
- 13At the end of the track turn left along Drove Lane, an old Drove road.
- 14After approximately 600m turn right onto a public footpath into a field. Cross the field by bearing diagonally left towards a telegraph pole at the corner of the woodland. Go through the gap in the hedge and turn right, along a track beside the hedge, past the woodland and down the slope.
- 15At the field corner and track turn left. At a junction of paths continue ahead along the path and track and walk through the middle of a small area of woodland. Continue along the track past Drove Lodge.
- 16 At the junction with a tarmac lane turn left. Cross the A15 with care and go through the gap directly opposite. Follow the lane for approximately 0.5 miles (850m) and cross the railway bridge.
- 17Turn right onto a public footpath. Cross the estate road and continue straight ahead along the path to the river.
- 18Turn left and follow the riverside path to a road.
- 19Turn right and then left onto West Banks.
- 20At the junction with South Gate turn right. Follow the road through the town.
- 21Just before the large Memorial statue turn right along Nags Head Passage. At the end of the row of cottages turn left along the path to return to the station.
The walk uses roadside paths, riverside paths, field paths and tracks. The busy A15 road is crossed twice. There are stiles and livestock.