2 hours
15 mins


Stainfield & Apley Hardy Gang Walk Short


Enjoy a walk from the village of Stainfield into the surrounding countryside. The walk goes through Hardy Gang Wood, one of the Limewoods that form the Bardney Limewoods National Nature Reserve. The walk uses quiet roads, field paths and woodland paths. It may be muddy in places if wet, especially through the woodland. You may encounter stiles on this walk.

Starting point
Stainfield and Apley Village Hall
Market Rasen
Grid reference: TF 108 732

  • ParkingParking
  • RefreshmentsRefreshments
  • Dog FriendlyDog Friendly

The Lincolnshire Limewoods is an area between Wragby, Bardney and Woodhall Spa.  It is a fantastic place to explore with ancient woodland, medieval religious ruins and a wealth of wildlife.

The Lincolnshire Limewoods are the most important examples of small-leaved lime woodland remaining in Britain and  several have been collectively designated as the Bardney Limewoods National Nature Reserve. The woods provide a range of habitats for a variety of wildlife.  

Part of the church nave and tower is all that remains above ground of the medieval Barlings Abbey. Earthworks around the wall indicate other buildings of the monastery.  The abbey was founded in 1154 by the Premonstratensians (named after Prémontré in France where the first house was founded).  The abbey was closed in 1537 after the abbot and four canons were implicated in a rebellion against the closure of monastries by Henry VIII, and hanged.

Hardy Gang Wood is part of the Bardney Limewoods National Nature Reserve and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).  Look out for small-leaved lime, ash, hazel and pedunculate oak as well as a variety of wild flowers in the spring including the common spotted orchid.

  • 1Leave the car park and turn left along the road.
  • 2Follow the road as it bends to the left (signed Langworth). After approximately 900m turn left off the road and onto a bridleway. Walk across the fields by bearing right towards the right hand corner of the copse. At the fingerpost, cross the bridge and go through the gate.
  • 3Turn left and follow the field edge for approximately 150m to a fingerpost. Bear right across the field towards a wooden fingerpost to the right of an area of scrub. The remains of Barlings Abbey can be seen ahead.
  • 4At the fingerpost, if you want to visit Barlings Abbey turn left and follow the bridleway over the bridge. To continue the walk turn right (along the Viking Way). Walk straight ahead, alongside the hedgerow and ditch until you reach a gate and bridge at the edge of the woodland on your left (approximately 900 metres).
  • 5Enter the woodland and follow the bridleway straight ahead through the wood. The route through the wood can get very wet and muddy. If you want to avoid the wood, bear right across the field to a gate and fingerpost at the road. Turn left and follow the road for approximately 500m to a junction. Turn left and at the next junction bear right and rejoin the directions at point 7.
  • 6At the road turn right and walk 500m to a road junction.
  • 7Follow the road to the right and at the next junction bear right and then turn immediately left onto a bridleway (part of the Viking Way). Cross the fields, go through a gate and over a bridge and continue straight on across the fields and along a field edge to a road.
  • 14Turn right and follow the road to a junction.
  • 15Turn left and follow the road back to the village hall and starting point.

The walk uses quiet roads, woodland paths, field paths and tracks. You are unlikely to encounter stiles or livestock.

more information

Starting point

Stainfield and Apley Village Hall


Market Rasen


Grid reference: TF 108 732

more about the trail

Viking Way

The Viking Way is a long distance - 147 mile way-marked trail spanning from the River Humber through Lincoln to Oakham in Rutland. The route is signposted with an icon of a Viking helmet on a yellow disk.