A lovely circular walk taking in 4 counties! Though the start and finish of the walk are in Lincolnshire, you will also be walking in Rutland, Northamptonshire and Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. The walk takes you along the banks of the River Welland and up onto higher ground at Easton on the Hill, where there are good views back over Stamford and to the Fens beyond.
Tourist Information Centre (TIC) and Arts Centre
St Mary’s Street,
Stamford has long been considered one of the most beautiful of England’s smaller towns, with over a thousand years of history to its name. Springing up where the Great North Road crosses the River Welland, it prospered in the Middle Ages through trade in wool and a much sought after woven cloth called haberget. Indeed, in the 13th century Stamford was one of the ten largest towns in England, boasting a castle, fourteen churches, two Benedictine religious houses and four friaries.
After a period of decline the town’s fortunes were revived by improvements to the Great North Road in the 17th and 18th centuries. Most people travelling north or south passed through Stamford. It soon developed coaching inns, stabling and related trades to support the seventy or so stage and mail coaches passing through every day. Prospering merchants and lawyers built many of the fine houses that can still be seen today.
The river Welland rises in Leicestershire and flows eastwards to enter The Wash. This meadows area is part of a floodplain lying between two tributaries of the river that rejoin just before the Town Bridge. Look out for the old Roman crossing point on your left, on a direct alignment with Ermine Street and now marked by a stone plaque.
The bridge at point 4 of this walk is currently closed for repair. Alternative routes are shown at the location or check the map
- 1Leave the TIC, cross the road and turn left along St Mary’s Street. At the T-junction carry straight on and then cross the road at the pedestrian crossing and continue to walk in the same direction. Where the road bends to the right, continue straight on along Castle Street.
- 2At Sheepmarket Square turn left along Castle Dyke. At the end of the road continue straight on over the bridge and follow the surfaced path across the meadow.
- 3Just before the next bridge turn right and walk along the bank of the river. Continue across the meadows for approximately half a mile (one kilometre) to reach another footbridge (Broadeng Bridge).
- 4Cross the bridge and bear right to follow the river, now on your right. Continue alongside the river for approximately ¾ mile (1.2 kilometres), passing through a bridge arch under the A1, to reach a junction of paths and bridge into Tinwell village.
- 5Turn left onto the bridleway that runs along the field edge.
- 6After approximately 100m turn right along a track, with tall hedgerows on either side. Cross the railway line with great care and continue up the hill, along the track.
- 7At the top of the slope, just outside the village of Easton on the Hill and immediately before some allotments on the left, turn left along a wide track towards the church.
- 8On reaching a lane by the church, turn right. Then turn left almost immediately to follow a public footpath across a parking area. At the field bear left, across the field corner, following way markers denoting long distance footpaths. Bear right across the corner of the next field, aiming just to the right of three telegraph poles. Go through a gap in a hedge and continue down the hill on a track along the field edge, with Stamford ahead. Pass through a wooded area and continue ahead across a large field, aiming for the way marker post in the distance.
- 9Follow the path through an area of scrub to reach the railway line on an embankment. Cross it with care and then bear right to cross the corner of another field. Cross a footbridge and go through the tunnel under the A1. Continue ahead to reach the river.
- 10You have now rejoined your outward route. Simply turn right and continue along the path by the river, now on your left, towards Broadeng Bridge and the Meadows. Walk back through the Meadows alongside the river to the junction with a surfaced path and bridge.
- 11Turn left, cross a bridge and continue straight ahead along Castle Dyke to Sheepmarket Square. Turn right along Castle Street and continue straight on along St Mary’s Street to return to the starting point.
The walk uses roadside paths, field paths and tracks. The railway line is crossed twice. You may encounter stiles and livestock.