Bardney Abbey - Tupholme Abbey - Southrey

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This walk starts at the site of Bardney Abbey, which is now sadly just earthworks. Bardney Abbey was one of the nine Witham Valley abbeys which dominated the area in the 12th to 16th Centuries. Interestingly enough the phrase 'were you born in a barn?', asked of people who have left a door open, was derived from the earlier 'were you born in Bardney?' There are various versions of the story, but they all involve the laying to rest of St Oswald in the abbey and the monks being forced to leave the doors unlocked as a result.

From Bardney Abbey, we briefly use the Viking Way before crossing to Scotgrove Wood, one of the nine woods which form the Bardney Limewoods National Nature Reserve. These woods are the most important examples of ancient small-leaved-lime woodland in Britain and are situated at the northern limit for the small-leaved-lime to grow.

Our next port of call is Tupholme Abbey. Like Bardney Abbey, Tupolme was one of the nine Witham Valley abbeys. Unlike Bardney, there is something tangible to look at here, with almost a whole rectory wall surviving.

Soon after we leave Tupholme Abbey, we pick up the Viking Way. We will stay with this long-distance trail (which runs from the Humber Bridge to Rutland Water) pretty much all the way back to the start, but the next port of call is the little village of Southrey (pronounced 'Suther-ee', where Suther rhymes with Mother). Here, you would be well recommended to divert slightly to the bank of the River Witham, where you will find the site of the old Southrey Station and chain ferry, complete with an information board telling you all about the history. Also, you will find the Riverside Inn, which is a very pleasant little pub.

Catching your attention on the way down to the riverside you will see the unusual but pretty church of St John the Divine. Built in 1898 by the local parishioners, the gabled and bellcoted timber building is painted white with a sky-blue interior. It stands on a plinth incorporating gravestones from the ruins of Bardney Abbey.

There's about an hour or so to walk now, back to the village of Bardney and onwards to the start, crossing the line of the now dismantled Louth to Bardney Railway.

This is quite a good dog walk, with the exception of one step-stile.

England - East England - Lincolnshire - Countryside


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Food Shop, Industrial Archaeology, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, Wildlife, Woodland