Rothwell Circular

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This walk starts and finishes in the small village of Rothwell. It explores the typical Wolds scenery of dry vales in an easy fashion, using a footpath that follows a farm road for about half of its total distance. It is an easy half-day walk, so gives the chance to explore this beautiful and little-visited area.

The walk starts in the village centre and heads south along Beckside before branching off south-west on a footpath that follows a surfaced farm road which climbs gently along the bottom of a vale to Rothwell Top Farm and then on again on a farm road to Caistor High Street. It turns south on the High Street for about 1km before turning east to follow another farm road for about 400m before branching off north-east and following a succession of vales back down to the original path at Waymark 3.

The scenery is superb, the dry vales are typically steep-sided, deep and wooded in sections on the sides. Some are grazed by sheep or cattle in summer, others visited on the return leg are cropped for hay. In summer they are peaceful, sheltered and on a hot day, almost subtropical in temperature. In winter the low sun emphasises the contours with long shadows plunging parts of the vales in deep shade.

As you climb to the High Street the views back to the east are spectacular and as you descend, new views open up across the Wolds. The peace and shelter of the vales are a magnet for wildlife; look out for buzzard sailing overhead with their penetrating cry and flocks of small birds moving along the mature hedges. In winter large skeins of geese move overhead from countryside to coast, moving from field grazing to coastal mudflats and more sources of food. The steep vale sides are often not grazed and represent a small fragment of the once prevalent upland grasses and plants. The return section from Waymarks 6 to 7 has some particularly good stretches of rare chalk grassland flora.

As a summer afternoon or evening walk with a good meal in prospect at the finish, it is a tempting prospect. As a brisk winter walk in frosty sunshine it represents a good way to work off those Christmas excesses.

England - East England - Lincolnshire - Lincolnshire Wolds