Posted by: brendaintheboro | September 13, 2020

A Few Days in Lincolnshire

One of our first cycle camping trips about 45 years ago took us along the Lincolnshire Wolds and to the city of Lincoln and return.

This year, as its a bit different to previous years, I managed on the third attempt to secure a pitch on a very small campsite in North East Lincolnshire. This is the Villa Farm campsite in South Somercotes run by Damian and Emma. It is full of sheep, pigs, hens, ducks, geese and turkeys.

camping near the sheep

Damian used to live in a housing estate in Rotherham and told me having animals started about 25 years ago when he and his wife went for a meal and were charged an huge amount for tiny lamb chops. He rented land and thus began his animal husbandry.

They moved here a few years ago and are now pretty much self- sufficient in meat and vegetables. However, because of Covid-19, he has more animals than he needs at present but hasn’t been to get them to the abattoir.

So we packed our kit in the car and drove down to the campsite. It isn’t really what we wanted to do, but it was better than nothing in the present situation. It did mean that we could take a slow cooker with us which was a good idea.

When we arrived it was windy , so we camped in the shelter of some trees but would you believe it, within hours the wind direction shifted!!. Still we weren’t about to take the tent down but I am pleased to report , it stood firm.

In the late afternoon, we had a little ride to stretch our legs and also to familiarise ourselves with the area. After leaving the village , we saw this church standing on its own surrounded by trees.

St Botolph’s church

At this time , we just rode past but I had plans for later in the week.

St. Botolph was one of the earliest and most revered of East Anglian saints, and became known as the patron saint of wayfarers.

Botolph and his brother Adolph were young Saxon nobles living in the 7th century, and were sent for their education to a Benedictine Abbey in France. Adolph rose to be a Dutch Bishop, whilst Botolph came back to his native East Anglia. He was given land by the king and built a monastery but the site is disputed. However, it was not this church.

On Wednesday, it was still pretty windy but we decided to have a longer ride. So, we decided to ride down the coast through Mablethorpe and down to Skegness.

Most of the trip , was along the promenade but it wasn’t the best idea I have had. The way in places had hundreds of yards of deep sand. It was impossible to ride on and so the answer was to get off and push. It was exhausting until I decided to try the walk assist mode on my lovely Koga World Traveller e-bike. This made it so much easier even though I still had to walk and push through deep sand.

deep sand

I did like all the beach huts along the way. Some were brightly coloured and well maintained while others were dropping to bits.

Mablethorpe Beach huts

Apparently, it was all cleared off in August but the recent storms have brought in so much sand and covered the promenade yet again.

We had a stop in Ingoldmells and by this time I was ready for 2nd breakfast even though it was nearly noon. There was still a bit more sand to negotiate after this but no where near as deep as the previous section.

We were soon passing Butlins Skegness and then got into the town but didn’t stop anywhere near the centre. We are keeping ourselves away from others not only to protect ourselves but also to protect others if we should inadvertently catch and pass on the disease.

The route back was much easier and we turned inland . The first part of the return journey was along a main road , the A158 but it did have a cycle track of sorts along it. The weather was lovely and the route was mainly flat. DH was surprised just how well I was riding into the wind .

We came into the village of Burgh Le Marsh and I stopped to photograph the church as I was attracted by the clocktower.

Watch and Pray for ye know not when the time is.
carved eagle
information board about the eagle lectern

The road then led to Orby and Welton le Marsh and the route wound across the area to Alford. I can remember cycling here with DS1 some years back.

From here, the route wiggled across East Lindsey and through Theddlethorpe St Helens and back to the campsite.

We could smell our dinner cooking – chicken casserole in the slow cooker. mmm how good was that.

One of the things, I miss is the long evenings at this time of year but it was good to see the sun going down in the west.

wind turbines, haybale “building” and the setting sun

So ended our second day of our short time away.

Thursday had a beautiful dawn.

Sun coming up – no cakes on the griddle though

The forecast was for dry but windy weather. One advantage to the e-bikes , is the advantage to be able to cycle into headwinds, as long as you have battery power. We decided to head for the Lincolnshire Wolds and go to Horncastle on the other side of them.

So after breakfast we cycled across to Louth but had forgotten to fill the water bottles. We stopped at a church – All Saints I think – and they very kindly refilled them for us but telling us “Only this once”.

The climbing starts here and we saw another cyclist struggling up the hill and into a headwind. As we passed , he told us he really was struggling as he zig zagged up the the road but he managed.

As I stopped to take photos he passed us and that was the last we saw of him.

Lincolnshire Wolds
the Wolds are chalk as in Yorkshire
Lincolnshire Wolds

We descended into Horncastle but the market was on so a bit busy. We had a stop near the river and had 2nd breakfast.

River Waring

As we rode back out of Horncastle , we saw a lot of lamas in the fields.

Lama Pens

So it was back through Hemingby and at Goulceby we took a slightly different route back through Market Stainton. I had to stop to photograph this church as it did remind on of churches I have seen in Norway.

Market Stainton Church

I also saw this fixer upper.

The shrieking shack from Harry Potter?

So we wound across the countryside through Donnington on Bain and just outside Louth stopped at Hubbard Hill and picnicked near the stream. This is another U shaped valley cut through the chalk after the last ice age had huge amounts of melt water gushing through.

Hubbard Hills
cool in the shade

So we rode through Louth and back to the campsite.

It blew chilly and hard throughout the night resulting in a dry tent on Friday morning. DH said he wanted to go home a bit early so we started the packing but then broke off and had a ride down to Donna Nook. We expected to see the sea but it is a nature reserve and the sea was miles away across a nature reserve.

near a Maize maze on the way to Donna Nook
Nature reserve

On the way back we rode to Saltfleet and I thought I had ruined my camera. It was only when I got home that DS1 was able to show me that I had touched a button that blanks off the screen. Duh!

So I took these photos with my phone. The first photos are inside St Botolph’s. I was saddened to see that it is now just a shell with no windows.

St Botolph’s interior

In South Somercotes, the church St Peter’s has been deconsecrated and is used as a community space. It has two large wood burning stoves needed to keep it warm.

wood burning stove
St Peters interior

So it was back to the tent and a pack up in the wind. We had to hang on tight to the tent while taking it down but did it safely and efficiently. What a team!!

When we got home, DH set about making HM pizza as requested by DS1.

Saturday, being The Big Bike ride, we had to go out and had a short ride. We really aren’t too sure about next week because of the Covid situation but I have the week off work. We will see.

Weekly mileage 163 miles YTD 4701 miles


Responses

  1. Another good trip. You do find interesting places to cycle but I am glad that I wasn’t with you when you went through that sand. Sand is soul destroying.

    • yes that sand was very unpleasant but you learn just how determined you are when you have to be.

      • I liked the idea of additional electric power to help you through.


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