One of the most satisfying aspects of country walking in Britain is that you discover interesting nooks & corners that – in many instances – you would never find otherwise.
And so it proved when Stilton Stumblers emerged from the gloom of Covid lockdown to enjoy a weekend in the Lincolnshire Wolds, arguably one of England’s best-kept secrets for sheer rural tranquillity.
Donington on Bain is a quiet little village sitting on the Viking Way, a trail that runs 147 miles between the Humber bridge and Oakham. Ideal walking country! The first treasure we found was The Black Horse Inn; everything an old English pub should be, with a roaring fire in the bar, excellent food and drink and comfortable accommodation.
The Viking Way meanders pleasantly through good farming country, pretty villages and past ancient churches. In fact, the weekend became something of a ‘church crawl’. At nearby Goulceby we found a small cemetery, seemingly abandoned next to a farm track. Investigation showed that it had once been a churchyard, but the church, All Saints, had fallen into disrepair and was a bit too far out for its parishioners. So nothing loath, they rolled up their sleeves and in 1880 began to demolish the church block by block and rebuild it – very well – about ¼ mile down the hill. It took them 20 years! This was certainly something that you would only ever discover on foot. Even several locals we spoke to didn’t know about it!
On the Sunday, we enjoyed a six-mile stroll along high ground with expansive views across rolling countryside to Lincoln cathedral on the distant horizon. Bangin’!