|Distance||40 miles (64.4km)|
|Ascent||988ft (301m) approximately|
|Start / Finish||Ropery Road, Gainsborough|
|Parking||Whitton’s Gardens car park on Ropery Road|
|Refreshments||Gainsborough has a variety of places where refreshments may be obtained. Saxilby has two pubs and a café. At Sturton-by-Stow there is The Plough and Tillbridge Tastery and at Stow the Cross Keys Inn provides meals. Willingham-by-Stow has two pubs, The Half Moon and the Fox and Hounds.|
This circular ride from Gainsborough to Saxilby has a little of everything. From Gainsborough you follow quiet lanes and climb the Lincoln Edge where you have vast views of the Trent Valley. Dropping down off the Edge you will continue to follow quiet lanes. Stop off for refreshments in Saxilby and sit next to the Fossdyke and watch the boats pass by.
At the start and end of the ride in Gainsborough is The Old Hall, an Elizabethan building, that was saved from being demolished and is a wonderful example of the architecture of that time. The Fossdyke is not a natural river but is thought to be one of the oldest canals in England that is still in use. It was built by the Romans to connect the River Trent with the River Witham in Lincoln and allowed goods to be transported along it. At Stow it is worth stopping to look at the Minster, which is sometimes referred to as “Mother church of Lincolnshire” being one of the largest and oldest parish churches in England.
- Turn right out of the car park and ride south along Ropery Road. Go straight over at the mini roundabout and when you reach the traffic lights continue straight on. When you get to another roundabout take the second exit. Continue for 0.2 miles (0.3km) and turn left up Foxby Hill. This is straight after the Aldi supermarket.
- Foxby Hill is a short, but fairly steep climb, but soon flattens out. Continue along the road until you reach a T-junction and turn right, signposted to Upton and Heapham.
- Continue on this road for 3.2 miles (5.1km) until you reach Heapham. Ignore the left hand turning signposted Springthorpe and Corringham, but carry on until you reach a right hand bend. Turn left down Common Lane, signposted to Harpswell.
- Continue on this quiet lane until you reach the A631. Turn right and climb to the roundabout.
- Take the third exit at the roundabout to join the B1398. Follow this road for 7 miles enjoying the view over the Trent Valley on your right. Drop down off the Lincoln Edge riding towards Cammeringham.
- At Aisthorpe turn right immediately after the village sign. Follow the road around the left-hand bend and keep on this road for 1.5 miles (2.4km).
- Take the first left hand turn down a single-track lane. This will take you to the A1500.
- Turn right on the A1500 and take the first left hand turning signposted to Broxholme.
- Follow this road to the crossroads and turn right to Saxilby.
- At the end of the road turn left and ride towards the A57.
- Just before you get to the A57 turn right into the village, riding along the side of the Fossdyke for a short while.
- At the village hall and Anglers pub turn left along Sykes Lane. Keep on this road for the next 3.5 miles (5.6km) until you reach a junction.
- Turn right and keep on this road for just over 2 miles (3.2km).
- At the crossroads turn left to Sturton-by-Stow.
- At the staggered crossroads in Sturton-by-Stow turn left and then immediately right to head towards Stow.
- Stay on this road for nearly 7 miles (11.3km), passing through Stow, Normanby-by-Stow, Willingham-by-Stow, Knaith Park and Lea.
- At the A156 turn right and keep on this road. You will eventually retrace your steps to the beginning of the ride.
This ride’s GPX file: Gainsborough – Saxilby