|Distance||126.3 miles (203km)|
|Ascent||3772ft (1150m) approximately|
|Start / Finish||Ropery Road, Gainsborough|
|Parking||Whitton’s Garden car park on Ropery Road|
|Refreshments||As you pass through various villages and towns you will come across pubs and other places for refreshments. Information about these can be found as you run through the route description.|
This ride circumnavigates West Lindsey using mainly quiet country lanes and B-roads, avoiding major roads where possible. There are a few stretches where using A-roads is unavoidable in order to keep within the boundaries of West Lindsey. The route strays slightly into East Lindsey at Wragby, but is within a few hundred metres of the boundary. While this route could be done as a one-day challenge, it is probably best done as a two-day tour, giving opportunities to take in the views and sights West Lindsey has to offer.
Starting from Gainsborough, West Lindsey’s principal town, you head roughly south following the B1241, before turning east and climbing the cliff and heading towards villages around Lincoln. There is a section of traffic free riding as you join the Lincoln to Boston Water Rail Way path until Bardney. Bardney is the most southerly point of West Lindsey, from here you turn north towards Market Rasen, crossing into East Lindsey briefly as you head through Wragby. After Market Rasen you will head into the Lincolnshire Wolds. Nearly half of all the climbing is done at this stage. As with most of the climbs in Lincolnshire they are short and punchy but can still be challenging for tired legs. After the hills of the Wolds you return to flatter riding as you head towards the River Trent. The last part of the ride as you return to Gainsborough is dead pan flat as you follow the Trent back to the starting point.
- Ride south along Ropery Road. Go straight over at the mini roundabout and when you reach the traffic lights continue straight on. At the next roundabout take the second exit. Continue for 0.2 miles (0.3km) and turn left up Foxby Hill. This is immediately after the Aldi supermarket.
- Foxby Hill is a short and 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.
- Follow this road for around 1.5 miles (2.4km) and then turn right at the finger sign to Upton and Kexby.
- Continue along this straight road for a mile (1.6km) and at the end of it turn left to enter Upton.
- Opposite the end of this road is a disused telephone box, which local people put displays in. I am always interested to find out what display I will see here on my rides. You are now on the B1241 which you will follow through Kexby, Willingham-by-Stow, Normanby-by-Stow and Stow until you reach Sturton-by-Stow.
At Upton there is the Rose and Crown pub that provides traditional pub food. There is a small fish and chip shop as well, but it is only open Friday evenings and Saturday lunch time. A little further on, just before Willingham-by-Stow, there is the Fox and Hounds and, in the village, The Half Moon, both serve traditional pub food. The Cross Keys at Stow serves excellent food and beer if you have time to indulge. At Sturton-by-Stow Tillbridge Tastery provides traditional cyclists’ fare with cakes, light snacks and coffee, but is closed on Sundays. Across the road is The Plough which also provides food, including gluten free meals.
- There is a staggered junction in the centre of Sturton-by-Stow, turn left and almost immediately turn right towards Saxilby.
- After 0.75 mile (1.2km) turn right at the crossroads towards Torksey. Follow this road for around 2.5 miles (4km) until you reach a left hand turn signposted Hardwick and Saxilby. Head towards Saxilby down this single-track lane.
- The road takes you into Saxilby and at the junction opposite the Anglers Arms turn right, following the road past the Fossdyke.
- At the next T- junction turn left and as you leave Saxilby turn right towards Broxholme and North Carlton.
At Saxilby there are two pubs, various restaurants, a fish and chip shop and a tea room.
- Follow this road which is relatively flat for 3.5 miles (5.6km) to North Carlton. On the way you will pass over the River Till that flows towards the Fossdyke Navigation. At North Carlton the road climbs steeply as you cycle up the Lincoln Edge, which is a natural fault that runs the length of Lincolnshire.
- When the top of the hill is reached turn left, but take time to view the fantastic panorama over the Trent Valley either here or at the viewpoint you will see opposite the next junction. At the end of the road turn right along the A1500 until you reach the roundabout on the A15.
- Take the second exit down Horncastle Lane signposted to Dunholme.
- Follow this road for 2.3 miles (3.7km) until you reach the A46.
- WARNING: This is a very busy road, so care is needed to be taken getting across. Turn right either using the cycle path or on the A46, and then turn left signposted Scothern and Langworth.
- Follow this road into Scothern. There is a short climb at the beginning, but the rest is a gentle drop into the village. At the end of the road turn right.
At Scothern there is a café at the Garden Centre and the Bottle and Glass pub.
- Take the first turning on the right after the garden centre, signposted to Nettleham and then turn right again. Follow this road into Nettleham.
- Go down the short hill into the village and follow the road past The Green and round to the church, you will pass the Co-op on the left.
- At the end of the road turn left again onto Mill Hill. Continue on this road around the right hand corner following the signs to Reepham.
The delightful village of Nettleham has three pubs, with The Plough dating back to 1690, if refreshments are required.
- At the A158 turn left and continue for 0.2 miles (0.3km) and turn right to Reepham.
There is a shared pedestrian / cycle path on the opposite side of the road if this is preferred to riding on this busy road.
- At the end of the road turn left and continue following the road through Reepham and over the railway lines. At a 90-degree bend follow the signs to Fiskerton and Short Ferry.
- Follow this road for 1.5 miles (2.4km) and at the junction turn left.
- In just over 0.5 mile (0.8km) turn right down a narrow lane. There is a Sustran Route 1 sign pointing the way. Follow the lane to the end until you get to the bridge that will enable to you push your bike over the River Witham.
- On the other side, turn right to join the Water Rail Way Cycle path for 4 miles (6.4km)of traffic free cycling as it follows the Witham to Bardney.
- At the end of the path turn left into Bardney and follow the road for 0.5 miles. Then turn left again, signposted to Stainfield, Wragby and Market Rasen.
Bardney has three pubs, The Old Angel Inn, The Nags Head and The Black Horse, all serve food. There is also Bardney Heritage Centre which is popular with cyclists and you can “spend a penny” by using a real “old penny”. A newly opened café, Open Doors, is also proving to be popular with cyclists (check for opening times at the cafés).
- Stay on the B1190 for 6 miles (9.65km) until you reach Wragby. If a quieter road is preferred turn off to Stainfield and continue to Apley and then follow the signs to Wragby.
Wragby is just outside the West Lindsey border, so does not count as one of its towns, but it has two cafés, a fish and chip shop and two pubs that serve food.
- At the traffic lights continue straight on towards Market Rasen and keep on this road for 2.7 miles (4.3km). After riding through Holton-cum-Beckering go through a zig-zag of bends and turn right, signposted to Legsby and East Torrington.
- Follow this road for 1.7 miles (2.7km), going straight across at the crossroads and then left at the junction signposted Bleasby and Market Rasen.
- Follow this road through Legsby and Little London (which you may miss if you blink!) until you reach the A631 in Market Rasen, passing Market Rasen Racecourse on the way. Turn left at the T-junction.
Market Rasen can be by-passed by turning right at Little London towards Sixhills and then left at the end of the road to North Willingham. Turn left onto the A631 and then take the first turning on the right to Tealby. Join the route at point 30.
- In Market Rasen continue along the A631 towards the centre of the town. At the traffic lights turn left to Tealby.
Market Rasen is one of only three towns in West Lindsey, and has a variety of cafés, restaurants and pubs. It is just under halfway around the route so is an ideal place to stay overnight if desired.
- Follow the road to Tealby for 3.2 miles (5.1km). It is possible to continue straight up the hill and turn left at the church, but this would miss riding through the pretty village, so I generally turn right down Cow Lane, signposted Tealby Thorpe and North Willingham. Ride through Tealby climbing the hill and then go straight across at the crossroads. Follow the road to the top of Walesby Hill. The road is steep to start with, but does ease off after a while.
Tealby has two pubs The Olde Barn and The King’s Head, which claims to be the oldest thatched roof pub in Lincolnshire. There are also The Vintage Tearooms that serve amazing cakes (Closed January and February).
- At the top of Walesby Hill, which you will recognise it as it has two masts at the top, continue over the crossroads and join the B1225, High Street. Take care when joining this road as the junction is close to a bend and traffic can be travelling fast.
- After 0.25 mile (0.4km) turn right towards Binbrook and then take the first turning on the left, a lane to Stainton-le-Vale. WARNING: This is a fairly steep descent and care needs to be taken as at the bottom there is a slight bend that often has gravel spread across the road. The road can also be riddled with potholes.
- At the end of the road turn right and then left. After the church turn right and begin to climb out of the Vale. If you prefer a long swift descent on a good road don’t turn off, but continue to climb. At the end of either road turn right to head towards Binbrook.
- Do not go to Binbrook, but at the bottom of the hill turn sharp left to Brookenby. Climb the hill and take the first turning on the right towards the village.
- Continue on this road until you reach the B1203. Stay on the B1203 road for just over a mile and then turn left towards Thorganby. There is no signpost here, the B1203 goes to the right around the corner, Hatcliffe is straight on, but it is the left hand turn that you need to take.
- At Thorganby bear left and follow the signs to Swallow.
- At Swallow turn right towards the A46 and go straight across at the staggered crossroads. WARNING: Take care crossing this road as vehicles tend travel at high speeds along it. There is a cycle path on the right to assist you getting across.
- Continue to Great Limber, riding through the village and at the junction with the A18 turn left towards Grasby.
- Follow this road until you get to a crossroads and turn left.
Caistor can be by-passed by going straight onto Grasby. Follow this road to Grasby and then descend through the village and continue on the road until you reach a crossroad. Turn right here to re-join the main route along point 41.
- Keeping to the main route you will begin a 1.5 mile (2.4km) climb. At the junction turn right. Turn right again at the next junction to join the A1173 and then turn right at the signpost to Caistor.
- Ride down Caistor Hill, but be wary as halfway down there is a set of traffic lights as the road narrows to a single lane carriageway. After the pedestrian crossing, at the fork bear left to North Kelsey.
- You will continue to descend, albeit at a slower rate, for the next 4.5 miles( 7.2km). At the junction bear right (in reality it is straight on). Do not go around the bend, but continue into North Kelsey.
- Continue through North Kelsey and keep on this road to go to South Kelsey. At the crossroads next to the church in South Kelsey turn right, signposted to Brandy Wharf and Waddingham.
At South Kelsey there is The Bull which serves meals (check opening times), specialising in steaks, and a little way outside the village is Hall Park Farm (turn left at the crossroads and cycle for about half a mile) which has a very nice tearoom.
- Stay on the B1205 for 3.5 miles (5.6km) where you turn left, signposted to Snitterby. After half a mile turn right again signposted to Snitterby.
- At the T-junction in the village turn left and head to Atterby. Keep on this road until you reach the A15.
- Cross straight over the A15 and continue to the B1398. At the junction turn right then take the first turning on the left down Hollowgate Hill.
- At the bottom of the hill turn right to Blyborough and continue riding with the Lincoln Edge above you to Grayingham.
- At Grayingham turn left onto the B1205. Stay on this road for the next 2.5 miles (4km)until you turn left to Northorpe.
- Go through Northorpe and follow the road to Scotton.
- From Scotton follow the signs to Scotter and at the crossroads go straight ahead.
- Continue on this road for 3.4 miles (5.5km) until you reach Susworth. Just before The Jenny Wren Inn, which serves food, turn left and follow the River Trent back to Morton.
- In Morton take the left fork in the road and when you get to the crossroads go straight over.
- Continue on Ropery Road until you return to the starting point.
This ride’s GPX file: West_Lindsey_Tour