Whilst I am almost fully retired these days I still do the occasional bit of work and as a result I am staying a couple of nights in Newark. Finding myself with most of the day free I decide to explore the local area so make a short drive out of Newark to the village of Dry Doddington, parking in the village hall car park.
I leave the car park and head west for a few yards before taking a footpath on the left; here I bag my 120th Ordnance Survey trig point.
The path now continues along the edge of a field.
I follow the footpath to a minor road where I turn right. After a few hundred yards, as the lane sweeps to the right, I go through a gate and walk diagonally past a sewage works and then close to the River Witham.
I reach a gate and cross a minor road to join a track opposite; I follow the pleasant Syke Lane to Doddington Lane where I turn left.
I follow this road and after crossing the River Witham at Doddington Bridge I take a path on the right running besides the river.
At Mill Farm I pass the attractive weir and bridge across the River Witham.
The footpath continues along the farm drive, Mill Road, to reach a road, Shire Lane, here I turn right and wander into Claypole soon reaching the impressive church of St Peter.
I wander into the church which has numerous interesting features, however, it is the magnificent door that captures my attention.
After leaving the church I continue into the village and then turn left into Barnby Lane which leads to a railway crossing on the main east coast rail line. The barrier is down and I watch a train go by but the barrier stays down and I wait whilst two more trains pass.
I continue along the lane and have not gone too far before the barrier is down again. As the road turns to the left I continue along a lane, passing a field I am watched carefully by a bull. I am grateful I am on a track and not entering his territory.
The footpath follows the track and then goes across arable fields.
As I near Barnby in the Willows I enter fields of pasture and I am soon alongside the River Witham.
I cross the river and walk through the churchyard of All Saints Church to have a look at the exterior of the church.
Resuming my walk I retrace my steps and head back across the River Witham then turn left along the riverbank. On reaching a path on the right I follow this besides a drainage ditch. I do not usually walk in such landscapes and I am interested to see structures for sluice boards in the ditches.
As I head towards Fenton it starts to rain, the forecast suggests that once it starts it will be set in for the day, so I quickly put on my waterproofs.
The route is well marked and after leaving the ditch crosses a couple of fields to reach the outskirts of Fenton.
On arriving at a road I turn right and head through a gate to make a short diversion to visit All Saints church. It is an interesting building with a steeple very similar to the one I had seen earlier at Claypole.
Back at the gate I turn right following the quiet road through the village and continuing along it to Stubton. As I enter the village the grand Stubton Hall is on my left. This was originally built in the 17thcentury and extensively rebuilt in 1813 by Sir Robert Heron the local MP. Heron was an MP from 1812 to 1847, but apparently he rarely spoke in debates instead devoting his time to recording his opinions in his diary. His diaries were published in 1850 and were highly scathing of many fellow MPs.
In 1952 Stubton Hall became a boarding school for boys with learning difficulties, and then from 1982 it was a school for boys and girls with behavioural problems. After the school closed in 2003 the hall stood empty for a few years before being purchased and renovated as an exclusive hotel and events venue.
At a crossroads I continue straight on before taking a footpath on the right leading along Hargreaves Row, here I pass through a series of garden gates to reach a field. The footpath heads left across the field of pasture and then passes through the hedge to run alongside an arable field.
At a junction of paths I turn left heading south besides a hedge that leads to a track where I turn right and follow it across the railway line.
The track, known as Coach Road, continues all the way to Dry Doddington. The rain has made some sections quite muddy but it is straightforward walking and as I approach the village the ground becomes firmer underfoot.
On reaching a road I turn right and walk through Dry Doddington back to the village hall car park. Along the way I pass the church of St James which stands near the highest point of the village in splendid isolation on the green. This church has a leaning tower which reportedly slopes westward by 5.1 degrees, this makes it more leaning than the famous leaning Tower of Pisa which leans at a mere 3.97 degrees.
Back at the car I have covered 12 miles with only 330 feet of ascent, so it has been a fairly flat walk but interesting by way of a change. Now it is time to dry off and head back to Newark to do some work.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 271 – Newark-on-Trent
5th December 2018
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2018)