Stage 12: Ruskington to Sleaford

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START: All Saints Church, Ruskington
DISTANCE: 5 3/4 miles : 9.5 kilometres

NOTES:

There is ample street parking in Ruskington though it would be thoughtful to leave your vehicle at the east end of the High Street away from the shops. The station is about half a mile from the village centre at GR087505. There is a village trail leaflet. This is the longest section of the walk but is easily divisible into two sections by using the Stepping Out car park at Haverholme. (GR106496)
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THE ROUTE

Walk away from Ruskington church along High Street South (Jubilee Street and the 'Teatotal Houses' are on the right) and pass the youth club before turning right into Chestnut Street. At the end bear left to follow Station Road until a footpath sign is seen pointing left. (The path is also a school entrance) Cross the railway over a blue footbridge and continue on a track behind bungalows and in the second field veer off to the right towards a high black fence or leave the track just before the beck. Go over the footbridge near the fence and now with a hedge to your left, walk along a field edge to a gap in the far corner. Go through it and then aim between a telegraph pole and a large shed to a kissing gate seen ahead at a farm track.

Turn right along this, going left at the first junction along another (now grassy) track to the A153 road. Cross with care into the lane opposite and proceed to Haverholme Bridge and the Sleaford Navigation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
St Denys' Church
 

Take the footpath on the right immediately before the bridge. (Or use the far bank, rejoining the main route from the footbridge over Haverholme Lock.) The path stays close to the navigation until a waymarked detour goes round a private garden. This goes right to join a lane where almost opposite a permissive path swings left to rejoin the navigation bank. Now turn right and continue to Papermill Lane and the adjacent lock. Cross the navigation now using the opposite bank to reach the next lock at Holdingham Mill where a short detour can be made to Evedon. (See below)

Continue by the navigation passing under the A17 Sleaford by-pass to Bonemill Lock; in a further mile or so the final lock at Cogglesford is reached. Now cross the navigation again to turn left and follow the waterside path through Lollycock’s Field nature reserve and re-cross at the footbridge at the far end. Follow the towpath to another footbridge and cross this too. Bear left to pass between The Hub and the old canal wharf. Finally bear right past The Hub and Navigation House to emerge in Carre Street, Sleaford and turn right to arrive at the Market Place and St Denys’ Church.

Detour
To visit Evedon church, simply take the grass track leading away from the Navigation at Holdingham Lock where after a ford and footbridge over the old River Slea track leads directly up to the church. Return the same way.