Where to walk in peace in South Kesteven
Taking a walk in the calming surroundings of a woodland or parkland can be a leisurely and relaxing activity. Just being away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the noise of cars can be relaxing. Spending time outdoors in nature, breathing fresh air can reduce physical and mental stress, lower blood pressure, reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and generally promote a sense of peacefulness. It can refresh and revitalise and leave you feeling uplifted.
Consider leaving you mobile phone at home (or at least set to silent), disconnect from work, even if it is just 20 minutes at lunch, and take a walk. Feel the warmth of the sun through the leaves of the trees, and the cool of the breeze, just relax and unwind. We’ve put together a list of places that you might like to visit to get away from it all and just relax.
Bourne Woods, Bourne
Bourne Woods is a quiet ancient woodland managed by Forestry England. It has areas densely populated by coppiced hazel and willow trees. It has many pathways winding through the forest and ponds where kingfishers and herons can be seen. There is a free car park and picnic area.
Londonthorpe Woods, Grantham
Londonthorpe Wood, owned by the Woodland Trust, lies just to the south-east of Belton House owned by the National Trust. Although Londonthorpe was mostly planted in 1990s, it also has a very peaceful section of ancient woodland dominated by large oaks and beech trees. There is also a wildflower meadow and grassland.
There is an ongoing project to link Londonthorpe Woods and Bellmount to unite accessible green space on the edge of Grantham which will provide greater opportunities for people to get outdoors. There are plenty of walks to enjoy between the two sites including a walk up to the Folly. Free car parking at Londonthorpe. Car parking at Belton House is free for members.
The River Witham and the Parks of Grantham
The River Witham links the three major parks in Grantham, namely Dysart, Wyndham and Queen Elizabeth – all wonderful places to visit. The three parks all offer different habitats that can be enjoyed by both people and wildlife. Wyndham Park offers a peaceful space in the form of the Heroes Orchard as well as walks along the river and grasslands. Queen Elizabeth Park offers 23 acres of parkland stretching from Harrowby Mill to Belton Lane with walks along the riverside or through the woodland area. Whilst Dysart Park may be more formal and smaller than the others it still offers an open grassed area surrounded by trees where you can walk, as well as a play area for children, a bandstand and tennis courts. There is free car parking at each of the parks.
Deeping Lakes, Deeping St James
The Deeping Lakes is a beautiful wetlands nature reserve managed by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. It offers walking routes nearby to calm water and boasts a number of different bird species including heron, oystercatcher and lapwing as well as a variety of wading birds, terns and gulls. There are also wildflower meadows to be enjoyed throughout the summer and you may spot emperor or brown hawker dragonflies. Elsewhere in The Deepings there are a series of village and rural walks.
Burghley Parkland, Stamford
The undulating Burghley parkland and deer park offer a fantastic place to walk with a view of a fabulous Elizabethan mansion. Walk along the paths or freely throughout the parkland, designed as so many were by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the 18th century, but do not get too close to the deer that roam amongst the beautiful ancient trees. There is sign posted, set routes including a walk to the bridge and Bottle Lodges.
Entrance to the house and gardens is ticketed during the season, but access to the parkland is free all year. In fact it was the 6th Marquess who instructed in his will that the parkland will always be available free of charge for the benefit of the local community – what a admirable legacy. Parking available.
Spending time outdoors can also be very interesting (and educational for children). There are all kinds of things to see such as birds and wildlife. In spring seasonal wildflowers including anemones and bluebells appear. In summer look out for butterflies and summer wildflowers such as cowslips and forget me nots. In autumn and winter there will be fungi to forage, and in winter carpets of snowdrops.
So, enjoy the peacefulness of your surroundings, take a walk at one of the places we’ve mentioned, enjoy the fresh air, and relax.