Monday 14 March 2011 - 8 miles with Barry, Gordon, Maureen
From car park outside Ryhall village Hall (opposite the library), face the road and turn left, past the school and across a field footpath to Belmesthorpe. Cross the Gwash on a footbridge and go through a well-tended street of bungalows - on the right hand side there's a footpath sign which takes you across arable land. This can be muddy - we were lucky. After less than half a mile you turn left on to a wide, well-hoofed bridle way, which you follow for just under a mile until it joins a minor road to Uffington. Turn left towards Essendine, and follow the road fo a good mile and a half. About halfway along you cross a disused railway line - under the bridge it has been filled in. This line once joined the main line not far away, and we saw several trains as we walked. After a right-angle bend to the right, the road emerges on to the A6121 between Stamford and Bourne. There's a good pavement alongsdide this, and in a fairly short distance you cross the road to take a footpath on the edge of a wood. Follow this to the B1176.
(This may be where we stopped for a snack break - must get hold of Barry's map to be sure.)
Walk beside this road for a short distance, then take a minor road to the left.
I think we went along to the point where a track lgoes to the left, opposite the entrance to Ryhall Heath Farm (note to self - CHECK this). The track is on land belonging to Walk Farm. There's a junction where we turned left, slightly downhill. Follow this until you reach the minor road between Ryhall and Great Casterton, Turn right, and in a couple of hundered yards turn left towards Tolethorpe. This road leads all the way to the Gwash, and the magnificent Tolethorpe Cottage - if that's a cottage, what is the big house like? Answer - big. It's where the outdoor theatre holds performances in the summer.
At a bend on the road we turned on to a footpath which took us back to Ryhall.
The second part of the walk is the more scenic.