Local Walk: Lyveden Way
21st August 2020
This walk has just about everything you could wish for – a charming village, a winding river, contours, ancient buildings, woods and heathland… oh, and red kites. And because it’s a well-maintained path with a welcoming pub at the end, it’s a good bet for a walk with the family.
- Distance: 6.5 miles (10.4 km)
- Typical time: 2.5–3 hours
- OS map: Explorer 224 or Landranger
- Start & finish: The King’s Head, Wadenhoe (public car park 20 yards beyond it)
- Terrain: Very well looked-after tracks
- Stiles: None Getting there: 2 miles to the west of the A605, 4 miles south of Oundle
- The walk begins from the public car park at the end of the road just beyond The King’s Head. Climb up the steep hill towards the church and then take the path beyond it. After a couple of hundred yards you will go over a cattle grid and reach a small road.
- Turn left along the road, and after a short distance a footpath takes off on the right along a field boundary. Take this to the next minor road.
- At this road, turn left through metal gates onto a wide track. Follow this for about 0.5 miles, then turn right along a footpath leading northwest toward the large woods. The path starts to go through the edge of the wood.
- After about 0.5 miles in the wood, you reach a more defined track, which you follow. Shortly you reach a bigger, metalled track – turn right here and follow this track until you are almost out of the wood on the western side.
- Just before emerging, there is a tiny track through a copse on the right, which brings you out onto the edge of a field. Turn right after about a hundred yards, heading straight towards Lyveden New Bield (another part of the Lyveden Way takes you to Fermyn Woods in the other direction – ignore this).
- From Lyveden Bield a bridleway takes you southeast straight through Lilford Wood. You emerge on the other side, cross a footbridge over a brook and ascend onto a metalled track. Follow this all the way past Wadenhoe Lodge and back to the small road.
- Turn right at the road, then shortly left, along the edge of a field to another road.
- Cross the road and go into a field (great views), which takes you back to Wadenhoe. The track skirts just to the right of some dips and then goes between two houses back onto the village street.
Points of Interest
Mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1298 it was part of the Earl of Lincolnshire’s Deer Park. There is a useful information sheet on the notice board in the car park. Apparently, the name means ‘Wada’s spur of land’.
St Michael and All Angels church enjoys a wonderful hilltop setting overlooking the village, along the River Nene. In between the church and the village is an early medieval settlement site.
Lyveden New Bield
Begun by Sir Thomas Tresham to symbolise his Catholic faith, Lyveden remains incomplete and virtually unaltered since work stopped on his death in 1605.
There are tranquil moats, viewing terraces and an Elizabethan orchard to explore, as well as an enigmatic garden lodge covered in religious symbols. The full extent of Sir Thomas’s symbolic design remains unexplained to this day.
Tel: 01832 205358 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyveden for latest details. Tea room (Covid-willing – check the current situation in advance) serving homemade treats, including cake, cream teas and soups.
The King’s Head at Wadenhoe (01832 720024) is full of character, good food and good ales. When the weather is good, you can sit in the delightful garden on the banks of the Nene. It has re-opened under the management of the team that brought you the excellent Old Barn at Wadenhoe tea rooms (which are now closed). Dog friendly.