Walk: Snipe Dales and Hagworthingham, Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a county known for its peaceful places, and nowhere is this truer than Snipe Dales – discover this wildlife-lover's paradise on a stroll through the country park.
The beautiful valleys and rolling hills of Snipe Dales Country Park offer wonderful views of the wider Lincolnshire Wolds, disproving the common perception that the county is flat.
The dales here are perhaps at their most magical in spring. Joining the resident robins and blackbirds are a host of returning warblers, including chiffchaffs, willow warblers, whitethroats and blackcaps. Yellowhammers, skylarks, cuckoos and buzzards add to the spring chorus. It is also a great place to see butterflies and dragonflies as the weather begins to warm.
Snipe Dales and Hagworthingham walk
3.3 miles/5.3km | 2 hours | moderate
This walk of 3.3 miles takes in the Snipe Dales Country Park before heading off towards Hagworthingham village, passing pioneering Shire Farm, also a vineyard and glamping site. When you arrive in Hagworthingham, make the most of its lovely country pub, the George and Dragon, or try JJ’s Café.
Parking and toilet facilities are available at Snipe Dales, and there are numerous information boards to find out more about the local wildlife. Dogs are permitted on a short lead in the country park but are not allowed in the nature reserve.
1. Pond and picnics
Start from the car park at Snipe Dales Country Park where there’s a £1 parking charge. With the toilet block on your left, go through the gate and walk downhill on the track to the ponds. Turn left on to a grassy track, passing picnic tables. Head to the right up a hill, following the green tree symbols on the posts. Just after the Butterfly Sanctuary board, go left into the nature reserve.
2. Village bound
At the footpath signpost, turn right to Hagworthingham and cross the footbridge. Walk uphill through trees to a gate at the top. Continue on a wide grassy track, passing the vineyard at Shire Farm, a biodynamic farm. It has a Chakra Path – a trail created to mirror the chakra system (a meditation of Indian origin focuses on seven energy points in the human body).
Where the track swings to the left, carry on through a grassy field into Hagworthingham through two gates.
3. Pub pitstop
Turn left and head for the village and The George and Dragon pub. Retrace your steps downhill to reach the ford and footbridge.
4. Reserve return
Turn right at the footpath sign and follow the stream on your right. Go through the gateway back into the country park and walk along a path with the stream on your left back to the car park where you started.
Snipe Dales map
Main image: Robert Enderby, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Jane Keightley is a freelance journalist and tour guide who is passionate about her home county of Lincolnshire.