Day 1 – Friday 7th June 2019
For Day 1 of the tour, we will head out of Rutland and spend most of the day in Lincolnshire. Between coffee and lunch we will be driving in the Fens – huge skies, flat terrain and deep dykes! As we will be travelling on minor roads we recommend filling up before you start, but there is a Petrol Station near the Lunch stop at Heckington, which will be marked on your detailed instructions. See the bottom of the page for a pictorial map of the Friday run. Mileage for the day is approx 77 miles.
Maps: OS Landranger (1 1/4 inches to 1 mile) 130 OS Explorer (2 1/2 inches to 1 mile) 234, 247 & 248
We plan to start off tracking due north, leaving Rutland and after a little short of 20 miles, stop for coffee at Stoke Rochford Hall. The hall, a Victorian country mansion set in landscaped gardens and adjacent to a Golf Course, is now a hotel.
The hotel will provide the first of many ‘photo opportunities’ which we have planned!
After the Coffee stop we will head North East into the ‘flatlands’ (ie Fens) of Lincolnshire to Heckington for lunch at the only working eight sail windmill in the UK.
In addition to lunch, there will be a tour of the mill (for those who can manage very steep stairs) and an easily accessed exhibition presenting the history the mill & its restoration. If the weather is suitable the windmill will be working. The workings can be seen from the exhibition space for those who do not fancy the steep stairs. On clear days, from the top of the mill there are exceptional views of the surrounding countryside.
The mill provides ingredients for its own, on site, micro brewery. A guided tour of the brewery is also available.
After our lunch stop we head back towards Rutland, driving across the Fens through many villages (some of which have surprisingly large churches with tall steeples, making them easy to spot in the flat landscape!) Our third stop is for tea and cake at Easton Walled Garden – about a 30 mile easy run.
These gardens originated 400 years ago, revival has been ongoing since 2001 and now includes meadows, long borders, roses, vegetables and cottage gardens. The original house was demolished before WW2.
After tea we head back to Greetham Valley Hotel.