This spring walk visits Barkston and Honington Heaths. There are glorious views and we visit a prehistoric encampment too.
In the Domesday Book Barkston was recorded as ‘Barchestune’ and St Nicholas’s church stands on rising ground. There is C14th and C15th work inside while its C15th spire dominates the village below.
Once up on the heath we pass Barkston airfield, which opened in 1941 as a satellite of Cranwell and was a USAAF base for most of WWII.
The most interesting feature is Honington Camp, an Iron Age fort. A grass pathway around much of it allows easy viewing.It is possibly the best prehistoric site in Lincolnshire with defences of double banks and ditches.
Its far-reaching views make it obvious why our ancestors chose the site but it also lies on the line of the prehistoric Jurassic Way.
In Honington village St Wilfred’s church is hidden away up a gravel drive behind the houses of Church Grove. Older than Barkston’s church it has an Early English tower and Norman masonry inside. (Keys are available nearby.)
Beyond Honington we cross a railway built in 1857.The latter part of the walk uses the Viking Way climbing Frinkley Lane onto high ground before descending back to Barkston.
Start: Barkston village. Maps: OS Landranger 130 (Grantham): Explorer 247. Distance : 7¾ miles: 12.5 kilometres. Refreshments: Stag Inn, Barkston.
Walk up Barkston’s main street and beyond the church take the first right towards the heath. Once the tarmac ends keep ahead for another mile until, with the airfield control tower in view and the public road visible ahead, an unsigned track departs to the left. The track becomes grassy before reaching a hedge. Go through it, turn left and at the footpath sign cut across to a waymark in another hedge gap. Look for the line of earthworks and shrubs on the skyline that is Honington Iron Age fort. Aim right of this and find another waymark. (Explore round the fort then return to it.) Now maintain your original line over the field aiming for the left-hand one of two gaps in the trees ahead. Look for a footpath fingerpost and join a track to the road near Honington, then cross into the lane opposite for the village. Bear right at the first junction and you will see a signpost for the church. Continue out of the village and cross the A607, keeping ahead over the railway. In half a mile, at a T junction, take the track opposite; this is Frinkley Lane and the Viking Way. After 1/4 mile ignore a footpath branching left and continue uphill. When you come to the next signpost, take the track off to the left walking downhill.