Water Rail Way

Route details

  • From - to: Waterside South Bridge, Lincoln to Kirkstead Bridge near Woodhall Spa
  • Distance: 33 miles
  • Type: Flat and traffic-free
  • Access: Lincoln Central Rail Station, Lincoln Bus Station
  • Surface: Mostly tarmac, the bridleway section south east of Bardney can be muddy when wet
  • National Cycle Network: Route 1

Route description

Following the route of the former Lincoln to Boston Railway Line, this route leaves Lincoln alongside the River Witham and passes Washingborough, Bardney and Southrey on the way to Kirkstead Bridge. Here, you can take roads into the village of Woodhall Spa or continue on the Water Rail Way to Langrick Bridge and Boston.

The Water Rail Way passes through vast fenland landscapes with long views and expansive skies. The route also features a sculpture trail commissioned by Sustrans which includes artworks inspired by the poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and also by the local environment and animal breeds.

This route is flat and almost entirely traffic-free and offers lots of good turnaround points if you don't want to travel the full distance.

Art trails

Along the National Cycle Network, Sustrans works with a range of local artists to make unique and memorable art trails.

Along this route, you will find two viewing platforms over the banks of the River Witham designed by Belgian architects Robbrecht en Daem. The vision was to create innovative micro works of architecture that offer viewing platforms to the public. Each structure supports a flight of stairs leading up to expansive views over the fens or the historic City of Lincoln. 

Other works along the route include Sally Matthews 'Lincoln Reds' and 'Lincoln Longwool Sheep'. The sculptures were inspired by the poems of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and to commemorate the 200th anniversary of this former Poet Laureate who was born in Lincolnshire. Nigel Sardeson's 'Curly Coat Pigs' were inspired by the surrounding agricultural environment and local breeds of animal.

Local attractions

This route contains a Sustrans Greener Greenway. A greenway is a corridor of undeveloped land, reserved for recreational use and environmental conservation. Read more about our Greener Greenways

Closures and diversions

From 29 October 2018,  the Water Rail Way between Washingborough and Lincoln will be closed for one week. This is due to the construction of a bridge over the route for the Lincoln by-pass. Diversions will be in place for pedestrians and cyclists and will be signposted during the closure. Due to the nature of the site, the diversion set up for cyclists is a significant detour on locals roads.

Please see PDF maps of the diversion Part 1 and Part 2.

Latitude: 
53.16729956395304
Longitude: 
-0.36254906230465567
Zoom level: 
11
Title: 
Buy the map
Image: 
Description: 

Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.

This route travels from Lincoln and passes Washingborough, Bardney and Southrey on the way to Kirkstead Bridge. Here, you can take roads into the village of Woodhall Spa or continue on the Water Rail Way to Langrick Bridge and Boston.

Length: 
33 miles