Walking the Lyveden Way

Now, I see quite a lot of posts on here of INCREDIBLE walks with the most epic scenery – especially in the US and Canada. Trails are super long and the climbs are massive and the views monumental. In England we only really have a few areas where mountain climbs are even possible. I don’t live in those areas so it’s not possible for me to visit them for a day’s walking.

BUT. I live in a beautiful part of the country which is just brimming with pretty English countryside, village pubs, thatched cottages and relatively flat walks which make for a really easy way to spend a day. A 40 minute drive from home is lovely Lyveden, home of the Lyveden Way – a flat (obviously), very English stroll.

I wouldn’t recommend travelling far to do this walk as there are much better options across England, but if you’re in the area it’s a lovely way to spend a day.


Hike Information

Location: You start the hike at Lyveden New Bield, a National Trust property in Northamptonshire (right in the middle of England), which has plenty of parking.

Hike distance and time: The full round loop is 13km long and will take around 3 hours, so is perfect for a morning or afternoon.

Terrain: Flat through fields, woodland and villages.

Typical English countryside along the route

The Route

You can download a map of the Lyveden Way HERE.

A. Lyveden New Bield

Park in the car park at Lyveden New Bield and spend some time exploring the grounds. At the site is a grade one listed Elizabethan house, owned by the Tresham family until 1649 when it was sequestered during the Civil War because Tresham was a Catholic and refused to refute his beliefs. In 1660 Charles II granted Lyveden to the Earl of Sandwich (only in England) and from then the house passed through various family members, before ultimately becoming property of the National Trust.

The main house

There is also an orchard, some lovely gardens and even a labyrinth on the site, however the main draw is the Garden Lodge which is a roofless and partially derelict structure out in the gardens. It’s just beautiful.

At the Garden Lodge
The beautiful Lodge

B. Lyveden New Bield to Lady Wood Head

Exiting to the left of the Garden Lodge as you look at it, head in to the field, and follow either of the Lyveden way signs (straight on or right) – the route is a loop so whichever you don’t choose, you’ll come back that way. We chose to go right. Follow the field round and then enter another field with woods on your left. These were particularly beautiful with the bluebells out. Continue with the woods on your left until you come out at a tarmac road, marked Bridleway.

Bluebells

C. Lady Wood Head to Green Side Wood

At the tarmac road, turn left, following the Bridleway (or head straight across the fields for a detour in to Fermyn Woods Country Park depending on time). Eventually this path will enter the woods, which you can meander through enjoying the trees. It will come out at some fields, normally housing horses, cows or sheep.

D. Green Side Wood to Wadenhoe Church

From here continue through a couple of fields until you come out on a track, at which point you turn left and walk slightly uphill to a gate at the top. From there turn right in to another field, and follow that until another road, where again you turn left and then right over a cattle grid through a tree lined path towards a church.

Wadenhoe Church Tower was built in around 1195 (!), and the remainder of the structure was built between the 1200s and 1500s. The church is famous for being the one used in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a film made in 1999.

Beautiful Wadenhoe Church

E. Wadenhoe Church to Wadenhoe

Follow along the field with the river on your right, before entering the village car park through a gate. Head up the hill with the pub on your right (stop for lunch or drinks if you want to!) and then onwards through the stunning village full of thatched cottages. At the cottage pictured below, don’t miss the Lyveden Way sign pointing through the gate as it’s easy to miss.

The cottage at which you turn down its right hand side as you look at it

F. Wadenhoe to Lyveden New Bield

Follow along the field, cross over one road, then at the next road turn right and then left down a narrower track. Keep following the signs for the Lyveden Way as you walk down the track, past a farm on your left and a beautiful house on the right. You’ll come out at some more woods, and you’re then on the straight track back to Lyveden New Bield.

The end of the trail, with Lyveden New Bield just visible on the horizon


So, even though it’s not epic views – what do you think of the Lyveden Way? Would you want to walk it? I think there are definitely more varied walks in England in The Lake District, Peak District and Yorkshire, but if you’re in the area it’s well worth doing. Stay safe and happy travelling everyone!

40 Comments

  1. Trails on a mountain or trails through the countryside are both a great way to spend the day. I love these walking trails through the English countryside and Lyveden Way seems another lovely place to explore on a walk. Understated but lovely and peaceful πŸ™‚

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  2. Your walk along the Lyveden Way looks lovely, Hannah! Beautiful countryside, forests, farmlands, and the Garden Lodge is simply stupendous! The thatched-roof cottages are adorable, and the Wadenhoe Church also quite interesting. Thanks for sharing your adventures, my friend πŸ™‚

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  3. I’d have to say those views look pretty epic to me! Love that lodge at the beginning and the pretty bluebells and the forest and the sheep…everything about it looks fantastic!

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  4. I do love a hike, but I can’t say no to an entirely flat one! The stroll on Lyveden Way looks to be so bucolic and picturesque– what more can you ask for than with beautiful views without much physical exertion, haha? Definitely a walk I’d like to take when I return to the UK!

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  5. We may have mountain views here in the US but we certainly don’t have trails where you can just walk right past a bunch of giant old houses and castles and such. I can see why this is such a great walk. Very lovely!

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    1. Your comment made me laugh – you make a good point. We are lucky to have life on a smaller scale and be able to see so much in one walk πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading Diana, hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.

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    1. That’s a really long way to drive just for the day, especially with a tough hike on top. We find ourselves on flat trail after flat trail but I suppose it’s not all bad with cottages and castles round every corner πŸ™‚

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    1. It’s definitely an easy and flat hike in the English countryside – we are lucky to have lots of historic houses and buildings nearby, but the views are nowhere near your incredible hikes in Canada πŸ™‚

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  6. Such a wonderful trail, Hannah! For me, the countryside is Britain as it should be – an area full of historic sites, memorials, monuments, protected areas, pretty villages, pubs with tables in the garden – a part of Britain where time seems to have stopped in its tracks. Thanks for sharing and have a good day πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

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  7. This walk has so many things I love- the Garden Lodge is stunning. I enjoy a good day hike- not long enough to need a lot of planning, but long enough to feel like a reset. One that involves a National Trust property is a definite bonus! Do you think you’ll ever do one of the epic US or European trails? I talk a good fight about tackling one but am yet to do it!

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    1. So glad you like it Helen, it was a nice way to spend an afternoon that’s for sure. Oh I’m the same as you – I say I will but the reality is probably that I won’t haha!! I would love to challenge myself though, but I just find other holidays seem to come up and I’m so tired from work I just want holidays where I can collapse, or at least not have constant physical challenge!! πŸ™‚

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  8. How beautiful! I love the Elizabethan house! It also seems like a very β€œdiverse” path, with an old house (or its ruins), woods and flowers, large fields, etc. I also love the idea of finding beautiful things to do in your area – it inspires me to try and find one near Brussels! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I’ve definitely appreciated the local area more since COVID hit, and it’s actually been really fun discovering loads of things nearby I had no idea were there!!! I’m sure there’s loads in and around Brussels too πŸ™‚

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  9. For me, any hike is a good hike! Sometimes it’s great to conquer the mountains, but other times we enjoy a more easier hike which provides lovely views – such as woodlands, flowers and quaint English cottages (and if there’s a pub somewhere, even better) πŸ˜‰. And the Lyveden Way looks like that kind of trail – lovely scenery and great photos, thanks Hannah!

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    1. That’s very true – we’re lucky here to be able to get a lot of variation in only a small amount of space πŸ™‚ And you can’t go wrong when there’s a pub on the route! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading and hope you’ve had a lovely weekend

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  10. Wonderful, Han – and so thorough! I’ve been attracted to Lyveden New Bield ever since I was working with a client in Northampton a few years ago and thought I might be able to grab some time to visit. I still haven’t made it – and you’ve opened up a raft of other possibilities. Good on yer!

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