Walk 186: Stanwick Lakes: Nature Ramble Trail

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 2.45 miles (3.99km)

Time to walk: Roughly 1 hour 20 minutes, but that included visiting the bird hides

Difficulty: Flat & all on hard surfaces. This is good for all ages & also disability / accessibility friendly

Parking: Plenty of public parking. Charges appear to vary, but when we visited in March 2022, it was £3.80 flat charge

Public toilets: Near the car park

Map of the route:

For our second walk at Stanwick Lakes I wanted to look at one of the longer trails so I chose the, almost 2.5 mile, ‘Nature Ramble’

Looking at the map you can see that this is a long shaped walk, although there’s an opportunity to cut the walk short if it’s too far for smaller legs. The only downside to this walk is the outward stretch follows the side of  a busy road, so traffic noise can be a pain at times

I’ve put the background etc to this area in the other walk so please refer to that should you wish to know more 

Let’s Walk!

1. As per the previous one, this walk starts at the Visitor Centre & heads along the path to the left, towards the entrance into Stanwick Lakes…

Walk across the river on the footpath side of the bridge

2. After crossing, look for the entrance onto a smaller footpath over the road on the left…

This footpath is going to take us all the way towards the top end of the site. On the day we visited we hardly saw a soul. The first lake 0n the left is a small, unnamed one. The path bends right & we were lucky to see a Muntjac eating some carrots that someone had clearly left

We actually got quite close ,but it spotted us just as we were trying to take a picture

3. After this the path bears left & heads north, following the busy road we mentioned…

The first large lake now on your left’s called Celtic Lake

4. There’s lots of silver birches along this stretch

Shortly the path arrives at a fork. This is where you can take a shorter route by bearing left along the path between Celtic & Grebe Lakes…

To continue our longer route we take the right path, now alongside Grebe Lake

5. There’s some lovely & varied photo opportunities on this stretch

We’re also now entering another part of the Heritage Trail as the stone monolith ahead indicates there was once a Medieval settlement in this area

6. The settlement dates between 1154 – 1450AD. The stone shows the artefacts that were found here from this period including a bone flute, & keys made of bronze & iron

7. The lake now on your left is called ‘Ox eye’ & next up is another monolith, this time depicting the earlier Saxon & Norman times, dating between 950 – 1154AD…

Around this time the farming communities of the area came together to form the villages of Stanwick & Raunds

8. Shortly you’ll arrive at another fork in the path, where we’ve reached the most northerly point of this walk. There’s also a bench dedicated to Mervyn if you fancy sitting for a few moments

Take the left path which passes between Ox eye lake on your left & Saxon on your right…

9. This is only a short path & it soon arrives at the junction with the old railway line that used to run through Stanwick Lakes

The sign tells you that this is part of the ‘Greenway’, an East Northamptonshire initiative that makes attractive & safer walking & cycling routes available in the heart of the Nene Valley

Their website tells us…

“The Greenway will help connect East Northamptonshire’s communities to a central route that will run from Wellingborough Railway Station in the south & to Peterborough railway station in the north & vice-versa

It will link open spaces together with opportunities for informal recreation & alternative means of transport to services & facilities. The project will also provide safe routes for young people who walk & cycle to school.”

10. Turn left onto the old track & we’re now going to follow it all the way back to the start of this walk…

Once again there’s some wonderful benches to spend a few peaceful moments on…

Remember the shortened version of this walk? Well if you’d taken that path you’d have arrived at this junction

11. Carry straight on to arrive at one of Stanwick Lakes’ little gems, which overlooks the original Iron Age settlement…the Roundhouse

The Roundhouse is situated close to where an excavation in the 1980s found post holes showing there were 50 roundhouses on this site

12. I told you there was a variety of benches! I called this one the “surfboard” or the “surgeon’s table’…

The first of two hides are on the right…

Go & have a look…this area’s laid out with lots of feeders

13. Come back out & look to the left to see another hide overlooking the lake. Go inside & take a seat. This is an excellent place to spend a few minutes…

From inside the hide look over to the right to see “Tern Island” a nesting place for hundreds of noisy terns

14. Come back out & continue along the path you were following. The Roman monolith is here…

The settlement dates back to 250 – 41oAD & the Romans replaced the roundhouses with wooden & then stone buildings. A Roman villa with mosaic floors was found in the area

15. Cross the river once more…

This is Kingfisher Bridge

16. The final part of this walk passes the impressive Adventure Playground…

…& BBQ area & toilets

That’s basically the end of this walk, but it’s worth exploring the ‘Trading Places’ where they run traditional crafts courses such as Blacksmithing, Spoon Carving, Woodcarving & Leather Bag Making

Also next door’s the rather wonderful ‘Settlers Garden’…

So that’s the end of our second stroll around this wonderful site. There’s so many options & you could go back many times & do different walks each time

We’ll definitely be back

Go Walk!