A Wander in Search of Windmills

Getting out into the countryside of my local area is something that I particularly enjoy doing. As we’ve recently moved to a new village, there are lots of places around and about for me to discover.

I’d heard about the ruins of an old windmill out along a footpath linking our village to the next along the Lincolnshire Ridge. As the weather had turned pleasantly spring-like, I decided to go out and explore – with my camera in hand, of course. I headed out over an hour before sunset, determined to make the most of the golden hour light, which always gives a beautiful quality to photographs.

Trees in golden hour light
The golden light gave an otherworldly glow to some views.

The path I’d been told to follow is part of a trail called the Viking Way, a long distance footpath that stretches from one end of Lincolnshire to the other, from the banks of the Humber in the north, to the shores of Rutland Water in the south. It runs through the Lincolnshire Wolds and along the edge of the Ridge, where it reaches, and cuts through, my new village. It follows along the edges of farmers fields as it passes from one of the ‘cliff top’ villages to the next.

It didn’t take long to find the ruins of the windmill.

The ruins of the old windmill

I’ve always loved history and exploring old ruins. Windmills, as predecessors to the wind turbines of modern times, and as examples of industries of the past making the most of the (renewable) energy sources available to them, tend to hold a particular fascination.

Lincolnshire used to be home to a vast number of windmills. Some say that there were once over five hundred of them dotted around the countryside. Over one hundred can still be found. Far more are of them are crumbling ruins nowadays, though, rather than the working mills of the past.

Capturing the evening light through the doorway of the mill.

After finding the windmill I decided to follow the path a little further, enjoying the play of the golden light on the fields of young spring barley. Later on in the year these fields will be a swathe of gold across the landscape. For now, however, they’re a beautifully fresh, spring green,  with the sunlight providing the only hint of things to come.

The evening light tipped the young Spring barley in gold.

My wander was eventually brought to an end by the setting of the sun. I followed the light as it sank towards the horizon, enjoying the expansive views.

The sky was layered in shades of red and gold.

My route home took me along the Lincolnshire Ridge. Colours played across the sky as the sun vanished from sight. I wasn’t the only person out enjoying the evening. As the last glimmer of daylight faded, a couple sat and watched the lights of the city of Lincoln, that sprawls out below us, as they flickered into existence.

Couple enjoy the view over Lincoln in the half light.

To see more pictures from both this walk and others, check out our Instagram page. Have you been out and about in the countryside recently? Submit a photo diary about your walk for our A Week in Walks section. Are you involved in a project? Submit a picture for our Picture of the Week.