At the foot of the wolds stands the quaint market town of Alford, with its beautiful buildings, regular arts and craft markets and working five-sailed windmill. Alford Manor House is thought to be the largest thatched manor house in the country and visitors can also explore the Hackett Barn Museum, which houses historic artefacts dating back more than three centuries.
Woodhall Spa has a fascinating history and an ambience all its own. Developed in Victorian times as a genteel spa resort, this popular village now boasts two top-class golf courses, museum, an outdoor heated lido and a unique cinema – the Kinema in the Woods. The rather quaint Kinema in the Woods, which celebrated its 90th birthday in 2012, is set deep in a pine forest in the picturesque village of Woodhall Spa.
For outdoor fun, as well as a bowls green, tennis courts and a croquet lawn, Jubilee Park in Woodhall Spa has a heated outdoor swimming pool which is open from May to September.
The village has excellent golfing facilities and is often hailed as the home of English golf following the establishment of the National Golf Centre in 1995. Budding golfers can tee off on its Championship-level Hotchkin Course which is consistently rated among the world’s finest.
The mineral water spring that made Woodhall famous was discovered by accident in 1811 when John Parkinson of Old Bolingbroke was mining for coal in the area. The supposed healing properties of the water encouraged local landowner Thomas Hotchkin to build a brick bath in 1829, which was replaced by a proper bath house and hotel in 1838 as the fame of the village spread.
Tattershall & Coningsby
Eight miles south of Horncastle lie the villages of Coningsby and Tattersall. An early Danish settlement, Coningsby is now home to one of the most important RAF bases in the country. Originally built for Bomber Command it was the home of the Dambusters of 617 Squadron and Vulcan jet bombers before transferring to Fighter Command in the 1960s. These days it is the main training base for pilots learning to fly the Tornado F3 and Typhoon.
Visitors can also explore the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Visitor Centre, where you can see a Lancaster bomber, five Spitfires, two Hurricanes and a Dakota being maintained in flying condition.
The impressive Tattershall Castle, in the adjacent village of Tattershall, was built by Ralph Cromwell, Lord Treasurer of England, between 1434 and 1447.
Tattershall is also the resting place of the legendary Tom Thumb who was allegedly just 47cm tall. He is said to have died in 1620, at 101 years old. Tom Thumb’s tiny house can be seen on the roof of another, larger house, in the Market Place.
Tattershall Lakes camping and caravanning holiday park is jam-packed with things to do including waterskiing, jetskiing, angling and wakeboarding. There is also an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool, spa and a gym.