Greater Lincolnshire Ambassador

Greater Lincolnshire - Towns and villages

The county has an abundance of beautiful towns and villages with fascinating histories, well worth a visit.                                                                                                              

The Georgian elegance of Stamford in the south of the county and Louth in the north enables these two fine towns to stand out. Voted the Sunday Times Best Place to Live in 2013, Stamford is a beautiful place to visit with its magnificent, honey-stoned buildings and its friendly and welcoming community.

Known as the Capital of the Lincolnshire Wolds, Louth is lucky to have retained a high proportion of small independent shops on its high street. It is also a magnet for foodies who are attracted by its wealth of speciality food shops. Voted Britain’s Favourite Market Town by viewers of BBC’s Countryfile, Louth also made it onto a similar shortlist in the Sunday Times.

Not far from Louth is the market town of Horncastle, famous for its many antique shops. Voted one of the best antiques destinations in Britain with treasure troves of collectables and gifts, Horncastle continues to draw in the crowds with an array of vintage porcelain, jewellery and books.

Travel the short distance from Horncastle to Boston and the first thing you will see is the imposing tower of St Botolph’s Church, more familiarly known as Boston Stump, The church is one of the largest in England and provides a handsome backdrop to Boston’s regular Wednesday and Saturday markets.

Boston was once the second largest port in England and the town’s rich mediaeval past can be easily identified in the winding lanes which lead to and from the Market Place. Visit the Guildhall Museum and see the prison cell where the Pilgrim Fathers were imprisoned before eventually setting sail for the New World.

Another town with a long history as an important port is Gainsborough. It was here that the Danish King Canute attempted to turn back the tide of the river Trent in the 11th century, and the landmark of the town is Gainsborough Old Hall, one of the best preserved timber framed manor houses in the country.

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. 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, 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. Nowadays the spa baths are no more but Woodhall still attracts plenty of visitors seeking a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Among the other notable towns in Lincolnshire is Grantham, best known for its connections with Baroness Thatcher, who was born here, and Sir Isaac Newton, who lived at nearby Woolsthorpe Manor. Sleaford, meanwhile, is an attractive and busy market town whose skyline is dominated by the 144-foot stone spire of St Denys’ Church.