Lincolnshire – A true snapshot of English rural life
The second largest county in England, Lincolnshire is one of the finest counties to tour at leisure. The wide spaces between the larger towns and the city of Lincoln give each community its own identity. All residential areas are most welcoming, presenting a full range of, pubs, town halls and local churches that host a variety of activities, many of which are compelling sights for the visitor.
The main cities and towns, in order of size, are: Lincoln, Grantham, Grimsby, Boston, Scunthorpe, Spalding, Stamford, Skegness, Louth, Sleaford, Gainsborough, Brigg, Cleethorpes, Bourne, Horncastle and Mablethorpe. Of course, several of these are on the East Coast of the county bordering the North Sea.
The City is at the heart of the county and only a short distance from Branston Hall Hotel. The most famous landmark of the city is the Cathedral.
Lincoln Cathedral was reputedly the tallest building in the world for nearly a quarter of a millennium (1300–1549).It is highly regarded being one of the most precious pieces of Gothic architecture in the British Isles.
Lincoln is the centre for festivals and concerts, art and sculpture, boats and buildings. The High Street Quarter is the ideal place for shopping, with shopping centre and recently regenerated Waterside and St Marks Area. It’s also a great place to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a coffee at one of the city’s trendy coffee bars, and at night comes alive with the many exciting bars and clubs there. The Brayford Waterfront boasts sculptures and a public viewing deck.
There are boat trips on offer and a nine-screen cinema with all the latest movies. Evenings, the waterfront area has a very friendly, laid-back and welcoming atmosphere.
The famous Waterfront Festival that takes place in July, with plenty of great shows, stalls and much more besides. And finally, Lincoln’s Cultural Quarter has ‘The Collection’, a great new museum that sees archaeological finds side-by-side with fine, decorative and contemporary visual arts. Lincoln Drill Hall is the city’s premier arts venue, hosting an amazing mix of events.
Activities throughout Lincolnshire include thrilling theme parks rides, the resorts at Skegness, Ingoldmells and Cleethorpes always offer something for The Skegness Illuminations usually start towards the end of July in proximity to the Clock Tower, which was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, as do the Mablethorpe Illuminations.
There is a regular calendar of events in Lincolnshire, with some dating back over a century, with many very unique to their locality.
There are numerous art, antique, agricultural and entertainment festivals held at venues throughout the county during the year. Farmers markets are held regularly in the towns of the county, a visit is most rewarding; as here you will sample true Lincolnshire rural life.
One of the most famous is the Agricultural Show, first held around the year 1884. It is one of the largest agricultural shows in the country, and attracts some 100,000 people during its two days (the Wednesday and Thursday of the last whole week of June) at the Showground at Grange de Lings, a few miles north of Lincoln.
The two-day RAF Waddington Air Show is held annually, usually during the last weekend of June, at RAF Waddington.
Dating back to 1742, possibly one of the country’s most unusual auctions takes place in Bourne, a market town on the western edge of the Fens, on the Monday before Easter. This auction is to let the grazing rights of the Whitebread Meadow. Bidding takes place while two boys race toward the Queen’s Bridge in Eastgate. The end dash is meant to be the equivalent of the falling gavel in an auction.
Events in Lincolnshire also include the turning on of Christmas lights at the beginning of December in Bourne, Sleaford, Skegness, and other towns, a Christmas Market is held in Lincoln. This candlelit street market operates throughout the town, and has, over the past few years, become extremely popular.
The Spalding Flower Parade, which is held in late spring every year, attracts visitors from across Britain. It was started in 1959, and a prominent feature of the parade is the colourful floats decorated with tulip heads which compete for a cup.
Corby Glen, in South Kesteven, is host to one of the country’s oldest organised sheep fairs, which has been held every year since 1238.
The Haxey Hood village (located in the north of the county) competition is certainly one of the most unusual in the UK, and takes place every January, as it traditionally has for over 700 years. On the afternoon of the 6th January, or Twelfth Day of Christmas (if on a Sunday, it is held on January 5), a form of large rugby football scrum.
There is a mid-Lent fair held in Stamford during the week after Mothering Sunday. Showmen converge on the town and rides and sideshows fill the main Broad Street, the Sheepmarket and the Meadows for a complete week.
Some of the other rather unusual annual attractions include the annual Scarecrow Festival held in Tetford and Salmonby. (16 km south of Louth) in May, and the Belchford (7 miles north of Horncastle) Downhill Challenge which is held every two years, where soapbox racers race down the hill at up to 30 km/h.