Lose yourself in Lincolnshire

Posted on: 21 August 2018 by 50connect editorial

Nestling above the bulge of East Anglia, the county of Lincolnshire is an essential destination for foodies, history buffs and wildlife-lovers.


Start your exploration of this scenic region at the historic town of Lincoln to the west of the county, and accessible via the A46, A57 and the A15.  Here, beneath the stunning skyline of the cathedral lies a city spanning two millennia of history, heritage and architecture.

Lincoln, known in Roman times as Lindum, was founded in the mid 1st century AD and grew into a prosperous city, with huge walls, grand temples and impressive civic monuments, and it is to the Romans that Lincoln owes much of its historic heritage.

Traffic still runs through The Newport Arch, the largest Roman monument of its type left in Britain, which was once the north gate of the original Roman fortress - and the only example in the world still open to cars.

Lincoln’s famous medieval Cathedral is one of the finest examples of its type in Europe, and has Roman beginnings while the city’s Brayford Pool waterside was also once an important Roman port, but along with the impressive standing remains are the hidden relics of an imperial city. The Old Mint Wall is the largest piece of civic Roman masonry left in Britain at 6m high and was originally the rear wall of the Basilica, a town hall-like structure, which was connected to a colonnaded square.

The columns' positions are still visible centuries later, marked out on what is now the busy street of Bailgate in the heart of historic Lincoln.  However, excavations across the city have revealed far more about the Romano-British inhabitants than they were just good builders.

The waterfront produced over 70 Roman shoes, remains of the animals and fish which fed the population and even the first recorded cockroach.  When England was invaded by the Romans in AD43 they progressed through the country, occupying settlements and establishing their military garrison.  Lincoln with its settlement around the Brayford Waterfront overlooked by a steep hill offered the ideal defensive location.

Where to Stay

Lincoln has B&B's and hotels within the city, including the reputedly haunted White Hart Hotel which was visited by Richard II in 1372.  White Hart is known as the most haunted building in Lincoln, accommodating no less than eight ghosts. Beware of the ghostly children that startle hotel guests in the hall. The Orangery is said to be haunted by ghostly highwayman.

For a selection of accommdation visit http://www.stayinlincoln.co.uk/

fish and chips

Local food & specialities

From busy fish docks to windmills, farm shops, the butchers, bakers and chocolate makers - there’s no doubt that Lincolnshire is dedicated to producing the finest, freshest food. Markets sell organic vegetables and Lincolnshire meat is often reared by the butchers themselves.

There are plenty of local specialities to try including the classic Lincolnshire sausages, Grimsby Haddock in beer batter, Lincoln Red beef, stuffed chine (salt pork filled with herbs), or delicious local cheeses such as Poacher Cheese.

Lincolnshire plumbread is among the most famous of the county’s food fayre, and all the local bakers have their own individual secret recipes. The word 'plum' in plumbread means dried fruit – and in this case it is currants, raisins and sultanas.

Over in the south-east of the county, the town of Grantham is famous for a special type of gingerbread - Grantham Gingerbread. It arose as a result of a 'mistake' when a local baker in the 1740's making Grantham Whetstones, a flat hard biscuit for travellers mistook one ingredient for another and the result became the a hard, pale, domed biscuit - the Grantham Gingerbread.

In fact, Lincolnshire produces 20% of Britain’s food and it is amongst the finest in the world. Look out for the 'Tastes of Lincolnshire' sign which signifies local food and drink.

Lincolnshire coastline

The Lincolnshire coastline

With 50 miles of coast, Lincolnshire offers everything from traditional family resorts to peaceful, empty beaches.  Beneath Lincolnshire’s wide-open skies, the sea laps gently on to a coastline stretching from the Humber to the Wash. But in this county of contrasts, there are two very different seaside experiences on offer.

Traditional seaside resorts of Cleethorpes, Mablethorpe, Ingoldmells and Skegness retain the essence of the typical British seaside holiday from donkey rides, hot donuts and candy floss to family friendly, award-winning Blue Flag beaches.

For a quieter taste of this scenic coastline, step out of your car into a different world at Gibraltar Point, Saltfleetby, Huttoft or Anderby Creek where the sea stretches as far as the eye can see and miles of open beach hug the coast. For the solitude of nature, the Rural Coast offers seabirds soaring effortlessly overhead as white-capped breakers lap at the shore

Lincolnshire has a proud waterside tradition, and each year in July the vibrant Brayford Waterfront in historic Lincoln plays host to the Waterfront Festival, a colourful street arts family festival set beside the waterfront close to the heart of the city centre.

Miles of award-winning beaches may have become the county’s lasting sea legacy, but there’s plenty to rekindle the memories of a proud fishing heritage. In the 1950s Grimsby had become the world's largest fishing port and it is this history that is celebrated and recreated in the museum at the National Fishing Heritage Centre, Alexandra Dock, offering visitors a chance to experience the dangers and hardships of life on board a deep sea trawler - in perfect safety.

The Fens

The Fens

With its fair share of the East Midlands' 455 miles of navigable waterways, Lincolnshire offers unrivalled bird-watching, fishing in the Fens, and peaceful boating amidst rural tranquillity and historic market towns. Tamed by man from inhospitable marshland the Fens is a network of intricate waterways offering an atmospheric and tranquil landscape.

Open countryside merges into quiet roads and uncluttered waterways, creating a treasure trove of natural and man-made heritage centred on the traditional market towns of Boston and Spalding.

Discover special wildlife habitats stretching from the coastal marshes of the Wash to secluded inland waterways, explore the area’s historic connections with the furthest reaches of the New World, or simply marvel at how man overcame nature at the Fenscape.

Boston, brimming with history - including close links with the Pilgrim Fathers - is close to the RSPB Freiston Shore reserve and Boston Wash Banks, the UK’s top estuary for wild birds - where the saltmarsh is a perfect example of natural sea defence.

Spalding, where Georgian terraces front the tree-lined River Welland, is a riot of colour each May for the Spalding Flower Festival and 2004 saw the opening of Springfields, a 38-acre, £30m complex offering one of Britain’s premier show gardens and factory outlet shopping.

River Witham in Lincoln

Local legends

Bayard's Leap
The story of a horse called Bayard is centred on the A17 Newark Road and the B6403 road that make up part of the old imperial Roman road called Ermine Street. Close to the Bayard’s Leap Café, there are two sets of horse shoe prints and one set of studs each sixty feet apart - said to be the spot where the blind horse, Bayard, leapt.

The legend surrounds a witch called Meg who could whip up great gales and floods and generally made bad things happen to both animals and people. One day a knight claimed he would rid the people of Meg. He chose a horse from several drinking at a stream. The first to raise its head when the knight threw a stone in the water would be the horse he rode to kill Meg. That horse was blind Bayard. The knight then rode the horse to Meg’s cave and demanded she show herself. She replied, “I’ll buckle my shoes an’ suckle me cubs, an’ I’ll soon be with you me laddie”.

When she emerged, she had clawed hands and feet to attack him, but the knight rode forward and sliced off her breast with his sword. She screamed in pain and as the knight rode towards her again, she went to attack him but missed, and her claws sunk into Bayard’s rear.

Bayard leapt into the air with pain, and landed sixty feet further along the track. The knight killed Meg and shewas buried at the crossroads with a stake through her heart. The imprints of Bayard’s hooves from his leap are said to commemorate the freedom of the people from the witch.

The Fonaby Stone
St Paulinus, a 7th Century missionary, was riding along Fonaby Top, near Caistor when he met a farmer sowing corn. He wanted some feed for his ass but the man said he had none, and when Paulinus pointed to the sack of seed lying in the field, the man told him it was only a large stone. "Then stone it be," said Paulinus, turning it to stone. The stone still stands there today. Ill fortune is said to haunt anyone trying to damage or move the Fonaby Stone.

Where to stay

There are numerous hotels, B&B’s or self-catering farm houses throughout the entire region, many of which have special offers. Visit the Lincolnshire Tourist Board website for further information, maps and ideas.

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