The rural county of Lincolnshire, the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton, is a fascinating contrast of busy towns and cities, miles of countryside and stunning nature reserves. There’s something here for all ages and yet despite the regular influx of tourists, the county manages to retain its unspoilt charm. If you’re planning a trip to Lincolnshire or a family day out, here are just a few of the top things to do; you can’t afford to miss these attractions!
Discover Lincolnshire history
The county has a rich varied history, so where better to start your exploration than in the city of Lincoln itself? Lincoln’s history dates back as far as Roman times and you simply must visit the beautiful medieval castle, Bishop’s Palace, the gardens and the imposing Gothic cathedral, which was used as a double for Westminster Cathedral in the film ‘The Da Vinci Code’. Take a rooftop cathedral tour or see one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, before continuing your stroll through the city’s ‘Cathedral Quarter’.
Here, you’ll find quaint restaurants such as Brown’s Pie Shop (which reputedly has its own ghost), as well as independent boutiques and charming cafes. Head for Ellis Windmill, a working 18th century windmill or explore the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
The county is also home to many castles and country houses, most notably Gainsborough Old Hall and Burghley House, which was used for the filming of the new Pride and Prejudice film.
Take to the skies
Aviation enthusiasts are in the right place, as Lincolnshire was known as ‘Bomber County’ during World War Two, when the county was home to many bomber bases. Today, you can still visit many of the old RAF posts, as well as memorials and wartime museums. If you’re lucky, you may even see an air show by the Red Arrows display team, based in the county. Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at Spilsby lies on the site of a Lancaster Bomber airfield and is the only place in the country where you can taxi down the runway in an original Lancaster Bomber! The UK’s largest Bomber Command Museum is also home to the original control tower and memorial. It’s a good idea to check if any special events or displays are taking place before planning your visit.
Enjoy the great outdoors
Lincolnshire is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and there are plenty of activities here to keep all ages amused. During the summer months fishing is popular with some of the finest fishing waters in the country located here. Those who prefer walking will find no shortage of trails for all abilities too; hike the Viking Way, a 147-mile footpath which takes in the town of Horncastle, the city of Lincoln and the south of the county. Or stroll along the Tennyson Trail, where you’ll have the opportunity to visit key locations in the life of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. Lincolnshire is also home to a network of cycle routes and over 50 golf courses. Families visiting the county may wish to head for Rushmoor Country Park in Louth or Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Park in the Lincolnshire Wolds. Here you can see birds of prey including owls and Harris Hawks; you could even book an individual experience where you can spend one-on-one time with the birds and their trainer!
Be beside the seaside
Skegness, Cleethorpes, Mablethorpe and Sutton on Sea; what do all these places have in common? They’re great seaside resorts perfect for a traditional family day out in Lincolnshire! Expect miles of golden sandy beaches, donkey rides, amusements, fish and chips and a plethora of treats – not to mention sand castle building competitions. Head to Mablethorpe for Blue Flag Beaches or enjoy the family entertainment on offer at Skegness Pier or Natureland Seal Sanctuary. Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes is home to some fantastic white knuckle rides, so it’s a good idea to save the fish and chips for afterwards! As well as the museums and family attractions, the Lincolnshire coastline is a great spot for birdwatchers and nature lovers. Park your car at Saltflletby-Theddlethorpe National Nature Reserve to enjoy the stunning sea lavender displays in the summer months, or travel from Skegness to Gibraltar Point. This wildlife reserve covers 1,300 acres and you’ll find many breeding bird colonies here. For grey seals, head to Donna Nook Nature Reserve during November and December.
Step back in time
There are parts of Lincolnshire which remain incredibly unspoil and you can wander for miles, exploring the countryside. The Cathedral Quarter of Lincoln is a lovely place to whittle away an afternoon amongst historic buildings and quaint tearooms, or head for Woodhall Spa, where you’ll find the ‘Cinema in the woods’. This tiny traditional cinema (which really is in the middle of the woods), first opened in the late 19th century and today it hosts regular movie screenings. There’s something very charming about queuing outside, waiting for the owner to open up and let you in, although seeing a horror movie here isn’t recommended, as you’ll have a walk through the woods back to the village centre to get home! Pretty villages, such as Navenby and Saxilby, surround the city of Lincoln and a day spent driving through a few of these and stopping off at the cafes and antiques shops you’ll find along the way is a day well-spent.
Lincolnshire has plenty to offer all ages, from families enjoying a holiday or long weekend break to couples looking for a romantic escape and outdoor enthusiasts. Whilst the weather is best during the summer months, Lincolnshire can be equally charming during the winter – Lincoln Cathedral looks stunning with a light covering of snow. From nature reserves and museums to historical sites and traditional tearooms, Lincolnshire is the perfect place to experience all this and more. So the next time you’re in the area, remember some of these top things to do in Lincolnshire and add it to your list of holiday or day-trip destinations; you’ll never be short of things to see and do!