Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Through The Eyes Of LincsConnect

Around me in Lincolnshire – Sleaford by LincsConnect. This is the second of my series of blogs ‘through the eyes of LincsConnect’.  I’m sure you’ll find it useful.

It’s funny how a pre-conceived blog can change so much and so quickly.  I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Sleaford many times so the layout of the blog was already pre-conceived.  However, my research made me realise how little I know about the town.

Sleaford – Getting There

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Sleaford LincsConnect

Sleaford is conveniently located between Grantham (15 miles), Newark (19 miles), Boston (17 miles), Lincoln (20 miles) & Stamford (29 miles)

Split Sleaford into three areas and you’ll realise that there is more to the town than meets the eye.  We have Quarrington, Old Sleaford  and  New Sleaford (or ‘Sleaford’ as we know it now).  New Sleaford has enveloped both Old Sleaford and Quarrington during its recent ‘growth spurt’. We can therefore be forgiven for not realising how much the landscape has changed. In fact, the landscape has changed dramatically.  Over the last 250 years or so we now the ‘Old River Slea’ and the ‘New River Slea’ plus a railway line or two.  I’ll talk more about the rivers later though.

The A15 running North/South come to Sleaford from Lincoln in the North and Peterborough from the South.  Driving East/West the A17 links Boston through Sleaford to Newark.

The Sleaford railway station was opened in 1857 nd led to the ultimately demise of the canal.  It’s the only station in the region to offer North/South ‘and’ East/West destinations.  Trains run from Peterborough and Skegness as well as Nottingham and Lincoln.

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford (Quarrington)

Quarrington is worthy of a mention on its own but is now part of the larger town of Sleaford.

Around me in Lincolnshire - Sleaford Quarrington LincsConnect

St Botolph’s Church, Quarrington. Click on the picture to go to the website

The St Botolph’s Church (click the link to find them on Facebook) was originally built in the 13th Century but was rebuilt in 1812 and its tower was restored in 1887. Sunday services are being held weekly at 11.00am* with evening services via Zoom at 6.00pm.  *The obvious Covid19 restrictions apply so if you would like to attend the service please pre-book by emailing your request to stbquarrington890@gmail.com

Quarrington is located South West of Sleaford centre with the A15 to its West and A153/B1517 to its North and is thought to be the ‘mother’ parish of Old Sleaford. The walk from Quarrington is regarded as ‘easy’ and is just 3-4 miles round trip to Sleaford depending on your route:

Around Me In Lincolnshire, Sleaford LincsConnect

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford (Old Sleaford)

Old Sleaford, as you might expect, had its (Northern) border running along the Old (original) River Slea.  I’ve also read that there was a Roman road running through Sleaford from Tattershall to Ancaster.  My research so far suggests that I have a choice of either King Street or Bloxholm Lane. You can probably guess what town my next blog will focus on then!

Old Sleaford was possibly an iron-age tribal centre but since then it has had links with William the Conqueror in 1086 and had a castle built by Bishop Alexander of Lincoln in around 1120/30.  Sadly though the castle fell into disrepair and was demolished in around 1600.  During its popularity it played host to both King John and Henry VIII (separately of course)!

Around me in Lincolnshire - Sleaford Old Sleaford LincsConnect

The site of the castle is still visible and is shown in this aerial picture. The picture was taken from Wikipedia but there is no evidence of the originator to reference here I’m afraid.

“The visible remains are now only a moat, a scrap of masonry (one small, toppled portion of a wall in the north-east corner of the inner bailey) and associated earthworks”.  For more information visit the Wikipedia site.  I’ll be paying a visit to the site soon and hope to be able to provide updated pictures.

Further reading Indicates that there was a large Manor House (the Hussey Manor House, build in 1400) at Old Place, Sleaford.  It included a moat, gate house, chapel, kiln drying oven and extensive outbuildings.  Sadly it was demolished in 1822 to make way for the new building.  If you’re planning a visit to the area look up ‘Old Place’, Sleaford.

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Navigation

The river Slea surfaces to the South West of Ancaster at West Willoughby (West of Sleaford) and flows through Sleaford to South Kyme. Here it becomes the Kyme Eau and then joins the River Witham at Chapel Hill.

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Sleaford River Slea LincsConnect

The diagram shows the seven locks used in the new River Slea while the blue line to the right shows the course of the Old River Slea

The River Slea and the Nine Foot River (or Nine Foot Drain) merge in Sleaford to become one River Slea.  As the river passes through the town it becomes part of the Sleaford Navigation.  The 12.5 miles canalisation was opened in 1794 to allow continued navigation.  Inevitably (with the advent of the railway) it became redundant and fell into disrepair.  Thankfully much of it has now been restored and re-opened.  The Old River Slea was allowed to run its normal course (South of the canal) and the two rejoin at Cobblers Lock before becoming the Kyme Eau at South Kyme and eventually joining the River Witham.

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Navigation House

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Sleaford Navigation House LincsConnect

Navigation House visitor centre, Sleaford. Click on the picture to go to the website and follow them on Twitter here: @NavigationHouse 

The old clerks office (Navigation House) serves as a visitors centre for the canal and incorporates a shop selling local produce.  More importantly though it houses a museum and information centre with wall maps, information boards, TV and audio rooms and lots of interesting articles to inform the young and old alike. Built in 1838 this grade II listed building is a piece of history in its on right.  When visiting be sure to make your way to Navigation Yard to have a look. I know you’ll be impressed so make it a date in your diary.  For up-to-date information give them a follow on Twitter @NavigationHouse

Their current opening times are Friday to Monday 12.00pm-4.00pm.  You can ring them on 01529 305904 or email navigationhouse@n-kesteven.gov.uk to book group tours too.

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Cogglesford Mill

Covid19 is still threatening its ugliness across the world but you’ll find the staff at Coggesford Watermill are very friendly and have your safety in mind.  Please do contact them prior to your visit (see the YouTube video above for details).  Don’t forget your mask while looking around this historic building though.

From Navigation House you’ll find Coggesford Mill just a short walk away.  Look out for the Kingfishers while you’re walking along the river bank.  If you’re lucky you’ll see a flash of bright blue as one goes fishing for a snack.

If you’ve come from Navigation House hopefully you bought some duck food for the inevitable feeding spectacular.  It’s always a special moment for childen if you have any with you.  However, for the adults you’ll find an array of freshly ground flour and other local produce in the shop at Coggesford Mill and if it’s a sunny day you may want to buy an ice cream there too.

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Sleaford Coggesford Water Mill LincsConnect

Coggesford Water Mill – if this picture downs’e tempt you to visit I don’t know what will…

The mill was originally a single story building but was later extended to three stories. Built in the 18th Century it’s still producing freshly ground flour to this day.  Its history goes way back to Saxon times so the building we see today with its two sets of millstones is relatively modern!

Seeing and hearing the mill in action is a real treat so I do hope you get to experience it.  I’ve noticed that there is now a virtual tour as well as special school trips so please do get in touch by email cogglesfordwatermill@n-kesteven.gov.uk for more information and to book. In fact, please do get in touch before visiting anyway as the Covid19 situation is continually changing.

Maintenance Closure

It’s worth noting that Cogglesford Watermill l is undergoing some improvement and maintenance work at the moment. As a result it is temporarily closed.  It’ll be open again in September though in time for the children returning to school. If you’re a teacher and would like to organise a trip please do get in touch.  Follow @Cogglesford on Twitter for regular updates.

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Museum

Around Me In Lincolnshire Sleaford Museum LincsConnect

Discover more of the history of Sleaford by visiting the museum. Currently open every Saturday between 10.00am and 3.00pm. Click on the picture to go to the website or follow them on Twitter @MuseumSleaford 

This local history museum is a charity run by volunteers.  Opening times are limited as I write this blog but please do visit the website and twitter page for updates as additional opening times will inevitably follow the easing of Covid19 restrictions.  Don’t forget to book in before arrival to make sure they have a slot available as visits are limited to four people at a time. Keep up to date on Facebook at Sleaford Museum

Historically (excuse the pun) the museum has had exhibitions but they are limited at the moment.  Checking the website will give you the full up-to-date details though.

Local history talks take place at St Deny’s Church rooms (off the Market Place) and start at 7.30pm. Follow this link for a timetable:  Events and Talks

St Deny’s Church is visible from Eastgate (A153/B1517) and is a ‘must see’ Grade I listed building dating back to the 12th Century.  Click on the blue links to read more and find them on Facebook here St Deny’s Church Sleaford

Around Me In Lincolnshire Sleaford Museum LincsConnect

Getting there: The address is 81 Southgate (contact number 07518 972016) with plenty of parking and a rail link

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Places Of Interest

Sleaford certainly is a gem in the Lincolnshire countryside with lots of interesting things to do and places to visit.  It’s a market town with regular markets on Mondays and Fridays plus a famers market every first Saturday of the month.  It also has a thriving shopping area too with independent shops as well as some big chain stores.  If you fancy some shopping and a bite to eat or a drink you’ll be spoilt for choice.   Just 7 minutes drive from St Deny’s Church in Sleaford is Kirkby-La-Thorpe. Here you’ll find the 12th Century small church which also happens to be called The Church Of St Denny’s.

The Queens Head Bar And Restaurant

Kirkby-La-Thorpe is worthy of a mention because of its church of course but also the village pub which was formerly called The Queens Head Inn (on Boston Road).  The original pub achieved the prestigious Top 13 Pub in the UK award with its fantastic food and great value. It closed in early 2019 due to a combination of COVID19 and the death of a former owner.  Since then it has been taken over by a new team who’ve been putting in the hours and hard work to completely renovate and rejuvenate it.  New menus are planned with the emphasis on locally sourced produce.

The Queens Head team have been posting their progress on Twitter so if you would like to follow their journey click on this link: @QueensKirkby now. You can join in with the chat there and watch the changes being made as well as the new menus coming to life.

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Sleaford Queens Head Pub Kirkby-La-Thorpe LincsConnect

New beginnings means a new logo and I think this one is very smart. It’s modern and fresh which reflects nicely what the new owners aim to achieve. You can follow them on Twitter @QueensKirkby For reservations call 01529 305743 or visit the website www.thequeensheadpub.com

Cocktails At The Queens

Here is the new Cocktails List for the New Pub. Why not save the list to your phone and place your order when you get there?

 

The Queens Head is set to open its doors once again as a pub on 19 July 2021 and the restaurant will be opening shortly after.  Put Sunday 1 August in your diary for the restaurant but don’t forget to book your table in advance to avoid disappointment.  I have no doubt that this is going to be a very popular local pub and restaurant once again.

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford Music

You can’t really write about Sleaford without mentioning the Saboteurs so sit back and have a listen to one or two of their songs.  They bill themselves as ‘alternative’ and ‘grunge’ but I just like their modern Indie feel.  Have a listen and make up your own mind.

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Sleaford The Saboteurs LincsConnect

The Saboteurs bill themselves as ‘Alternative’ and ‘Grunge’ but if you like modern indie music I think you’ll agree that whatever labels they put themselves under, they’re simply ‘very good’. Click on the picture to hear a different sample of their music.

Sleaford seems to have more that it’s fair share of music opportunities so it wouldn’t be right to omit the Sleaford Live Fest which is (normally) held in May every year.  Follow them on Twitter @Sleaford_Live and Facebook Sleaford Live Festival where you’ll find lots of links to local music and arts events.  Indie rock or folk music isn’t for everyone of course so if you prefer choral music, Sleaford has that too. Normal rehearsals are on Wednesday evenings with at least three concerts each year.  However, with the onslaught of the dreaded Covid19, rehearsals have been put on hold until August 2021.  For more information take a look at the Sleaford Choral Society website and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter too @ChoralSleaford

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More Places To Visit

This blog really could go and and on as there are so many places to visit in the Sleaford area.  The blog isn’t a definitive ‘what’s on’ for the area though so as a result I’ll cut the next bit short just to give you a taster:

Rauceby Hall will be opening its gates to welcome visitors once again from 14 to 18 July 2021.  Visitors to Rauceby Hall are invited to see the performances of  ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which will be performed by Sleaford Playhouse Theatre who can be found on Facebook and Twitter @SleafordTheatre

Tickets are on sale for the performances so if you want to join the fun just click on the picture below to go to the ticket office:

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Sleaford A Midsummer Night's Dream LincsConnect

Click on the picture to book your tickets

If walking is your preferred form of relaxation and mindfulness then Sleaford has certainly got you covered.  The River Slea and Canal offer scenic routes with locks and mills being just part of the delights.  This is one of the routes provided by Sleaford Navigation which I’m sure you will enjoy.  Keep your eyes open for the Haverholme Priory too.  Follow the link to read about the sad demise of the priory building.  Personally I think it’s really quite tragic.

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Sleaford Navigation Haverholme Priory LincsConnect

Click on the picture to read and download the walk which has been uploaded by Sleaford Navigation

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford – Charity

Charity begins with you and me but with so many charities needing our help it’s difficult to know which ones to choose. This North Kesteven website has a list of local charities in Sleaford so if you’re able to donate or volunteer please do click on the picture below for more information:

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Sleaford Charities LincsConnect

Are you able to help a local charity? Click on the picture to go to a list of local charities in Sleaford. Perhaps you can volunteer or make a donation?

In Case You Missed It

Take a look back at some of the previous blogs to see what you might have missed.  Click on the picture to go straight to the blog:

Around Me In Lincolnshire - Gainsborough through the eyes of LincsConnect

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Gainsborough

 

LincsConnectJobs hour for jobs and courses

#LincsConnectJobs Hour for jobs and courses

 

Great Grimsby Day 2021 by LincsConnectGreat Grimsby Day 2021

Around Me In Lincolnshire – Sleaford

That’s it for now.  I hope you enjoy my local ‘Around Me’ blogs.  I’ll be grateful for any comments and feedback so feel free to email me at martin@lincsconnect.co.uk

If you would like me to visit your town please do let me know.  Advertising comes with a FREE link to the blog for as long as you want it so you can use it again and again to help promote your business or charity.

Look after yourself and each other

 

 

Love Lincolnshire Culture 2

Love Lincolnshire Culture 2

Click on the picture to discover the Easton Walled Garden (EWG) ‘Whats On’ page and don’t forget to add Sunday 6 September into your calendar for the Autumn Country Market. You’ll be pleasantly surprised I’m sure and you can even sign up to the EWG newsletter too.

#LoveCultureWeek…

The #LoveCultureWeek was from 17 – 23 August but in reality we have so much to see and celebrate in Lincolnshire and our boarders that it simply isn’t possible to fit everything into a single blog.  In fact, if I did list everything in one week you couldn’t get around all the fantastic locations in a short time frame anyway!  With that in mind, I’ve decided to ‘drip feed’ the blogs for you so that you can plan your adventures for this month, next month or even next year!

Easton Walled Garden

Driving out of the County from Ancaster towards the A1 you’ll see a brown sign directing you to Easton Walled Garden.  It’s one of those hidden gems that you really need to make the effort to see. It’s so close to the A1 (Colsterworth) that you might be forgiven for thinking that its probably just a small garden hidden away next to a busy road that will just take an hour or so to glance around and move on.  If that’s what you’ve been thinking, you really need to read this and have a rethink.

The gardens are open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays until 27 September.  However, with the weather set to change (it’s a dull Autumnal feeling day as I write this on 28 August) over the weekend with Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday forecast to be quite pleasant.  It’s a good job then that Easton Walled Garden is also open on Bank Holiday Monday.  Make sure that you make plenty of time to wander though as the grounds cover a full 12 acres of gardens.  You’ll be able to discover new plantings and the latest additions while exploring the 80m long borders.  I’m reliably informed that the plantings have been designed to peak ‘now’ for your delight.

It’s been 400 years in the making (and growing) and has the River Witham flowing through its grounds.  The cafe is open for takeaway hot and cold drinks along with the all important ‘cakes’ to keep you sustained during your ventures around the grounds. The shop (both physical and online) is the place to be for your seeds and lovely gifts and there are even holiday cottages for those of you who want to stay for your next local break.  I’m sure there is quite a bit that I’ve missed off here so I recommend you visit the Easton Walled Garden website to make your own discoveries. There is no need to book as the grounds are extensive but you will obviously need to adhere to the normal social distancing rules. The gardens are posting on social media of course so for a quick update follow @EWGardens on Twitter.

Woolsthorpe Lock is just West of Grantham and is a great area to visit to see the current engineering work that’s going on to restore the Grantham Canal.

Grantham Canal

The boat trips may be cancelled due to the Covid-19 restrictions but the @GranthamCanal (find them on twitter) is still worth a visit.  I thoroughly recommend you take your camera with you and be prepared to be amazed!  The lottery funded work is really impressive and the volunteers deserve all the praise they can get.  You’ll be able to see what they’ve been doing if you search for them on Facebook too.  To make life easier I’ve included a link here: Grantham Canal Society  If you like what you see you can join the team as a volunteer and/or make financial donations to help the project along. For more information about this project and more canal walks and adventures have a look at the www.canalrivertrust.org.uk website.  You’ll find lots of information here including free guides for days out, maps, walking and cycling routes plus much more.

National Garden Scheme

While you’re in the Belvoir/Rutland area you might like to take a visit to some of the lovely gardens in the Rutland area.  Redhill Lodge is open on Sunday 30 August for a small charge of £5.00 but you’ll need to follow this link to book your visit: Redhill Lodge

The Lincoln branch of the National Garden Scheme are great supporters of #LincsConnect and are often advertising gardens to visit. Click on the picture to find them on Twitter

I was going to write about the National Garden Scheme to explain what it is and how it works but, to be honest, I can’t put it any better than the words on the official website so here’s what the site has to say:

“Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors we have donated a total of £55 million to nursing and health charities, and made a record annual donation of £3.1 million in 2018. Our beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

By opening your garden, you’re not only giving people a great day out – you’re also raising money to help those in need. What’s more, you are joining a community of thousands of other like minded garden owners, all passionate about great gardens and raising money for great causes.”

Why not organise a visit to a garden in Louth? The Secret Garden of Louth is taking bookings and visits cost £2.50. Click on the picture for more details

Mere House, Sturton by Stow is another garden to visit. Admission is £6.00 (children free). Clicking on the picture will take you to the website where you can book your visit.

Previous Blogs

Here are a few links to earlier blogs which I hope you find interesting.  There’s lots going on at #LincsConnect and there is even more planned so please keep an eye to for new features and events.

Love Lincolnshire Culture

Help Me, Help You In Lincolnshire 

#LincsConnect #LincsArtCraftHour For Lincolnshire, Newark, Retford And Hull 

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Christmas Is Coming…

Don’t forget that the #LincsConnectChristmas hashtag along with the #LincsArtCraftHour hashtag goes live on Monday 7 September.  ‘Now’ is the time to start your preparations so look out for the hashtags and shop early & safely for Christmas.

Community

Bank Holiday Pharmacy services in Lincolnshire. Click on the picture for details of pharmacies that will be open near you and follow @ULHT_News for your health updates. 

NE Lincs virtual mental health support – just a Zoom away… If you’re in need of mental health support in the evening get in touch with @NAVIGOCARE by clicking on this picture to go straight to their website.

Stay Safe

Stay safe everyone.  Hand washing and social distancing is still the key to our continued success so keep up the good work.  Have a lovely Bank Holiday and don’t forget to put your rubbish in the bin or take your litter home with you.

 

Love Lincolnshire Culture

Love Lincolnshire Culture

Love Culture

Did you know that 17 August saw the start of #LoveCultureWeek across the UK? It’s a time to celebrate and visit cultural venues and marvel at what is on offer.  This week is aimed at highlighting some of the venues but our cultural sights are open all year of course so let’s get out (safely) to enjoy what’s on offer.

#LoveCultureWeek 

It’s time to celebrate by visiting the fantastic County museums, galleries, heritage sites and libraries to see what they have to offer. Please feel free to add in the ones that I’ve missed in the comments below.

#EnjoySummerSafely

I hope my list does it justice.  Apologies in advance to those that I’ve missed out but I’ll happily add a little mention for you if you contact me.  The new rules will inevitably apply so if you do want to pay a visit please make sure you book in advance and follow the safety rules.  Perhaps you can time your visit to coincide with the .Gov initiative #EatOutToHelpOut too.

Where To Start?

With a County as large as Lincolnshire its going to be impossible to cover every venue and location in one blog but perhaps a few choice mentions might give you some ideas and inspiration to make your own list.  After all, you don’t have to cram everything into just one week!

Lincoln

Starting with our County capital you’ll no doubt have a large list of locations to visit ranging from:

Click on the picture to go straight to the ticket office and don’t forget to follow @CollectionUsher on Twitter too

 

Click on the picture to book your tickets. The grounds are open to the public so if the weather is right, why not pay a visit to have a walk around with friends and family? The Castle has its own Twitter account so why not give it a follow to make your own discoveries? @LincolnCastle

 

Click on the picture to go straight to the Lincoln Cathedral events page to discover what’s going on. The Cathedral also has its own Twitter page too so give it a follow to discover what’s happening @LincsCathedral

 

The picture doesn’t say it all – Click on the picture to go to the ticket office of this ‘Gold Award Winning’ venue in Lincoln. You won’t be disappointed. They’re on Twitter of course: @IntBCC so give them a follow

 

Doddington Hall and Gardens are open for visitors with many planned events so click on the picture to go straight to the events page on their website. Obviously bookings will have to be made and rules will need to be followed but we’re all used to that now! You can give the Hall a follow on twitter too of course @DoddingtonHall to stay up to date with their events calendar.

Plan Your Visit

Each of the venues above have a booking system which can be accessed by clicking on the individual pictures.  They are all on Twitter but if you prefer Facebook just click on the relevant picture to go to the website to follow from there..

Top 3, Top 10… Or Top 100?

No matter how big or small the list is, I’m bound to miss someone important!  Please keep in mind that this list is just to give you some ideas as I’m sure you’ll have plenty of additions for your own list.

Are You Visiting Lincolnshire?

Covid-19 Safe complementary therapies from the comfort of your own home or hotel room. Mandarin Therapies provides fully mobile bespoke complementary therapies. Click on the logo for more information

Stamford

If you’re in the Stamford area there are some pretty spectacular places to visit.  Top of the agenda has to be the town centre with it’s beautiful buildings and delightful local shops.  There is more to see and do too though:

Burghley House And Gardens are open from Wednesday to Sunday each week. Click on the picture for more details. The park is open every day though and entry is free. Give them a follow on Twitter @BurghleyHouse for regular updates

 

 

Stamford Arts Centre is physically closed at the moment but they do have events online via their new YouTube channel so why not pay them a visit? This centre has so much to offer so do follow them on Twitter @StamfordArts for updates then pay a visit when it’s safe to do so. Click on the picture to go to their website

 

Stamford Sights & Secrets Tours is a must if you want to find out more about Stamford. The walking tours are on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 11.00am. Simply click on the picture to go to the ticket site and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter @StamfordTours for updates

More To Come…

Lincolnshire is such a big County that it’ll be impossible to list everyone here.  With that in mind, I’ll post another blog or two with some more ideas from Grantham, Spalding, Skegness and Grimsby. Do let me know if you would like to be included.

Until next time, stay safe everyone,

After The Coronavirus… What’ve We Got To Look Forward To In Lincolnshire? Part 3

After The Coronavirus… What’ve We Got To Look Forward To In Lincolnshire? Part 3

Summer Holiday

I don’t know about you but I’m not considering a holiday abroad this year.  My mind is focused on our present situation and I’m inclined to stay in the UK for my summer holiday in 2020.  Yes, I can see us coming to an end of this coronavirus lockdown in the not too distant future but my mind is focused more on the safety of home rather than risks of traveling further afield. From my conversations on social media I know I’m not the only person thinking this way.  With that in mind, I’m wondering where I should be heading to and what I could possibly do in Lincolnshire that I haven’t already done before.

Following the recent death of my father, my son and I made a promise to make sure that we keep making memories by doing something together every other month.  The brief is that we take it in turns to organise something and that it must be low budget.  I organised the first weekend away but I’m afraid his turn has been curtailed by the Coronavirus travel restrictions.  However, it’ll take more than coronavirus to make me waver from the plan so It’s time to plan our next adventure.  Our first outing was a night in Harrogate and a walk from Harrogate to Knaresborough along the banks of the river Nidd.  It’s a walk I have done many times as a youngster and I was keen to share it with my teenage son.  I’ve never tried fishing before so that was his plan for me.  These trips are designed to bring us closer together but at the same time provide some new experiences.  We both have a love of walking so my first choice was quite easy.  Fishing…. well, that is his idea of fun so I’m duty bound to go with him so that he can teach me and let me experience something new.  I’m all for it but I’m afraid it didn’t work out in March. I’m hoping the travel restrictions will be lifted sometime in May so that we can get out and enjoy some more time out together.

Low Budget

Trips to London are something we both enjoy but, even on a low budget, it’s an expensive area.  With travel costs, accommodation, a few cups of coffee and meals out it’s easy to spend several hundred pounds.  The point of the exercise is to enjoy our time together and not spend lots of money.  With that in mind, and with it being my choice of activity in May I’m choosing a walk in the Lincolnshire Wolds.  We both have walking boots and all the clothing so the only expense will be meals and accommodation.  I have a plan!

The Southern Wolds

As I work on Saturdays the chosen location for the weekend has to be reasonably local.  The idea is to travel on Saturday afternoon/evening,  B&B overnight if needed, spend the day walking on Sunday and return home refreshed on Sunday evening.  However, being so close to home (half an hour) an overnight stay isn’t really necessary. My plan then is to walk from Bolingbroke Castle to Snipedales Country Park via Hameringham with our return leg being from Snipedales Country Park to Hundleby via Hagworthingham and Raith and back to Bolingbroke. If we make it in time we will also partake in an afternoon tea at the award winning Elm Tree B&B in Hundleby.  Well, why not?  We are both busy and it’s not often that we get to spend quality time together.  I haven’t worked out the mileage yet but we are both fit and very fast walkers.

Bolingbroke Castle

If you haven’t been before I highly recommend a visit. It’s ideal for picnics and local walks and the children will have great fun playing and reenacting battles as knights of old or perhaps hide and seek. The postcode for your sat nav is PE23 4HH

Bolingbroke Castle outer wall

For more information and details of events visit Heritage Lincolnshire. Access their website by clicking on the picture or why not pay them a visit on twitter @HeritageLincs

Onward then to Snipedales Country Park where we’ll be able to explore some of the 220 acres of the country park and nature reserve with it’s steep sided valleys, wildlife, a variety of trees  and streams.  If we can get the timing right and restrictions are lifted we may get chance to join the one of the guided walks.  If you’re interested why not click on the picture below to go to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website where you’ll find up-to-date information.  At the moment the website is showing the event to be cancelled but I live in hope that restrictions will be lifted by then and the walks will be re-instated.

 

Click on the picture to go straight to the Lincs Wildlife Trust website and why not follow them on Twitter too? Here they are: @LincsWildlife

Snipedales Country Park will probably make an ideal stopping place for a packed lunch.  After that, it’s onwards to Hagworthingham where we’ll hopefully stop to photograph the Stockwith Mill.  This is a picture from the internet and I’m afraid there is no reference to credit the original photographer.  It is a lovely picture though and I hope we’ll be able to do the Mill the same justice.

 

Hagworthingham

Hagworthingham. Click on the picture to find it on Google Maps

I have no doubt there will be plenty of photo opportunities during our walk so a timetable isn’t really going to work!  However, I know it’ll be fun and worth the effort.  About 2.5 miles (by road) to Raithby

 

Raithby

The small Methodist chapel at Raithby Hall in Raithby by Spilsby is one of the oldest in England.

The small Methodist Chapel (on the far right of the building in the picture above) is the oldest Methodist Chapel in Lincolnshire and is still in use today.  It was opened by John Wesley on 5 July 1779 – that makes it even older than me!  With a bit of luck we’ll be able to take a picture or two before heading off across country to Hundleby for afternoon tea at The Elm Tree B&B (time permitting).

 

Hundleby

The Elm Tree B&B, Hundleby. Click on the picture to go to Google Maps

If you’re looking for an underlying motive for our walk, ‘this’ is it!  Or rather, the Afternoon Tea is.  I suspect we will already have covered something around 10-15 miles (or are) so an afternoon tea treat for father and son seems like a perfect reason to break the journey.  Boasting a full 5 Stars and having already seen pictures and read revues I’m really expecting great things.  I’m already looking forward to this as at just £20.00 each (£25.00 for the Prosecco version) and our only expense of the day I think its a bargain.  Can I tempt you?  Well, probably not but Chris and Jonathan certainly can with this picture from their website:

Afternoon Tea Vouchers are available too and are on sale NOW! Wouldn’t it be lovely to give someone a gift voucher during our lockdown to show them how much you care? £20.00 each for a selection of 5 different sandwiches, homemade cakes, scones & jam plus a selection of Stokes Teas.

Being less than half an hour away from my home it won’t be necessary to book in to the B&B and I very much doubt my son would want to share a four poster with his dad anyway!  However, if you’re making the trip and fancy staying over, this is what you’ll be treated to:

A Four Poster bed – suddenly you can understand why The Elm Tree has 5 stars and glowing revues. Click on the picture for a direct link to the website or send a quick message on Twitter @TheElm_Tree

This really is a trip that I’m looking forward to so I hope the travel restrictions and social distancing rules are lifted in time for the end of May.  However,  I do have a plan B – organise another date for June or July to make sure the whole trip goes ahead!  Perhaps a follow up blog will be in order to show off my own pictures and include some countryside images too.  After all, it ‘is’ the Lincolnshire Wolds – an ‘Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ so it would be amiss of me to deprive you of our experience.

 

Can’t Wait?

Not everyone has the patience to wait until the social distancing rules are relaxed so, just for you, there is a special take-away afternoon tea available too.  It’s the same great choice but without the hot drink.  At £12.50 per person I think it’s time to get the kettle on and get your order in don’t you?

 

Until Next Time, Stay Safe

I know we are all looking forward to the end of the ‘lockdown’ but I think it’s important to have something to focus on don’t you?