The English county of Lincolnshire: What does it have to offer?

The English county of Lincolnshire is not the most well-known area of the United Kingdom. But it really does have a lot to offer – from the cathedral city of Lincoln and stunning countryside to its dominant Royal Air Force presence and fascinating aviation heritage…

What are some of the best places to visit?

The Coast

I have visited the beaches along the coast during the summer and the winter. During the sunny months, there is the traditional English seaside town of Skegness.

If you like the funfair, arcades, crazy golf, ice cream and fish and chips, then this is your place. It is a great location for family day outs and also has an indoor skateboarding complex and volleyball nets on the beach.

From around November, a beach at Donna Nook Nature Reserve near Saltfleet is filled with seals and their new born pups. This is such an amazing experience. There was a blizzard when I visited but these are hardy mammals and, as it turned out, really affectionate as well.

Seeing the seals lovingly watching over their young, and cuddling them playfully was a heart-warming sight.

Of course, visitors can’t actually go onto the beach and must stay behind a fence at the side – so the natural site is not disturbed.
But you can get close enough to see them dotted all over the beach – the grey seals with their fluffy white babies.

The Countryside

Lincolnshire is a rural county with stunning countryside. The stereotypical vision of traditional English countryside is epitomized here, with mile after mile of rolling hills; green and golden with straw bales symmetrically lined up.

The Lincolnshire Wolds is what is known as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). And it’s really not difficult to see why.

The best time to the year to appreciate this landscape is, for me, during spring. This is when the fields are beautifully bright yellow with rape seed, which gradually turns to red and then green over the summer.

There are signs of new life everywhere, with baby lambs running around, and gangs of rabbits causing mayhem in the crop fields.
The air is fresh and crisp, with lots of blue skies.

All of this wonderful countryside makes way for many farms, with a great offering of local produce.

The City

The cathedral city of Lincoln is so easy on the eye – especially the uphill area where Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle are located.

I remember first moving to the city and discovering Steep Hill, a cobbled climb from the High Street up to the historical centre.

There are lots of cafes serving cream teas, a mixture of quality restaurants and novelty shops selling vintage clothes, vintage sweets, Russian dolls and second-hand books.

There are also small art galleries, florists and even a shop which sells items such as dream catchers (I guess this could be described as a ‘hippy shop’).

The castle and cathedral are at the top, along with some more pubs and restaurants and local businesses.

This is also the area where regular evening ghost walks take place, usually led by a woman in a black cloak. Actor Tom Hanks apparently went on one of these walks with his family, while in the city filming scenes for the Da Vinci Code at Lincoln Cathedral.

The Aviation Sites

Lincolnshire is often referred to as Bomber County because of its many Royal Air Force bases and important aviation heritage.

Second World War planes can be seen at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby.

It is possible to visit the hangars and come face-to-face with historic flights such as the Lancaster, Dakota, Spitfire and Hurricane.

RAF pilots are trained to fly these amazing aircraft at various air shows and during flypasts, including the Royal flypast past Buckingham Palace following the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton earlier this year.

Further aviation history can be discovered at Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at the Lincolnshire village of East Kirkby, where there are regular events featuring activities such as taxy rides in historic aircraft.
The famous ‘Just Jane’ Lancaster is based here.

The village of Woodhall Spa is another interesting place to visit. The Petwood Hotel here was the officers’ mess for the famous Dambuster’s 617 RAF Squadron.