The low hills and steep valleys of the Lincolnshire landscape are the perfect places for exploring. Discover the picturesque heritage sites and English manor houses dotted around the county, which make the ideal places to enjoy relaxing strolls and well-earned family time.
The county, located in the East Midlands, offers a medley of distinctive and exciting views. From the charming Georgian houses of The Vales to fun-packed family days out in the seaside town of Mablethorpe, it’s easy for holidaymakers to explore Lincolnshire in their own way.
Here’s what to look out for in 2017.
Fly back in time
Located in the picturesque village of East Kirkby, the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is a family-run museum giving a fascinating account of World War II. As one of the UK’s only airfield museums restored to its original design, the museum allows visitors to get up close with some of the rarest wartime vehicles.
Sit in an Avro Lancaster Bomber to experience a “taxy ride” on the runway, or touch the Ford WOT1 Crew Bus that transported the men of Bomber Command: magical and sobering encounters. In 2014, the centre received a Certificate of Excellence award from TripAdvisor – so you can rest assured that this is a day out the whole family can enjoy.
Cuddle up to some cute animals
If you are out and about in Skegness, why not head to Hardy’s Animal Farm?
Set in seven acres of scenic countryside, this working farm has plenty to see and do, whatever the weather. Enjoy a cart ride around the farm with either Gemma the Shire Horse or Fergie the Tractor, cuddle up to cheeky piglets and get a real hands-on experience with chicks and lambs.
If it rains, then don’t fret. A large indoor play barn is adjacent to a cosy cafe: perfect for grabbing a coffee while the kids let off some steam.
Horse around in dramatic surroundings
Bransby Horses is an active welfare charity dedicated to improving horses’ lives. It is based in West Lindsay, where visitors can explore a 600-acre site that is home to more than 350 horses, ponies and donkeys.
These award-winning facilities offer animal adoption days, pony grooming sessions and children’s craft days: each an exciting opportunity to get the whole family involved. With an on-site café, gift shop, play park and picnic area – not to mention guided tours – Bransby Horses offers something for everyone.
Explore local artefacts
Nestled in the sleepy town of Alford, Alford Manor House is where you can see Lincolnshire’s history come alive. Following a complete restoration in 2006, this 17th century thatched manor house now opens its doors to the public.
Each year, the Manor House hosts a programme of special events ranging from open-air theatre to music evenings. Here you will also find the Museum of Rural Life: a smorgasbord of artefacts, agriculture and industry from days gone by.
Rummage through curiosities
If you are looking for the perfect souvenir, why not head to one of the longest-standing craft markets in the UK: Alford Craft Market?
Located in the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds, Alford Craft Market is a not-for-profit organisation promoting quality Lincolnshire crafts. It’s also run entirely by volunteers.
Here you will find homemade trinkets, local produce, vintage posters and a wide range of handmade gifts and mementoes. There are also craft classes and workshops, where you can show off your pottery and glass-making skills.
Take in some fresh air
One of Lincolnshire’s most popular museums is found in the great outdoors. Located in the seaside town of Skegness, The Village Church Farm is an open-air museum allowing visitors to take a glimpse into the agricultural life of the past.
Marvel at the 18th-century Victorian farmhouse, explore the thatched ‘mud and stud’ cottage, then take a photo with Bob the traction engine. There is also a World War I exhibition, helping budding historians and families to learn more about the region’s wartime roles. As if that’s not enough, visitors will also find a quaint tea room in the grounds, where parents can catch their breath!
Wind down at a watermill
What could be better than perching by a riverside and dining with a woodland view? If this sounds like your perfect day out, take a trip to Claythorpe Watermill and Wildfowl Gardens.
Tranquil and serene, this cosy watermill was voted Best Attraction in East Lincolnshire in May 2016, and it’s easy to see why. Visitors will find plenty of space to sit and relax, sample local produce, and interact with unusual wildlife such as wallabies, pygmy goats and meerkats. There’s also a small woodland play area for little ones.
Where farming meets adventure
Buckle up, thrill-seekers, and get ready to see Lincolnshire from above! Rand Farm Park is an adventure experience like no other; combining cute and cuddly animals with some of the best rides in the region.
Youngsters can fly through the air on the UK’s first Sky Rider, jump high like a joey on the Kangaroo Bouncers and scramble through the all-terrain Assault Course. If you would rather keep your feet on the ground, you can always try crazy golf, lamb feeding or even cow milking.
Wake up and smell the roses
When the sun is shining, Goltho Gardens is the perfect day out. Located in Market Rasen, this 4.5-acre family-run garden is full of breath-taking colours. Take a trip to the Plant Nursery and find bright red Firetail scattered next to the soft pastel shades of Pink Skyrocket. In fact, visitors will find more than 100 different plants in this area alone. Many of the species are grown on-site, meaning visitors can purchase their favourites.
Families will also find ‘The Nut Walk’ close by: a lovely hazel-lined walk containing catkins, daffodils, hellebores and forget-me-nots. On the other hand, if you’re looking for some alone time, why not visit the romantic Rose Garden and meander through the cascading roses that grow overhead?
Head to Hall Farm Park
Perched on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds is a small, family-run farm park.
Open since 2006, Hall Farm Park is bursting with things to see and do. Enter Barney’s Indoor Play Barn and whizz down the giant ‘snow’ slides, or reach for the sky on the gigantic bouncy castle. Head outside for further excitement: wallabies, llamas, micro-pigs and donkeys can all be found roaming the picture-postcard grounds. Children can let off some steam at the outdoor play area and battle it out on the crazy golf course. What are you waiting for?
See rare wildlife
Greater rheas, Bengal tigers, sulcata tortoises: Lincolnshire Wildlife Park isn’t your average zoo.
Located in the pretty village of Friskney, not far from Boston and a short drive from Skegness, Lincolnshire Wildlife Park is home to some 2,000 parrots and parakeets; the largest collection of rescued parrots in the UK. The park also acts as a long-term sanctuary for some of the most endangered animals in the world, including seven Bengal tigers. Visitors can see these beautiful creatures up close at a luxurious new facility in the park called Bengal Gardens.
Add to this a walk-in aviary and animals ranging from otters to tapir, and you have an exciting day out for both young and old.
Get up close to birds of prey
At Rushmoor Country Park, Lincolnshire’s famous fresh air is met with sensational sights and adorable faces. Here, visitors have the opportunity to bottle-feed lambs, meander across six acres of dramatic countryside and witness birds of prey swoop and dive within touching distance. If the latter is of particular interest, the park also offers individual falconry experiences, allowing families to create extra-special memories.
As a family-run farm park, you can expect an intimate atmosphere and a friendly smile at every corner. And let’s face it, who could say no to a cuddly micro-pig?
What will you explore on your next trip to Lincolnshire? We’d love to know! Why not leave us a comment, below?