East Lincolnshire is a delightful area, full of breathtaking views and charming towns and villages. From the sandy award winning beaches, through the unique landscapes of the marshes and fens and up into the charm of the Wolds, the area is an unspoilt joy. The old misconception of Lincolnshire being flat is soon blown away in the Wolds, and the hillside paths and roads offer spectacular views across miles of patchwork fields, marshland pastures and countless churches. The flatness of marsh and fen has a very unique beauty of its own.
Being a rural area, East Lincolnshire is very protective of its environment. A healthy distribution of nature reserves, protected woodlands and conservation areas ensure a safe habitat for the flora and fauna that makes the area such a delight to live in and visit. Gibraltar Point, just south of Skegness is an important reserve and home for a huge variety of birds. Further up the coast, Rimac and Theddlethorpe provide a haven for the Marsh orchids, and Natterjack Toads, whilst right to the northern tip of the district is Tetney Lock, an RSPB reserve. Snipe Dales is a charming area, part nature reserve and part woodlands, with walks and information points to assist the visitor. There are many excellent animal and wildlife centres stretching from the coast to the inland areas of Claythorpe and over the district border into Brigg.
Heritage & History
East lincolnshire has a fascinating history and is blessed with its fair share of kings, poets and explorers. The Battle of Winceby proved decisive in the struggle between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians in 1643, but also saw the ruination of Bolingbroke Castle, the home of John of Gaunt and the birthplace to his son Henry IV in 1366.
Captain Sir John Franklin and Sir Joseph Banks both hailed from East Lincolnshire. They helped forge the future of countries like America and Australia with their courage and vision.
Annie Besant, one of the first trade unionists, went from Sibsey to London to lead the 'Matchgirls' in their fight.
The Champion of England - has lived at Scivelby Court since 1350 and the Dymoke family has played a prominent role in the country's history.
A rather more infamous son of the area was William Marwood, executioner to the Kingdom in the late 1800's. His other, less gory, trade was as cobbler to the good folk of Horncastle.
Captain John Smith, who was saved from death by the Indian Chief's daughter, Pocahontas, was baptised at Willoughby, near Alford.
One of the four original copies of the Magna Carta is on show in Lincoln Castle.
Anne Hutchinson, who hailed from Alford, was a campaigner for free speech and religious liberty in America and Thomas Paine from Thetford became US Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
The living past can be sampled at the superb museums in the district. just some of those worthy of note are the Church Farm Museum at Skegness, which shows how the land was farmed in the days before the Internal combustion engine, Mawthorpe Museum at Willoughby, which houses a treasure trove of bygones and a working steam organ, Ye Olde Curiosity Museum at Mablethorpe with its unique collection of lampshades and Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum, which demonstrates the history of the spa.
The Royal Air Force has played a very important role in Lincolnshire and the remains of many wartime runways still echo with the sound of bombers, limping back to base after a daring raid. One such squadron was the famous 617 Dambuster's Squadron based at Woodhall Spa and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is still based at RAF Coningsby. The East Kirkby Aviation Heritage Centre brings an old base back to life, complete with an operational Lancaster bomber and, some say, wartime ghosts.
Ancient Market Towns
East Lincolnshire is served by several market towns. Horncastle has a history dating back to Roman times and has gained a reputation as a centre for the antiques trade. Spilsby, the birthplace of Captain Sir John Franklin who discovered the North West Passage and whose statue stands in the Market Place. Louth is famed for its glorious spire, which acts as a landmark for miles around and the local School, King Edward VI, has educated some very famous pupils in its long history including the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and explorer Captain John Smith. The craft market at Alford is now internationally famous, drawing large numbers of visitors, particularly to the festival weekends in May and August. Musicians, dancers, poets and, of course, craftsmen and women, put on a dazzling display. Alford has a long tradition of hospitality, and people gather from the surrounding villages to attend the old livestock market.
The coastal resorts of Mablethorpe and Skegness have been welcoming holiday-makers for many years, offering award winning beaches and a vast selection of attractions. Woodhall Spa started as one man's dream and became, by accident, one of the country's premier spa towns. Although the spa is no longer in operation, the village's connection with leisure and relaxation continue; it is an ideal base for holidays and touring.