Suggested Places To Visit
The Humber Bridge is a 2,220 metre (7,280 ft) single-span suspension bridge. It was the longest of its type in the world when opened in 1981, and is now the eighth-longest, although it remains the longest that you are allowed to cycle on. It spans the Humber (the estuary formed by the rivers Trent and Ouse) between Barton-upon-Humber on the south bank and Hessle on the north bank, connecting the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. It is a landmark than can be seen from miles around and has cycleways on both east and west bound carriageways, forming part of National Cycling Network (NCN) Route 1.
Waters' Edge Visitor Centre and Country Park
Close to the bridge on the east bank of Barton Haven is Waters' Edge Country Park which covers 86 acres on the south bank of the River Humber. Waters' Edge has great views of the Humber Bridge, a Visitors Centre, Honey Pot Cafe, gift shop and many other facilities. With it's collection of ponds, reedbeds, meadows & woodlands it is a great haven for bird & other wildlife.
The Old Tile Works
Due west of Waters' Edge, The Old Tile Works is well worth a visit. It's doors opened to the public during the summer of 2013 and is a fully restored operational tile works, one of the last tile factories of its kind in Europe.
There's a potter’s workshop, a coffee shop and restaurant all set in 17 acres of stunning rural land on the banks of the River Humber - with a herd of Hereford cattle and calves grazing within the grounds.
William Blyth tile works was established in 1840 and the use of the skills and expertise have stood the test of time.
Barton upon Humber was once the brick and tile-making capital of Britain, due to the natural alluvial clay deposits found in abundance in this part of North Lincolnshire. The industry can be traced back as far as the seventeenth century, when the vernacular of thatch was gradually replaced with tile roofs and brick-built dwellings.
William Blyth was one of the many tile and brick manufacturers found along the Humber’s south bank. When the Brick Tax was abolished in 1850, the tile and brick industry expanded so that by the early 1890s, around 20 such manufacturers operated in the Barton area. Today, only William Blyth survives, at the Hoe Hill tile yard and here at Far Ings tile works.
Far Ings Nature Reserve (LWT)
Adjacent to the Tile Works is Far Ings nature reserve, a major east-west flyway for migrating birds. The sight and sound of a skein of geese flying over is spectacular. The pits and reedbeds at Far Ings and along the Humber bank are a legacy of the tile and cement industry which flourished between 1850 and 1959. Thanks to pioneering management by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, the reserve is now rich in wildlife and one of the UK strongholds for bittern. The reserve is open all year.
Visitor Centre's opening times:
Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays (excluding Christmas Day): 10am - 4pm
Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays: 1pm - 4pm
The Ropewalk is a regionally acclaimed centre for the arts housing four gallery spaces, a sculpture garden, coffee shop and facilities for room hire, printmaking and picture framing.
Ropery Hall is small scale venue for film, theatre, comedy and music.
The centre is situated slightly to the east of the Humber Bridge, on the southern bank of the River Humber. Stretching out towards the bank, at almost a quarter of a mile long, The Ropewalk was initially part of a rope making factory; opening in 1767, the factory eventually closed in 1989.
Wilderspin National School Museum, Barton
Located in the historic town of Barton-upon-Humber, close to the Humber Bridge, the Barton National & Infants School was built in 1844. The Infant School was championed by the educational pioneer and teacher Samuel Wilderspin who designed, equipped and taught here. This model school was the last of two thousand infant schools set up by Wilderspin across the British Isles. It is unique, no other buildings associated with Wilderspin have survived. There's also a shop and 'The Old School Canteen Cafe' is very popular. The Old School Canteen is open between 10am and 4pm Thursday to Sunday.
RAF Goxhill (Memorial)
A memorial to everyone who served at the site can be found at the Horsegate Field Road boundary, incorporating the propeller of a P-38 Lockheed Lightning that crashed at the site in 1944, killing the pilot - Second Lieutenant Lane Fara. Goxhill is unusual among Lincolnshire airfields because of its connections with the American Air Force (USAAF). The RAF used the site briefly in 1941 as a home for 1 Group's Target Towing Flight but the proximity to Hull's extensive air defences effectively blocked the flight path into Goxhill and may have made it impracticable. Crews from RAF Kirmington and RAF Kirton In Lindsey used the airfield briefly for training and dispersal but in 1942 Goxhill became the first British airfield to be handed over to the Americans. The station was unofficially known by the USAAF units based here as "GoatHill" as the facilities had a lot to be desired. The 52nd Fighter Group flew sorties from Goxhill in British Spitfires and 496 Fighter Training Group trained pilots with the P-38 Lockheed Lightning (554 Sqn) and the P-51 Mustang (555 Sqn). The runways and perimeter track were removed in the 1990's with the control tower being deconstructed and shipped to an American air museum in Virginia Beach, VA in 2003.
Thornton Abbey and Gatehouse
Thornton Abbey's enormous and ornate fortified gatehouse is the largest and amongst the finest in England.
Thornton Abbey's impressive architecture reflects the abbey's history as one of Britain's richest Augustinian abbeys. Founded in 1139, the property is also amongst a handful of British abbeys that managed to survive the Suppression of the Monasteries by becoming a secular college, until it was eventually closed in 1547. Henry VIII stayed here with Katherine Howard shortly after its dissolution. A house was then constructed behind the gatehouse in the 17th century, but sadly it was either dismantled or never completed. The Abbey is the focus of many tales of supernatural happenings such as the ghostly cannon, buried alive at a table with with a book, a pen and ink.
Immingham Museum and Heritage Centre
Established in 1970 and now based in the Immingham Civic Centre.
The Main theme in the museum is the story of the building of Immingham Dock and the involvement of the Great Central Railway. There's also an important display giving information of the Pilgrim Fathers departure from Immingham Creek in 1608. The display in the Museum tells the story of the Pilgrims journey to Amsterdam (and later to Leiden) in Holland and a Memorial can be visited at St. Andrew's Church, Immingham. Admission Free.
There is a popular misconception that the Pilgrim Fathers started their historic journey from Plymouth in England.
In fact they set off in search of religious freedom from Lincolnshire. The early 1600s saw the onset of what was to become one of the most famous sea journeys in history. For one group, the The Scrooby Separatists, their journey started in Immingham.
In the Spring of 1608 the village briefly became a location in the story of the Pilgrim Fathers of America. The women and children were to travel from Scrooby to Immingham by bark via rivers Idle, Trent and Umber but their vessel was forced to put ashore due to bad weather, sailing up Immingham Creek (or possibly Killingholme Creek or Habrough Creek). The men had traveled to Immingham by land. Their presence was betrayed and when armed King's Officers arrived to arrest the Pilgrims, the Dutch captain of the ship that had been chartered to take them to Amsterdam, set sail with only the men aboard leaving the women and children behind. Thanks to the generosity of the locals the women and children were allowed to take shelter and sleep in the village church for the night, but news of this reached the authorities, with the consequence that they were eventually arrested. However, such was the public outcry they were later released and allowed to travel to Amsterdam to be reunited with their husbands and fathers. One of the group, Francis Hawkins fell ill and his body is buried in St. Andrews Church graveyard. The Separatists later moved to Leiden in 1609 and eventually to America in 1620.
The memorial stone column pictured above is made from roughly hewn granite and at the top the piece of stone is actually cut from Plymouth Rock in New England in Massachusetts. The memorial was organised in 1924 by the Anglo-American Society, based in Hull, and was located by the actual creek from which they set sail from in 1608, known locally as Immingham Creek.
Subsequently, it was moved and placed near St Andrew’s Church and now resides in a small park called Pilgrim Park. The stone was rededicated on 20 July 2008, to mark the 400th anniversary.
Seperatists Memorial - St Andrews Church Immimgham
Waltham Windmill and Rural Museum
From 1666, to the present day there has always been a mill in the village of Waltham. Several Mills have been built and operated here, and the present one, which was built in 1878 - 1880, is fully restored and operational as a Six Sail six storied working Windmill. The corrugated iron-roofed Nissen hut which houses the Rural Museum was originally the dining hall for the WAAFs during the Second World War. At that time RAF ground staff were housed in billets where Mill View is now. The Home Guard also used the windmill as a watch tower. Alongside the windmill are shops and Jo Jo's Carriage, a cafe in a converted railway carriage.
Donna Nook National Nature Reserve covers more than 10 km (6.25 miles) of coastline between Grainthorpe Haven in the north and Saltfleet in the South where it borders Saltfleet-Theddlethorpe National Nature Reserve.
For much of the year grey seals at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts’ Donna Nook National Nature Reserve are at sea or hauled out on distant sandbanks. Every November and December, the seals give birth to their pups near the sand dunes: a wildlife spectacle which attracts visitors from across the UK. The viewing area at the foot of the sand dunes reduces disturbance to the seals and ensures the safety of visitors. The seal viewing area is accessible at all times.
Visitors should be aware that the Ministry of Defence still maintains part of the area as a bombing target range. Indeed Donna Nook has been an offshore bombing range for the RAF since 1926. It has also served as a prisoner of war camp, as satellite airfiled for RAF Northcotes and also a secondary Bloodhound Missile Firing Unit.
Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre
Fishing has often been described as one of the toughest jobs in the world. The Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre aims to take you back 60 years to discover life for our trawlermen and their families, both at home and at sea. There's also the Ross Tiger, a 1950’s Grimsby trawler, thought to be the oldest diesel side-trawler to survive in the UK.
Lincolnshire Wolds Heritage Railway
The railway operates on a stretch of line that was once part of the Great Northern route from Boston to Grimsby.
After the last section of line was closed by BR in 1980, a preservation society was formed with the aim of restoring it. Heritage steam trains once again run between Ludborough and North Thoresby and work is now in progress to extend the line southwards towards Louth. What visitors to the railway see today is a result of all the time and effort that a small, but dedicated band of volunteers have put in over many years.
Alford Manor House and Museum
The Manor House is a Grade II listed building on West Street within Alford. It is believed to have been the largest thatched manor house in England and was built to a traditional H plan in 1611. The Manor House complex contains the Museum Of Rural Life, Tea Rooms and the Gardens are also open to visitors.
Alford's Five Sailed Windmill
Built as a seven-storeyed windmill in 1837 by local millwright John Oxley the mill belonged to a group of four windmills in the area and is the sole survivor today. In its heyday Alford Mill was capable of grinding 4 to 5 tonnes of corn a day. The mill has been wind powered for most of its working life. However, the addition of a town gas-driven engine in the adjacent shed, permitted flour production when there was no wind. Mill enthusiasts consider this to be one of the finest examples of a working windmill in the UK and unusually it has four pairs of of stones - two Derbyshire grit and two French Burr. In addition to the mill there is a shop and a cafe, the 'Millstones'.
Snipedales Country Park and Nature Reserve
Situated close to Hagworthingham, Snipe Dales is one of the few semi-natural wet valley systems still surviving in Lincolnshire.
It is an area of two halves with mixed woodland in the Country Park and wet valleys, grassland and scrub in the nature reserve. This diversity supports a wide range of birds and other wildlife including butterflies and dragonflies. Snipe Dales Country Park and Nature Reserve are owned by Lincolnshire County Council and are managed jointly by the Council and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum
The Museum building is an important Museum exhibit. It is a rare surviving example of a bungalow constructed of corrugated iron on a wooden frame that was erected in the late nineteenth century. The Museum is packed with intriguing stories and displays about Woodhall Spa, the local area and the Wield family, who lived in the building from 1887 until the 1960’s.
The remains of a 13th century hexagonal castle, birthplace in 1367 of the future King Henry IV, with adjacent earthworks.
Besieged and taken by Cromwell's Parliamentarians in 1643. Today it is under the care of English Heritage and is free to visit.
Bolingbroke Castle was one of three castles built by Ranulf de Blundeville, Earl of Chester and Lincoln, in the 1220s after his return from the Crusades (the others being Beeston Castle, Cheshire, and Chartley, Staffordshire). After Blundeville’s death, the castle remained in the ownership of the Earls of Lincoln and was later inherited through marriage by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. A powerful member of the royal court, John of Gaunt became the guardian of Richard II when the young king succeeded to the throne at the age of 10. John of Gaunt and his first wife, Blanche, lived at the castle during the 1360s. Their son, Henry of Bolingbroke, was born there in 1367. Henry had a tempestuous relationship with Richard II and was exiled in 1397. He returned to England after the death of his father in 1399, enraged that the king had seized the estates he had inherited. Richard was in Ireland, attempting to quell a rising, when he heard of Henry’s return.
These events marked the end of Richard II’s reign. Henry of Bolingbroke was encouraged to claim the throne of England from his unpopular rival, and Richard was imprisoned. Soon afterwards, Henry was crowned king as Henry IV.
There is no documentary evidence to suggest that Henry IV ever returned to his birthplace.
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is an aviation museum in East Kirkby. It was opened to the public in 1988 by Lincolnshire farmers Fred and Harold Panton, as a memorial to their older brother, Christopher Witton Panton, who died during the Second World War. The centre's main exhibit is Avro Lancaster Mk VII, NX611, named Just Jane after a popular wartime comic character. The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is now widely seen as a living memorial to the 55,500 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives during WW2. In addition to one of the rarest aircraft, the Avro Lancaster Bomber (which frequently performs four engine taxy runs - the only place in the world you can see this performed on an original airfield), in holds its collection many wartime vehicles including a Ford WOT1 Crew Bus, the only one of its kind known in existence.
Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight Museum
A unique partnership between the Royal Air Force and Lincolnshire County Council provides a public gateway to the home of the RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby. Entry to the Musuem is gained off Dogdyke Road.
Visitors wishing to take a tour of the hangar will be treated to a unique experience. You will be shown around the hangar by volunteer guides, many of whom have first hand experience of the aircraft. The RAF BBMF hangar is located within the boundaries of RAF Coningsby and viewing the flight’s historic aircraft at close quarters is available only by guided tour. Otherwise there are museum galleries and a gift shop. Sadly the popular Merlins Tearoom has recently closed.
Tattershall Castle in Tattershall, a short distance from Coningsby, is in the care of the National Trust.
Tattershall Castle has its origins in either a stone castle or a fortified manor house, built by Robert de Tattershall in 1231.
This was largely rebuilt in brick, and greatly expanded between 1430 and 1450. Brick was chosen as a building material for its aesthetic appeal and fashion, the trend for using bricks introduced by Flemish weavers. About 700,000 bricks were used to build the castle, which has been described as "the finest piece of medieval brick-work in England". Of Lord Cromwell's castle, only the Great Tower and moat still remain.
Batemans Brewery, Wainfleet
Based in an old windmill dating back two centuries and overlooking the River Steeping, Batemans Brewery is one of the oldest in the country. Batemans was founded in 1874 by George Bateman, a local farmer who sold his farm in nearby Friskney in order to rent a brewery in Wainfleet, situated by the railway. Batemans Brewery has passed through four generations of the Bateman family. Brewery Tours take place twice a day in the summer and once during the winter. The tours are fun and humorous beginning with the Victorian Brewhouse, where much of the equipment is made of brass or copper followed by the magnificent new Brewhouse nicknamed the Theatre of Beers'. All tours are conducted by an experienced and entertaining guide.
Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve
A short distance south of the seaside resort of Skegness lies Gibraltar Point, part of a national nature reserve. The reserve is owned by Lincolnshire County Council and East Lindsey District Council and is administered by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.
The reserve comprises two parallel ridges of sand dunes—the "east dunes" and the "west dunes"—separated by approximately half a kilometre of salt marsh; and an area on the seaward side with further salt marsh and sand, shingle and muddy beaches. The reserve extends for a distance of about 5 km (3 miles) along the coast, from the southern end of Skegness to the northern corner of The Wash (Gibraltar Point itself is at the southernmost tip, and marks the point where the North Sea coast turns southwest towards Boston).
In 2006 a new Visitors' Centre opened at the southern end of the reserve at Gibraltar Point. This contains the Wild Coast Exhibition, an exhibition about the habitats and wildlife of Gibraltar Point including 3D models of sand dunes and salt marshes where visitors can view the burrow of a natterjack toad. The Nature Discovery Room has interactive displays and marine tanks containing animals found in the sea off the Lincolnshire coast. There's also a giftshop and a cafe.
Bubble Car Museum, Langrick
Further inland at Langrick, there's a quirky but fascinating museum with over 50 microcars on display. Examples of Bond, Isetta, Reliant, Frisky and Bamby to name a few are displayed in a variety of diormas. There's also a row of recreated shops to explore, memorabilia, a giftshop and a cafe. There are also camping and rally facilities at the museum.
Maud Foster Windmill, Boston
Maud Foster Windmill is a seven-storey, five sail windmill located by the Maud Foster Drain in Skirbeck, Boston, from which she is named. She is one of the largest operating windmills in England. The mill was built in 1819 for the brothers Thomas and Isaac Reckitt by the Hull millwrights Norman and Smithson, for the sum of £1,826 – 10s – 6d. The Windmill and shop are open Wednesday and Saturday 10am to 5pm.
Lincolnshire Wolds - Area of Outstandning Natural Beauty (AONB)
For visitors to Lincolnshire, there is a common misconception that the county is FLAT! This perception is easily rectified by heading to the picturesque rolling landscape of the Wolds. For 40 years it has been an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Much of the Wolds was designated as an AONB in 1973 on account of its high scenic beauty. This is Tennyson Country, countryside that literally inspired poetry. There are many areas to explore and enjoy and a wealth of history and geology to discover. The Wolds is a perfect area for cycling, affording stunning views and many lanes remain free from large amounts of traffic. Recently, British Cycling has been using the Wolds for elite professional races and 'The Tour Of The Wolds' is set to become a permanent fixture in the racing calendar.
For more information about the Wolds, please visit the Lincolnshire Wolds website and Visit Lincolnshire website. Here you will find event information and a list of walk leaflets.
If you are interested in the heritage of the Wolds, please visit the Down Your Wold website for events and information.
North Sea Observatory - Chapel Point, Chapel St. Leonards
The North Sea Observatory serves as an impressive gateway to the Coastal Country Park.
The new building contains - a café with toilets; a range of 'hands-on' educational and interpretative information for visitors; panoramic views of the coast; indoor and outdoor observation decks; a lookout for the Coastwatch organisation; and an art space for exhibiting work from local/national artists and craftspeople, art and craft workshops and a programme of artists in residence.
The new building is funded by Lincolnshire County Council, the governments Coastal Communities Fund and Arts Council England.
The origins of the building started back in 2005 when Lincolnshire County Council initiated the Bathing Beauties® arts led coastal regeneration project. Due to its success and encouraged by the Arts Council a second phase was developed with the title of Structures on the Edge (SOTE). The SOTE project included the proposal to build an iconic new multi-purpose building right on the seafront. The building is the centerpiece of the SOTE project and would also act as a coastal observatory for the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park (LCCP). The aim of the LCCP is to provide high quality facilities for visitors and better protection for wildlife, by creating enhanced, extensive and interconnected nature reserves and wildlife areas. This will be at the heart of a venue to attract visitors and residents in every season and provide the area with accessible, natural green space for people to enjoy.
Few people know about, or have witnessed the passage of the thousands of birds from all around the world (Greenland, Iceland, Arctic, Siberia, North and South America etc) that migrate along the Lincolnshire coastline in spring, autumn and early winter. The Observatory is something unique to Lincolnshire as there are no purpose designed marine observatories anywhere else in the United Kingdom.
The primary function of the Observatory is to:-
facilitate observations, understanding and appreciation of the North Sea and the marine environment
create an iconic focal point and visitor hub to engage visitors and local residents in socio-economic activities
make available an 'off season' attraction extending the short summer tourist season into the spring, autumn and early winter
provide access and educational opportunities for all
Councillor Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council, said:
"This will be something unique to Lincolnshire as there are no purpose-designed marine observatories anywhere else in the UK. The observatory will be the perfect spot for people to enjoy the spectacular Lincolnshire coastline and its beautiful wildlife. There will lots of info on local nature and plenty for the kids to do. We'll also have a small café and art space. Hopefully, this will attract even more visitors to the area, boosting the local economy."
Chapel St. Leonards Parish Council Chairman, Councillor Patrick Naughton, added:
"The parish council is really excited about this development. We feel that the building will enhance the area, extend the summer season and bring more visitors into our village. We are conscious though that Chapel Point is a naturally beautiful area and that any development must be in keeping with that. Having seen the design, we think that the architects have got it right."
The observatory will be open all year round:
From 1 September to 30 November - 9:00am to 4:00pm
Serving food from 9:30am to 3:00pm
Refreshments last order 3:45pm
From 1 December to 28 February - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Serving food from 9:30am to 2:30pm
Refreshments last order 2:45pm
Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. May close early during bad weather and high winds.
The Pilgrim Memorial at Scotia Creek, Fishtoft commemorates the attempt at finding religious freedom in September, 1607 by the Scrooby Congregation, a group of English Separatist Protestants who were attempting to flee for Holland. They had chartered a Dutch vessel to transport them but the attempt was thwarted when the captain betrayed them to the local authorities.
The memorial, a small granite obelisk, is within Havenside Countryside Park and sits on the north bank of the River Haven. Built in 1957 by Boston Council, the site of the memorial is hugely atmospheric and signifies the lengths the Separatists were prepared to go to, to flee to to relative religious freedom in Holland. The memorial was erected on the 350th anniversary of the event - with donations from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
Havenside Country Park and Local Nature Reserve is a great place to experience Lincolnshire's wildlife, ranging from oyster catchers and barn owls to bats and common seals. There is a superb mix of rough grassland with scrub and brambles, cattle grazed meadows, shallow seasonal ponds, estuary and mud flat. Salt marsh plants such as sea lavender and grasswort colonise the mud.
The Haven is an important river for navigation, with commercial ships up to 120 metres in length and 4,500 tonnes in weight regularly heading to and from Boston port. They bring in goods such as steel, forest products, cereal crops and containers.
Access to the site, which includes a car park and picnic area, is via the sea bank path from the main entrance near Finn Forest, off Fishtoft Road. Alternatively it can be accessed by car via Fishtoft village: follow the brown tourist signs to the Pilgrim Fathers' Memorial.