Pocket Britain

The second largest English county with a diverse landscape from seaside resorts to village markets

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Lincolnshire is the second-largest of all England's counties. It shares a border with eight others, including Northamptonshire, where the boundary line is just 19 metres long! Within Lincolnshire's 7000 square kilometres, there is a wide variety of destinations and activities, from seaside resorts to village markets. But it's impossible to visit the county without making a trip to the area's biggest settlement and main attraction - the beautiful Roman city of Lincoln.
This historic place is obviously proud of its roots. It's practically covered in well-kept stone buildings and ancient Roman remains. The city's main artery is its beautiful, cobbled high street, which leads up a steep hill towards Lincoln's major landmark and icon - the cathedral. For many years in the 14th and 15th centuries, this was the tallest building in the world. From its commanding, elevated position, it looks out over practically the entire city.
Similarly spectacular views can be had from the walls of Lincoln Castle, which stands just next to the cathedral. The public are allowed to explore every level of this 11th century fort, all the way down to its Victorian prison.
Lincolnshire has seen plenty of combat over the years, and so there are many other castles scattered throughout its boundaries. The large tower at Tattershall makes for a particularly good photograph, with its elegant moat, and distinctive red bricks. Grantham's Belvoir castle is also worth visiting for its wide range of sights that include rose gardens, and a collection of period furniture.
Out to the east, Lincolnshire lays claim to a long stretch of coastline. There are dozens of towns along the shore, the most well-known of which is the seaside resort of Skegness. This is a place that makes absolutely no concessions to gaudiness. It is full of bright lights, loud amusement arcades, and clattering theme park rides. There are donkey rides, endless ice cream trucks, and enough fish and chip shops to feed an army. It might not be as relaxing as some of Britain's other coastal resorts, but it never fails to be a fun day out. Other, slightly quieter seaside towns include Cleethorpes, Ingoldmells, and Mablethorpe.
Another distinct part of Lincolnshire is the Fens, which spreads out south of Lincoln city. This area of low-lying flatland used to be wet and marsh-like, but for many centuries it has been drained, and used for grain and vegetable farming. Throughout the Fens' one million acres there is a complete lack of hills, resulting in unusually wide, unblocked views. The landscape contains occasional windmills or church towers, which are visible for miles around - particularly when silhouetted against the sunset.
Thanks to the drainage, it has been possible to build villages and towns here. Boston, which is just 50 kilometres from Lincoln, is famous for its giant church tower, which visitors are allowed to climb. Elsewhere, the Fens host several pretty markets towns, such as Spalding, and Whittlesey. You can explore the surroundings by foot and bicycle - but perhaps the most appropriate way is to hire a boat, and spend the day floating calmly down one of the many waterways.
Visitor Information
Tattershall Castle is open March to December from Saturday to Wednesday from 11am to 5pm (weekends only in and closes at 4pm November, December and March). Entry costs around £5.50 for adults, £3 for children. Sleaford Road, Tattershall, Lincolnshire, LN4 4LR. Tel: 01526 342 543
Belvoir Castle is open Easter to October. Entry costs around £11 for adults, £7 for children. Grantham, Leicestershire, NG32 1PE. Tel: 01476 871 002

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