Lincolnshire is a rural county with a long history of farming and agriculture. This makes it a refreshing place to take a break and get away from the hectic pace of everyday life.
Lincolnshire is a large county with stretches of pastoral land, making it perfect for long countryside walks and hikes. There are several nature reserves in Lincolnshire, each one with its own character.
Whisby Nature Park
With a backdrop of tranquil lakes reflecting bountiful greenery, Whisby Nature Park is a quiet, soothing environment for a long walk.
Wander along the footpaths, taking in the calming influence of the lakes and ponds. If you visit during April or May, you may be lucky enough to hear the songs of nesting Nightingales. And if you’re visiting with children, it’s a good excuse to convince them to be quiet for a minute to see if they can hear the Nightingales.
When you’re ready to recharge after your walk, stop for some lunch with a lakeside view at the Boardwalk Bistro next to Thorpe Lake. Whilst you’re there, browse the visitor centre shop to find gifts made by local crafters, as well as Fairtrade and recycled products.
Kids will love Little Darters Wildlife Adventure Area; where they can race through tunnels, scramble up climbing nets, cross bridges, wade through sand pits, and a take on a mini assault course. Which should take them just long enough for you to have a hot drink and wonder where all that energy comes from.
If the weather takes a turn, children aged 3 and up (with a maximum height of 1.3m) can still use up some energy in Otter’s Reach Indoor Adventure, which uses imaginative play to help children explore the history of the park.
Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve
Blow the cobwebs away with a brisk walk breathing in the sea air at Gibraltar Point coastal nature reserve in Skegness. Known for its diverse wildlife, Gibraltar Point has one of 19 official Bird Observatories in Britain.
Dogs are permitted on leads on the beach outside of the peak summer months, but paths can get muddy in the winter, so you may want to bring a towel to protect your car from an excitable and rather muddy dog on the way home.
Animal fans will be pleased to hear that Lincolnshire has several Wildlife Parks, which make a brilliant day out.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Park
The Bengal Gardens at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in Friskney is home to the largest collection of Bengal Tigers in the UK. One of the most endangered species in the world, the park is committed to their conservation.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Park is considered the UK’s premier Animal Rehabilitation Centre and boasts the world’s largest Parrot Sanctuary.
The Walkthrough Aviary provides the perfect opportunity to meet the birds up close, with over 100 free flying birds in the Aviary. If you bring the birds treats, they may even land on you.
Let the kids loose on the Adventure Playground, and once they’re worn out, refuel them with lunch at the Rainforest Diner.
Naturally the trip would not be complete without visiting the Zoovenir gift shop.
ARK Wildlife Park
What makes the ARK Wildlife Park special is the fact that many of its animals are unusually sized, which makes them much more adorable and funny to look at.
For animals that are smaller than you are expecting, seek out the Micro Pigs, African Pygmy Goats, African Pygmy Mice, or Shetland Ponies.
If you prefer your animals larger than they should be, make friends with the Giant Rabbits, Giant Day Geckos, or Giant African Land Snails.
Be warned though, if you take children to the ARK Wildlife Park, they are guaranteed to fall in love with one of the unusually sized animals (let’s face it, it will probably be a Giant Rabbit or a Micro Pig)- and get their little hearts set on having their own one as a pet. We recommend saying yes and then presenting them with a soft toy version from the gift shop.
For an extra special visit, Night Shine tours are available in the Autumn and Winter. Guided by torchlight, you will see what the animals get up to at night. Afterwards the café will be open for drinks and cakes. At a very reasonable cost of £9 per person, Night Shine Tours are suitable for adults and older children.
Woodside Wildlife Park
Woodside Wildlife Park in Lincoln is a good choice if you are after a hands-on opportunity to meet the animals.
Experience days give you the chance to fly a bird of prey, feed a Tiger or a Siberian Lynx, have a Meercat on your knee, or (our personal favourite) feed grapes to a Lemur.
Sadly the Lemur does not return the favour, so you’ll have to feed yourself at the traditional Tearoom. But it’s okay, there is cake.
Lincolnshire Wolds is an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), so you’ll want to bring a camera or a fully charged phone so you can take photos. Covering 116 square miles, it has a varied landscape of sandstone, clay, and chalk hills.
Wild Pines Park
Set in the woodland of Linwood Warren, Wild Pines Park is a ropes course and activity centre suitable for age 6 and up.
Activities include Archery, Treasure Hunts, Mega Zip and Challenge Courses, and The Ropes Course. With a combination of exciting activities and a woodland setting, Wild Pines is an ideal focal point for a short break with the family. Camp out and hire a barbecue or toast some marshmallows over a bonfire pit. Or if you are accustomed to a certain level of comfort, there is a unique alternative nearby…
The comfier (and decidedly more glamourous) option is to stay in a Yurt. Near to Wood Pines Park, Lincoln Yurts have a selection of authentic Mongolian Yurts to choose from, each one decorated around a different theme.
Yurts are effectively a cross between a tent and a small boutique hotel. From the outside they resemble tents, but inside you will find the type of bed you would get in a hotel, ornately carved solid wood chests of drawers, and cosy luxuries such as a wood burning stove. The French themed Yurt even has a piano.
If you want to take it to the next level of luxury, you can book optional extras – why not have a Reflexologist or a Beauty Therapist come to your Yurt? Or hire a Falconer to introduce you to birds of prey and allow you to feed and interact with the birds.
Stately Homes & Manor Houses
Belton House is an excellent example of a classic country house. So much so that the outside was filmed for the 1995 BBC TV series of Pride & Prejudice as Lady Catherine de Burgh’s home.
Inside, Belton House has an array of collections, including books, silver, Oriental ceramics, and English portraiture.
Outside there is plenty to explore, from formal gardens to a deer park, and the National Trust’s largest outdoor adventure playground.
Doddington Hall & Gardens
A privately owned Elizabethan Mansion with 5 acres of gardens, Doddington Hall has 400 years of unbroken family occupation.
The grounds contain a 2 acre walled Kitchen Garden, where ingredients such as fruit, vegetables, and herbs are grown for use in the Café and Restaurant.
Doddington Hall is filled with collections of furniture, paintings, ceramics, textiles, porcelain, and weaponry, so there is plenty to look at, as well as a number of shops to browse for a spot of retail therapy.
The farm shop sells delicious gifts such as Doddington Estate Honey, Doddington Recipe Marmalade, and apple juice made from apples from the orchard. Other shops include a Home Store, the Giant Bike Shop, Doddington Country Clothing, and Farrow & Ball paint store.
Construction of Lincoln Cathedral began in 1072, and it has been gathering history ever since. The Cathedral boasts two libraries; the 15th Century Medieval Library and the 17th Century Wren Library.
An introductory Floor Tour is included in the admission price for the Cathedral, but to make the most of your visit it is worth booking a library tour or a tower tour if you have time.
There are only four remaining original copies of the Magna Carta from when it was sealed in 1215 by King John, and Lincoln Castle is the keeper of one of them.
Lincoln Castle is the only place in the world where you can find original copies of both the Magna Carta and the 1217 Charter of the Forest in the same location.
Fantasy Island Theme Park
Fantasy Island Theme Park in Skegness has a range of things to do on a day out. As well as the rides – which are split into three categories, Discovery, Adventurer, and Little Explorer, there are also many activities that the whole family can do together.
Take on the family with a round of adventure golf, challenge them to beat you at the arcade games, see who can hold on the longest on the Bucking Bronco, or go for a classic game of ten pin bowling.
Pleasure Beach Fairground
Popular with families, the Pleasure Beach Fairground in Skegness has all the traditional rides that come to mind- from cup and saucer rides and rollercoasters, to log flumes and ghost trains. Finish your day off with dinner nearby at The Suncastle- a castle shaped family friendly restaurant.
Unique Places to Go
If you want to try something unusual, here are two of our favourite options:
The Cheese Society
The Cheese Society is a family run business in the Cultural Quarter of Lincoln. Cheesemongers will recommend and wrap cheese in the shop for you to take home, or you can choose from selection of ‘cheese-centric’ lunch options such as Double Baked Cheese Soufflé or Melted Raclette at the Speciality Cheese Society Café.
Annushka Russian Dolls
If you just can’t commit to that level of cheese but you still want to go somewhere a bit different, visit Annushka Russian Dolls, a quaint shop on Lincoln’s famous Steep Hill. Offering all sorts of designs, shapes, and colours, you’re bound to find a unique souvenir or a gift.