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Those that know us, know that we don’t ‘do’ last minute – but this week was an exception!

The original plan was that Ann was due to attend her five-day Prince2 Course in Northampton beginning on Monday (yesterday) through until Friday, but 3 hours later she was back home! The reason? they’d cancelled the Course, but forgot to tell her! Cue much knashing of teeth.

So that left Ann now five days spare and nothing to do – a lethal combo!!!

A quick punt round the Internet soon put paid to that, and we’re now planning to stay in a charming hotel – The Dower House – in sleepy Woodhall Spa, for a two-day break. The journey there was around 70 miles across much of Lincolnshire’s ‘flat-earth’ landscape. I always know when I’m in Lincolnshire – the mobile loses its signal and there’s no chance of sending or receiving any emails. C’mon guys, this is 2015! – we travelled for 10 miles and there was no data signal at all!

Forget ‘4g’, it’s ‘gg’ that’s prolific in these parts, as in horses!

Two hours later, we were parking in front of the hotel and after a lightning quick check-in, we were shown to our room. Wow! It measured about the size of the county and the view out the window was very ‘English’.

Room 2 – Dower House Hotel

The View from Room 2
After a quick cuppa (oh, and a Pimm’s chaser), we set off to explore the small town Woodhall Spa. It wasn’t a particularly town, but we did get the impression of wealth round these parts looking at the size of some of the properties and the number of personalised registration plates.

A couple of stunning war memorials punctuated by a small number of ‘oldey-worldey’ shoppes – and not a major chain in sight! Brilliant!!

A short feet-up on our return before trying out the hotel’s restaurant. We were impressed! Large portions all round that were tasty and piping hot too! (obviously, not the Pâté!)

My Starter

My Main

..and in a world first, I DIDN’T have room for a dessert!!!

We’re playing tomorrow ‘by ear’, and taking a leisurely car journey around the area to see what’s what, and where’s where.

After a hearty breakfast, our plan today was to explore this part of the UK, we didn’t know much about – ‘the far east’ – taking in The Wolds.

Click on the map for a larger version

Statue of Sir John Franklin in Spilsby

We headed out of Woodhall Spa in an easterly direction, where our first stop was sleepy Spilsby. We didn’t know much about the town, but the statue in the town centre gave away its significance. John Franklin was born here and his claim to fame was that discovered the north-west passage around the Arctic and also much of southern Australia. He was also Governor of Tasmania. After this newly learned information, it was a quick look round the shops, and back to the car. 

Typical of a lot of the terrain in these parts, the onward journey was yawn-inducingly boring – flat and twisty roads for the most part – and soooo flat. So much was the boredom, that Ann and I invented three new games t pass the time. The first – ‘Spot the Tractor’ (answer: loads!); the second: ‘Find a Pub that’s NOT called The Red Lion’ – this proved to be almost impossible, and we counted seven during our travels today. Last – count the hills (the answer would have been a big fat zero, but as were to discover later, we found some!)

We didn’t stop at Skeggy – the attraction of Fantasy Island, Copacabana Beach and Butlins just wasn’t exciting enough! and we headed for the coast and Mablesthorpe. There wasn’t much to see here, but we did stop for coffee and watch a semi-serious bowls match! (yes, I am getting old!)

Next, it was off to the sleepy hollow of Manby via another selection of boring countryside and twisty roads. Another pitstop later, and we were now heading for Louth –and what a pleasant surprise that turned out to be! No tractors, no Pubs called The Red Lion and plenty of really nice shops. It was also market-day and the place was buzzing!

The Retail Mecca that is Louth

After enjoying Louth and all it had to offer, we were back on the road – next stop Horncastle.

Scenes around Horncastle – The Market Cross

Horncastle – Not another ‘Red Lion’ Pub!

Scenes around Horncastle – The Town Centre

Not everywhere was open in Horncastle, but we did have a few shops to look round, including the rather excellent Sir Joseph Banks’s Centre. As every schoolboy knows, JB is Lincolnshire’s ‘famous son’ and was a famous explorer and naturalist who travelled with the better known Captain Cook to explore the uncharted southern seas. The shop was packed full of information about him, and also acted as a centre for local crafts-people to sell their wares.

Part of the Joseph Banks’ Centre

All this culture demanded a final pit-stop for the day, and we took the short walk to The Bridge, where we sat in the hot sun (until it got too hot!) and made short work of a strawberry sundae and a Lincolnshire Tea.

Our Final Pitstop!

We felt sure we had over-run on our parking ticket, but when we got to the car , we were bang on our one hour limit!

It was now a short drive back to base on the B1191 (eek! a ‘B’ road in these parts – this sounded painful), and that’s when the hills made a dramatic appearance. It was like being in a different county and we had both types – ‘up’ and ‘down’! what fun!!!


twenty-minutes ater we were back at the Hotel, where we put our feet up until heading for the restaurant for our evening meal. It’s been good to explore this part of the UK, and the weather has been GREAT! But, the lack of dual-carriageways, torturous roads and almost non-existent internet and mobile phone signal would drive this author crazy!

We’re heading home tomorrow after breakfast.

Any comments?