After a challenging year of indoor restrictions, more people are flocking to green spaces and countryside than ever before. The Lincolnshire Wolds certainly offers both of those things, made up of a range of stunning rolling hills and immaculate scenery.
But how much do you know about Lincolnshire’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty? Explore our guide to discover everything there is to love about the Wolds.
What is an AONB?
“An area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) is land protected by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000” (Gov.uk). The Act is here to ensure the beauty of areas such as the Lincolnshire Wolds is conserved and enhanced.
There are a total of 34 AONBs in England, and the Wolds became designated in 1973. To meet the selection criteria, an area must have:
- High-quality landscape
- Stunning scenery
- Relative distance from housing and busy roads
- Tranquility (with natural sounds predominant)
- Natural and cultural heritage
How were the Lincolnshire Wolds formed?
Once home to numerous medieval villages, the Wolds landscape covers rolling hills, chalk streams and old airfields. Spanning across north east Lincolnshire, they are actually the highest point on the east coast between Yorkshire Moors and Kent Downs, according to Helen Gamble, AONB project officer.
Formed roughly 150 million years ago, this countryside is steeped in history. It gets its hills and valleys as a result of glacier erosion, making the landscape very appealing from an agricultural perspective.
When exploring the Wolds, you’ll be walking atop WW2 bunkers, farmland, homes of old Roman remains and deserted medieval villages buried in the soil.
Those fond of babbling brooks and rolling rivers will love the chalk streams spread across the green land, each one providing clear water and gravel beds for the likes of voles, otters and several fish species.
Lincolnshire Wolds Villages
From quaint villages to historic market towns, there are many charming, unique places to visit across the 558 km² of countryside.
Whether you’re looking for artisan coffee stops or delicious restaurants, a well-earned post-walk pint at the pub or shopping for antiques, there’s something for everyone in the Wolds.
Peaceful retreats and historic towns include:
- Louth – a superb Georgian market town, once labelled a “foodie Mecca” by TV chefs the Hairy Bikers
- Alford – Situated at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds, Alford is home to a 1611 Manor House and Five Sailed Windmill, both of which are well worth a visit.
- Horncastle – Once owned by King William, Horncastle is a wonderful, old Roman market town with plenty of shopping. If you’re a fan of antiques and organic produce, this is where you need to be!
- Caistor – Boasting over 50 Grade II listed buildings, architecture and heritage enthusiasts are forever flocking to Caistor. Recently awarded Walkers are Welcome status, the town is also home to the Caistor Arts & Heritage Centre, where you can sink your teeth into a range of tasty treats on its sunny terrace.
- Woodhall Spa – A cinema in the woods, the original home of the 617 Dambusters and one of the Top 100 best golf courses in the world… You’ll never be stuck for things to do in Woodhall Spa.
- Spilsby – Spilsby holds a traditional market every Monday, and was once home to famous arctic explorer Sir John Franklin.
- Tattershall and Coningsby – Coningsby is where you’ll find the only fully operational Lancaster Bomber in the country, making it a popular spot for aviation lovers. Meanwhile, Tattershall has the magnificent Tattershall Castle, complete with bottomless brunch, afternoon tea and weddings!
- Market Rasen – Last but most certainly not least, Market Rasen is an excellent spot for fans of the races, golf and woodland. This delightful town draws plenty of people in, hosting the only racecourse in Lincolnshire.
For all of you adventurers out there – click here to discover a Lincolnshire Wolds map.
Lincolnshire Wolds Walks
Looking to take a walk on the Wolds side? Here are just a few of our favourite strolls and hikes…
The Viking Way
Arguably Lincolnshire’s most famous route, the Viking Way is a 147-mile footpath recently awarded Walkers are Welcome status.
Starting on the banks of the River Humber and ending in Rutland, this route covers areas once occupied by Norse invaders in the 9th century.
Lincolnshire Wolds Way
The Lincolnshire Wolds Way was designed to take in the very best views and scenery the Wolds has to offer, this circular route has been broken down into five various stages surrounding Louth.
From quiet roads to wonderful woodland, those looking for a shorter walk should definitely consider this route, which takes roughly just under three hours.
Discover more walking and cycle paths
You would need a mammoth book to discover every magnificent walk in the the Wolds, but for those of you looking for more routes, paths and treks, be sure to check out the Love Lincolnshire Wolds website.
Lincolnshire Wolds: Things To Do
As well as walking, hiking and cycling, the Lincolnshire Wolds also gives visitors the chance to explore nature, get active and learn about the history of the area.
Learn something new
Lincolnshire Wolds Railway provides the opportunity to jump aboard heritage steam trains between North Thoresby and Ludborough station. Meanwhile, plane fans and historians will find the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre, Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre and RAF Scampton fascinating days out.
From horse riding to golf, fishing to swimming, the Lincolnshire Wolds offers much more than just walking in the great outdoors.
Click the links below to discover the range of activities:
Looking to move closer to the Wolds?
At Lindum Homes, we offer great homes in great locations and have over 50 years of experience building quality houses in Lincolnshire.
Explore our Lincolnshire Guides
Want to learn more about Lincolnshire’s delights? Explore our guides below: