Historic Market Towns and Villages

Stunning locations, unique characters, charming towns, heritage and fabulous food quite simply sums up our picturesque historic market towns and village hamlets. Whether you’re looking for an exciting adventure, a gastronomic holiday, a romantic getaway, or just to relax and enjoy the peaceful beauty of the countryside our market towns and villages are the perfect retreat.

Louth

Also known as the ‘Capital of the Wolds’ this beautiful Georgian market town is a delight for foodie lovers!

Hailed by TV chef’s The Hairy Bikers as a “foodie Mecca”, Louth is one of the UK’s best-loved foodie hot-spots.

Whether you have a passion for shopping or an interest in history, this charming market town offers an array of attractions and activities: from the stunning St James’ Church sporting the tallest medieval parish spire in the country, to the shopping area dotted with countless independent retailers, inns and magnificent Georgian and Victorian houses.

Visit the bustling weekly markets and sample some of Lincolnshire’s finest produce, selling everything from speciality cheeses through to Lincolnshire Plum Loaf. Weekly markets are held on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Farmers’ markets are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month and Food Friday on the second Friday of each month. If you can’t visit on a market day, you won’t be disappointed as Louth has fabulous food shops including award-winning butchers, bakers, fishmongers, greengrocers and a cheese shop.

Horncastle

Be captivated by the beauty of this thriving market town in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds. Originating from Roman times, and claimed in the Doomsday Book of 1086 to be owned by King William, Horncastle is steeped in heritage and history.

This historic market town has an abundance of shops specialising in antiques, collectables and bric-a-brac. Along with antique shops, the town also welcomes visitors to its weekly markets on a Thursday and Saturday and monthly farmers market held on the second Thursday of each month. These are great places to not only bag a bargain or two, but to buy some of Lincolnshire’s finest produce.

For those who want to find out about the town’s past, take some time to visit the 13th Century Church of St Mary and the remains of the old Roman Wall in the Library. Horncastle is also home to Sir Joseph Banks, the botanist explorer who journeyed to Australasia and catalogued thousands of plants and animals.

Alford

At the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds stands the beautiful market town of Alford. For those with a keen interest in history then plan a visit to Alford Manor House. The house, dating from 1611, is reputed to be the largest thatched manor house in the country and is a splendid example of Georgian and Victorian design. No trip to Alford is complete without a visit to the Five Sailed Windmill, which is considered to be the finest in England and still in use today. Weekly markets are held on a Tuesday and Friday and regular arts and crafts markets are held throughout the year.

Spilsby

A delightful market town on the southern Wolds, Spilsby was home to the famous arctic explorer Sir John Franklin who disappeared in 1847 trying to navigate a section of the North West Passage in the Canadian Arctic. For those wanting to explore a little more of the town’s history then a visit to St James’ Church is worthwhile, which displays valuables from the Willoughby de Eresby family, who used to own the entire town. A traditional market is held every Monday.

Woodhall Spa

Once a Regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in Lincolnshire, this delightful spa town still retains a feeling of Edwardian gentility. Step back in time at the Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum, created to preserve the rich history of the village. Visitors can also visit the Petwood Hotel, originally the home of the famous 617 Dambusters. Squadron where memorabilia from the squadron is on display in the Dambusters Bar.

Woodhall Spa is often hailed as the home of English Golf following the establishment of the National Golf Centre in 1995. Budding golfers can tee off on its Championship level golf course, ranked 25th in the Golf World magazine’s World Top 100 Golf Courses. Set deep in the pine forest is the ‘Kinema in the Woods’, the UK’s only fulltime cinema still using rear projection.

Tattershall and Coningsby

On the edge of the Wolds lie the peaceful villages of Tattershall and Coningsby.

Surrounded by miles of open countryside the small village of Tattershall is full of charm, from the dramatic Tattershall Castle, an impressive and rare red brick castle built by Ralph Cromwell, to the church of the Holy Trinity and the history of the folk legend Tom Thumb. In the neighbouring village of Coningsby take time to visit the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre, home to the only fully operational Lancaster Bomber in the country.

Market Rasen

Although famous for the only racecourse in Lincolnshire, there's more to Market Rasen.

It has had a market since the 1300s, its position on the river proving a commercial success. Nearby is Middle Rasen and West Rasen, the latter having a 3-arched packhorse bridge dating back to the 14th century. The village of Tealby, near Market Rasen is often described as 'the prettiest village in Lincolnshire', here you will find ‘The oldest Thatched Pub in Lincolnshire’, The King's Head, built in 1367.

One of the western gateways to the Wolds, Market Rasen once had an important tanning industry and became prosperous in Victorian times with the arrival of the railways. Now it has quiet roads, pleasant footpaths and beautiful countryside that attracts the visitors. There are all kinds of shops in the town and of course, the market still thrives on Tuesdays (auction), Fridays and Saturdays.

You've no need to leave this pleasant town - everything you need is here, from fresh local produce, clothes and gifts. But if you do venture out, pack a picnic and enjoy the many walks, cycle paths and country lanes. The surrounding area is a great place to start exploring with a selection of woodland walks and trails.

And if you take in a race meeting - good luck!

Caistor

Caistor is an attractive mix of Georgian and Victorian buildings, a market town with a history dating back before Roman times. It is unique in its architecture and location, nestling on the hillside at the edge of the Wolds and having 56 Grade II listed buildings, two Scheduled Ancient Monuments and over 160 significant archaeological finds.

The town also featured in the BBC's production of 'Village SOS' when the Caistor Arts & Heritage Centre was created from a disused Methodist Chapel. In the very centre of the town another beautiful building has been converted into the 'Settlement' restaurant.

The 147 mile long Viking Way runs through the centre of Caistor which has recently been awarded Walkers are Welcome status. Markets are held on Wednesday & Saturday, so why not stop, take a break, and see for yourself what Caistor has to offer its visitors.