Visit Horncastle – The Treasure Trove Of Lincolnshire

When, one Saturday morning, I suggested we visit Horncastle Lincolnshire, my proposal was met with resounding approval. Not wishing to paint my better half in such a puerile light but sometimes all it takes to convince him of anything is a casual reference to a schoolboy gag. “HORNcastle?  Point me in the direction!”.

But he makes a good cuppa and seems to know that M&S flowers are better than Asda’s, so I think he’s a keeper. Anyway, in my opinion, there are loads of things to do in Horncastle for a day out, so I was glad he complied because I knew he was going to love it there.

So, What’s So Good About Horncastle?

Horncastle isn’t too hot on promoting itself and to the undiscerning eye it may be seen as one of England’s insignificant towns. Afterall, its very own website starts its homepage with a paragraph about a nearby village : come on guys, Horncastle town centre has loads going for it!

As an old Roman settlement, Horncastle was a fortified town away from any important Roman roads and mainly used the river as its point of access. The town’s public library was built on top of a part of the old Roman walls and a section of it can still be seen inside – you may feel the need to make audible oo’s and ah’s when you visit (although quietly – this is a library!) so as not to confuse any librarians as to the manner of your swing-by. Just how long you feel is polite to linger is entirely up to you, but 30 seconds is all it will take to read the wall-mounted info board.

Don’t feel bad that it’s almost impossible to unearth anything of significance about the history of Horncastle, just be happy that this little corner of England carried on for centuries undisturbed by consequential events and makes up for it nowadays in other ways.

Some Other Things To Do In Horncastle

So once you’ve visited the library for a little perspective on this wonderful Lincolnshire town and had a brief Horncastle history lesson, here’s a few more things to do in Horncastle…

Visit Horncastle Antiques Shops

In case you hadn’t heard – Horncastle is the epicentre of the world for all things flotsam and jetsam. Only seeing is believing, and like one friend of mine put it – ‘when they ran out of skips, they invented Horncastle’. He’s just jealous of the amount of time his wife spends looking at china cups and saucers though.

Horncastle is a centre for the antiques trade and has more than a handful of Aladdins Caves to explore. Each one has its own character and distinction and you must visit all of them before you leave! I particularly like 22 North Street for the in-house parrot and floor-to-ceiling stacking system – you wouldn’t dare remove a desirable treasure from some of the Jenga-like piles! And make sure you go all the way to the back of the store and outside just to see what would not be believed – just go!

the best antique shop in horncastle?

Another amazing gem is the Trinity Antiques Centre in a former church on East Street – churches always fascinate me anyway so when you fill them will interesting stuff from bygone eras you could lose me in here for days.

And Book Shops…

Alongside the Antique shops are a few well-stocked book shops too – my favourite is Jabberwock Books. There is a semblance of order to this place, kind of, and the owner can put his finger on anything you ask for, which is quite astounding when you see how many books are in there.

what is there to do in Horncastle, Lincolnshire?

Posh Coffee & Eateries…

Shopping can work up an appetite and thankfully, for nice places to eat and drink, Horncastle is not short. The pubs are traditional and one or two with lovely thatched roofs for extra authentic effect – they make the beers and pies taste better I find. Even the bakeries have beautiful window displays, enticing you in to buy a loaf of artisan dough.

The School House Coffee Bar on Church Lane dishes up deli-worthy sandwiches and homemade cakes on comfy leather sofas, and once you’re done you can browse the gift-shop shelves.

If it’s a sunny day in Lincolnshire then you can enjoy a scone or two in the courtyard behind The Old Stables on The Market Place and if the rain threatens play then pick a window seat in The Bridge – an old Georgian townhouse which overlooks the River Bain.

Failing all else, Horncastle is only a few miles from the East Coast so the fish and chip shops are also reliably good.

what is there to see and do in horncastle?

Things To Do Near Horncastle

After spending a morning marvelling at the treasure trove that is Horncastle, and snacking on a few cheeky pastries, we decided there should be another leg to our little day trip to Lincolnshire. When you look at a map of England there are several little green patches labelled AONB – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Lincolnshire is the proud owner of one of these little badges. The Lincolnshire Wolds – AONB.

Until I moved to Nottingham I had never come across this term ‘wolds’, it means open high ground. Mr MLLH has even turned it into an adjective, meaning lumpy and bumpy like the wolds in Leicestershire near our home.

Nevertheless, as you drive the wolds of Lincolnshire, in your open-top MG with a headscarf – you will get a sense of the kind of beautiful countryside I am talking about.

what is there to see in lincolnshire wolds?

Apparently the history of the area is rich too, archaeological teams have unearthed plenty of evidence to show the mark that Scandinavian Vikings made on the wolds, and it may explain some of the unusual place names too.

We ate pie and drank beer at a proper country pub, picked up a few leaflets of local walks then with a loosening one notch of the belt decided that a leisurely drive upon the rolling hills was more our cup of tea. Here endeth a lovely day out in Lincolnshire and one that I can heartily recommend to you should you find yourself in the East of England.

Pin For Later…

The best day trips in the UK are those to places filled with history and unique gems, add to that a pretty town and you have Horncastle - a lovely little town in the county of Lincolnshire near the east coast. Make a day trip to this antique gem and finish off arounf the stunning countryside of the Lincolnshire wolds...

Carry on reading…

~ Clumber Park – The Weird & Thr Wonderful ~

~ Chester – The Perfect Mini Break ~

9 Comments Add yours

  1. And you didn’t even visit the fantastic local theatre – well hidden attraction in a well-hidden town, but the quality of productions has to be seen to be believed.

    1. Alex says:

      I shall keep that in mind for next time 😉

  2. Stacy says:

    This looks a lovely little place! I need to explore more of Lincolnshire, there are some wonderful villages tucked away 🙂

  3. I have never heard of this place Alex! Must admit on my one visit to Lincolnshire – to Lincoln itself I wasn’t massively impressed. I think it was getting trapped in a bunch of bus spotters that did it. The one guy getting so excited because – “I have some of those seats in my garage Gordon” was the highlight. Say no more…..will give the county another go one day and visit this place as you recommend it 😉

    1. Alex says:

      ‘Too many people, not enough surnames’ comes to mind when I think of most of Lincolnshire ?

  4. Horncastle indeed seems like a great place to visit and explore, Alex! I love such towns so this one goes to my bucket list right away. Is a day trip enough to see all the highlights there?

    1. Alex says:

      Oh yes, definitely, it’s such a small town. There are other places nearby worth visiting too though, like Lincoln for instance – a really historical city. Plus the Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty I mentioned – the Lincolnshire Wolds, now I really would like to spend more time just hiking there, it’s so pretty!

  5. Jurga says:

    I guess it will come as no surprise that I never heard of this place before. But OMG! Those shops, especially that one with the pile of dolls squeezed against the window… It looks like a place where you could be able to find lots of hidden treasures – if you just took the time to look. I am sure my kids would find something they just have to have. Did you buy anything?

    1. Alex says:

      A lot of it’s junk but it’s just the way it’s arranged that is so amazing! You just can’t believe your eyes! It’s always the bookshops I spend my pocket money in, I’m a sucker for books.

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