Visit Louth: Places to stay, things to do

This wonderful, tranquil market town is made up of winding historic Georgian streets and Grade II listed buildings, and is an excellent base for exploring the wonderful homeland of one of England’s greatest nature poets, Alfred Lord Tennyson. Annie Mackinder tells us why we should go there

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Why go there?

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Louth is a thriving market town, brimming with community spirit, alive with character and steeped in tradition. Unfortunately, it is missed by many Lincolnshire visitors as they head to the seaside resorts along the east coast. It is perhaps for this reason that Louth is still in many ways the same place it was back in the 17th century. The streets are still a jumble of Georgian and Victorian architecture, the shops still offer traditional, locally sourced foods and the church of St James, famous for having the tallest spire in England, still dominates the skyline, offering a perfect panorama of the historic town and a glimpse at the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

While in the town, take a stroll down the winding cobbled streets and find the unexpected. Louth offers six family-run butchers, the famous Pocklington’s Bakers, two grocers, an old-fashioned tailors, a cobblers, a fish shop, and of course the famous Louth Cheese shop, selling a wide selection of cheese’s, including the award winning Lincolnshire Poacher. If you’re feeling a little shopped out, visit the splendid museum, follow the Art Trail or discover Tennyson’s Wall. Come the evening, why not visit the theatre or the art-deco cinema, and when you need a refreshing drink after your busy day of exploring, try one of the many Elizabethan pubs, offering local ales, and good wholesome home-cooked food.

If you want to explore a little further afield, then Louth is an ideal base. Lincolnshire offers wonderful countryside, as well as number of famous tourist attractions. Cadwell Park just a short drive from Louth, is famous for being one of the country’s most challenging motor racing courses. Snipe Dales and Gibraltar Point are National Nature Reserves and Skegness Seal Sanctuary is a great fun, educational visit for all ages. There are also opportunities to go horse riding, gliding, fishing, and there are a number of golf courses to try, both for beginners and experienced players.

What Louth is particularly popular for, however, is walking, and every year during May and June, there is an annual walking festival. A short walk along the river will bring you to Hubbard’s Hills, a park designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, that is known to delight visitors of all ages, no matter what time of year. If you want to venture further a field but don’t want too taxing a climb, then the level walks along the navigation canals are perfect. If however, you want a bigger challenge, head further into the Wolds, where there are miles of footpaths, bridal-ways and mountain biking tracks.
To make it easier for visitors to find the very best routes and associated villages, the local councils and rambling groups have put together a number of specially defined routes and guide books. These guides are free and available throughout Louth and the surrounding areas. The Silver Lincs Way is the one most specific to the Louth area.

Stay:

There are many fine hotels and B&Bs in and around Louth. However, for something a little different, with superb food and a modern feel, why not try the Brackenborough Arms. If you would rather something more traditional try the Priory Hotel, this fantastic Grade II building dates back to 1818. It has superb architecture and offers great value short breaks throughout the year. For some pure pampering there is always the Kenwick Park Estate Hotel and Spa. This excellent hotel is set in 320 acres of parkland and is a great place to recuperate after a hard day of walking in the Wolds.

Eat:

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Louth is famous for selling locally sourced foods, and the most famous restaurant in Louth for doing this is Melanie’s. Everything on the menu is locally sourced and homemade, including the scrumptious cider. In 2010 the restaurant won the Best Restaurant Taste of Lincolnshire Award.