Nestling in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds, a country pub offers real ale, good food, a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and a dash of history.
From the Bluestone Heath Road, between Caistor and Candlesby, note the sign for Tetford, and wind your way down to the bottom of the 320m (1,049ft)-high ridge. Here, at the White Hart Inn, Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson would relax on his favourite oak settle under the horse brasses in the back bar, enjoy a pint and, no doubt, some local village gossip. For this was once the meeting place of the Tetford Club for local gentry.
A leisurely drive away is Somersby, the poet’s birthplace. Turn right from the car park and right again at the T-junction on to Station Road. Look for the memorial at the next junction and turn left, past the Cross Keys Inn. Then watch for the left turn signposted Somersby and Harrington. This is quintessential England, a dreamy landscape of gently rolling hills and hidden valleys, where swaying fields of crops are edged with poppies. Tennyson wrote in 1845: “I have a love for the old Lincolnshire faces and things which will stick by me as long as I live”.
As you approach the straggle of properties in Somersby, note the attractive Georgian rectory where Alfred was born in 1809, the fourth of 12 children. Today it is a private house, and stands next to Somersby Grange, a castellated manor house. Across the road, is the 15th-century church where Tennyson’s father, George, was rector. He is buried here, having passed away at just 52. Inside the church, you can see the font where the children were baptised, and imagine young Alfred ringing the bells.
Tennyson’s poem, The Brook may well have been inspired by memories of playing with his brothers around the brook that flows through the village.
Carry on towards Bag Enderby, a mile down the road, where George Tennyson was also the rector. The greenstone church has stood since 1407.
Further along the country lane you will come to Harrington Hall. Tennyson often visited this
17th-century manor house, when hopelessly infatuated with its tenant’s ward, Rosa Baring. His poem Maud was inspired by his love for her.
Continue north and, at the fork, follow the sign to Brinkhill. At the red telephone box, turn left for South Ormsby, and at the next T-junction, turn right, signposted Louth. At the next crossroads turn left, signposted Belchford/Scamblesby. You are now on the Bluestone Heath Road, an ancient drove road following a ridge trail across the spine of the wold.
The road undulates past woodland, opening out to reveal spectacular views. You’ll appreciate why the region is famed for its magnificent big skies. Once atop Tetford Hill, turn left at the crossroads signed Tetford, for the downhill run back into the village.
HOW TO GET THERE
From Lincoln, head east out of Horncastle on the A158, turn left in High Toynton.
FIND OUT MORE
Horncastle Tourist Information Centre
14 Bull Ring, Horncastle
Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service
Navigation Warehouse, Riverhead Road, Louth
Nutty Cottage Guesthouse
Legbourne Road, Louth
4-star guesthouse set in 14 acres of countryside.
Snipe Dales Country Park and Nature Reserve
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
One of few semi-natural wet valley systems still surviving.