Cleethorpes Boating Lake, YellowBelle Lincolnshire Lifestyle blogDoddington Hall, copyright YellowBelleStrawberries at The Lincolnshire Show 2014 copyright YellowBelle, Lincolnshire Lifestyle blog

This weekend gives us the perfect opportunity to do some exploring  – it’s Discover Lincolnshire Weekend! Starting today and running up until Sunday, many places to visit across the county are offering special discounts or free entry to their attractions – and there are some truly fascinating places to discover.

From sites of historical significance and manor houses with beautifully landscaped gardens, to educational museums and places of specialist interest, Lincolnshire boasts a wealth of activities to keep you busy on days out and staycations, especially when you factor in the abundance of restaurants, cafes and tea rooms, varied shopping experiences and the beaches, woodlands and areas of outstanding natural beauty too. 

Both Visit Lincoln and Visit Lincolnshire have compiled a list of attractions offering discounts and free entry this weekend (here, and here), and I am pleased to see that some of my favourite places have been included.

Here’s my favourite places to discover this Discover Lincolnshire Weekend:

1. Doddington Hall and Gardens

I visited Doddington Hall, near Lincoln, for the first time last year, and found the gardens to be incredible. The Elizabethan Hall boasts seven acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, complete with a turf maze and topiary, and romantic wild gardens with giant ancient chestnut trees. It also boasts a selection of small shops, including an award winning Farm Shop bursting with local produce – a must visit (bring your purse!), and a cafe and restaurant which was recently named FARMA’s Farm Restaurant & Cafe of the Year for 2015.

2. Gainsborough Old Hall

Gainsborough Old Hall is somewhere I have visited many times with my family or on a school trip, and it is somewhere I have very fond memories of. The medieval manor house, dating back to around 1460, has been preserved so visitors can tour the great hall, the original kitchen and a selection of rooms and bedrooms. Past guests of Gainsborough Old Hall include Henry VIII and the recently reburied Richard III. Also on site is a small shop and a coffee shop. 

3. Tattershall Castle

Another place to visit from my childhood, but another of historical importance. Tattershall Castle, near Sleaford, is over 800 years old, and is quite unique in appearance. The Castle is six stories high, and you can climb the spiral staircase to the very top, stopping off at the halls and adjoining rooms to admire the stained glass windows and fireplaces. Once you reach the top of the castle, you will have incredible views of the Lincolnshire countryside. 

4. Discover Lincolnshire Market

There are some fantastic independent businesses, crafts people and food producers in and around Lincolnshire, and according to Visit Lincoln, many of Lincoln’s finest will be showcasing their products at the Discover Lincolnshire Market. Personally, I’ll be excited to see all of the different foods on offer.

5. Cleethorpes 

Cleethorpes boasts five miles of sandy beaches, with amusement arcades, candyfloss and ice cream kiosks and, of course, Grimsby fish ‘n’ chips! To the south of the resort, you’ll approach Cleethorpes Discovery Centre (which has a special offer this weekend), the Boating Lake, where you can rent rowing boats and pedalos, and a coastal nature reserve. Also nearby is Seaview Street, the area’s oldest shopping area which has independent boutiques and some fantastic cafes and restaurants for a bite to eat.