In an era of collapsing high streets and economic struggle, small British towns seem to have mostly lost their flair. However, in stark contrast to the remainder of the country, Louth, a quaint UK town in the Lincolnshire Wolds, appears to be thriving with small local businesses and traditional British flavour.
This autumn I took a trip for the weekend to visit the beautiful market town of Louth, on the east coast, and was pleasantly surprised to find an idyllic fairytale town, rooted in tradition, yet bursting with innovation and modernity. Me and my wife stayed at The Traveller’s B&B, for a very comfortable and welcoming stay. They served an epic full English each morning (with locally sourced Lincolnshire sausages of course), and gave us all the tips we needed for a great day out.
It wasn’t hard to find beauty around every corner in Louth. We started with a modest fine dining experience at The Greyhound Inn, where we had an amazing king prawn and cottage cheese pizza; yes, pizza. It sounds strange, but it was so much more than we expected! Everything is cooked with fresh and local produce, and I could really tell the chefs cared for their food and took pride in their craft.
We must have passed around 10 to 15 different pubs and bars within 20 minutes of walking around Louth, which is an admirable indication of the town’s love for community and locality, something that was reflected throughout many of the local businesses in Louth. In fact, it seemed the entirety of the Lincolnshire Wolds displayed a touch for togetherness. When we visited Ovens Farm Vineyard the following morning, we were blown away by the hospitality of the Lincolnshire people. Simon, the owner and manager, took us on a personal tour of the winery, where we had a chance to see his team, mostly composed of family and friends, picking the year’s harvest. This was something that truly illustrated the region’s heart for community; seeing what is a very young local wine company show so much maturity in the way they approach their operations with a strong sense of family responsibility. We left with a complimentary bottle of their Harrington Red, of course named after their nearby village, to which they sell almost exclusively.
With an afternoon in Louth, walking along its very beautiful canals, cobblestone roads and narrow town alleys, we experienced the true embodiment of a real British fairytale town; the old town market, the local church, the cafes and so much more. In fact, Louth is a town seemingly unaffected by the widespread high street infection, as local small businesses like The Cheese shop, which made amazing cheesecake, tearooms like Babbits, where we enjoyed some delicious freshly baked scones with jam, and Lucks of Louth, the town’s very own designer brands retailer, seemed to be doing very well.
The most beautiful part of Lincolnshire was the ‘Wolds’ themselves. Trails and trails of stunning scenery, the very best of British flora and fauna, perhaps too beautiful at times; we didn’t want to leave, but our poor feet were tired. We made it halfway down one particular trail, towards the top of a hill, where we could oversee the entirety of the countryside, and as the sun set, we were both in awe of the amazing landscape. Just breathing in the peaceful countryside air was lifegiving. It was like a real countryside adventure, with all the beauty that follows.
Once it was dark, the evening fatigue called for pub grub, and although I scolded myself on some very hot gravy, it was worth it. The White Horse Inn served the most epic steak pie, and my wife dug into sausages and mash (Lincolnshire sausages again!), which she’d been dreaming about all day. We drank local ale and laughed. It was the perfect ending to our trip. But there was more to come. The day after we made the short journey to the beach; sand dunes, heather, beach houses, shell picking and all. We visited The North Sea Observatory, a purpose-built contemporary marine observatory near Chapel St Leonards, offers far and wide views of the dunes, the sea and the animals that call them home. This was a fine example of the region’s dedication to innovation, while maintaining its excellent classic essence.
Now we’d truly completed the great British adventure, and in doing so we got to experience a fairytale come true. For me this whole trip was about seeing what Lincolnshire had to boast about, and it turns out it’s the perfect place to go if you want to discover some of the more traditional side of Britain in a modern setting. When we’re so wrapped up in our busy city lives, ‘escaping’ to Lincolnshire’s peaceful countryside trails really was a blessing.