Horncastle, Lincolnshire Holiday Resort
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:06:20 AM
I may be a few years ahead of my time, placing Horncastle at the seaside - but it was advertised as such for holidays in the 60s by Baker bros. caravan park on Spilsby rd. (now Greenacres Park Homes). Although the Sea is over 20 mins away by car, the advantages of making a vacation base at the heart of Lincolnshire are several, with few, if any, disadvantages.
Resort ComparisonOne of the top places to stay at Skegness has a 10 slide review of it's attractions. They're all artificial, built recently, and crowded in season. They start their trumpet blowing with the:
Swimming PoolWell most of the towns in the UK can boast one. Horncastle's Swimming Pool is run by qualified Life Guards, has a full 25m length, and a proven record with clubs, groups, enthusiasts and disabled. You can also choose whether to use it - the price isn't blindly built into your holiday.
'The Restaurant'Brilliant! The 'resort' has one, Horncastle has five or six dedicated á la carte businesses, good hotel and bar catering, and take aways aswell. Ranging from Shakesby's English seasonal cuisine, through to Indian, Chinese, and British Fish Teas. Many of the staff are experienced and aren't working 'seasonally'. You'll also be hardpressed to find a microwave on any of their premises, whilst many pubs, alot Free Houses, give a wider variety of tipples not always found on a complex.
The GymPerhaps trying to put the 'healthy' back with 'break', a gym is included. Well Horncastle has two, not just the East Lindsey one, with instructors; cool, low lit halls packed with treadmills, weights and devices- the other gym, an equal distance out of town, is at the squash and snooker club, and has experts in weights, and a nominal charge for none members.
QuackersBy their 4th 'attraction' the resort is down to feeding the ducks on the lake! Well, that's also more than possible in Horncastle.
AccomodationThe holiday resort's 'great hotel' is probably all well and good if you like plastic windows and cardboard doors. Horncastle has a couple or three offering rooms; dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, polished oak and Jacobean brick complement Olde Worlde design and years of comfort. Isolated, competing businesses, ensure attention to service details that package holidays neglect. If a hotel is still too large, several guest houses are spotted around the town. Horncastle Architecture Album
Great ViewsThe 6th resort attraction, another 'Great'! - I've been inland from Skegness, it's a flat plain. The furthest view is to the next hedge or chalet. Here at the centre of the Lincolnshire Wolds, with the Viking trail and numerous footpaths and river walks, Horncastle is never far away from a 25 mile round vista, from the Coast to Lincoln Cathedral, Boston Stump to Belmont Tower.
Touring PitchesThis one's a bit more of a 4-5 minute drive out of Horncastle, which mean the holiday parks are situated in the countryside (not just able to 'great' view it from a distance) Bainland Park to the South is near Woodhall Spa, so don't be surprised to get a wake up call from a Eurofighter or Lancaster Bomber from Coningsby. To the north, a search for Ashby Park will turn up an arguably more rural retreat, with lakes, golf and horse riding connections. Excellent for cycling into town, as is Bainland, with tracks and quiet lanes. If your wallet won't stretch to dragging your gas bottles round the country,..... . . . . .
.... Elmhirst Lakes provide Lodge and Chalet holiday breaks within 10 minutes walking distance of the town centre. Other smaller concerns are nestled in the Wold around the town.
The BarYou know a holiday resort is going to be quiet when it offers the bar as an attraction, Horncastle can offer several, and they aren't jampacked or overpriced. Not having a 'captive' pool of short term package visitors, the town stewards rely on service to keep their regulars coming back for more. Not only are the restaurants and pubs licensed, Benton's Coffee shop on West St now stock top of the range tipples and are open Thurs, Fri and Saturday evenings presently. Harpers Bar, and The Punch House in the town centre are also a little different to the average 'pub'.
Teas in the CafeThis is where a Lincolnshire market town like Horncastle really excels, and it's hard to know where to start. Myers is typically Continental in outlook. Longfellows make a vegetarian pasty and also have a European feel. With a small art and antique stand upstairs, it's possible to come away with a unique momento of lunch time. Henny's on the market do traditional Cream teas, whilst the Pop-In is popular with locals out shopping. The Bridge tearoom is an interesting building in itself, whilst a few steps more gives Benton's on the corner, well placed for a lunchtime snack with a glass of wine, or a speciality coffee, after Antique hunting. With Mantle's fish and chip shop also offering dinnertime sit in meals, and the option of buying a snack and sitting on the River Bank or market, I think the purpose built resort is starting to look a little tame.
Entertainment ComplexAt first sight, amusement arcades and bowling, singers and performers, do actually seem like attractions.
Horncastle regularly has Live Music at Old Nick's Tavern, The Punchbowl etc, and the Red Lion Theatre puts on a bimonthly show. Further afield, the Kinema in the Woods at Woodhall, and other clubs within a similar radius, often have something going on. That essentially exhausts the resort's slideshow of attractiveness...Horncastle still has things in store..
Ooer..I guess the Skegness resort doesn't have Roman remains. Or a thatched pub and cottages. A Blue Plaque Heritage trail and also an Antiques Trail of 20 something shops and a hundred or so dealers. A Central County position ensuring a gallon of fuel brings a super new attraction everyday if required. A homogenous mix of locals with a very low crime rate. Wood walks on three sides of the town. A prize winning (Crowder's) garden centre and coffee shop, just 3 bus stops to the West of the town. Hills and ridges to 450ft within an hour's stroll or 10 minutes drive; 2 or 3 international standard Golf clubs within a similar radius. Barrows, stone circle areas and an attempted Ancient Briton pyramid to the East (Hoe hill SE of Fulletby) on the same side of town as the civil war battle site and Snipe Dales scenic area. Next to Henry ll's castle ruins at Bolingbroke. If the coast resort is still winning out because of it's proximity to the sand and sea, it's worth remembering that it is still 10minutes to the beach through heavy traffic. It's similar from Horncastle, but you'll also get a 30minute top deck scenic bus ride (and suntan) through the Wolds. Or you have the choice of the whole Lincolnshire coast at the same mileage. Cleethorpes is even possible for fair cyclists. With a bicycle shop repairing in the town again, it's possible to venture with confidence as a holiday biker. Or by car 'Inland' for that gallon of fuel, horse racing at Market Rasen is a healthy day out. Lincoln City's museums, shopping and history would easily take a day of anyone's itinery.
What's NewLatest advancements for Horncastle include better computers at the library. The Indian restaurant in the banqueting suite on the market has had rave reviews from everyone I've asked, but still no web site or place page for it on the www. A guitar shop on East St seems to be a musicians draw.
With shops for sale or being revamped for new owners, Horncastle's vitality is likely to improve this summer. Local business opinion on Tesco's plans to relocate and expand is schizophrenic, with most businesses wanting the superstore next to them! But then on the whole saying they're against supermarkets in small towns. I can remember in the sixties when these American ideas started to eat into the bloated CoOperative society's monopoly, the stores were meant to be hyper-markets accessable only by car / park and ride..., so towns like Horncastle could be fully pedestrianised and traffic calmed for... Shopping!
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