Nestled in a gentle fold on the cusp of the stunning Lincolnshire Wolds, the tranquil village of Ashby-cum-Fenby is the perfect base for exploring the whole of the Lincolnshire and Humber region.
On the doorstep here in Ashby-cum-Fenby we have the gorgeous 12th Century village church of St Peter, which dates back to 1230 and contains a memorial to Sir Christopher Wray, former Chief Justice of the King’s Bench (1574 ?1590) and one time resident of the area. In the Spring and Summer the village explodes in colour, thanks in no small part to the herculean efforts of a dedicated elderly village couple who tirelessly cultivate every inch of verge, hedgerow and communal space. Come autumn the colours deepen spectacularly as the trees turn gold and red, and by winter the landscape freezes under the vast open skies to the south and east, as snow settles on the undulating Wold tops just a mile to the west.
Waltham is the nearest substantial village (2 miles), offering a wide variety of services and amenities, including several pubs, a post office, convenience stores, bakery, fast food outlets, bookmaker, cash machines and more. A couple of miles further towards Cleethorpes (5 miles) there’s a Tesco Extra supermarket and petrol garage, and Cleethorpes itself boasts a wide range of shops, restaurants bars and general amenities. There’s a Morrisons store over near the village of Laceby a few miles to the north, and in the centre of Grimsby there’s Asda, Sainsburys and another Tesco, along with a large shopping precinct. A few miles to the south of us lies the gorgeous market town of Louth, offering a couple of small supermarkets and a wide variety of independent shops and services, as well as numerous cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs.
Within the village we have the award winning Hall Farm Restaurant and Roosters Bistro, and slightly further afield there’s a great selection of first rate eateries, including the Livesey Arms gastro pub at Ludborough and the totally unique Millhouse Restaurant at Covenham, to mention the just the highlights.
We’re within easy reach of several regional hubs, including the gorgeous market town of Louth, credited as being “the finest little market town in Britain" by TV chef Rick Stein, and punctuated by the 300ft spire of St James’s church.
While we’re talking theme parks, nearby Skegness boasts no fewer than 3, with the first ever and recently renovated Butlins Holiday Camp perhaps stealing the limelight back from Fantasy Island, located in the holiday mecca of Ingoldmells just a mile down the road in. In the heart of the town itself, Bottons Pleasurebeach harks back to the classic British seaside holidays of the 1960s with its dodgems, waltzers and classic rollercoaster.
The local area hosts a diverse range of sporting attractions, including national hunt horse racing at the superb Market Rasen race course, and for petrol heads there’s Cadwell Park , a firm favourite date of many fans on the British Superbike Championship calendar. For those who prefer their sport at more of a walking pace, the more than respectable 56 golf courses of Lincolnshire may well be of interest, with at least two dozen within a 40 minute drive of us here at Ashby, including the super courses at Woodhall Spa ?home to the English Golf Union, no less. For water sports fans there’s plenty of fun to be had in the sea off all of the towns along the coast, and for those preferring a slightly more ‘controlled?setting the Covenham Water Sports Centre on the reservoir at Covenham offers a wide range of organised activities.
Just a few miles down the road from the golf clubs at Woodhall Spa lies the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Museum at RAF Coningsby ?the RAF’s main front-line flying station. The base is also home to 4 squadrons of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, which can be watched from several public viewing spaces around the airfield on weekdays. Staying with the flying theme, Lincolnshire ?known as ‘bomber county?during the war era ?is also home to the RAF’s aerobatic team the Red Arrows, and they too can often be seen going through their jaw-dropping routines during the week over their base at RAF Scampton, just a few miles north of Lincoln. Click here for more information on Lincolnshire’s long RAF heritage.
As England’s second biggest county, it’s no surprise that Lincolnshire offers a wide array of activities to fill even the longest family holiday a dozen times over. Ten miles east of the farm on the beautiful and remote Lincolnshire coastline lies the Lincolnshire Trust wildlife reserve at Donna Nook, an RAF weapons range that’s also home to one of the world’s largest Grey Seal colonies. On weekends during the warmer months you can walk some 2kms across the range to mingle with the seals on the shoreline, and in winter months (Nov to Jan) the seals come right into the sand dunes to give birth, making for amazing close-up photo opportunities of the county’s cutest residents. During the pupping season the range is staffed by full-time wardens who monitor the progress of the colony, a scheme that has helped the population grow every year, with 2009’s 1400 pups being a new record. The rolling sand dunes along the edge of the range can be accessed throughout the year, offering panoramic views of the vast, expansive beach and salt flats. Just remember to strictly observe the red flags and warning signs at all times ?you don’t want to get bombed!
For those with younger children Rand Park Farm just outside Louth is a real working farm packed with all sorts of fun things for the little ones to do, and picnic fans will fall in love with Willingham Woods near Market Rasen, with its wide open spaces, forest trails and idyllic ponds. Just a few miles down the road from us here at Homefield Farm, the dedicated enthusiasts at the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway in Ludborough provide a blast from the past with their collection of steam and diesel trains running fun trips along their ever-growing stretch of restored railway line.
General tourist information for Lincolnshire can be found at the Visit Lincolnshire website.
Several newspapers, radio stations and websites cover the area, all of which are useful for finding out what’s going on around the region.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire - BBC Lincolnshire (94.9 FM)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/humber - BBC Humberside (95.9 FM)
http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk?Grimsby Evening Telegraph
http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk ?Lincolnshire Echo
There are train stations nearby at Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Market Rasen, Barnetby and Lincoln.
National Express buses serve Grimsby, Lincoln and Louth, and local buses into Cleethorpes and Grimsby run from Waltham, with Louth, Lincoln and Hull services calling at nearby New Waltham.
Scheduled domestic and international flights run daily from Humberside Airport .