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Short Breaks from Lincoln

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Ever needed to just get away, but you can't go for too long? Please tell us about your short breaks away (e.g. day trips, road trips or weekend breaks), whether it be for ultimate relaxation, or to be active and practice hobbies you may have (fishing,

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      06.07.2004 17:45
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      I don?t know why you?d want to escape from Lincoln, with it?s quaint, cobbled streets and, of course, the famous Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle. Your city is fairly brimming over with culture and tourist traps. But I suppose that if the old adage is true, and familiarity really does breed contempt, then you might want to get away from all that culture every now and again. Of course, your ideal retreat could very easily be a seaside resort, and from Lincoln you really are spoilt for choice. Travelling roughly east from the city will bring you to ?Bracing? Skegness ? perfect for a day trip, but if you want to stay a little longer you could do a lot worse than spend some time at the Butlins resort in the town. Now one of only three remaining Butlins Holiday Camps in the Country - Butlins Skegness offers more entertainment than you could shake a stick at. These include a snooker club, Irish themed karaoke bar, ten pin bowling, pool, disco and dancing, summer shows including pantomimes for the kids, a cinema, bingo, go karting, fencing, steam and sauna rooms and of course, the magnificent ?Splash Waterworld?. Butlins is, in my opinion, just like a Center Parcs for those of us on a lower budget. Yes, it might not be as plush as it?s rival in Sherwood Forest, but it could be just as much fun, and for a significantly lower price, too. On the website at the moment prices start at just £59 for a 3 night, self catering, summer break. Now I call that a bargain! But if you like your beaches quieter than the popular resort of Skegness, then I?d recommend a visit to any one of the many beautiful beaches between Skegness and Cleethorpes. The beaches at Theddlethorpe and Saltfleetby are especially pleasant, and even in the summer there are so few visitors that it?s almost like having your o
      wn private beach. Of course, there are no attractions, there weren?t even any toilets last time I visited, but if you have young children who just want to play in the sand and the sea, then it really is ideal! Mablethorpe and Ingoldmells, on the other hand, offer many of the same attractions as Skegness, but on a smaller scale. Cleethorpes, about an hours drive from Lincoln, is the last seaside resort to the North before the Humber Bridge. However, unlike it?s more Southerly cousins, Cleethorpes is actually located on the Humber estuary, not the North Sea. When gazing out over the water in Cleethorpes the opposite bank of the Humber can clearly be seen (even the sun glinting on car windscreen as they drive along the coast road!) A definite point of interest in the Estuary is the two WWII forts, one close to the North Bank, the other only a short distance from the beach at Humberston on the South Bank. There has been talk in the past of developing the South Bank fort into a nightclub, amongst other things, but nothing ever came of the plans! Still, the forts remain a poignant reminder of the war. However, be warned, the forts appear to be deceptively close to the beach, but attempt to walk out to them at your peril! Even at low tide the Fort on the South Bank remains under water, and there?s a well known creek with a wicked riptide directly between the nearest beach and the fort? You have been warned! In Cleethorpes you?ll find all of the usual seaside activities including arcades with slot machines and bingo and fish and chip shops by the dozen. At the very end of the promenade you can visit the ?Wonderland? Sunday Market? A slightly misleading name, as Wonderland is, in actuality, nothing more than a large, metal warehouse filled with market stalls? Still
      , you can find some real bargains on the Sunday Market. But if you prefer a little more excitement in your life, then a visit to Pleasure Island should definitely be right up your street. Pleasure Island, Cleethorpe?s answer to Alton Towers, is a theme park located almost on top of the beach. With a pirate ship and roller coaster, amongst many other exciting rides, but with the added advantage that when a ride goes up in the air, you?re presented with a glorious view of the estuary! And if you want to stay for a little longer than a day trip ? Pleasure Island has it?s own caravan park, just across the road. Leaving Cleethorpes, and travelling into Grimsby (which means crossing a road, as the two towns have long since joined together!) You have the opportunity to visit the Fishing Heritage Centre, where you?ll be able to tour a real fishing trawler, amongst many other exhibits. Then perhaps a short walk along the dock for lunch at the Lincoln Castle? Not, in actual fact, a remake of your own historical monument, but a ferry that used to carry passengers across the estuary in the days before the Humber Bridge, now redeveloped as a bar and restaurant. Whilst you?re in the area, you might like to travel back to Cleethorpes, and watch the football at Blundell Park. But if Grimsby Town really aren?t your cup of tea (shame on you!) you might prefer to travel to Nottingham for your choice of watching Nottingham Forrest or Notts County. And if football isn?t your game, then right next door is Trent Bridge, the worlds third oldest cricket ground. Whilst you?re in Nottingham anyway, might I suggest a quick visit to Nottingham Castle (which, of course, isn?t a patch on your own Castle, but worth a visit anyway!) And if you?re all castle?d out, then
      a trip to the caves of Nottingham, or a run out to nearby Sherwood Forest to visit the Major Oak, are definitely worth a visit. Whilst you?re in Sherwood Forest anyway, and if you have the funds, you could always spend a day or two at Center Parcs, the ?holiday that the rain can?t spoil? with it?s famous domed Subtropical Swimming Paradise. The shopping in Nottingham is also excellent, with two major Shopping Centres, the Victoria Centre and the Broadmarsh Centre ? not to mention the hundreds of other, excellent shopping opportunities in and around the city centre. If shopping is your thing, then Doncaster, Hull and Sheffield are also within reasonable driving distance, though if you choose to travel to Hull, remember you?ll need to pay the exorbitant Humber Bridge toll! Staying South of the Humber, you also have an excellent shopping opportunity almost directly on your own doorstep, although only on a Sunday! If you take the A15 from Lincoln to Caenby Corner, you?ll find a massive car boot sale that starts at about 07:00. But if you prefer your rummaging to be a bit more upmarket, then a short drive along the A634 to the old RAF base at Hemswell Cliff will bring you to an excellent flea market and antiques fayre, where you can find market stalls selling all manner of items from brand new clothes to ancient heirlooms; pet food to DVDs. Both sites are well signposted and provide ample parking. They are also open on Bank Holidays. But for a trip down memory lane, then the market at Louth comes highly recommended. Here you can buy cut flowers by the armful, plants, vegetables and all manner of fresh foodstuffs, amongst the usual market stalls. For me, the best bit of Louth Market has always been the auction, where you
      can buy a carrier bag of potatoes straight from the farm, or a rabbit (alive or ready for the pot, your choice!) After the hustle and bustle of the market, I?d recommend a trip to the tranquil beauty of Hubbard?s Hills, where you can buy yourself an ice cream to eat as you walk through the trees, and attempt to cross the stream without slipping from the stepping stones! Of course, if shopping isn?t your thing, you might prefer to spend your time visiting an animal sanctuary. For this, I?d recommend a visit to the nearby Northcote Heavy Horse Centre, at Spilsby. The Centre provides a home for retired heavy horses, along with a small number of horses that are disabled but still able to enjoy a good quality of life under care, and a handful of working heavy horses. It?s even possible to book a day at the centre learning how to drive heavy horses yourself for as little as £100 (not including accommodation). If driving heavy horses is far too tame for you, then ?Red Letter Days? offer an experience where you can drive a Honda Pilot, a quad bike, a hovercraft, a Land Rover and an Abbot Tank in the grounds of Belvoir Castle, at nearby Grantham! Alternatively, you could book a trial flight in a small aircraft from Humberside Airport. These start from as little as £60 for half an hour at the Frank Morgan School of Flying, and include a framed certificate with your photo. Travelling further afield, however, might be your plan for escape from Lincoln. In this case you can easily fly to most destinations across the world from either Humberside or East Midlands Airports, both of which are within easy driving distance of Lincoln. But if you want to stay relatively close to home, and relaxation is your thing, then you could do much worse than to take a turn around eith
      er Elsham Hall Country and Wildlife Park, near Brigg, or Normanby Hall near Scunthorpe. Both of these offer wonderful parkland to explore, and Elsham Hall also has not only Art Galleries, but an extensive collection of wildlife, including beautiful peacocks and farm animals, for you to enjoy. And if flowers are your thing, then a trip to the Spalding Bulb Fields should definitely be in order. And of course, the highlight of the entertainment calendar in Spalding has to be the Spalding Flower Parade and Festival, which has been held annually since 1959. There should be something of interest to almost everybody in what I?ve suggested above, but if I haven?t mentioned anything yet that really floats your boat, then it?s a good idea to remember that Lincoln is only a short distance from the A1. City breaks for those with a car are therefore an easy answer if you?re bored with Lincoln. It?s even possible to drive to London in around three hours. And for those relying on public transport, Lincoln train station should be your first stop!

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