Plan to stay a whole day in Spalding, Lincolnshire
Spalding, Lincolnshire is an old market town and the emphasis here is tulips and daffodils. Thousands of acres of land surrounding the town is used for growing the bulbs. The annual Tulip Parade is held the first Saturday in May. In 2008 the town will host a World Tulip Summit with attendees from all over the world. The summit will take place the tree days before the Tulip Parade.
Spalding is bisected by the River Welland. It is a very pleasant walk along the river with walkways on both sides.
Ayscoughfee Hall and Museum
A nice day in Spalding would be to park near the centre of town in the morning and walk to Ayscoughfee Hall and Gardens. The house was built in the early 15th century. In the recent refurbishment it was discovered that it is one of the most complete "great British medieval houses" to have survived from the 15th century. The house is surrounded by gardens which are open to the public from dawn to dusk. Within the gardens are hard surface tennis courts, a bowling green, and a putting green. There is also a children's playground and a Pavillion Cafe which is open March through October. The museum has exhibits on the histor of the house, the fens and its people, and the bulb industry.
Open all year Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. (Museum from 10:00 am.)
Admission is free.
St. Mary & St. Nicholas Parish Church
After seeing the museum go next door to see the medieval church, St. Mary & St. Nicholas. The site was originally occupied by a Norman cemetary chapel. While the church was altered somewhat during Victorian times, much of the original building remains. There are Norman buttresses, crocketed pinnacles, and flying buttresses.
Located on Church Street behind the Ye Olde White Horse pub.
Ye Olde White Horse Pub
stargazeruk, Creative Commons
By now you will be hungry. You need to be at the White Horse by 1:45 pm to ensure you can order. They close the restaurant at 2:00 pm and open again later for dinner. This thatched pub is one of my favourite places to eat in Lincolnshire. The pub is located on the corner of Church Street and Church Gate Street on the River Welland. It offers a full menu. I particularly enjoy the baguette filled with roast beef and gravy served with a nice salad. The fish and chips are also excellent. The pub is divided into lounge and bar area and also has outside seating which is decorated with beautiful hanging flower baskets in the spring and summer months. Children are welcome in the lounge area if they are well behaved. There is ample parking in the back--entrance off Church Street.
Update: I am sorry but I can no longer recommend Ye Olde White Horse. We stopped there yesterday for lunch. No hanging baskets, no great menu, and no customers. It still might be worthwhile to stop in for a pint or a glass of wine. The building is still the same. I asked if the pub had changed hands and the answer was no. The woman behind the counter said the brewery would no longer let them serve their own food. I really cannot quite believe this. If it is true, it is a good lesson on how to destroy a thriving business overnight.
The Water Taxi
Stephen McKay, Creative Commons
From Easter to late October you take the water taxi for a tour of the river. It goes as far a Springfields Outlet Shopping Center. To get ot an embarkation point from the Ye Olde White Horse, cross the nearby bridge and walk downstream a short distance. You will see steps going down to the river's edge. You can purchase tickets here when the taxi arrives. Boats leave every 30 minutes. The fare is £2.50 each way.
The taxi runs from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday and from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday.
Chris Eccleston, Creative Commons
Springfields is a shopping area at the junction of the A16 and the A51 to Spalding. It is an outlet shopping complex with over 40 outlet stores where you can get up to 60 percent off on famous name brands of women's wear, men's wear, shoes, home goods, outdoor wear, soft furnishings, garden supplies, and much more. It includes 25 acres of landscaped gardens some of which are done in the showcase
"Chelsea style" done by well-known gardeners. It also has an indoor play area for children. NOTE: While there is plenty of parking At Springfields, it is not free.
Monday to Saturday - 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday - 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sunday and holidays - 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Lincolnshire Poacher
Stephen McKay, Creative Commons
If you are taking the water taxi back to Spalding, go to the west parking lot of Springfields for embarkation. When you get off the taxi walk the short distance to The Lincolnshire Poacher. This is a very old English pub and a good place to be for the Tulip Parade if you are there at that time. There is a city parking lot across the side street. They also have rooms to let for the night with breakfast included.
The Butterfly and Wildlife Park near Spalding provides a wonderful day out for the whole family. The younger ones will especially enjoy the animals which sometimes can be petted. They have miniature ponies, pigs, sheep, llamas, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, possums, and wallabies. The Birds of Prey Center has flying displays and you can even handle and fly them yourself for a fee. Other birds are pheasants, chickens, and turkeys. The Tropical House and Reptile Land have butterflies, birds, and reptiles. There is also a creepy crawly room and an ant room.
There is a large playground and a picnic area. The park has acres of wild flower gardens. The tea room serves both hot and cold meals and light snacks.
March 18th - July 2nd 10am - 5pm daily
July 3rd - September 10th 10am - 5.30pm daily
September 11th - October 29th 10am - 4pm daily
Located just off the A17 at Long Sutton east of Spalding.
About nine miles south of Spalding on the Lincolnshire border is the village of
In medieval times it was known as Croyland and it is well worth a visit for its abbey. If you go to Crowland you might as well travel just four miles farther across the Lincolnshire/Cabridgeshire border where you will find Flag Fen Bronze Age Center. This is an archeology site where you can see a reproduction Bronze Age round house with its turf roof and the Iron Age round house.