The East Anglian county of Lincolnshire is a quirky place of contrasts and hidden gems. Here are a few suggestions to tempt you to visit ...
On Mablethorpe Beach paddle in the sea, fly a kite or watch donkeys ambling along undulating sands transporting giggling kiddies clinging on with white knuckled joy. Admire Druid maidens reliving historic pageants next door to wartime memorabilia at The Cotttage Museum in Victorian Woodhall Spa. Discover Britain's aviation history at the many airfields and museums scattered throughout the Lincolnshire Wolds. Drop in for a pink gin at the historic Petwood Hotel where officers of the 'Dambusters' 617 Squadron escaped the sturm & drang of WWII, fondly remembered by them as a ‘splendid place’ remote from battle.
Purchase a bag of organic flour made by grinding corn within the mellow stone walls of Cogglesford Mill, smelling of slower days and freshly baked bread. Stop off at The National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford, showcasing quirky crafts with cool contemporary exhibitions by the best and funkiest designers in the UK and around the world. In 'Bracing' Skegness reconnect with your inner child with whirling amusements, dripping ice creams, kiss-me-slowly hats, fish and chips squished into polystyrene trays eaten whilst sitting on a wall watching the shimmering sea. Lincoln City
Walk in Roman footsteps along the Fosse way, under curvaceous Newport Archway and beside ancient ruins dotted around the city.
Stroll down or stagger up Steep Hill where quirky shops perch perpendicularly precariously along this steeply exhausting yet quaintly charming lane.
Get a tasty snack at Brown’s Pie Shop above which Lawrence of Arabia revised his magnus opus 'The Seven Pillars of Wisdom'. Search out The Magna Carta at Lincoln Castle, a fragile document of faintly legible script which preserves our constitutional heritage, safely secure beside a medieval prison. And finally, in Lincoln Cathedral, listen to sublime organ music, spot a mischievous Imp high above the marble floor, marvel at the kaleidoscopic glass windows or seek out Queen Eleanor's tomb and the wooden shrine to Kathryn Swynford, mistress then wife of John of Gaunt and mother of Kings, sleeping for eternity in this graceful place.
For more info on Lincolnshire's quirky delights check out Visit Lincoln. Travel writer Zoë Dawes lives in NW England. She shares her lifelong love of travel on her popular blog The Quirky Traveller, on Face Book, on Twitter @quirkytraveller and on Google+.