Lincolnshire

Martin Hill: Make the bank holiday great again!

The August bank holiday is a great British institution – not least because it’s the last one before Christmas!

But what are the best ways to spend this weekend and what’s left of the summer?

If you haven’t been for a while, I’d urge you to put our very own Lincoln Castle at the top of your list of places to visit.

Earlier this summer, it fought off opposition from across the UK to be named the country’s favourite castle.

It attracted a stunning 43% of the vote in an online competition organised by HolidayLettings.co.uk, well ahead of runner-up Bamburgh with 17%.

This weekend (August 25-28), the castle and the uphill area of the city are celebrating the bank holiday in style with the hugely popular Steampunk Festival.

What’s more, Lincoln Castle is currently hosting Domesday Book – the most important document in English history.

It’s the star attraction in the council’s Battles and Dynasties exhibition, which also includes all kinds of national treasures on display at The Collection.

Spanning 1,000 years of history, they include William the Conqueror’s order for the creation of Lincoln Cathedral, Mary Queen of Scots’ death warrant, Queen Victoria’s throne and Edward VIII’s abdication letter.

If you want to visit either or both parts of Battles of Dynasties, please bear in mind that this unmissable exhibition only runs until September 3.

Away from Lincoln, Gainsborough Old Hall is displaying the superb Tudor-style costumes used in the acclaimed BBC drama Wolf Hall.

Again, though, the clock is ticking, as they’ll only be at the attraction until August 28.

If sea, sand and (hopefully!) sunshine are your thing, take a trip to Lincolnshire’s great coastal resorts such as Skegness and Mablethorpe.

Love the “great outdoors”? Why not stretch your legs in the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the wonderful Fens?

Wherever in the county you want to explore, you’ll find useful information to help you at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/countryside/visiting.

Personally, I’m a great fan of getting out in the countryside on my bike, getting fresh air and exercise with my irrepressible Patterdale terrier, Boris.

I also love cooling off on a hot day at the Bourne Outdoor Swimming Pool – one of several superb lidos across Lincolnshire.

Sadly for Boris, he isn’t able to join me in having a dip – riotous behaviour isn’t allowed at the facility, and he isn’t overly keen on the water!

Looking ahead to September, I’d suggest the Stamford Georgian Festival, where you can enjoy everything from street theatre and celebrity speakers to a costume ball.

The festival, which includes many free events, will be delighting visitors from September 21-24 – check out www.stamfordgeorgianfestival.co.uk for full details.

The South Lincolnshire Walking Festival also gets underway on September 23, offering something for walkers of all abilities and interests right up until October 29.

That’s the day British Summer Time ends, by the way, so let’s all make the most of it while it lasts!

More information

For more information and discounted online tickets for Battles and Dynasties – which runs until September 3 – visit www.lincolncastle.com/domesday or www.thecollectionmuseum.com.

You’ll also find suggestions for things to do in Lincolnshire at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/heritage or call Lincolnshire County Council’s Customer Service Centre on 01522 782040.

Another option is the Out and About section in the current County News, plus the online version at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/countynews, or try www.visitlincolnshire.com.