by keef & annie hellinger 7th November 2021, 9.59 am
Motorhome trip No 47 : 3rd – 6th November 2021 NOTTS->Wagtail Country Park, Marston, Lincolnshire ->NOTTS 266 miles A lovely 4 days, 3 nights away in the van as an autumn break, the last of 2021 before winterising Wendy house. We were incredibly lucky with the weather after how awful it has been but cold and sunny, I would take any day. The site is a Caravan and Motorhome club affiliated site and so with club discount was only £23 a night, bargain and hardly busy at all. I guess as it has a fishing lake at its centre you would call it a fisherman’s paradise borne out by the number of “permie” caravans on site but as mid-week in November there were only one or 2 anglers in residence. Anyhow we set off about 11 from home knowing the journey was only about 40 miles and we couldn’t get in until after 1 pm we thought we would go and have a mooch around some local Lincolnshire villages. My preconception was that Lincolnshire is flat, how wrong was I. We visited the lovely Dry Doddington, named such by the Romans who were there until the river dried up and then decamped to a new Doddington near Lincoln City where there is more water, now known as the Whisby Nature reserve. It’s on something called Lincoln hill. We had a lovely walk around here and if not for Covid would probably have popped into the Wheatsheaf Inn opposite the church, famed for having a leaning spire that claims to be on a bigger gradient than its more famous Pisa, who knows 😉 We also visited Long Bennington, Foston, Hougham, Hough on the Hill, Claypole, Brandon, Carlton Scroop (what a name!) before heading to Marston and the campsite. One of the things we learnt for this campsite is that crossing the A1 into the Marston turn off is nigh on impossible with traffic so as a tip go up a mile and a bit to Long Bennington , turn off there and cross the bridge and come back down to the turn off, you will be safe! Anyhow got to the campsite after 1, via Cliff Lane its approach is very narrow with few passing places and the road surface is diabolical. The idea of 1pm arrival and 11 am departure is to ensure no issues coming along Cliff lane, however just as we were going out on the 2nd day 2 huge motorhomes decided to buck the system and come early… Fools! So, first day had a good look around after set up, the country park had some very muddy exit pathways and you could walk for quite a bit out across the farmers’ fields, allegedly there is an inn on site (not that we would have used it) but we never found it. The little shop on site had a few provisions should you need them, but hey skittles are not top of my wants 😉
Day 2 we were determined to use our OAP bus passes, my bucket list to do John O’Groats to Lands’ End on one has sadly dropped down that list 😉 took us a while to find Nettleham Fields Waitrose for the Park & Ride into Lincoln city but we did visit inadvertently the lovely village of Nettleham and Scothern and Welton on our exploration. We went to the bus station and then back to the lovely Northgate area , just beautiful and so full of history. Magna carta, Annie’s rellie who eventually married John of Gaunt having started life as servant to his first wife the duchess of Lancaster. She is immortalised in Anne O’Brien’s historical novel “the Scandalous Duchess” which we both intend to read. Keef hunted down another hero, Mr Boolean Logic himself, whilst the Cathedral and castle and surrounding architecture etc were a complete joy. Some of the wood carvings in the Cathedral are exquisite. The city being the Roman Lindum Colonia is steeped in some fabulous history. It was probably founded as a legionary fortress during the reign of the Emperor Nero and apart from the main roman road we found the old garrison walls quite close to our bus stop.
We just about got back to the site at dusk a fab day out!
The next day we visited the village of Belton and walked from there into Belton house, which currently isn’t open but the grounds , buildings, and garden esp. the orangery were wonderful and well worth a visit. It’s a National Trust house which we have visited in the past but many moons ago with my parents and the kids when they were young. Autumn is a lovely “gardening” time, much to see and still in colour.
From here we briefly visited Grantham not the most inspiring of places but for Keef a chance to hero worship Sir Isaac but not the counter opposite Maggie 😉
We then went and had a look around a whole stack of villages (Newton obviously included) indeed on the way home we called in at Woolsthorpe manor near Colsterworth, Isaac’s birth place, his father was a Yeoman so not insignificant in the area. The villages we saw were Great Gonerby (although its hardly a village), Old Somerby, Ropesley (nice), Sapperton, Pickworth (nice), Hanby, Braceby and Walcot. Then it was back to Marston, this time well before the witching hour for a hot toddy and some German biscuits and cake (naughty I know). Fireworks that night not that noisy and not allowed on site for obvious reasons… scare the fish and residents 😉
Our trip home was much more interesting that the way there as avoided main roads so back via A607 etc to Melton Mowbray so Keef could visit his fave Pork Pie Shoppe. All in all a lovely Autumn break, thanks Lincolnshire we will be back!