Spalding is a warm and charming Georgian town in the Lincolnshire Fens. The town stands astride the banks of the River Welland, in an area of reclaimed marshland. It is here that bulb growers and market gardeners, raise outstanding crops in its legendary rich fertile soil. During springtime, the surrounding area is carpeted with a glorious blaze of colour from hyacinths to daffodils and tulips - comparable with the bulb fields of Holland.
Spalding is an interesting place to stroll around. The town contains many charming 18th-c buildings, covering a network of streets on both banks of the river; which is spanned by seven bridges. One of the oldest and most interesting buildings is the restored Ayscoughfee Hall, on the Welland's eastern bank. Now open to the public as a museum, set in beautiful gardens. A path lines both sides of the river and a popular circular walk, navigating along both banks, is easily achieved.
Spalding has several good church buildings, the best of which is the late 13th-c Church of St Mary and Nicholas, located adjacent to Ayscoughfee Hall. It has a magnificent angel-carved hammerbeam roof in the nave and unusual double aisles.
Until recently (2012), the town held a spectacular Flower Festival in May, with a glorious parade of flower adorned floats, showcasing the local bulb growers achievements. Springfield Festival Gardens, a purpose built garden and events centre (just to the north of the town) now hosts a less spectacular version of the festival, plus many other event throughout the year.
Tourist Information Centre:
|Holland Centre, Market Place, Spalding PE11 1SS - Tel: 01775 725468|
These beautiful gardens, located to the north east of the town, cover 25 acres of lawns and water features, designed to showcase millions of bulbs in the spring. In summer the bulbs are superseded by more than 80 species of roses in the magnificent Summer Rose Garden. Visitors can walk along sign-posted trails that weave through woodland scenery to a lake and a kitchen garden. A garden centre, restaurants and shopping outlet are also located in the grounds.
The gardens are host to many annual flower festivals and events.
Opening times: Mon to Fri 10am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 6pm, Sun 11am - 5pm. Admission Free
Location: Sign posted from A16 Spalding By-pass. PE12 6EU
This magnificent Grade II listed medieval hall dates from around 1451 and houses a museum of social history. Among other displays is a permanent exhibit honouring the explorer and oceanographer Captain Matthew Flinders. The hall's mellow stone and graceful lines are complemented by well-kept lawns enclosed by yew hedges and a water garden.
Opening times: Wed - Sun and B.H. 10.30am - 4pm.
Location: Churchgate, Spalding, Lincolnshire PE11 2RA
Founded by the Gentleman's Society in 1710 as a forum for local gentleman to discourse about antiquities. The oldest museum in Britain with the exception of Oxford's Ashmolean. The museum is generally closed to the public apart from annual open day's as part of National Heritage Events.
Opening times: special events or guided tours by appointment only.
Location: Broad Street, Spalding
Large collection of traditional restored Romany horse-drawn Vardos (caravans) and other Romany artifacts. Tours include a 7 mile drive in an authentic Romany Vardo.
Opening times: Fri, Sat, Sun 10.30am to 5pm. Admission Charge
Location: Clay Lake, Spalding, Lincolnshire. PE12 6BL - Tel: +44 (0) 1775 710599