Woodhall Spa was conceived as a Spa resort and it still largely depends on visitors for its prosperity today. These range from day trippers from across the county and region, travelling by car or in organised coach parties, to golfers, conference delegates and those attending many of the social functions at the hotels and pubs or visiting on short break holidays. From here you can link to pages with information on places of general interest in the village and surrounding area such as Jubilee Park, the Kinema in the Woods, Cottage Museum, Kirkstead Abbey, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Tattershall Castle. Here is a brief summary:
All the buildings on the dedicated page fall with the Woodhall Spa Conservation Area. From the start, the architect commissioned to create the Spa, Richard Adolphus Came, had a vision of his own - an elegant and spacious community in a woodland setting, with broad tree-lined avenues and large residential plots. This is still percieved as one of the village's greatest assets - 'the space is the place' is an often quoted observation. To achieve it, Mr Came created a stringent set of design and planning guidelines, even specifying that Woodhall Spa should not have 'streets', a policy maintained today.
More information on the Woodhall Conservation Area page
The village of Woodhall Spa is at the heart of what is often referred to as 'Bomber' County. By 1945 and the last few months of the 2nd World War the RAF and USAAF had 49 operational airfields in the county of Lincolnshire, with Lancaster bombers based at half of them. The majority of these bases have long since closed, but in recent years several have become the home for aviation heritage centres or the site for Squadron memorials. 617 Squadron (the 'Dambusters') operated from RAF Woodhall Spa from January 1944 to May 1945 and the Petwood Hotel was requisitioned by the Air Ministry to serve as the Officer's Mess. The village, is therefore an ideal base from which to tour these sites and those within a 15 mile radius are described on the Aviation Heritage page.
Cottage Museum >
Once the home of Johnny Wield (bathchair proprietor and well known photographer in the Spas heyday), the Cottage Museum and Tourist Information Centre can be found just off The Broadway. With its excellent display of local photographs and memorabilia reflecting the history of the town, it is a must for visitors.
For more information visit the Cottage Museum website: www.cottagemuseum.co.uk/
Woodhall Spa Golf Club
Secretary's Tel No: 01526 351835
The English Golf Union acquired Woodhall Spa Golf Club in 1995 with a vision of creating a centre of excellence second to none, to be enjoyed by players of all standards; The National Golf Centre.
The Hotchkin Course, regarded as one of the finest inland courses in the world was formally opened for play on the 24th of April 1905, on land owned by Colonel SV Hotchkin. A ceremony took place on the first tee followed by a competition for club members. The course was originally designed by Harry Vardon, re-modelled by Harry Colt in 1911 and, once again, by Colonel SV Hotchkin in the 1920's and 1930's
The Hotchkin was voted the best inland course in England by Golf World in November 2002 and recently voted 43rd best golf course in the world by Golf Magazine of America, provides an exceptional and unique golfing experience.
Golf club website: www.woodhallspagolfclub.co.uk
In addition to the famous Hotchkin course at Woodhall Spa there are several reasonably priced golf clubs and courses within a 15 mile radius of Woodhall Spa.
Blankney Golf Club: www.blankneygolfclub.co.uk
Horncastle Golf Club: www.horncastlegolfclub.co.uk/
South Kyme Golf Club: www.skgc.co.uk
Take a walk round the Woodhall Spa Heritage Trail. Read about 21 areas of significance in the Spa's history on this website and/or pick up the heritage trail leaflet from the Tourist Information Office. Find out why the Spa Baths (the facility to which Woodhall Spa owes its existence) have been disused for the past 33 years.
The Kinema in the Woods, known as the 'The Flicks in the Sticks' during the Second World War, was converted from a cricket pavilion in 1922 by Captain Allport. Today with its unique back projection, and the opening of a second screen in 1994, you can catch all the latest movies, as well as some timely classics.
For more information visit the Kinema in the Woods website: www.thekinemainthewoods.co.uk/
Jubilee Park is a very popular destination for locals and visitors alike, especially in the summer months when the heated outdoor swimming pool is open. Other park amenities include a camping and caravanning site, children's playground, picnic area, bowling green, croquet lawn, cricket field, putting course, tennis courts and a cafe.
The park is located on Stixwould Road in the heart of the village, a gift from Sir Archibald and Lady Weigall to commemorate the jubilee of King George V in 1935. The amenities are set in traditional English gardens with a bandstand, pergolas and pathways adorned with English roses. A great place for a picnic!
As of 1st of April 2011 the Park was transferred to the Parish Council who now manage it through a Management Committee.
Visit the dedicated Jubilee Park page and website for booking, prices and general information.
Jubilee Park is location 7 on the Woodhall Spa Heritage Trail. More details on the dedicated page.
Woodhall Spa is surrounded by a network of relatively quiet on and off road routes ideally suited for family rides. This network has recently been enhanced by the addition of two off-road routes based on disused railway lines. One links Boston with Lincoln and runs alongside the River Witham, the other links Woodhall Spa with Horncastle. The routes are known as the 'Water Rail Way' and Spa Trail.
Visit the Cycling Page for more information on local routes
There are a variety of interesting routes for walkers in and around Woodhall Spa. The Viking Way and Water Rail Way pass through the village and Woodhall Spa Scouts can be seen here on the Spa Trail (a disused railway line running between Woodhall Spa and Horncastle.
A series of walks to suit all abilities can be downloaded from the Local Walks page.
Travelling out of the village south towards Tattershall, the ruins of Kirkstead Abbey can be clearly seen on the right. The Abbey was founded in 1139 by Hugo Brito, but only part of the south transept remains. Nearby the Cisterians built a chapel for lay people in 1230, now known as St Leonards Church.
More information on the Heritage Trail Kirkstead page
The Pinewoods were purchased by the Woodland Trust in recent years as a woodland rescue to prevent its loss due to development and to protect it for the enjoyment of local people and visitors to the town.
It comprises 8.1 hectares of woodland of mainly natural character, although heavily inter-planted with exotic species in the mid 19th century.
In recent years the Pinewoods have proven to be an excellent location for Living History displays during the Woodhall Spa 1940's Festival.
The Pinewoods are location 8 on the Woodhall Spa Heritage Trail. More details on the dedicated page.
The navigable River Witham is only a mile from Woodhall Spa village centre. Moorings, two public houses and parking can be found near Kirkstead bridge.
Links with the national waterways network are improvong all the time. For more information can be obtained from the British Waterways website: www.waterscape.com/canals-and-rivers/river-witham
Walk, cycle or ride the Spa Trail on 3 miles of flat, surfaced path/bridleway along the mid-section of the old Horncastle to Woodhall Junction railway line and part of the Horncastle Canal.
This easy, traffic free route is ideal for wheelchair users and families with young children and pushchairs.
This trail, part of the Viking Way long distance footpath, passes through woods and rolling countryside. Sculptures made from wood, stone and metal are scattered along the way, reflecting local wildlife and links with the past.
More information on the Spa Trail page
Chapel built for lay people near the Cisterian Abbey at Kirkstead in 1230. Fortunately the chapel was spared when the Abbey surrendered to King Henry VIII during the disolution, and it remains in use today. The impressive building is considered to be of cathedral standards, although on a much smaller scale.
For information on church service times visit the Worship page
Tattershall Castle is one of the oldest complete buildings owned by the National Trust. It was the first castle, built in the 13th century on the banks of the River Bain by Robert Tateshale, which gave the village of Tattershall its name.
This original castle was replaced by the brick-built structure which stands today, which includes an extension built in 1434-5 for Ralph Cromwell who served with King Henry V at Agincourt and was one of the powerful men in medieval England. The remaining keep stands at 110 feet, and was restored in 1911-14 by Lord Curzon. Inside, the castle houses four vast chambers and small ancillary rooms.
On a fine day Boston Stump and Lincoln Cathedral can be clearly seen from the top of the castle, whilst in the castle grounds you will see peacocks strutting around. The bridge over the moat leads to the old guard house where you will find the gift shop and museum.
National Trust: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Tel: 01526 352166
The “Flicks in the Sticks,” as Woodhall Spa`s famous Kinema in the Woods, was dubbed by the hundreds of servicemen who crowded into it during the 2nd World War, is unique. It is the only cinema in the country to operate by projection from behind the screen.
The building is highly unusual. Originally constructed in the late 19th century and known as “The Barn” by local folk who used it for meetings and bazaars, it had a verandah added from which spectators could watch cricket and tennis being played in the Spa grounds. It was also used as a concert hall with well known performers coming from various cities and the London stage, in Edwardian times. Then, at the beginning of the 1920s, Sir Archibald and Lady Weigall decided that a picture house was just what Woodhall Spa needed. The Baths were not doing well and the great draw for visitors, the Victoria Hotel, had burned to the ground.
The Kinema is location 6 on the Woodhall Spa Heritage Trail. More details on the dedicated page
Visit the Kinema Website for the up to date film program: www.thekinemainthewoods.co.uk
Water Rail Way
The last section of the 'Water Rail Way', (the new link in the Lincoln to Boston Footpath and Cycleway project), was opened in Nov 2008. This means there are now two new off-road sections, for Route 1 of the National Cycle Network (Harwich to Hull Cycleway), along the River Witham; Boston to Anton's Gowt and from Kirkstead Bridge near Woodhall Spa to Lincoln via Bardney.
The route is appropriately named the 'Water Rail Way', after the disused Boston to Lincoln railway line on which it is built, and the secretive wetland 'Water Rail' bird, which lives along the River Witham. The route will provide an opportunity for a circular route from Woodhall Spa to Kirkstead Bridge, north to the disused Stixwould, Southrey or Bardney stations and back to Woodhall Spa along the road (or in reverse, of course) for both walkers and cyclists.
There are several nature reserves in and around Woodhall Spa. Visit the dedicated Wildlife page for more information
Moor Farm Nature Reserve
Roughton Moor Wood Nature Reserve
Chambers Farm Wood
Kirkby Moor Nature Reserve
Kirkby Gravel Pits Nature Reserve
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust: www.lincstrust.org.uk/wildlife/reserves