Woodhall Spa is a delightful spa town that still retains a feeling of Edwardian gentility. Nestling next to beautiful pine woods, Woodhall Spa is the ideal location for a short break.
With excellent hotels, a world-class golf course, open air swimming pool at Jubilee Park, a famous aviation trail, and even a delightful old-fashioned picture house – the Kinema in the Woods – Woodhall Spa is a true gem.
Places to visit in Woodhall Spa:
- The National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa has been voted the best inland golf course in the UK. It consists of two courses, the Bracken Course and the Hotchkin Course, which has been rated as one of the finest heathland golf courses in the world! As famous for its natural beauty as it is its dramatic bunkering and tactical challenges, the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa is a must for all golf lovers. For more information about booking a round of golf or a golfing break, please click here.
- Kinema in the Woods is a much loved local treasure. Located in a beautiful woodland setting, this delightful independent cinema first opened its doors in 1922. It still retains much of its original charm, including comfy plush velvet seats and an organist who rises up from below the stage during the interval – it really is like going back in time! Kinema in the Woods is open daily and has matinee performances at weekends and during school holidays. If you are staying in Woodhall Spa, then you really should go to this cinema – you’re sure to have a wonderful experience!
- Jubilee Park is a fantastic municipal park, with lots of excellent facilities including a newly refurbished open air swimming pool, paddling pool, children’s play area, tennis courts, croquet & putting greens. Sports equipment such as tennis racquets, croquet mallets, golf clubs etc can be hired at the on-site Games Hut.
- Tattershall Castle is a National Trust property located less than 5 miles from Woodhall Spa. There are 6 floors to explore in this stunning medieval brick castle. Climb to the top of the tower for fantastic views across Lincolnshire – on a clear day you can see Lincoln Cathedral and the Boston Stump! The free audio tour is very informative and well worth taking.
- Bolingbrooke Castle, near to The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre (see below), is the birthplace of King Henry IV. This 13th Century castle was completely destroyed during the English Civil War and has remained a ruin ever since. Now owned by English Heritage, you can still see the hexagonal remains of the castle.
The Woodhall Spa Aviation Trail
Woodhall Spa has long links with the RAF and several excellent aviation museums and memorials are to be found within a 10 mile radius of the town:
- located in the town’s Royal Square (on Station Road) are 2 very impressive memorials: The Dambuster’s Memorial, is dedicated to the brave airmen of 617 Squadron who lost their lives on the famous Dambusters Raid in 1943, and depicts the breaching of those dams in the German Rhur Valley; and the 617 Squadron Memorial, which is dedicated to the air and ground crew of 617 Squadron who have given their lives for their country since 1945. The memorial is a black granite sculpture that reflects the shape of both the Vulcan and Tornado bombers flown by the squadron.
- also centrally located just off the town’s main street, on Stixwould Road, is The Petwood, a delightful Edwardian country house hotel that was requisitioned by the Ministry of War for use as an Officer’s Mess. There is still plenty of airforce memorabilia dotted about the hotel. Have a drink in the Squadron Bar – a comfortable room dedicated to the memory of the Dambusters Squadron.
- Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre was formerly the Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess at RAF Woodhall Spa. It is now a museum depicting the history of RAF Woodhall Spa and the squadrons based there during WW2. Look out for the superb re-enactment weekends it occasionally holds. Located at Tattershall Thorpe, en route to RAF Conningsby.
- Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre at RAF Conningsby is not to be missed. Take a fascinating guided tour of the hangar and get up close to the iconic Spitfire, Lancaster, Hurricane, Chipmunk and Dakota aeroplanes. If you’re really lucky, you may well get to see a Typhoon or two take off and land at RAF Conningsby, next door. Ear-shatteringly impressive! Please note: do check that the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is not taking part in an airshow/display elsewhere in the country when you plan to visit.
- if you’re feeling a bit peckish, then the Blue Bell Inn at Tattershall Thorpe (between Woodhall Spa and Conningsby) is perfect. This delightful pub, which dates back the the 13th Century, has long been a popular watering hole for air and ground crew from nearby RAF bases. Check out the Heroes Bar, where RAF personnel – including Prince William – have added their signatures to the ceiling! The pub also has a lot of fascinating RAF memorabilia – and it serves delicious food and has featured in the Good Beer guide for the past 8 years!
Slightly further afield is The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby (approx 15 miles away) – but it really is well worth the detour.
- The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is the largest WW2 Bomber Command airfield in the UK. Here you can experience the atmosphere of a Second World War airfield (including the sights, sounds and smells!). You can even taxi down the runway in a Lancaster Bomber – but you do need to pre-book. With award-winning displays, friendly & knowledgeable staff, and lots of great events happening throughout the year, The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is another gem that is not to be missed.