"Lincolnshire has many delightful market towns which still host vibrant markets. "
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From Alford, Horncastle and Louth in the glorious Lincolnshire Wolds, to Stamford and Market Deeping in the south, Lincolnshire’s market towns are many and varied. The market towns of Lincolnshire make a great day out, with plenty for visitors to discover as they meander around the historic streets of Lincolnshire’s towns.
Lincolnshire remains an agricultural county, supplying over 40% of the country’s fresh vegetables. So, it’ll come as no surprise that the county is home to some of the best fresh food markets in England. Lincolnshire’s market town’s boast incredible markets all year round, with merchants and artisan producers selling delicious fresh produce.
For some real Lincolnshire favourites, make sure you look out for the famous Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese, Lincolnshire Sausage and Lincolnshire Plumbread as you explore the markets! These are some of the county’s favourite dishes, for good reason.
Alford is a delightful market town located at the edge of the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds (a Designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and just over 10 miles from the Lincolnshire coast. It is home to a food market and a craft market, which both take place every week on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Alongside the markets, visitor attractions include famous landmarks like Alford Manor House -the largest thatched manor house in England and now owned by English Heritage. Alford Windmill is also well worth a visit – it’s one of the country’s last surviving five-sail windmills and is a stunning sight to behold!
Alford Craft Market
Boston is a small Lincolnshire market town and inland port. The town has a fascinating history, and is a must-visit for history buffs everywhere. It’s also home to some lovely markets, including a farmers market where you can find fantastic locally-produced fruit, vegetables, chutneys, cheeses, baked goods and so much more.
Lincolnshire’s Boston, of course, has links to the Pilgrim Fathers who founded America, and was home to an intriguing period of political history in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Historical landmarks in Boston include the Pilgrim Fathers Memorial, which you’ll find on the north bank of The Haven.
Other Boston attractions include the parish church of St Botolph’s, more commonly known as the ‘Boston Stump’. This church has one of the country’s tallest towers, and makes for a great place to explore while you’re in the town. At over 272 ft/83 m high, it has fantastic views across the county (weather permitting)! You can even see as far as Lincoln Cathedral on a clear day.
Bourne is an historic market town in southern Lincolnshire, renowned for its waterways and woodlands. Every Thursday, the town hosts an excellent market, with a wide array of different goods for sale. Browse food stalls, fresh flowers, crafts, street food and so much more.
Nearby Bourne Woods (located at the western edge of the town) has 400 acres of glorious woodland and is the perfect place to explore on foot or by bike. The word ‘Bourne’ is Anglo-Saxon for stream – indeed, the town of Bourne is famous for the purity of its drinking water, taken from the underground natural springs.
Brigg is a small market town in the north of Lincolnshire, close to Scunthorpe. If you’re looking for a quaint and traditional market to visit in the Humberside area, Brigg Market is well worth considering. The market takes place twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays. You just might find some hidden gems on the market stalls of Brigg!
Caistor is a pretty Georgian/Victorian market town at the edge of Lincolnshire Wolds and on the Viking Way, where you’ll find a great market every Saturday.
With 56 Grade II Listed buildings, two Grade I Listed buildings and two Medieval fishponds (situated to the north of Navigation Lane), Caistor is an architectural dream. The town also has a vibrant Arts and Heritage Centre at Plough Hill.
Gainsborough is a thriving market town in the north-west of the county, with a general market and a dedicated farmers market. The impressive Gainsborough Old Hall in the town centre is one of England’s best preserved Medieval manor houses. Marshall’s Yard in Gainsborough is a very popular shopping centre. It’s even home to one of the country’s largest Laura Ashley stores!
Gainsborough Farmers Market
Grantham is a prosperous market town in South Lincolnshire, with a general market and a farmers market to explore.
As well as the markets, there are other attractions in the town of Grantham. The parish church of St Wulfram’s has the tallest medieval church spire in England. Grantham is also the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton and Margaret Thatcher, with visitor attractions such as Woolsthorpe Manor (home of sir Isaac Newton), Belvoir Castle and Easton Walled Gardens nearby.
Grantham Farmers Market
Horncastle is a quaint market town in the Lincolnshire Wolds, famous for its many antique shops – with over 30 of them dotted about the town centre, it is a haven for antique lovers and bargain hunters.
In Roman times, Horncastle was called Banovallum, meaning Wall on the River Bain. Parts of the Roman wall are still to be found in the town – indeed, the best preserved part can be found in the town’s library, where the wall forms part of a major display.
Horncastle Farmers Market
Louth is a lovely Georgian market town with a fantastic mix of traditional shops including: butchers, grocers, cheese, tailor, and cobbler. It is known as the ‘Capital of The Wolds’ and it’s a famous destination for foodies, often featuring in national newspapers.
Located in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds, and just a 20 minute drive to the coast, it is little wonder that Louth has been voted one of the best market towns in which to live.
Louth Farmers Market
Market Deeping is a pretty Georgian market town on the Lincolnshire/Cambridgeshire border. This tiny town has a market dating back to the 13th century, from which it gets its name. The word Deeping refers to group of settlements clustered round the River Welland.
Market Deeping Market
Sleaford is a rural market town on the banks of the River Slea in the heart of the Lincolnshire Fens. For hundreds of years, agriculture has been the dominant force in the town – and this still holds true today.
Sleaford Farmers Market
Stamford is a beautiful stone-built market town in South Lincolnshire, and was described by Sir Walter Scott (author of Ivanhoe) as ‘the finest stone town in England’.
Both the BBC’s adaptation of Middlemarch and the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice were filmed here. Burghley House is less than a 5 minute drive away.
Stamford Farmers Market
Spalding is a quintessential Lincolnshire market town with a rich history in trade and commerce. If you ever find yourself in South Holland, this town is certainly worth a visit.
Spalding Farmers’ Market
For more information on markets around Lincolnshire, visit our markets directory page.
Here are a couple of book recommendations about Lincolnshire’s market towns…