England-Lincolnshire Flag

Stamford >  Google™ Map Sep 2020  Lincolnshire Coat of Arms

stān stone, rock + ford Old English (river) crossing. Population - 19,701.

England-Lincolnshire Flag UK > England > Lincolnshire

Sep 2020

Lincolnshire Coat of Arms

There are several options to split a trip down the A1 overnight so, settling on Stamford, it's a shame to find things not quite fully up and running post- Lockdown 1.0™.

Stamford - High Street St Martin's
Stamford - High Street

Come back tomorrow, however, and it will look more like this.

Stamford - High Street St Martin's
Stamford - High Street

And this, where some wearing of masks may be required.

  The William Cecil (St Martins)

Slightly stuffy lodgings and they'll properly cock up a couple of pre-ordered Full Englishes. It's so stuffy they'll put this pair of skinflints up at the Bull and Swan, a proper old-skool boozer down the road that has some kind of attachment and a good line from the Nene Valley Brewery.

That means everybody's happy and the Bull has two gardens out back. One for drinking beer in, hooray, and another full of crops for the kitchen. Current restrictions make it a pizza-only situation for the foreseeable so that's an awful lot of chard that's gonna need using up soon.

Stamford - The William Cecil

The hurly-burly of town has yet to be seen but there's a different kind of burly just a mile away. Burghley House, and yes, of Horse Trials fame, and the home of William Cecil, Secretary of State to Lizzie I, no less, back in the 1550s.

He'd have had them beheaded for that fiasco at breakfast.

It's busy enough but not too busy to be off-putting but that's not normally the case.

Stamford - High Street

It's quite a draw for the day-tripper, you see, mostly for shopping, they say, but enough has been seen of the Georgian, Jacobean even, backdrop to confirm this is simply a marvellous town to mooch around.

It's certainly church-heavy with quite a few neo-Gothic whoppers on offer. Modern trends mean many have been repurposed as has the original Corn Exchange and no, it's not a Wetherspoon™s.

Stamford - All Saints Church
Stamford - Corn Exchange Theatre

Now home to the town's theatre, recent events have included a stage adaptation of Dickens' Barleyby Rudge and a standup performance by big, Irish funnyman Dara O'Bran.

  The Stamford Post (Sheep Market) wetherspoon

The Spoons have a tradition of naming their pubs based on the history of the town or the old building they invariably inhabit. The inevitable offering in a town of this size is called the Stamford Post, so that'll be the old post office, then?

There are no awards for their nearly-out-of-date ale and none for the Director of Contrived Waterhole Naming, neither, who gets an immediate (0/5) for telegraphing that one in.

That's not quite the case, however, the building was the former HQ of the local rag, the Stamford Mercury. Not just any old local rag, though, Britain’s 'oldest continuously published newspaper', they say, and it was called the Stamford Post until 1712.

For that fascinating, fact-filled piece of local history, it's getting bumped to a (3/5) As for inside? It's a Wetherspoon™s man!

The Monument in Sheep Market may be to something medieval involving Eddie I but it's as modern as 2008.

Stamford - Sheep Market
Stamford - Silver Lane

The former Art Deco-style cinema is something else that's relatively recent and despite being over 200 years late helps to make the town more than just about the Georgian.

  Zada (St Mary's Hill)

That's the best lamb I've ever had in a Turkish restaurant. There's some encouragement to share that on social media, whatever that is exactly, but this is the best you're going to get.

This was after a more-than-adequate plateful of Meze and possibly fuelled by a glass too many of Turkish Merlot, from Chile. The best in a Turkish restaurant, that is, Jason Atherton once served something better up in a top-notch, non-Turkish one.

By the way, the best baklava in Britain, scratch that the world, is still being served by Murat up in Newcastle.

Relief from the hustling bustle of the busy streets is provided by a large area of recreation down by the river at Town Meadows.

Stamford - Town Meadows
Stamford - River Welland

There's a claim of a castle but not much of that remains, not shown, and this land is strangely split by both branches of the River Welland. That makes for any leisurely types having to head the same way back on the Meadows Footpath. Fools!

The back of the medieval almshouses are just about visible[1] but there's a much better sense from the front.

Stamford - River Welland
Stamford - Station Road

Late 17th-century these, and they're still home to some loyal locals without much in the way of life savings and it is all, quite frankly, mickey-takingly scenic.

[1] Last seen as a random Microsoft Windows™ start screen image clearly taken from exactly the same spot.

Stamford Bridge takes traffic over the river where Town Meadows could be argued to be just Anfield, really.

But seriously, despite managing to pass a test, Bob has never quite mastered the reverse manoeuvre. Back here next summer, when things are hopefully back to being busy, it'll be a laugh for those watching this Joker Park.

But seriously, the main road through is the A43 and a cautionary tale, perhaps. Heading out, there's no southbound access onto the A1 and there's a 40 MPH limit as it continues towards Kettering. Irritated by this unexpected diversion, it's a surprise to be flashed doing 57 and there's fully expected to be a Lincolnshire PD warrant waiting on the doormat in a fortnight.

Oak-well, it's only hoped the jury go the same way as in the case of a car enthusiast who was read to have broken the speed record between John O'Groats and Land's End at an average speed of 89mph.

It's b-Etihad a good attorney, eh?

What's What
 Burghley House
 Corn Exchange Theatre
 Nene Valley Brewery
 Ottoman Turkish Restaurant - Newcastle-upon-Tyne
 Pollen Street Social - London
Where's Where