There are two sorts of countryside in Lincolnshire: wide, open, level landscapes to the south and east, and gentler, undulating valleys to the west and in the Lincolnshire Wolds to the north.

An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Wolds are never more than 500ft, but appear high in comparison with the rest of the county. There is also an attractive area of countryside round the Georgian town of Stamford, in which the television adaptation of Middlemarch was filmed.

The southern fens are one of Britain’s agricultural heartlands: one part is named Holland, because of the flat fields on which bulbs and flowers are grown. The Wash, to the south-east, is renowned for its wide variety of birdlife.

Under Norman rule, Lincolnshire was prosperous, and in the 12th and 13th centuries Lincoln grew almost as quickly as London. This did not last: the population began to decline by the 14th century, although new agricultural methods in the 18th century brought some improvement. Today, Lincolnshire is still one of Britain’s least densely populated counties, and prices are favourable.

Much of the county is not within commutable distance of London: in the south, prices rise, as fast rail links from Grantham and Peterborough bring the capital within easy reach. The most favoured areas are those in pretty countryside close to good transport links, especially round Stamford and reasonably close to Peterborough.

Major towns

Lincoln, Boston, Louth, Spalding, Stamford, Sleaford, Skegness, Grantham.

Transport links

Train: King’s Cross to Lincoln, 2hr; King’s Cross to Grantham, 1hr 8min; King’s Cross to Peterborough 48min.

Car: Lincoln is 131 miles from central London, via the A1(M) and A15; Grantham is 106 miles, via the A1(M).

Public schools

Witham Hall, Bourne (01778 590222). Co-educational,age range 3-13, day and boarding. www.withamhall.com

Lincoln Minster School (01522 543764). Co-educational, age range 2-18, day and boarding. www.lincolnminsterschool.co.uk

Kesteven and Sleaford High School, Sleaford (01529 414044). Girls only, age range 11-18, day.

Kings School, Grantham (01476 563180). Boys only, age range 11-19, day and boarding. www.kings.lincs.sch.uk

Skegness Grammar School (01754 61000). Co-educational, age range 11-18, day and boarding. www.skegnessgrammar.lincs.sch.uk

Queen Elizabeth’s, Horncastle (01507 522645). Co-educational, ages 11-19, day. www.qegs.lincs.sch.uk

Stamford High School (01780 484200). Girls only, age range 4-18, day. Co- educational sixth form, shared teaching with Stamford School (below). www.stamfordhighschool.com

Stamford School (01780 750300). Boys only, shared teaching with Stamford High School in sixth form. Age range 8-18, day and boarding. www.ses.lincs.sch.uk

Leisure

Golfcourses: Blankney, Lincoln (01526 320263); Boston (01205 362306); Burghley Park, Stamford (01780 753789); Louth (01507 602554); Sandilands, Sutton-on-Sea (01507 441432).

Hunts: the Brocklesby, the South Wold, the Blankney.

Yacht clubs: Grimsby and Cleethorpes Yacht Club; Boston Motor Yacht Club.

Fishing: rivers Withern, Welland and Witham.