Address: Grimsthorpe, Nr Bourne, Lincolnshire PE10 0LY
Category: In Current Use
Opening times: The castle is closed in winter. During the Spring, it is open Sundays, Thursdays and Bank Holidays, then Sunday – Thursday from June to September. Check before visiting!
Access: Open to the public
Grimsthorpe is not easy to find, although it situated between the A1 and the A15 – both Roman roads – the former heading from London to York, and the latter to Lincoln.
From the SouthIf you are travelling from London and want to stay on main roads as far as possible, take the A1 North, then turn right onto the A47 towards Peterborough, skirting the north of the city to the A15 junction. Take the A15 north, heading towards Lincoln. Just before you reach Bourne (birthplace of William Cecil) take the A151, in a north-westerly direction. This road does not go anywhere in particular, so only has local place names on it, the largest of which are Edenham and Grimsthorpe. Pass through the tiny village of Grimsthorpe and keep your eyes peeled for a small, brown tourist sign, directing you turn left up the driveway of the castle.
If you want a more scenic route, stay on the A1 past Peterborough, and turn off at Stamford, one of the most delightful towns in England.Negotiate the one-way system, following the signs for Bourne on the A6121. When you reach a T-junction, don’t turn right for Bourne, but left onto the A151, then proceed as above.
From the North Head down the A1, and turn off it at Colsterworth onto the A151, towards Bourne. You should see the brown tourist sign, directing you right into the castle before you reach the village of Grimsthorpe.Alternatively, if you are coming from the A15, it is easier to go down to Bourne and turn onto the A151 there, rather than go cross-country, through Stainfield, although you can do that if you like meandering country lanes. By Bus There is a service running between Grantham and Bourne (the S33D) which stops at Grimsthorpe.
By Train The nearest big station is at Grantham, which is on the East Coast Mainline, but you will need a bus or taxi from there. You can also get a train to Peterborough, which is also on the East Coast Mainline, as well as on the suburban services from King’s Cross, London. You can get to Stamford by train directly from Leicester (if you are coming from London, take a Leicester train from St Pancras) or from Peterborough. You would then need a bus to Bourne, and change to the bus between Bourne and Grantham, as above.
Still in use by the family that has lived in the castle for five hundred years, Grimsthorpe is a superb example of the evolution of a country house from Norman Keep, to Tudor mansion, to eighteenth century stately home. The gardens are lovely.