Whether you’re looking for shopping opportunities, a catch-up with friends over coffee, or enjoy exploring historic sites, Louth has plenty to offer in the run-up to the festive season, says Glynis Fox.
If you love having a drive through the Lincolnshire countryside and ending up at the county’s coast, there are plenty of great reasons to pop into Louth along the way.
This is a lively and changing destination, which regularly offers visitors something new to discover.
Well known for its sheer variety of independent businesses, which happily trade alongside branches of national retailers, the town also boasts several places of interest and hosts special events.
The run-up to Christmas is a good time to visit some of its newer tenants and check out others who have switched locations.
As we went to press, one of the town’s arrivals was The Alfredo Lounge – part of the fast-growing Lounges Group – which has breathed new life into the former Eve & Ranshaw department store. The department store closed in March, after being a feature of the town for 240 years.
Loungers, a welcome arrival in many locations up and down the country, has revamped and rebranded the old Eve & Ranshaw store, created new jobs and expanded the town’s choice in food and drink venues.
Loungers, which operates all-day cafés, bars and restaurants across the UK – under the Lounge, Cosy Club and Brightside brands – recently reported it had been “buoyed up” by its strong trading performance.
During the 24 weeks to 1st October, the group revealed like-for-like sales growth of 77 per cent, which bosses said reflected how its strong performance had continued since the Covid pandemic.
Chief executive Nick Collins said: “Our consistent sales growth reflects the continued evolution of our offer and the resilience of the UK consumer and high street.”
The company has opened 34 sites in the past year and created about 1,000 jobs.
Loungers has transformed the interior of the former Eve & Ranshaw store, with a décor which features heavily patterned wallpapers, tiling and stripped wooden floors, and the addition of oversized vintage sofas and lounge chairs.
The menu, which caters for everything from friends wanting a quick coffee, to people looking for a relaxed brunch or dinner and drinks, serves everything from tapas and salads to burgers, and meals for vegans and those following a gluten-free diet.
Loungers community manager, Gemma Irwin said: “Our Lounges strive to put community at the heart of hospitality and our teams always go the extra mile to make a difference. They are actively encouraged to connect with their communities by working with local groups, charities, organisations and businesses that are at the heart of the fabric of local life.”
There’s another recent arrival that’s also worth a closer look – and you won’t risk piling on the calories in the process!
If you’re a fan of the annual Quilt Festival at Birmingham’s NEC and the Knitting & Stitching Show (which takes place at Harrogate in November), you will probably have visited the Oh Sew Sweet Shop’s stand.
Now Yorkshire’s loss is Lincolnshire’s gain, because its directors Lorrayne and Jeff Hall have relocated their business to former café premises in Vickers Lane, Louth – to the delight of passionate quilters, dressmakers and other needlecraft enthusiasts.
The couple started their venture in Mapplewell, near Barnsley, but its rapid success meant a couple of years later they moved to The Hut at Wombwell, where they also staged workshops and had The Bolthole Café. Covid saw the business continue to sell online before it transitioned to a unit at The Business Village in Wilthorpe.
Lorrayne and Jeff soon realised how much people wanted a shop which they could visit. Whilst thinking about semi-retirement, knowing that their daughter had been looking at moving to Louth and the fact that they had a caravan at Sutton-on-Sea, they turned their attention to Lincolnshire.
“We loved the lively ambience and thriving nature of independent businesses in Louth and it wasn’t long before we noticed a former café in Vicker’s Lane was up for rent. We phoned the landlord next door and had quickly done a deal within a few hours,” said Lorrayne.
“Now we are near to our daughter and her family, close to the coast, and based in a town which has a very active creative sewing and crafting community.
“We love welcoming people into our shop to browse our extensive range of fabrics and sewing essentials, our By Annie Bags patterns and the very popular Funky Friends Factory toy patterns, which we have shown on the Create & Craft shopping channel,” added Lorrayne.
There could be more good news from the Oh Sew Sweet Shop in the not-too-distant future, because Lorrayne is also exploring the potential to run workshops!
Earlier this year, secondhand retailer Cash Converters breathed new life into the town’s former McColl’s store, which used to be based in Eastgate. By moving from the town’s Upgate, it now enjoys more space and a more central location.
Longer-standing independent shops in the town include Lucks of Louth, The Cheese Shop, Stevenson’s (for fresh fruit and vegetables), Orchid Boutique (for designer ladieswear) and Cc’s Lingerie Room, among many more.
Market days take place on Wednedays, Fridays and Saturdays in the Cornmarket and there is also an Indoor Market, which is accessible off New Street.
As we went to press, shoppers were keenly waiting to find out what will happen to Morrisons’ application to East Lindsey District Council seeking permission to build a larger, more modern supermarket on its current Eastgate site.
Morrisons has said it has support from shoppers who would like to see a bigger supermarket in the town and that its consultation on plans to demolish its existing store and build a larger one has received support from 88 per cent of the public.
If the plans get the green light, it is expected that it will take 18 months to demolish and create the new store, which is expected to employ 50 more people.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Although some of the town’s attractions are closed for the winter period, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy while you are out and about.
You could plan a visit to Louth Riverhead Theatre, which is maintained by Louth Playgoers Society. This community venue is supported by more than 100 volunteers!
• 9th December: Steve Walker’s Big Swing Band will be appearing in Swingin’ Around The Christmas Tree – a treat for music lovers.
• 10th December: Catch a performance of A Christmas Carol
Louth is home to magnificent St James’ Church, with the third tallest spire in the UK. It is built on the site of the Lincolnshire Rising which started in 1536 when protestors were led by the then Vicar.
church, which is well worth a closer look, mainly dates to the 15th century and succeeds 11th and 13th century structures.
Feeling energetic? If so, pop along to the Meridian Leisure Centre in Wood Lane, which is operated by the Magna Vitae Charitable Trust. It offers swimming sessions, exercise options, dance and cycle studios and boasts a multi-games area. It is also the base for Louth Swimming Club.
Visit on a bright, warmer day and take a walk in Hubbard’s Hills, which is popular with dog walkers, used for school field trips and a great spot for a leisurely picnic.
SAVE THESE DATES
Get into the festive spirit by making sure you are in town for the following events.
Sunday 3rd December sees the return of Louth’s BIG Christmas Market. Taking place within the town’s Cornmarket, this event is hosted by Louth Independent Traders.
The celebration, which traditionally features lots of stalls, promises to be a real treat for the whole family.
Last year’s successful Christmas Tree Festival in St James’ Church raised more than £4,000 and was loved by many visitors. So it’s little surprise that it is making a comeback this year. You can catch it from 8th to 13th December between 10.30am and 7pm daily (except on Sunday).
This year’s festival will feature displays, refreshments and a variety of events, as well as a tombola, raffle and a launch night, complete with music, food and wine.
A spokesperson said The Friends of St James’ value and appreciate the support of businesses and organisations who take part in what is an opportunity to promote themselves to the wider community.
“Participants are responsible for purchasing or making and decorating a Christmas tree in a style of their choice to represent their business or organisation, which would be displayed for the duration of the festival, and to remove the tree at the end of the event. There is a minimum £10 charge for a standard tree, larger trees at £25, and smaller wreaths to be used as pew ends at £5 each.”
UPDATE YOUR WINTER WARDROBE
Looking to treat yourself to a new winter look? At Orchid Boutique and Daniella’s you will be spoilt for choice with fashion brands which offer something very different from the high street; inspiring women’s-wear labels that blend style, individuality, fashion and fit, with a focus on smart, casual clothes that can be worn for a number of different occasions.
“With our beautiful winter collections, shoppers can embrace the new season with our pick of fresh fashion finds: statement soles; flattering, elegant shapes and fine materials with rich details. Our collections, which include gorgeous knitwear, separates, dresses, coats, shoes and handbags, focus on being unique, relaxed and comfortable to wear with impeccable fit.”
Orchid Boutique brands: Naya, Monari, Just White, Frank Walder, Dolcezza, Rabe, Gollehaug, Toni, Outerwear and Handbags by Geox.
Daniella’s brands: Geox, Caprice, HB Shoes, Jose Saenz and Unisa.
“Come and see our beautiful collections this season, you won’t be disappointed.”
For more information, visit www.orchidboutique.co.uk or find them on Facebook.
REV UP FOR CHRISTMAS WITH FULL-THROTTLE CADWELL PARK GIFT IDEAS!
Treat the adrenaline junkie in your life to a Christmas treat from Cadwell Park race circuit in the Lincolnshire Wolds this festive period.
A wide range of gifts are available, including circuit season passes and two-wheeled MSV group passes which offer access to motorcycle racing events at five UK circuits – all of which are available at discounted pre-Christmas prices.
Event admission tickets are frozen at 2023 levels if you book between now and the end of December.
This includes the headline British Superbike Championship ‘Party in the Park’ August Bank Holiday 2024.
In addition, there are MSV Trackdays vouchers and special Cadwell Park merchandise available too, alongside smaller stocking fillers.
For more information visit www.cadwellpark.co.uk/christmas to browse the full range!
THE BEST OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Located on the Revesby Estate in Moorby, near Horncastle, Expressive Audio is a specialist independent family-run business with more than 30 years’ combined experience in quality HiFis and home cinema.
“Our aim is to offer you the best system we can for the budget you have available, bringing you as close to a live music experience in your own home as we can,” says owner John Nelson. “We try to specialise in as many British brands as possible to offer a unique tailored solution for every customer.”
The company offers a range of products, featuring British brands including Arcam, Cyrus, Chord Company, Fyne Audio, KEF and Rega.
“We can tailor a system for a customer all the way through to a complete installation in their own home.
“Inside our showroom, there’s a wide range of products that can be seen and or listened to including a 55” TV on display and a 2.4m projector screen for the big screen experience. There is almost always a Hifi system of some kind set up and ready to listen to.”
For more information, call 01507 499047, visit the showroom at Moorby Yard on the Revesby Estate, or visit www.expressiveaudio.com
FATHER AND SON TOAST BREWERY SUCCESS
Launched in 2019 by father and son team Richard and Oliver Munyard, Munyard Brewery has created a popular range of local quality craft beers which are refreshing and full of flavour.
Based on Fairfield Industrial Estate, the brewery offers a range of tastes including The Helles Have Eyes, featuring delicate floral notes and subtly balanced hops with a light malty personality; My Father Ale, a traditional ale with a rich malty flavour, using Challenger and Goldings hops; and The Fosse IPA, featuring a base of ale, wheat and Vienna malts with carefully selected hops giving wide floral and citrus aromas.
The family recently opened an adjoining Taproom with a selection of beers, welcoming atmosphere and knowledgeable staff. Perfect for a night out with friends, the Taproom also hosts beer tasting, brewery tours and live entertainment.
Munyard’s Brewery and Taproom is open from Tuesday to Thursday, 2pm to 10.30pm, Friday and Saturday from 12noon to 10.30pm, and Sundays from 12noon to 4pm.
For more information visit www.munyardbrewery.co.uk
WORKING WITHIN THE WOLDS CARE CENTRE
Working in a residential care home can be a fulfilling and rewarding career path.
One such care home that offers a range of care services is the Wolds Care Centre. The Wolds Care Centre is located on the outskirts of Louth (LN11 0JF) and provides a safe, comfortable and homely environment for its residents.
The care home provides residential, nursing, end of life and respite care services to its residents.
The Wolds Care Centre has a range of new employment opportunities:
• Registered Nurse – £19.50 per hour and a £1,500 welcome bonus
• Senior Care Assistant – £12.00 per hour and a £500 welcome bonus
• Health Care Assistants – £11.00 per hour.
Working within the Wolds Care Centre offers a range of benefits, including the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of the residents, personal and professional growth, job security, a competitive salary, flexible working hours, and a friendly and supportive working environment. If you are looking for a fulfilling and rewarding career path, then the Wolds Care Centre could be the perfect choice for you.
Call or apply online! Tel: 01482 581000 ext 2220/
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.hica-uk.com/careers/our-roles/
The HICA Group is a ‘Not for Profit’ organisation providing a range of care services to older people and people with learning difficulties both within residential and nursing homes and within
ARRANGING A PEACEFUL GOODBYE
Established in 1995, R Arnold Funeral Service’s compassionate team strive to support you in helping to arrange a respectful and personalised service. As experienced and dedicated funeral directors, husband and wife team Lindsay and Richard Arnold take the time to talk to each client and listen to their individual needs. As well respected members of the British Institute of Embalmers and National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors, they can offer a range of funeral plans to help cover costs.
“As one of the most rewarding services you can offer, our compassionate, approachable team take time to talk to each of our clients, looking after and guiding you every step of the way, offering guidance whatever time of day or night that you might need us.”
For more information visit www.rarnoldfuneralservice.com
Photographs: Mick Fox