Louth is one of our favourite Lincolnshire towns to visit. This quintessential countryside market town is nestled on the cusp of the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds, while also being just a short drive away from the coast. It is the perfect place to stay for exploring Lincolnshire’s natural beauty. There’s also plenty to see in and around the town, and in this article we’ve compiled the best things to do in Louth to make the most of your stay.

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Is Louth worth a visit?

Louth is the perfect place to visit for exploring the highlights of Lincolnshire’s countryside and coast. Not only is Louth full of the charm and character that typifies the county’s market towns, it also stands on the threshold of the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and just 20 minutes’ drive from the beach.

There are plenty of fun activities to try around the town as well. For example, Louth is close to attractions like Lincolnshire Wolds Railway, which makes for a great day out, and Louth Distillery, where you can take tours, tastings and classes. We’ll take a look at these and many more ideas below.

How many days do you need in Louth?

We love to spend a weekend in Louth as it gives plenty of time to enjoy some time in the town while also exploring a bit further afield. Saturday is always a market day, so you can plan to peruse the stalls, see some attractions like the view from the church tower, and perhaps try some local eateries, before heading to the Wolds or the beach on the Sunday.

St James' Church
You can climb to the top of Louth’s tallest building, St James’ Church

Where to stay in Louth on your visit

Travellers’ B&B is a fantastic little bed and breakfast where we’ve enjoyed staying in Louth, and we can highly recommend it. The B&B is a short walk away from the town centre, and it also has parking for guests.

The hosts at Travellers’ B&B are very friendly and welcoming, and happy to answer questions or give recommendations for your stay.

Best of all, the breakfast is excellent! They know how to do a proper full English breakfast to a tee, and it comes with delicious Lincolnshire sausages of course. The rooms are comfortable with all the amenities you need for a relaxing weekend break.

For a full range of options, check out our complete guide to the best places to stay in Louth.

Things to do in Louth: sightseeing and activities

1. Climb to the top of St James’ Church tower for the views

Louth view from St James Church tower
The panoramic views over Louth from the top of St James’ Church tower

St James’ Church is the most recognisable landmark in Louth, rising 55 metres high above the rooftops. You can climb 199 steps to the top of the tower and see an incredible panoramic view of the town and the surrounding countryside, all the way to the coast.

It costs £2 to climb the tower and you can buy tickets from the coffee shop inside the church. The spiral stairway is steep in places, but you can stop at intervals on the way up to read historical facts and quirks about the church.

The tower is open 10am to 3:30pm Monday to Saturday. Note it is usually closed from around January through to May as peregrine falcons come to nest. When this happens, you can see a live feed of the falcons’ nest inside the church.

2. Explore inside St James’ Church

St James' Church interior
You can explore inside St James’ Church and learn about its history

The views from the tower might be the highlight of St James’ Church, but there’s more to see and explore inside as well. The interior architecture is really quite beautiful.

The interior of the church has a museum feel to it, with a series of displays telling stories of the church’s history and construction. You can take guided tours of the church for an even deeper insight. It’s even dog friendly!

Once you’ve finished exploring, you can sit down for a very reasonably priced cuppa and snack at the church’s café.

3. See Brown’s Panorama in the Town Hall

Browns Panorama Louth Town Council courtroom
You can see the original Brown’s Panorama in the courtroom of Louth Town Council

On a sunny day in 1844, the British artist and journalist William Brown climbed to the top of the spire of St James’s Church and started sketching Louth and its surroundings from above.

This artistic process would last 12 years and result in a stunning 360 panorama painted on two giant canvasses. But when Brown sadly passed away in 1859, the panorama paintings were lost for almost a century before being rediscovered in 1948.

Today, Brown’s Panorama is preserved by the Town Council, and you can see the magnificent original on display in the courtroom of the Town Hall at Sessions House. This is open to the public on Wednesday and Fridays at 10am–1pm.

Visiting Louth on a different day? You can see a digital replica of the panorama painting in Louth Museum. Speaking of which…

4. Learn the town’s history at Louth Museum

Louth Museum 1920 flood exhibition
Louth Museum features a display remembering the 1920 Great Flood

Whether you a history nerd or you’re just interested to learn about the town, Louth Museum is a really fun place to do it. The building is over a century old and was purpose-built by the Louth Naturalists’ Antiquarian and Literary Society, which still runs the museum today.

This is a cosy, independent museum that packs a lot into a small space. There’s a real variety to explore, from the above-mentioned backlit digital replica of Brown’s Panorama to fossils and archaeological artefacts stretching back millennia.

My favourite display in the museum depicts the Great Flood of Louth, which devastated the town in 1920. Incredibly, there is genuine video footage that shows the local community dealing with the flood’s aftermath.

Entry to the museum is only £4 for adults or £3 for concessions, which is well worth it. Allow at least an hour to have a good look around.

Things to do in Louth: art and culture

5. Discover artworks at NTKO Art Gallery

NTKO Art Gallery entrance
NTKO Art Gallery focuses on edgier artwork that pushes boundaries

NTKO stands for “Not That Kind Of” Art Gallery, which gives you an indication of the type of creative space it is. You won’t find traditional paintings here; this is an art gallery that looks to push boundaries.

The gallery is run by artists and operates by the motto “dare to be loud”. Expect an array of colour, attitude, and general nonconformity!

NTKO Art Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday at 10am–4pm, but note this can be a bit sporadic – it’s sometimes been closed when we’ve stopped by during these hours.

6. Catch a movie at the century-old Playhouse Cinema

Playhouse Cinema Louth
The independent Playhouse Cinema in Louth has been running for over a century

Independent cinemas are something of a dying breed in the UK, but Louth’s Playhouse Cinema is still keeping the tradition alive.

First opened in 1921, the Playhouse Cinema is set in a converted old Victorian chapel. In the 1990s it was taken over by the small independent cinema company Parkway, which has only five cinemas in total, including one at Cleethorpes.

The cinema’s three screens have been modernised over the years but still retain many old art deco features to stay true to the building’s past. Check out the film listings to see what’s coming up.

7. See a show at Riverhead Theatre

Riverhead Theatre
The Riverhead Theatre in Louth is run mostly by volunteers

Another place you can catch some entertainment in Louth is at the Riverhead Theatre, run by local group Louth Playgoers. This community-owned venue is run almost entirely by volunteers.

There is also an art gallery on site that features a different local artist each month, which you can visit during box office hours, 10am–1pm from Monday to Saturday.

See the Riverhead Theatre website to find out more and look up the schedule.

Things to do in Louth: shopping

8. Shop at Louth Market

Louth Saturday Market
Louth Market is the heartbeat of the town on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays

The best days to visit Louth are definitely market days! The market is the town’s heartbeat and it takes place in the town centre on Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays.

When the sun is shining there’s always a special buzz about the town on a market day. You will find a variety of stalls, whether it’s flowers, fresh produce, baked treats, crafts, music, beer, clothes or boots.

There are some specialist markets held once a month: a food market on the second Friday, a craft market on the third Saturday and a farmers’ market on the fourth Wednesday.

9. Explore independent stores on Pawnshop Passage

Pawnshop Passage is a quirky little shopping street in Louth that you might miss if you don’t know where it is. Look out for the signpost and narrow passageway as you walk up Mercer Row.

The name gives a clue about its past; this hidden cobbled alleyway has been a little hotspot for trade for much of Louth’s history. Today it is filled with independent businesses from beauty shops to bistro bars.

Our favourite shop on Pawnshop Passage is The Wine Cellar. Descend the steps into this cosy underground space and you can explore a treasure trove of wines from all over the world. There are occasional wine tasting events, and you can also arrange private tastings for groups up to 10 on Wednesdays or Saturdays.

10. Find a gem at The Old Maltings Antique Centre

The Old Maltings Antique Centre
The Old Maltings Antique Centre is one of Lincolnshire’s largest antique stores

One thing you can be sure to find in any Lincolnshire market town is an antique store. The Old Maltings Antique Centre in Louth has one of the county’s largest collections, and you could easily get lost among the vintage houseware, furniture, clothing, jewellery, railway and war memorabilia, clocks, crockery and other trinkets.

The centre is set across two floors in a mini-warehouse, with different traders selling their goods from individual bays. Don’t be shy to barter on price to get a deal, it’s all part of the fun!

11. Browse the fantastic deli at Beaumont’s

Beaumont's Deli & Café
The delicatessen at Beaumont’s has a range of produce from near and far

If you’re the kind of shopper who likes to browse local delicatessens for deluxe artisan produce, then you will love Beaumount’s in Louth.

This lovely deli and café is a little outside the town centre, set just a few paces away from St James’ Church. Indeed, there’s a prime view of the church tower from the café’s sun-trap garden.

The deli shop at Beaumont’s has a great mixture of goodies from near and far. It’s got all of our local favourites as well as an eclectic of assortment classy international produce.

We always like to drop in here when we visit Louth, whether it’s to buy some cheese, craft booze or sweet treats from the deli, or to have a coffee and delicious homemade cake in the café.

Things to do in Louth: food and drink

12. Try a tour and tasting at Louth Distillery

Louth Distillery Pin Gin tasting

Love gin? Want to try something a bit fun and different while you’re in Louth? Then you should definitely visit Louth Distillery for a tour and tasting.

Craft gin-making has become a big thing in Lincolnshire in recent years, and this independent distillery has been at the forefront of the scene. Its signature product, Pin Gin, has become a massive favourite across the county and we always have a bottle of it stocked at home.

The distillery is on an industrial site on the outskirts of the town. It’s just about walkable from the town centre, or you could take a taxi. We made a night of it and stayed over in Louth after our distillery visit, which we definitely recommend doing.

For an even more immersive experience you can try a gin school and make your own bottle of craft gin to take away. You also get 10% discount on the distillery shop with any tour, tasting or classes.

13. Find specialist cheeses at The Cheese Shop

The Cheese Shop Louth
We always drop in to buy some cheese from The Cheese Shop when we’re in Louth

Living in Lincolnshire is like heaven for cheese lovers like us. There’s so much delicious cheese that hails from Lincolnshire, and it’s also very easy to find fancy varieties from further afield at specialist shops.

The Cheese Shop in Louth is one such place. We always drop by when we’re in town to pick something up for our next cheese board. It has the best selection for miles around!

You can buy deli produce from the shop too – it’s not as extensive a range as you’ll find at Beaumount’s, but when it comes to cheese, this is the place to go.

14. Have a famous gelato from Baci & Co

Baci & Co gelato
Baci & Co in Louth makes incredible gelato!

When the sun is shining in Louth, why not treat yourself to a delicious gelato ice cream from Baci & Co? These guys have won awards for their gelato, and you will see why, as the flavours are absolutely sensational.

The gelato is made on the premises and comes in an array of flavours. Get a couple of scoops and try something exotic! If you really want to push the boat out, they also serve a homemade cheesecake that is absolutely to die for.

15. Go for a breakfast fry-up at Tina’s Café

Tina's Café breakfast Louth
Tina’s Café is one of our favourite spots for breakfast in Louth

For such a small town, Louth has an impressive choice of places to eat at any time of day. Tina’s Café is a great place to begin the day for a hearty full English breakfast.

Tina’s is a proper, no-nonsense café with simple furnishings and great food. It’s always busy on weekend mornings as the locals come here again and again for a tasty fry-up.

The café is in a great central location as well, so you can spill out straight into the market once you’re done.

16. Enjoy brunch at the Mason Arms Hotel

Masons Arms Hotel eggs florentine
The eggs florentine at the Mason Arms Hotel is delicious for brunch

If you want something a bit more upmarket to start your day in Louth and don’t mind paying a slightly higher bill, head to the Masons Arms Hotel. Here you’ll find an eclectic all-day brunch menu featuring the likes of smashed avocado, sunshine bowls, pesto eggs and American pancakes.

I tried the eggs florentine, which comes with a choice of bacon or home-roasted ham. It looks a treat and tastes delicious! If you just want a straight-up full English, then you can go for the Mason’s breakfast instead.

The Masons Arms Hotel opens at 8am every day. It’s popular, so you may want to book your table ahead of time.

17. Have a lighter brunch at Millie May’s

Millie May's eggs florentine
I also tried the eggs florentine at Millie May’s, a great spot for breakfast or lunch

Another option for brunch in Louth is Millie May’s, a friendly, homely little café that opens 9:30am–2:30pm Tuesday to Saturday. This place has a cosy independent café vibe, with dotted tablecloths, dark wooden floorboards and bright, colourful paintings on the walls.

The menu features simple, classic, homemade options from bagels, muffins and poached egg pairings for breakfast to toasties, sandwiches and paninis for lunch.

If you want a more substantial brunch you can choose a full fried breakfast. I tried the eggs florentine (notice a theme?) which was a lovely lighter option.

18. Go out for dinner at the Greyhound Inn

Seeking somewhere for a nice evening meal in Louth? Try the Greyhound Inn, a homely pub-restaurant with a relaxed vibe near the town centre.

The menu is wide-ranging and filled with pub classics like steaks, pizzas and burgers. There’s also an array of small plates if you want something light or you’d like to eat tapas-style.

When you enter the Greyhound you walk into the pub area, but there’s a separate spacious room upstairs to the rear, which has more of a laidback feel.

19. Have a pint at the oldest pub in Louth

Ye Olde Whyte Swanne is the oldest pub in Louth
Ye Olde Whyte Swanne was first opened in Louth in 1612

Dating back to 1612, Ye Olde Whyte Swanne is Louth’s oldest pub and is still going strong! With its whitewashed exterior and low ceilings it has that olde England feel about it, but the pub has also been modernised quite a bit.

Most importantly, it is friendly, welcoming, and serves an excellent pint! And while it’s cosy and intimate inside, there’s a sprawling beer garden hidden to the rear, perfect for summer afternoons.

20. Try beers from the microbrewery at The Consortium

The Consortium market stall
The Consortium microbrewery also runs a stall on market days

If you are a serious beer connoisseur, then you need to pay a visit to The Consortium while you are in Louth. This micropub in the heart of town has its own brewery and distillery on site. There’s also a proper jukebox, so you’ll feel all nostalgic if you’re a child of the 80s or earlier!

As well as producing its own range of ales and gins, The Consortium also stocks beers and ciders from around the world. If you’re in town on market day, they run a stall where you can buy bottles to take away.

21. Go for craft cocktails at The Panacea

Panacea cocktail bar Louth
The cocktails at Panacea look and taste great!

Louth isn’t exactly renowned for having buzzing nightlife, but there are some cool little spots to hit up if you’re staying out a bit later.

The Panacea is a fantastic bar for handcrafted cocktails that taste just as incredible as they look. The menu includes all the classics as well as some bespoke house concoctions that are guaranteed to impress.

It’s also a restaurant, a great choice if you’re on a day out with friends. The deli platters are the perfect match for some afternoon cocktails!

Things to do near Louth

22. Take a day out on Lincolnshire Wolds Railway

Lincolnshire Wolds Railway locomotive
Lincolnshire Wolds Railway near Louth is one of the UK’s few surviving heritage railways

The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway is one of the UK’s few surviving operational heritage railway lines, and you can take a ride on it just a few minutes’ drive away from Louth.

A fully restored section of the original 1848 line runs between Ludborough and North Thorseby on select days throughout the year. Our guide to the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway explains how you can make a great day out of it.

There are various themed days throughout the year for special occasions, and you can also break up the return train ride with a delicious pub lunch in North Thoresby.

The future vision for the railway is to extend the line to Louth, where the original line once passed through on the way to Boston.

23. Have a picnic at Hubbard’s Hills

Hubbard's Hills in autumnal colours from the top of the valley
Hubbard’s Hills is a unique valley just outside Louth

Louth is surrounded by gorgeous countryside, and you don’t need to travel far to be right among it. The miniature valley of Hubbard’s Hills is just a mile outside the town.

Formed by melting glaciers after the last ice age, Hubbard’s Hills has a unique geographic composition of steep sloping hills topped by woodland. It’s a beautiful place to escape for a peaceful walk or picnic on the riverside plain.

We love to bring our dog here for a walk. There’s so much space for him to run around, and then we can take him to one of Louth’s many dog-friendly pubs for lunch afterwards.

24. Stargaze at Stewton Stars Hideaway

Stargazing at dawn
You can enjoy Lincolnshire’s big starry skies by staying at Stewton Stars Hideaway

Lincolnshire’s famous big skies are incredible for stargazing. Stewton Stars Hideaway, just a couple of miles outside Louth, is a glamping site that is tailored for stargazing.

We spent a night at Stewton Stars Hideaway and we were blown away by the starscapes. We had to get up in the small hours to make the most of it, but it was totally worth it!

The glamping pods are perfect for a couple’s retreat, with luxury furnishings and a secluded patio with a BBQ. Even if the stars don’t come out, you’re sure to have a special stay here.

25. Attend a racing day at Cadwell Park

Cadwell Park
Motor racing at Cadwell Park near Louth. Photo by Adam Court (CC 2.0 license)

Many of our visits to the Louth area have been to see bike racing at Cadwell Park, one of Britain’s top motor-racing circuits. Lisa’s Dad used to volunteer as a marshal for events like the British Superbike Championships, which has a meeting at Cadwell Park every season.

Race meetings at Cadwell Park are big occasions, with all sorts of extra entertainment going on around the periphery of the track, and in the evening after the races.

Check out the Cadwell Park website to see what’s coming up.

26. Go walking in the Lincolnshire Wolds

Belchford Lincolnshire Wolds sunrise
The circular walk from Belchford is one of our favourites in the Lincolnshire Wolds

Louth stands right on the threshold of the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, home to the county’s most scenic walking trails.

If you’ve spent a weekend in Louth and enjoyed the Saturday market, Sundays are perfect for escaping into this fabulous countryside. A 15-minute drive will take you to the charming village of Belchford, which is the base for one of our favourite Wolds walks – a 12-kilometre loop trail with a pub lunch at the Blue Bell Inn.

27. Go to the beach at Saltfleet

Saltfleet Beach Lincolnshire dog walks
We love taking our dog Regan for walks on the huge golden beach at Saltfleet near Louth

Louth has the perfect location for enjoying both the Lincolnshire countryside and coastline. While the town hugs the Wolds, it’s also only ten miles from the beach!

Saltfleet is about a 20-minute drive from Louth, and it’s home to a vast and undisturbed stretch of sand. We love to come here for long dog walks or beach picnics as it’s a lot quieter than other coastal spots nearby.

If you’d prefer somewhere a bit busier with more activities, Mablethorpe and Cleethorpes are both within a half-hour drive of Louth. Check out our guide to the best beaches in Lincolnshire for more ideas.

Map of things to do in Louth

You can click on the map below to explore the locations of the various activities and eateries in Louth we’ve featured in this article:

Map of things to do in Louth

Have you visited Louth before? We’d love to hear any of your own recommendations in the comments below. Love this? Pin it for later!

Things to do in Louth Lincolnshire
We compile all of the best things to do in Louth, Lincolnshire, including activities, sightseeing, food and drink, shopping and more.

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