There are plenty of sports to try in Lincolnshire - especially as the nights are getting longer and the weather improves.
Here, we take a look at the best ways you can get fit, enjoy your sport and even see some countryside in our county.
The days are getting longer, the weather’s getting warmer and - dare we say it - the sun’s peeking out a bit more.
If you needed further convincing of the changing season, that spring in your step says it all. Even the daffodils are nodding their heads in agreement.
The urge to shake off those cobwebs and come out of hibernation is synonymous with the arrival of spring, so what are you waiting for?
Whether you’re looking to up your skill set and learn a new hobby or feel that it’s time to resurrect an old one now’s the time to get revved up ready for an active summer. And lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to do that in Lincolnshire.
One of the most important organisations for getting people out and about in Lincolnshire is Lincolnshire Sport.
Janet Inman, CEO of the Lincolnshire Sports Partnership, said it’s crucially important that people get more active.
“Nearly 480,000 people in Lincolnshire are not taking part in any sort of activity according to a recent Sport England survey,” she said. “That’s only one in three people who do any form of exercise; and currently that makes us the lowest in the whole country.
“I cannot stress enough the importance of physical activity. It is vital not only for physical health, but our mental well-being as well. It can help boost self-confidence, self-esteem, mood, energy, reduce weight and overall make you feel better about yourself.
It can have a positive impact on all aspects of life and is medically proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
“The current recommended amount of physical activity to stay healthy is at least 150 minutes of moderate to intensive aerobic activity a week and there are plenty of free easy ways to achieve this as we approach springtime.
“Free weekly health walks take place across the whole of the county offering people of all ages the opportunity to take part in a fun and social form of exercise.
“There are also free weekly-led bike rides throughout the county which start in May.
“Taking up running can seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel out of shape or unfit, but a new programme called Couch 2 5K offers an answer.
“The initiative allows people with no experience to try running and gradually works you up to running 5K in eight weeks, with everyone starting at the same level.”
For a full list of what Lincolnshire Sport does - and it’s a long list - visit lincolnshiresport.com or visit lincolnshiresport.com/clubs for an in-depth list of what you can get up to and who can help you do it around the county.
So, what are your other options? Here’s just a few ...
Anyone for tennis?
Keeping costs down isn’t always easy when tennis is your sport of choice. But Lincoln residents can avoid court booking costs thanks to some lovely, well-maintained courts - that are completely free.
West Common’s tennis area includes three recently resurfaced artificial courts that are open year-round as well as several grass courts that open in the warmer months.
You can canoe
Canoeing or kayaking can be a great way to get fit and enjoy nature - and in Lincoln, we’re lucky enough not to have to go far to do it. Brayford Pool - and the Witham in general - make for a great day out on the water.
The calm pool provides the sort of gentle water that’s great even if you’re a beginner.
If you want to give it a go, the Brayford-based Lincoln Canoe Club is a great place to start.
Visit lincolncanoeclub.co.uk to learn about taster or beginner sessions as well as other
If you want your watercraft to be a bit bigger and work with the wind, sailing can be an exciting day out. And you don’t have to go all the way to the coast to try it.
Based on a lake south-west of Lincoln, Hykeham Sailing Club offers taster days and plenty of different activities to suit everybody’s sailing style. The club also does windsurfing and model boating - and there’s an active kids’ section.
For more information, visit hykehamsailing.co.uk
If you want to ramble in some of Britain’s most gorgeous rolling hills, it’s not hard - you’re an hour on the train to Sheffield, and from there the Peak District is on your doorstep.
But you don’t have to travel that far to have a proper ramble. Lincolnshire might not have Mam Tor-style peaks, but there’s plenty of lovely and varied scenery to muddy your boots in around here. And it’s all free!
One invaluable resource here is Lincolnshire Ramblers. The organisation’s made up of walking groups around the county, including one aimed specifically at younger members.
They’re also a treasure trove of information, including a number of excellent walks compiled by members.
To learn more, visit lincolnshireramblers.org.uk
Get on your bike
Okay, this isn’t London and we really don’t have to call them “Boris bikes” here.
But the name of the capital’s floppy haired mayor seems to be attached to citywide bikes-for- hire everywhere - we won’t fight it.
Anyway, whatever you call them, these bikes are a great idea. Available from locations around Lincoln, the bright orange bikes from the Hirebike scheme make cycling accessible and affordable to all.
To hire a bike, you first become a member. That step is free, and you can do it on 01522 370143 or by going to hourbike.com and clicking on “schemes” and then “Lincoln”.
Members then pay and get a unique code which unlocks your bike. It’s free for the first half hour and £1 for each hour after that, with the daily price capped at £4. If you want to go cycling with the whole family, one person can hire as many as five bikes.
Granted, it’s not as vigorous a workout as, say, mountain climbing or freestyle wrestling. But you’d be surprised how much activity there is in an afternoon spent bowling. It’s a healthy fresh-air activity, and there are bowls clubs across the county.
To find a club near you, go to bowlsclub.org/clubs/GB/ENG-LIN/. Most clubs have open days - and any club will have members who are more than happy to help a rookie.
Par for the course
Golf clubs come in all sizes and price ranges, and a day on the links doesn’t have to break the bank.
Take the Lincolnshire Golf Course at Crowle. Green fees at the primarily pay-to-play course are £22 on weekends, £15 after noon and on weekdays. Other courses also offer weekday, last-minute and other discounts.
A useful resource is englishgolf-courses.co.uk, where you can search courses by region and also see deals on offer at various courses.
Scale new heights
Monks Road might not look like a bouldering and mountain-climbing paradise. But at Deans Park and Deans Sport and Leisure centre at Lincoln College, they can get you scaling the heights even if you’ve never done a bit of boulder-dangling before.
You can hire climbing shoes, and if you’re a bit intimidated it might be better to start out on the indoor
More information is available at deans-sport.co.uk/climbing
On the ropes
If bouldering doesn’t take you high enough, this massive ropes course should help you break a sweat and get the pulse racing. In addition to three courses suitable for various skill levels and age groups, High Ropes Adventure also offers archery, orienteering and camping as well as other accommodation.
The main event, however, is scaling the heights. Ladders, ropes, zip wires, even a trapeze - it’s part nature adventure, part circus.
For more information, visit highropesadventure.com
This place is an outdoorsy person’s dream - or a pick-n-mix for somebody considering taking up an outdoorsy hobby.
Kayaking, open-water swimming, canoeing, jet-skiing, powerboating, flyboarding - and then there’s the land-based fun like archery and for kids, bushcraft sessions.
Whatever you want to do, it’s in South Hykeham. For details on the specifics, visit activities-away.com