Visiting „the finest stone town in England“ as poet Sir Walter Scott already labelled it in the 19th century, I feel like travelling back in time. Surrounded by brick buildings and historical churches, I try to soak up the classic English town atmosphere.
Stamford welcomes its visitors by embracing them with honey-coloured limestone buildings and immediately, I feel the history in every single brick. The first landmark I see is the George Hotel with its wooden beam spreading across the street. I simply cannot decide what would be my first photo scene – all of the buildings are just too beautiful! I decide to take a walk through the city that became a borough in the year 972 and let myself be guided by the laid back atmosphere.
I was recommended to watch out for a small book store at the city’s entrance that is packed with books from floor to ceiling. And if as it has been waiting for me all this time, I instantly know where to go and I dive into the world of literary history. The classics – among them Sir Walter Scott – are spread across various rooms and invite every book lover with the familiar smell of paper steeped in history.
The little alleyways with exquisite boutiques and tiny shops and are bustling with people enjoying the surroundings and shopping for Mother’s Day. In the UK, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the Sunday three weeks before Easter Sunday. On this March Saturday, people are hurrying through the city, rushing through the shops which are decorated with hearts and flowers, balloons and teddy bears and masses of gift cards. Flowers can be bought at every corner, which gives the limestone buildings a romantic touch.
I squeeze through crowds of people balancing bouquets and potted flowers heading back to their cars. To find tranquillity, I peek into a couple of churches – each of them being a historical and architectural gem of Stamford. St. Mary’s church is located on St. Mary’s Place and surrounded by Georgian buildings. It is the smallest of the churches I visit, the interior being similar to each of the other ones. I light a candle and spend a couple of silent minutes on a wooden bench there as well as in St. John’s and All Saint’s church.
Bustling city flair and what’s outside
In High Street or at the market (Fridays and Saturdays) people are shopping for bargains and find exclusive international brands. Sunny days are spent on the tranquil riverside with beautiful Georgian buildings on either side of the little river. There is a lot to explore in the city, but the most remarkable aspect for me is simply the atmosphere of the town, offering history, shopping and architecture at the same time topped with restaurants and cute little coffee shops.
Guide books recommend visits to the William Brown Hospital and Burghley House a little outside of town. My trip leads me from the bustling city centre of Stamford to the Rutland Water Reserve. The artificial water reservoir is surrounded by deep green meadows and attracts a great variety of birds. Alongside the walking paths, you can find a number of little sights, such as the lovely Normanton Church at the south shore of the reservoir.
If you are in the area of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire or Lincolnshire, make sure not to miss the beautiful town of Stamford and the charming Rutland Water Reservoir. This trip just made my day …