In the middle of nowhere? That might seem a bit unfair to describe a place that is minutes away from the nearest city (Peterborough) but I have not found it straightforward getting to Helpston. To be sure it is on a B road and it is more than a hamlet. There are pubs, village shop, garden centre, school, as well as a church and, the reason why I went, John Clare’s cottage.

I found the village quite noisy. Not the villagers and visitors themselves, you understand, but Helpston is in the middle of the working countryside so there was the sound of harvest machines in the distance. Then there is the occasional military jet and while there was not much heavy traffic on the roads, there was a constant trickle of cars and trucks while I was there. With the wind in the right direction I think you could hear the sound of the intercity express trains along the East Coast mainline a few hundred yards away.

As well as the chance of a cuppa at the cafe at the John Clare cottage, going to Helpston did provide a pleasant break on my journey to Lincolnshire. It was not the AA recommended route but only added a handful miles to the total overall. There is only so much motorway and trunk road driving I can take, especially if I’m on my own. So, having a place of interest to stop at en route helps make the journey more tolerable.

We came back by another route but then I had company and we found a different place of interest to break the journey.

If you’re interested in the connection with John Clare and Helpston I have included some photos on this page: Helpston.