things to do in stamford

Stamford, celebrated for its historical charm and exquisite Georgian architecture, was honoured as ‘Britain’s top place to live’ by the Sunday Times in 2013. Sir Walter Scott acclaimed it as “the finest stone town in England,” and with over 600 mellow limestone listed buildings, including five medieval churches, it presents a picturesque destination for Stamford sightseeing and Stamford tourism.

The town’s Stamford points of interest extend beyond its buildings. A thriving high street features a myriad of coffee shops, restaurants, and retailers—recognised by The Telegraph in 2023 as one of the country’s best. Additionally, the Friday and fortnightly Farmers’ markets contribute to the town’s vibrancy, ensuring there is always something exciting to do in Stamford activities and Stamford leisure.

Things to Do in Stamford

1. Explore the Stamford Town Trail

The Stamford Town Trail is a delightful way to experience the charm of this historic market town. This engaging excursion unveils fascinating landmarks and brings the heritage of Stamford to life. As you stroll through the town, myriad histories and stories beckon visitors to reflect upon the evolution of this beautiful place.

things to see in Stamford

Historic Landmarks

The town trail winds through numerous historic landmarks, each narrating a unique facet of Stamford’s illustrious past. From the majestic Browne’s Hospital to St. Mary’s Church, these edifices embody centuries of history and are prime things to see in Stamford. Each landmark on the trail offers a glimpse into eras gone by, making it a perfect activity for those who appreciate cultural and architectural heritage.

Quaint Passageways

Exploring Stamford’s passageways is akin to stepping back in time. These secluded, charming paths are brimming with character and form part of the quintessential Stamford pastimes. Wander through the narrow streets and enjoy the quietude as you marvel at the quaint surroundings, punctuated by hidden courtyards and ivy-clad walls.

Guided Walks

For those who wish to delve deeper into the town’s history, guided walks are an excellent option. These tours provide insightful commentary, revealing the significance of various sites along the trail. Learn about the town’s development, Georgian architecture, and serenely flowing river paths. This form of Stamford recreation is both informative and enjoyable, making it an ideal outing for curious visitors.

Whether you’re keen on discovering historic landmarks, meandering through picturesque passageways, or enjoying informative guided walks, the Stamford Town Trail offers a wealth of experiences. It truly encapsulates the best of Stamford outings, ensuring a memorable visit for all.

2. Visit Burghley House

Burghley House is one of the most iconic Stamford tourist spots, showcasing the grandeur of Elizabethan architecture. The house’s exquisite design and historical significance make it an essential visit for anyone exploring Stamford.

The House and Its History

Burghley House boasts a rich past, entwined with the history of the Cecils, an influential family in England. Built between 1555 and 1587, it exhibits breathtaking Elizabethan artistry and has often been featured in films, deepening its appeal as a key part of Burghley House history.

The Orangery Restaurant

After exploring the majestic halls and rooms, visitors can savour a delightful meal at The Orangery Restaurant. Nestled within the grounds, it provides a perfect spot to relax and indulge in delicious offerings while enjoying views of the stunning gardens that frame this remarkable Stamford stately home.

Burghley House history

Beautiful Walks and Gardens

Burghley House is enveloped by beautifully manicured gardens and scenic walks. Visitors can stroll through these picturesque settings, taking in the meticulously kept landscapes and lush greenery that define one of the most charming Stamford tourist spots.

Events and Festivals

The estate is also a hub for numerous Stamford events, with highlights including the prestigious Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Throughout the year, the house hosts various festivals and activities, making it a vibrant centre of cultural and social gathering in Stamford.

3. Shopping in Stamford

Stamford offers an impressive array of shopping opportunities that cater to all tastes. Whether you’re seeking unique items from independent boutiques, exquisite pieces from designer outlets, or fresh local produce from bustling market days, Stamford shopping promises a rewarding experience.

Stamford shopping

Independent Boutiques

Stamford’s independent boutiques boast a diverse range of products, from bespoke clothing to handcrafted jewellery. These charming stores, often set in picturesque locations, emphasize quality and individualism, making each shopping trip a delightful adventure.

Speciality Shops

For those who enjoy specialty items, Stamford’s speciality shops provide everything from fine teas and artisanal cheeses to rare books and antiques. These stores create an intimate shopping atmosphere, ensuring personalised service and exceptional finds.

Designer Outlets

The presence of designer outlets in Stamford enhances the town’s shopping appeal. Fashion enthusiasts can discover high-end brands and latest collections, all while enjoying the unique charm of this historic town.

Market Days

Market days in Stamford, particularly held on Fridays, add vibrancy to the town’s shopping scene. These markets offer an array of local produce, including fresh vegetables, meats, pies, bread, and fish. The communal atmosphere turns shopping into a festive experience.

4. Dine in Stamford’s Cosy Cafes and Traditional Inns

Stamford is renowned for its mouth-watering dining options, from inviting cafes to authentic traditional inns. Whether you are looking for a relaxed bite in a cosy nook or a hearty meal in a historic setting, Stamford has something to offer for every palate. With a variety of settings to experience, you will find yourself immersed in the local vibrancy and culinary delights.

Stamford dining

Best Cafes in Stamford

A stroll through the town will lead you to numerous cafes in Stamford, where the aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the chatter of locals and visitors alike. Popular spots like The Stamford Coffee House and The Cosy Club offer an inviting atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a relaxing afternoon. Many of these cafes pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients, reflecting Stamford local food traditions in every dish.

Top Traditional Inns

For those seeking a more historic dining experience, the traditional inns in Stamford provide the perfect setting. The Crown Hotel and The George Hotel boast rich histories and offer a menu steeped in traditional British cuisine. Enjoying Stamford dining in these charming inns allows visitors to soak up the town’s heritage while indulging in warm and comforting meals.

Local Specialities to Try

No visit to Stamford would be complete without sampling some of the Stamford local food specialities. Many eateries proudly serve Lincolnshire sausages, Ploughman’s platters, and a range of delicious pies. These traditional dishes not only highlight the region’s culinary prowess but also offer a true taste of local flavour.

5. Experience Stamford’s Georgian Architecture

Stepping into Stamford is akin to traversing through time, as the town is rich with architectural gems from the Georgian era. This section will guide you through the town’s historic buildings, famed film locations, and its sacred medieval churches, each a testament to Stamford’s illustrious past.

Historic Buildings

A stroll through Stamford reveals numerous Georgian buildings, their elegant facades offering a glimpse into a bygone era. These Stamford historic buildings are architecturally significant, showcasing the classic Georgian symmetry and proportion. The browns and greys of the local limestone lend a distinctive warmth to structures like the Town Hall and the Stamford Arts Centre, both central landmarks of the town.

Famous Film Locations

Adding to its allure, Stamford has been the filming location for several renowned movies. Notably, Stamford film locations featured prominently in the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. The town’s Georgian elegance perfectly captures the period’s aesthetic, making it a favourite among filmmakers who seek authentic historic backdrops.

Stamford Georgian architecture

Medieval Churches

A tour of Stamford would be incomplete without visiting its medieval churches. These sacred sites, including St. Mary’s Church and All Saints’ Church, exemplify the town’s ecclesiastical heritage. The medieval churches in Stamford are not just places of worship but also architectural marvels, featuring intricate stonework and beautiful stained glass windows that have withstood the test of time.

To further appreciate the grandeur of Stamford Georgian architecture, consider exploring the details of some key sites:

Location Key Features
Stamford Town Hall Regal Georgian facade, historic interior
Stamford Arts Centre Classic Georgian architecture, cultural hub
Burghley House Elizabethan architecture, film location
St. Mary’s Church Medieval stonework, vibrant stained glass
All Saints’ Church Tower from 13th century, stone carvings

From the imposing Stamford historic buildings to the cinematic charm of Stamford film locations and the serene beauty of medieval churches in Stamford, this town offers a rich architectural experience that captures the essence of different eras.

6. Take a Stroll by the River Welland

Discover the peace and tranquillity that the River Welland brings to Stamford. A walk along this beautiful river not only provides a serene escape but also unveils some of Stamford’s picturesque views, perfect for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Picturesque Views

As you embark on one of the many River Welland walks, you’ll be captivated by the stunning scenery that Stamford offers. The picturesque views are ideal for those looking to experience the natural beauty of the town, creating unforgettable memories and photo opportunities at every turn.

Peaceful Walks

The serene strolls in Stamford provide a perfect antidote to a hectic lifestyle. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the peaceful walks along the River Welland will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the serenity of your surroundings, offering a quiet retreat just moments away from the bustling town centre.

Flora and Fauna

One of the true delights of exploring the River Welland is encountering the diverse Stamford wildlife that inhabits the area. From birds to wildflowers, the flora and fauna add a layer of charm and fascination to your walk, making each journey by the riverside a unique and enriching experience.

7. Attend the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials remain a key highlight in Stamford’s annual events calendar. This renowned event combines high-level equestrian competition with vibrant social gatherings, making it a significant aspect of Stamford entertainment. Visitors from all corners of the world come to witness the spectacular feats of both riders and their horses.

Event Overview

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials are not just about equestrian sports; they offer a myriad of activities for attendees, including shopping, food stalls, and various exhibitions. This blend of sport and social activities contributes to the event’s lively atmosphere, ensuring an enriching experience for all who attend.

Visitor Information

For those planning to participate in this iconic event, there are several essential details to consider. The venue is easily accessible from Stamford, and ample parking is available for visitors. Tickets can be purchased online or on-site, but it is advisable to book in advance to secure the best views and amenities. Additionally, maps and schedules are provided to help you navigate the event with ease.

Travel Tips

Maximise your experience at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials with these practical Stamford visitor tips. Wear comfortable footwear and be prepared for varying weather conditions. Arrive early to beat the crowds and explore the entire venue at a leisurely pace. Finally, take advantage of local transport options, such as shuttle buses, to avoid parking stress and fully immerse yourself in Stamford’s premier entertainment event.

8. Visit Stamford’s Museums

For those passionate about Stamford’s cultural heritage, a visit to Stamford museums offers a wealth of knowledge and insights into the town’s fascinating history and artistic contributions. These institutions not only serve as key educational resources but also house remarkable historical exhibits, showcasing the area’s rich past and cultural evolution.

The museums provide immersive experiences, displaying collections that narrate the broader context of Stamford’s place in history. From ancient artefacts to contemporary art, these exhibits provide a comprehensive understanding that enriches Stamford education for both locals and visitors alike. Engaging with these displays allows individuals to appreciate the intricate tapestry of events and influences that have shaped Stamford over the centuries.

Exploring the historical exhibits in Stamford reveals everything from the town’s medieval roots to its rise as a key trading hub. Each gallery and exhibit is meticulously curated to offer a memorable educational journey through time, making the museums an indispensable part of the Stamford experience.

9. Explore the Stamford High Street

The iconic Stamford High Street stands out as a vibrant hub for both residents and visitors. Renowned for its blend of historic charm and modern amenities, it offers shopping enthusiasts and food connoisseurs an unparalleled experience. The bustling environment is a testament to the town’s thriving community spirit.

Shopping and Dining

Dubbed one of the best high streets in the UK, Stamford High Street is a shopper’s paradise. With an array of independent boutiques, well-known retailers, and unique shops, there’s something for everyone. Beyond shopping, the high street boasts an impressive selection of eateries, making dining in Stamford a delightful experience. Whether you’re after a quick coffee, a relaxed lunch, or a gourmet dinner, the culinary options are myriad and enticing.

Street Markets

The charm of shopping in Stamford is further accentuated by its vibrant street markets. Held regularly, these markets provide a platform for local vendors to showcase their wares. From fresh produce and artisanal goods to handcrafted items, the street markets in Stamford are a treasure trove of unique finds and fresh flavours. The lively atmosphere and the variety of stalls make each visit a new adventure, perfect for both locals and tourists looking to discover the local culture.

Days Activities
Monday – Friday Shopping, Dining, Cafe Hopping
Saturday Street Markets, Special Events
Sunday Relaxed Strolls, Brunch


Stamford, a gem in the heart of England, boasts an incredible variety of activities, from serene river walks along the River Welland to exploring the magnificence of Burghley House. Every turn in this historic town unveils picturesque vistas and striking Georgian architecture, cementing its reputation for beauty and elegance. Partaking in the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials or shopping in the vibrant *high street* and markets offers something unique for every visitor.

For those seeking things to do in Stamford UK, the town’s cultural heritage and modern amenities blend seamlessly. Museum visits grant insightful glimpses into its storied past, while independent boutiques and specialty shops offer contemporary delights. The town trail, laden with historical landmarks and quaint passageways, invites visitors on a journey through time.

With an array of adventures, from outdoor explorations to rich cultural offerings, Stamford promises enriching experiences. Whether you’re enticed by the architectural splendours, captivated by the bustling local markets, or drawn to the peaceful riverside walks, Stamford’s sights are sure to leave a lasting impression. Embrace the blend of leisure, history, and modern charm that makes Stamford a top destination.


What are the top attractions to visit in Stamford?

Stamford boasts a variety of attractions including the Stamford Town Trail, Burghley House, and the bustling high street with its independent boutiques and speciality shops. The historic buildings, medieval churches, and serene walks by River Welland are also notable highlights.

Can you tell me more about the Stamford Town Trail?

The Stamford Town Trail is a self-guided journey through the market town, allowing visitors to explore historic landmarks, quaint passageways, and learn about the town’s past. For those looking for a deeper experience, guided walks are available, offering insights into Stamford’s Georgian buildings and tranquil river walks.

What makes Burghley House a must-visit location?

Burghley House is a stunning example of Elizabethan architecture with rich history. Visitors can explore its beautiful gardens, enjoy a meal at the Orangery Restaurant, and attend various events such as the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Its history and design make it an integral part of Stamford’s allure.

What shopping experiences does Stamford offer?

Stamford’s shopping scene includes independent boutiques, speciality shops, designer outlets, and vibrant market days, particularly on Fridays. Visitors can find a range of unique items from local produce to artisanal creations, making shopping an enjoyable and eventful activity.

Where are the best places to dine in Stamford?

Stamford features a variety of dining options from cosy cafes to traditional inns. Visitors can enjoy home-cooked fares and local specialities in a picturesque setting. Some of the best cafes and top traditional inns offer unique locations to soak up the town’s charm while indulging in delicious food.

What architectural sights should not be missed in Stamford?

Stamford is celebrated for its Georgian architecture, historic buildings, and over 600 listed limestone structures. Significant sights include medieval churches and famous film locations, such as settings used in the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.

Are there any scenic walks along the River Welland?

Yes, the River Welland provides a serene setting for leisurely strolls. Visitors can enjoy picturesque views, peaceful walks, and explore the diverse flora and fauna that call this habitat home.

What can I expect at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials?

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is a prestigious equestrian event drawing attendees from around the world. It combines equestrian prowess with social festivities. Visitors can find essential event information and travel tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Are there museums worth visiting in Stamford?

Stamford’s museums offer deep insights into the town’s history and cultural heritage. These institutions house historical exhibits and collections that celebrate both local and broader narratives, making them an educational and enriching experience for visitors.

What makes Stamford’s high street special?

Stamford’s high street is known for its eclectic mix of shopping and dining opportunities. It has been recognised as one of the best high streets in the UK. The vibrant street markets add to the local shopping experience, offering a wide variety of goods from artisanal products to fresh culinary delights.