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I am sure Stamford is in Rutland – its heart and soul at least, if not its postcode!  It is much too beautiful a town to belong to Lincolnshire, and it is only a few yards over the Rutland county boundary.  Don’t get me wrong, Oakham and Uppingham are wonderful little towns, but Stamford is just a bit special.

This afternoon Stamford was full of locals and visitors and the Town Meadows beside the River Welland were bright with families, children and dogs all having fun and relaxing in the sun.  I can recommend the long-stay car park between the Town Meadows and the George Hotel: it feels further away from the centre of town, but you’re going to want to walk up or down St Mary’s Hill at some point during your visit, and by the river, so if you go up one way, and return the other, taking in Red Lion Square, Broad Street and St Mary’s Street, you’ll be about right.

Top marks (and thanks) to Robert Loomes & Co Watchmakers on St Mary’s Hill for their expert attention to my beloved watch, to Tukata Bird’s wonderful Thai food stall in Red Lion Square and to St Martins Antiques Centre.  Last but not least, hoorah for the ice cream van by the Town Meadows, who was doing a roaring trade in the sun.  There’s nothing quite like the consistency and creamy taste of a 99 out of the ‘Mr Whippy’ machine: pure nostalgia!

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