Designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty in 1973, the Lincolnshire Wolds cover 560 km2 of low hills and steep valleys. Geologically the land is made up of chalk, clay, limestone and sandstone and the valleys which run through it were created by the last ice age. They compose the highest area of land in eastern England and are important not least for the grasslands and abandoned chalk pits which provide a key habitat for rare flowers and insects.
The chalk streams of Lincolnshire Wolds are important habitats for a huge range of plants and animal life, including otters, water voles and fish such as grayling, dace, chub and. You may even see the curiously named whirligig beetle, a locally important species.
The chalk grasslands protect nationally scarce plants such as the fine-leaved sandwort and locally scarce southern and early marsh orchids. Also important is the purple milk vetch, more usually found on the limestone grasslands further west in the county.
The area is still to this day sparsely settled and is not a major tourist attraction, although efforts to promote green tourism are increasingly being promoted.
Walkers can sample the delights of the Lincolnshire stretch of the Viking Way. This is a 235 km (147 mi) long distance footpath which winds its way through Lincolnshire. The Lindsey Loop is a 155 km (~96 mi) walk which links the major market towns around the AONB.
The market towns of Horncastle and Louth, both close to the heart of the AONB, have good road links from both the Midlands and the North of England.