Visit the home of John Clare
John Clare is often considered to be one of the most important 19th-century poets. He was born in the village of Helpston in 1793 and lived next door to The Bluebell Inn until 1832.
John Clare’s Cottage
Following his death in 1864, the landlord divided the cottage John Clare had once lived in into four. The cottage is open to the public and they often host a variety of events. Find out more here. http://www.clarecottage.org/
John Clare knew this as “Bachelors Hall”, home of the Billings brothers, James and John. They shared an interest in books and together they spent many evenings singing, drinking
and telling ghost stories.
Exeter Arms Public House
This was once the village courthouse. Bullock fairs were also once hosted in the yard. After John Clare’s death, his body was brought back from Northampton and stored here overnight before his burial. This is now a private residence.
St. Botolph’s Church
The beautiful church in the heart of Helpston and the final resting place of John Clare. "Flower cushions" are placed around his grave every year during the John Clare festival organised by The John Clare Society. Further information here
Swaddywell Pit Nature Reserve
A nature lover’s dream. In Roman times, this nature reserve was a lime-stone quarry. There’s open water, reed beds, scrub and grassland, providing food and shelter for a variety of birds, insects and other wildlife. During spring and summer, the reserve comes alive with dragonflies, newts, pyramidal flowers and bee orchids.
Helpston Garden Centre
A must when visiting Helpston, delightful garden centre in West Street with a hugh range of plants, shrubs and ornamental trees. Website
There are numerous walks visitor to Helpston may take. At the Bluebell, we often organise group walks followed by refreshments. Keep an eye on our events page and be sure to sign up to our newsletter here to keep up to date.
Last, but by no means least, come and visit the Bluebell. We have fine food and drink, a great atmosphere and there will be a warm welcome waiting for you as you enter.
Stay at The Bluebell
Dine at The Bluebell