Woodhall Spa to appear on TV in bid to become Britain’s best village

Woodhall Spa.
Woodhall Spa.

Residents of Woodhall Spa might spot something familiar if they turn on their televisions on Friday afternoon.

Woodhall is set to feature in a Channel 4 programme designed to find Britain’s best village.

Leafy Woodhall has already seen off strong competition, just to land a place in the show.

The programme is broadcast every weekday afternoon - and Friday is Woodhall’s big day.

It will go up against three rival villages for a place in the next round.

Presenter - famous actress Penelope Keith - has scoured the length and breadth of Britain to find contenders for the best village title.

Apparently, filming took place in Woodhall Spa late last year and Ms Keith was impressed with the village.

Janet Hunt, who runs the unique Janet’s Tea Room, was one of the businesses Ms Keith and the film crew visited.

Mrs Hunt said: “They were here for ages. We had to close early and keep them supplied with drinks and cakes.

“They seemed to enjoy it and Penelope Keith was very pleasant and was very interested in all the displays we have.

“She asked all sorts of questions.”

The Tea Room is renowned for its links with the famous 617 Dambusters Squadron.

Mrs Hunt, who has run the business for 19 years, has collected lots of memorabilia - many of the items ‘donated’ by squadron veterans.

A regular visitor is George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, the last surviving British Dambuster who was born near Horncastle but who now lives in the Bristol area.

Mrs Hunt says the Channel 4 crew visited other businesses and locations in Woodhall, including the Dambusters Memorial in Royal Square.

She says she hopes Woodhall will impress judges enough to at least get through to the next round of the competition.

Mrs Hunt added: “It is a wonderful village with a lot to offer although you do worry about all the house building going on.

“No-one wants to see the village spoiled.”

And will Mrs Hunt be switching on herself? “Probably...” she added, “but it depends on how busy we are.”

Ms Keith will preside over the heats, semi-finals and final, with a panel of expert judges deciding which villages will progress through the rounds before revealing their winner.

Their decision will be based on the following criteria: Appearance;, History & Heritage; Village Events, Activities and Visitor Experience.

They will award their chosen village with the accolade of ‘Village of the Year’ and £10,000 to be used for a worthwhile community project.