Horncastle sits at the crossroads of two of Lincolnshire’s major roads: the east-west A158, joining the county town of Lincoln with the resort of Skegness on the Lincolnshire coast, and the north-south A153 joining Louth with Sleaford and Grantham in the south. These meet at the Bull Ring in central Horncastle.
The A158 through Horncastle becomes busy in the summer holidays with Skegness holidaymakers. To alleviate traffic pressure in the town centre a relief road, Jubilee Way, was built in the 1970s. Minor roads run from Horncastle to Bardney, Boston (via Revesby), Fulletby and Woodhall Spa.
Horncastle is a hub for the InterConnect rural bus service. Regular services run to Lincoln, Skegness and across the Wolds. The Viking Way long-distance footpath passes through the town.
The Great Northern Railway’s Lincoln–Boston line ran through Kirkstead, 8 miles (12.9 km) from Horncastle, and a branch line from Kirkstead (later Woodhall Junction) through Woodhall Spa to Horncastle opened on 11 August 1855. The last passenger service ran in 1954, with complete closure to goods traffic in 1971. Horncastle railway station was demolished in the 1980s and replaced by housing. The nearest railway station now is Metheringham on the Peterborough to Lincoln Line. The Horncastle Branch ran from Woodhall Junction to Horncastle, and is now part of the Viking Way footpath.
South Basin of the Horncastle Canal, Horncastle, Horncastle Canal, based on the River Bain, was begun in 1792 and opened in 1802. In 2004 it was suggested that the Horncastle Canal (originally opened in 1802) be renovated with the help of private capital and promoted as a route for pleasure craft, as has been done successfully in other areas. A local kick-start programme raised money for the project.
Horncastle Primary School is situated at Bowl Alley Lane.
Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School was founded in 1571, and is among the top schools in Lincolnshire; it has at times been one of the top schools in the country. Its tennis, hockey, netball and cricket teams compete regionally, and the tennis team was a regional winner in the 2005 British Schools Tennis Championships. Queen Elizabeth’s is a specialist Science College and Language College. Its Design and Technology department recently entered two teams in the National 4X4 for Schools engineering competition, one of which came first nationally in its age group, while the other came second nationally overall.
The Banovallum School is a non-selective community school serving Horncastle and surrounding villages; it forms a science specialist school jointly with Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School. The most recent Ofsted inspection, in 2019, judged the school to be overall Grade 2 (good). It had a building added with facilities for cookery, woodwork, metalwork, art and music in 2010
St Lawrence School is a special-needs school with a county-wide intake. It comprises the Lincolnshire Wolds Federation with St Bernard’s School, Louth.
Horncastle College was a “lifelong-learning” adult education college that runs short and residential courses in I.T., art, languages and local history. It has now been replaced by Fortuna Horncastle Business Centre.