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  • Boston - Population: 26,600 The bustling market town of Boston has impressive global links which stretch right across the world.
    Situated on the banks of the River Witham on the south coast of Lincolnshire, it has strong ties with Boston, Massachussets, and Botany Bay, Australia. The town is probably best known through the people who emigrated from this country to the New World, starting with the Pilgrim Fathers in the 1600s, and later by John Cotton, the vicar of both Boston, England, and Boston, USA.
    Links with Botany Bay come from Sir Joseph Banks, former Recorder of Boston and father of the Commonwealth of Australia, who took part in a voyage on HMS Endeavour with Captain James Cook.
    In 1770 the expedition headed to the then undiscovered coast of East Australia, rich with hundreds of species of plant - resulting in the name Botany Bay. The church of St Botolph in the Market Place was named after the Anglo-Saxon monk-saint, who was reputed to have established a monastery and given the town the name of Botolfston.
    The lack of a spire earned the tower of the church the affectionate nickname of the Stump, and at 272ft is the tallest parish church in England. The town of Boston is rich in history but is also home to a thriving port that, at one time, was the busiest harbour in England. The Port of Boston handles 1.3 million tonnes of cargo per year with more than 750 ships, and future improvements include a multi-million pound investment to widen the existing lock.
    Along with the port, distribution, manufacturing and the service industry are the major employers. Open-air markets operate every Wednesday and Saturday selling everything from bicycles to groceries, and attract shoppers from all over the East Midlands.
    Boston is also home to one of the finest Georgian buildings in Britain. Fydell House was bought by Joseph Fydell in 1726, the head of a prominent Boston family which later found fame as vintners. Other well-preserved buildings worth visiting in the town are the Assembly Rooms - a Georgian public building still used for social gatherings - and Maud Foster Mill, the tallest windmill in the UK.
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