The town is best known as the birthplace of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and the place where Isaac Newton went to school, at The King's School. Grantham is also notable for having the first female police officers in the United Kingdom, and for producing the first running diesel engine in 1892 along with the UK's first tractor in 1896. The town is also known for Grantham Gingerbread biscuits. Historically the town's economy was based upon engineering and manufacturing, and this continues today with its diverse range of manufactured products including textiles, food, timber and plastics. The 281ft high spire of St.Wulfram's Church is the town’s dominating feature on its landscape.
Two notable schools in the district are Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School and The King's Grammar School. Both have large sixth forms and eminent past students. Britain's first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, attended Kesteven and Grantham, and Isaac Newton famously attended The King's. Both schools achieve high examination results. Grantham College, a further education college for the district, opened in 1948. The town also provides secondary education at The Priory Ruskin Academy, Walton Girls High School as well as the West Grantham Academy St Hughes. The area also boasts a plethora of primary schools.
The London to Edinburgh East Coast Main Line railway runs through the town, with London King’s Cross being a journey time of approximately 75 minutes. The A1 main north-south road runs alongside the town and the A52, taking traffic west and east also cuts through the town. Grantham is about 26 miles (42 km) south of the city of Lincoln, and about 24 miles (39 km) east of the city of Nottingham.