Escape To….Lincoln

Abraham, Nebraska, the dude from Prison Break.  All fine Lincolns.

But none as fine as our very own one. Behold Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England.

The cathedral towers above Castle Square

A city bursting with history, Lincoln can be traced back to the 1st century BC – the name Lincoln is thought to be taken from Iron Age Celtic ‘Lindon’, meaning pool.  It’s centered around Brayford Pool (probably where the name came from), where the University now lives, and the River Witham runs through the centre.

Through the ages many people have come and gone, including the Romans (some Roman arches still stand in the Bailgate area) and Normans – William the Conqueror built Lincoln Castle, which houses one of the only four remaining copies of the Magna Carta in the country.

One thing you’ll never miss on a trip to the city though, is Lincoln Cathedral.  Perched at the top of the Steep Hill (more on that later), it can be seen for miles around and has even doubled up as Westminster Abbey in the film The Da Vinci Code.

Entry to the Cathedral is £5 adults/£3.75 concession, and once you’re inside you must go and hunt for the Lincoln Imp (not to be confused with the Lincoln Imp pub on one of Lincoln’s council estates).

The top half of the Steep Hill

Both the castle and cathedral are at the bottom end of an uphill area of the city called the Bailgate.  An historic area of the city, it’s full of small independent shops and boutiques, as well as some lovely pubs and restaurants.  Gino’s, an Italian, is one of Lincoln’s most well thought of places to eat; there’s also the Ice Cream Parlour just off Castle Square, which sells homemade Lincolnshire ice cream – and needless to say, is very popular in the summer.

Shopping

Move away from the Bailgate, and you hit The Steep Hill on your way down into the city.  It’s not called Steep for nothing – going down is almost as difficult as going up because of the incline – but there’s a handrail to aid you, should you need it.

The Steep Hill is also home to more boutiques and historic restaurants.  The Wig & Mitre pub and Brown’s Pie Shop, are two of Lincoln’s long-standing favourites, and definitely worth a visit.  Further down is Reader’s Rest, a second hand book shop conveniently situated midway on the hill.

The Wig & Mitre and Brown's Pie Shop

LondonLovelies is a fan of vintage shops, and there’s no better place to go in Lincoln than Tasty Vintage, situated at the bottom of the hill.  But you don’t have to be in Lincoln to see it’s wares; you can check out their website for vintage clothing and accessories.

Just past the vintage shop is the Jews House restaurant and Jews Court, built on the site of a medieval synagogue.

A Night on the Town

The town centre has become a much more vibrant place to go out since the arrival of Lincoln University just over ten years ago.  Although much has changed over the years, currently there’s Ritzy/Pulse/Jumpin Jaks on Silver Street, and Sakura and Walkabout on the High Street.  Along the Brayford Waterfront, there are tons of restaurants and bars including a Scream bar which has a club upstairs.

Other places of interest

The Usher Gallery is located on Lindum Hill (with free entry), and if museums are your thing, the Lincolnshire Life Museum on Burton Road might be of interest.

The Cathedral by Night

Further afield, Market Rasen – the town that was the epicentre of an earthquake a few years ago – has a racecourse which is worth a visit for a fun day out.

In the summer, the Castle hosts concerts in the grounds.  Previous shows have included Jools Holland and Liberty X.

December sees the internationally famous Lincoln Christmas Market, which snakes through Castle Square, the Castle grounds and the Cathedral.

Getting There

Lincoln is about 2.5 hours on the train, and is served by East Coast trains, changing at Newark for the East Midlands service.

In the car, it’s about 3 hours from London, depending on traffic!

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Filed under Food & Drink, Markets, Travel

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