THIS often-overlooked cathedral city is brimming with culture and charm.
Writer Charlotte Sweeney shares why Lincoln’s a top choice for a weekend away.
STREETS AHEAD: Charming independent boutiques, quaint tea rooms, antique emporiums, fudge parlours and welcoming cafes line Lincoln’s main streets – Steep Hill, Bailgate and the Strait.
Lincolnshire is famously very flat, but beware, Steep Hill’s name is apt – it’s the fourth-steepest street in England and climbing it is a real workout! Catch your breath at the super-friendly, family-run Bells Tea Shop, which feels like popping round to your favourite auntie’s, who happens to be Bake-Off-level talented. The afternoon tea, £14, is piled high with divine home-made scones, sandwiches and bite-size cakes – our pick was the coffee and walnut – all served on Cath Kidston crockery. They even do a great kids’ platter for a fiver.
HISTORY HIT: The whole city is steeped in history, but the awe-inspiring cathedral is unmissable. One of Europe’s finest Gothic buildings, it was the tallest man-made structure in the world in the 1300s, beating the Pyramids to the top spot and attracting crowds from far and wide.
After exploring the ornate carvings at ground level, climb to the top for stunning views across the city. Entry costs £9 for adults and £4.80 for children (Lincolncathedral.com). Nearby Lincoln Castle is another must, especially if you have kids. Don’t miss the former prison, complete with actors bringing its past to life, and the illuminated Wall Walk to grasp the scale of the castle grounds. Entry costs £14.50 for adults, £8 for children (Lincolncastle.com).
JUMP AROUND: Kids bored of traipsing around ancient buildings? Just a 10-minute drive out of town is trampoline park Jump Inc. It’s split into a trampoline zone, huge inflatables and a ninja course, suitable for children aged up to 16, but there are also dedicated sessions for little ones.
Refuel at the cafe on site with a latte, £2.50, or classic kids’ lunch of chicken nuggets and chips, plus a juice, for £6.99. Entry costs £8 per person weekdays during term time) and £10 at weekends and during school holidays (Jump-inc.uk).
GRUB’S UP: Locals’ favourite Ole Ole Tapas is set in a cute square and serves up generous portions. The chicken and seafood paella, £6.75, is huge – and moreish – and of course no tapas is complete without patatas bravas, £4.75 (Oleolelincoln.co.uk).
Indie pizzeria DoughLoco started as a venture to raise money for the NHS during lockdown, but has found a permanent home, thanks to its sourdough with great toppings, such as Italian sausage, roasted peppers and prosciutto, £9.50. They also do vegan pizzas from £8, and kids’ options from £5. And don’t miss the Kinder Bueno waffle dessert, £6.50 (Doughloco.co.uk).
WHERE THE HART IS: Smack-bang in between the ancient castle and towering cathedral, the White Hart Hotel is right in the middle of the action. Don’t worry, you can’t hear a peep from the streets outside the sanctuary of your room.
Suites are enormous, with the option of four-poster beds and incredible views of the cathedral opposite. The White Company toiletries make for a seriously special bath, and breakfast can be anything from freshly baked pastries to a classic full English. Double rooms costs from £121 B&B (Whitehart-lincoln.co.uk).
Lincoln Castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 on the site of a Roman fort, just two years after the Battle of Hastings.
Plan your trip at Visitlincoln.com.