Lincoln is a historic yet enchanting cathedral city with cobbled streets and delicious tea rooms to explore! It has been influenced by everyone from the Romans to the Normans and these influences can be seen throughout the city. I drove with a friend from Leeds to spend a rainy Sunday discovering the charm of Lincoln. It’s super cute and and full of pretty sights to snap photos of around every corner! If you’re making a visit there then make sure to check out the 7 things below that we enjoyed doing.
1. Visit Lincoln Cathedral
In 1300, Lincoln Cathedral was the tallest building in the world as it surpassed the height of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Although it may no longer hold that title, the presence of Lincoln Cathedral can be felt throughout the city as it sits at the top of Steep Hill. As you wander the streets of the city make sure to look up and you will see the tower peeping out above you.
The Cathedral was consecrated in 1092 but has seen a number of disasters which have destroyed sections of it. This has included fires, earthquakes and a storm so powerful it blew down the spire of the Central Tower!
The interior of Lincoln Cathedral is just as beautiful and detailed as the exterior of the cathedral and it’s well worth going inside. You can take a floor tour to learn more about the history of the Cathedral but we visited on a Sunday and spent time exploring by ourselves. Unfortunately for us, the roof top had not yet been opened for 2019 so we weren’t able to catch the panoramic views that you can get from the top – next time!
Top Tip: Look out for the Lincoln Imp sitting high up on top of one of the columns in the cathedral. The imp is one of the symbols of Lincoln and in fact the city’s football team is nicknamed The Red Imps. Learn more about the legend of the Lincoln Imp here.
2. Explore The Strait
The Strait joins the high street of Lincoln to the bottom of Steep Hill and it is filled with history as well as cute shops and tasty tearooms. In one cafe window there was a delicious looking Lotus Biscoff cake and an old fashioned sweet shop just across the street! As you enter The Strait, make sure to look out for the arch that welcomes you in – its design incorporates emblems that symbolise Lincoln’s history.
The most significant building on The Strait is Jew’s House which dates back to the 12th century and is one of only five Jewish houses to remain in England from the Medieval period.
3. Climb Steep Hill
To get to Lincoln Cathedral, the only route you should take is to make the short hike up Steep Hill. As the name suggests, it is incredibly steep but climbing this gorgeous cobble stoned hill and the views at the top are totally worth it! When the Romans occupied Lincoln, the hill was shown to be lined with steps.
Follow your nose to find the cheese shop and the fudge shop on your way up and at the top of Steep Hill you will find the beautiful timber building that houses the Lincoln tourist information office.
4. Roam the Castle Walls
Lincoln Castle was built in 1066 by William the Conqueror on top of what was once a Roman fortress. The Castle is home to one of only four remaining original copies of the Magna Carta, one of the most important documents in the world, showing the importance of Lincoln in England’s history. This is on display in Lincoln Castle.
Roaming the Castle Walls is the best way to photograph Lincoln Cathedral and the surrounding panoramic views. Learn about Lincoln’s history (your ticket includes an audioguide) as you walk in the footsteps of history to explore the Observatory Tower, Cobb Hall and Lucy Tower.
Whilst within the Castle Walls you can also visit the orange bricked building above which was the Victorian Prison to learn even more about Lincoln’s abundant history.
5. Discover a working windmill
From the walls of Lincoln Castle, we spotted a windmill in the distance and after we came down we decided to seek it out! A fifteen minute walk to the North West of the castle led us to Mill Road. Ellis Mill is situated on one side of Mill Road sandwiched between residential houses! It is the last remaining mill of nine that used to stand on this street and is still in use. Unfortunately it was closed for maintenance during our trip but a sign on the gate informed us that when it is spinning, you can buy ground flour – incredible!
6. Refuel at Stokes High Bridge Cafe
Stokes Tea & Coffee is a family owned tea and coffee company so what better place is there to enjoy a brew?! Continue to embrace Lincoln’s history by refueling at their High Bridge Cafe, located in a stunning Tudor building. This extraordinary structure straddles the river across Lincoln’s High Street and is the only Medieval bridge in England to still have buildings on it!
7. Search for wonky lamp posts
Visiting Lincoln was great fun as the city is full of winding streets lined by old fashioned lamp posts! For some reason a number of these seem to have become wonky and now stand at jaunty angles. We felt a childlike allure in searching these out and they do make for a cute photo!
Have you fallen for Lincoln’s charm?