Set close to the heart of the East Midlands in the UK, Lincoln is a historic city oozing quintessential English charm, with winding, charming streets, independent stores, cozy pubs and a magnificent cathedral which impressively dominates the landscape. A compact region encompassed by idyllic rural countryside, Lincoln is a fascinating place to traverse and explore whilst on a trip to the UK. From quaint cafés to commanding castles, here’s the 10 best things to do and see in the area.
Lincoln Catherdral of St. Mary
The stunning Lincoln Cathedral of St. Mary is a profound place of worship which stood as the tallest building in the world for 238 years. Still the third largest cathedral in the UK in terms of floor space, the structure is widely regarded as one of the most treasured examples of Gothic architecture in the British Isles. Despite its large size both the interior and exterior are filled top-to-bottom with tiny and intricate details, including captivating rose windows and wooden trusses. The cathedral is the setting for many mystical myths and legends, including the story of the Lincoln imp, a creature turned to stone by an angel as a consequence for attempting to cause havoc within the building. His mischievous image can be seen throughout the site.
Named ‘Britain’s Best Street’ and ‘Britain’s Best Place’ by the Academy of Urbanism in 2011, Steep Hill in an iconic Lincoln Landmark located in the heart of the city. A sloping hillside housing a variety of stores, the sharp gradient of the hill provides a uniquely steep setting in which to do some leisurely shopping. This area offers a great selection of food and drink spots, exclusive and vintage clothing places, old bookstores and other speciality shops, and many of the boutiques are housed in the oldest buildings in the city.
This major historic site was constructed over a Roman fortress by William the Conqueror during the late 11th century, and is an enthralling piece of historic architecture which has acted as a symbol of power and punishment in England throughout the ages. Lincoln Castle is also a home to one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta, and it is possible to read the charter and learn about the history of the document in a 210 degree cinema room here. Visitors can also participate in activities and exhibits such as the ‘medieval wall walk’ and the ‘victorian prison visit’ to really bring history to life inside the castle walls.
This iconic red-brick castle was constructed in the 1400s by Ralph Cromwell, the Lord Treasurer of England at the time, as a symbol of prosperity and supremacy. The building is brimming with exquisite fireplaces and majestic stained-glass windows, and the top of the structure offers unrivalled views of the mesmerizing Lincolnshire countryside. Visitors can further immerse themselves in the deep history of the six-floored castle by listening to the free audio guide available, and it’s worth checking online for family-friendly events which occur throughout the year.
Stokes Bridge Café
Stokes Bridge Café is located in arguably the most enchanting building in Lincoln, an elegant Tudor cottage which is set on the only Medieval bridge in England to still have houses set on it. The Café offers excellent value for money, and guests can choose between over 30 options of loose-leaf tea as well as an array of cakes, pastries and sandwiches. Cozy narrow walkways and old-fashioned windows are in abundance here, and only add to the charming, historical and atmospheric setting.
The urban regeneration of the early 1990’s saw the construction of the cosmopolitan natural lake of Brayford Pool in Lincoln. Always bustling with activity, the local university occupies much of the lakefront, and numerous bars, restaurants and cinemas dot the area and provide top-quality entertainment for the countless guests visiting every day. Anglers and kayakers make frequent use of the pool’s idyllic setting, and numerous houseboats utilize the calm water as a marina. Ideal for long strolls, a walk by Brayford Pool may acquaint you with a number of large, majestic swans who are often seen gliding along the water’s edge.
Usher gallery / The Collection
Deep in the heart of historic Lincoln, The Usher Gallery, a leading center for art, and The Collection, an award-winning archaeological museum, lie side by side and provide an array of engaging and educational exhibits, programs and festivals. Both spaces are ideal places for visitors to indulge their curiosities surrounding art and history, and showcase arresting artwork, sculptures, photography and much more. Diverse classes and debates are often held incorporating topical issues, and fun festivals here celebrate music, art and dance. These establishments also have a range of features including flat surfaces and lifts to ensure the attractions are accessible for everyone.
Hartsholme Country Park
Providing a natural escape in the center of the city, Hartsholme Country Park is a beautiful outdoor space located just south of Lincoln. Enjoy the vibrant autumn colors of the trees here during the fall, and make use of the wealth of opportunities for wildlife watching. On the first Sunday of each month the RSPB holds free guided walks of the park and provides an array of useful tips for successful bird watching. Beautiful lakes and attractive grounds also make Hartsholme Country Park the perfect location for long walks and cycling trips.
By Chris Agathangelou
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