Did you know that back in the 12th century, Lincoln Minster was the tallest building in the world? You can take your Empire State, your Sears Tower and your Burj Khalifa at 828 metres high, nearly a century ago it was the 160 metre tall central spire of Lincoln’s most reverend of buildings that was the talk of the back pages. Wherever you are in the city centre, the Minster is always looking down on you. Not that it should worry you – Lincoln today has the perfect mix of historic charm and modern sophistication. Don’t come here expecting something out of the ordinary to do, but do come here if you want some excellent food, great places to drink and don’t want to break the bank.
First, the downside. Lincoln is a pain to get to if you are coming by train. You need to go to either Newark Northgate or Nottingham mainline stations and then jump on a 1 (or 2 if you are lucky) carriage train that winds its way through the flat countryside. Driving is a bit easier with the dual carriageway A46 linking the A1 and M1 with the centre of the city.
Start off your Saturday afternoon with some excellent Tapas in the shadow of the castle at Olé Olé in Bailgate before diverting into Lincoln Castle then heading down Steep Hill (a very apt name) into the main part of the city. The huge investment into the University of Lincoln has led to redevelopment and regeneration of a number of areas including the Brayford Pool area in the city centre where bars such as The Rogue Saint in Mint Street, Dexters Alehouse and Revolution. On the pedestrian street on the way up to the castle the two best bars in the city can be found – The Cardinals Hat and The Strait and Narrow which has over 20 beer-based cocktails should you want something a bit different.
If The Imps (Lincoln City) are at home then head straight down the High Street to Sincil Bank and continue for 15 minutes and catch some of the Non-League action from £18. Alternatively, Market Rasen race course is around 30 minutes away and is well worth an afternoon.
When the sun goes down start your evening off with a Ghost Tour around the Cathedral’s narrow lanes before enjoying a decent meal at Browns Pie Shop on Steep Hill then heading down to the High Street bars. Need a bed for the night? The Old Bakery is an excellent B & B in a great location (Burton Street) that also doubles up as a restaurant and a Deli. Bar the major chains such as the Holiday Inn and Premier Inn another good bet is the historic Castle Inn Hotel on Westgate.
On the first Thursday of December until the following Sunday, the Bailgate area of the city holds its annual Christmas Market in and around the Castle grounds. The market is based upon the traditional German-style Christmas market and brings in people from hundreds of miles around.