If you’ve not yet been to Lincoln, I can assure you that you are well and truly missing out.
I moved to Lincoln in 2002 and, despite living in York for almost as long, I consider it to be my family home; where I am ‘from’.
Not many people have heard of Lincoln and even fewer have actually been there. It’s a charming city in the East Midlands steeped in history. You can’t help but notice both the medieval castle and cathedral which dominate the skyline. Lincoln Cathedral was once the tallest building in the world surpassing the Great Pyramid of Giza at 525 feet.
Lincoln Castle, dating back to the late 11th century, has recently been renovated with the grounds being free to wander most days. If you’re interested in English history, the castle holds one of only four surviving copies of the Magna Carta. It is definitely worth paying £13.50 to walk the entirety of the castle walls (which comes with an incredible view over the cathedral and Lincoln itself), see inside the old Victorian Prison and the Magna Carta itself.
In my opinion, the city keeps on improving year on year. Every time I go back there seems to be somewhere new to try. There are works currently underway to build a new transport hub which will regenerate aspects of the city centre and will include new restaurants and shops.
Lincoln also has the country’s best street; Steep Hill. You’ll have guessed from the name that this street is not going to be for the faint hearted. It’s certainly not to be missed as its full of independent shops, pubs and restaurants.
I’d recommend having a drink at the Cardinal’s Hat and the Strait & Narrow before attempting the ‘climb’ upwards. The Cardinal’s Hat itself is relatively new but it’s décor is anything but. With its half-timbered structure, you’d be fooled into thinking you’d travelled back to the Tudor period. Inside, there’s a sophisticated feel with leather chairs, copper styling and even a hidden room behind a bookcase. If you like your beers unconventional, Strait & Narrow is the place to go. With over 120 beers from Belgium to Austria, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
To celebrate the success of reaching the Uphill section of Lincoln, it would be rude not to treat yourself with, quite possibly, the best tapas outside of Spain at Olivares. On a warm summer’s evening, I can imagine little better than sitting in the historic castle square with lovely food and a cold beer. Even if the weather isn’t on form, the atmosphere inside feels authentically Spanish and is an experience in itself. I’d highly recommend the goats cheese gratin topped with caramelised onions and nuts as well as the spicy chorizo cooked in cider apple sauce.
If you’re in the mood for a nightcap then make your way across the castle square to the White Hart Hotel. Here you’ll find classy cocktails; the French Martini is my personal favourite.
I’ve only covered this beautiful city I call home briefly but it really should be the next place you visit. I promise you will not be disappointed.
If you would like any tips or personalised recommendations, please leave a comment below or email me.