Following day one (yesterday) exploring a little section of the rolling countryside of the Lincolnshire Wolds, by contrast, today was spent in the city of Lincoln!
Lincoln is dominated by its huge cathedral, the construction of which began in 1072. At 160 m tall, this magnificent gothic structure held the record for being the tallest building in the world for over two centuries! Before this, the record was held by the Pyramid of Giza which at 146.5 m was the tallest manmade structure for 3,800 years.
The towers and spires of Lincoln Cathedral.
A service was taking place when we first arrived however once it had finished the Right Reverend Peter Hill and newly ordained deacons appeared from the cathedral entrance and stood in front of the main door to have their photographs taken. This is my understanding – I found this information about today’s service on the Lincoln Cathedral website!
Once the service had finished, the public were allowed to enter the cathedral. There was no entrance fee although we gave a £5 donation which was easily done with a quick tap on the card machine.
As we wandered around the cathedral we came across The Airmen’s Chapel (Chapel of St Michael) which provides an important symbol of remembrance of the strong links between Lincoln Cathedral and the Royal Air Force. Three memorial books contain the names of 25,611 of the young men who gave their lives during world war 2.
There are two memorial benches, one for the 1140 Australians and one for the 90 Rhodesians who were killed during missions which began in Lincolnshire.
Situated between the cathedral and the castle is Castle Square, a vibrant place surrounded by bars, coffee shops and quaint shops.
Lincoln Castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 and was home to the original Magna Carta. You can walk around the grounds outside or free but there is a charge of £15 to enter, which includes the opportunity to walk around the castle’s mediaeval walls.
Within the castle grounds you can find the Victorian prison and Heritage Skills Centre.
As mentioned there is an abundance of cafes and coffee shops in the Cathedral Quarter of the city. Earlier in the morning we had enjoyed a special blend of Colombian coffee with a slice of chocolate and orange vegan cake in the atmospheric Pimento, Lincoln’s original vegetarian cafe.
Steep Hill, the cobbled street which connects the historical Cathedral Quarter of Lincoln with its more modern centre was originally built by the Romans.
We continued walking down the cobbles of Steep Hill until we came to another historic street called ‘The Strait’.
Just inside ‘The Strait’ is Lincoln’s oldest pub, the Cardinal’s Hat. Built in the late 1500’s the pub has a mediaeval timber-framed front. It was allegedly named after Cardinal Wolsley, Bishop of Lincoln in 1515. The pub has a large selection of craft beers, wines and gins and we enjoyed a refreshing lemon gin and tonic and some snacks!
The Fossdyke Canal is 11 miles long, runs through the centre of Lincoln and connects the River Trent and the River Witham. You can walk or cycle alongside this Roman-built canal for several miles. By now we were in the modern city of Lincoln and as such the shops and restaurants changed from quirky independents to the big names of Next, House of Fraser and Slug & Lettuce.
From Lincoln city centre we drove back to our hotel (home for the last two nights) and had afternoon tea. This was thrown in as part of a two night package which was part of an ‘experience’ that I had previously switched (long story…) Being a fairly basic ensemble of tuna sandwiches, little cakes and a cold scone washed down with tea from a teabag dunked in hot water this wasn’t an experience to remember and isn’t even worthy of a photograph.