I haven’t been to Lincoln since I was 15 so was really looking forward to this trip. From Fulbeck we took the A607 and passed through several pretty villages; Leadenham, Welbourn, Navenby, Boothby Graffoe… On arriving in Lincoln we managed to drive onto a pedestrian only area (it wasn’t obvious!) We then found an NCP car park close to the city centre and by the river to park in.
Now this was expensive – £7.80 for up to 4 hours (no option for 3 hours). But if we’d parked any further out I think it would probably have been too far to walk. If anyone knows of a better and cheaper place to park please feel free to share!
Anyway we found our way to the shopping area by walking through an alleyway between 2 very old buildings. There were many such buildings to admire, but after a spot of lunch we headed for the cathedral, which dominates the skyline and a very impressive sight it is too.
Before making it to the cathedral itself though we had to negotiate Steep Hill, which is very well named 🙂 (Look at the angle of that building on the left…)
This is a charming mediaeval street, approx. 1/4 mile long, with numerous tea shops & pubs along the way, as well as a good number of benches to rest upon! I’m proud to announce that I walked straight up with stops only to take pictures 🙂 I didn’t even need to use the handrail on the steepest part of the hill!
At the top of the hill is the Tourist Information centre in a wonderful old building, that used to be a bank, where they were extremely busy and extremely helpful – definitely worth a little visit if you’re new to the city.
We walked to the right of Steep Hill and our first proper view of the magnificent cathedral was through a wonderful gateway.
Once the tallest building in the world it is now the 3rd largest cathedral in Britain, after St Paul’s and York Minster.
Unfortunately, as with many cathedrals these days, there is a punitive admission charge of £8 + additional charges for the tower and rooftop tours. However, it is much better value if you purchase a joint ticket to visit the castle at the same time.
What with these charges, a limit on our time and the fact that there was a graduation ceremony being conducted that afternoon in the cathedral, we decided to leave our visit for another day. This will occur at some point in the future on a Sunday as I discovered that there is no entrance fee on Sundays, and the rooftop tours still run (I would fully expect to pay for this tour).
So we walked around the perimeter of the cathedral and also tried to visit the Mediaeval Bishop’s Palace opposite (English Heritage – closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Guess what day we visited…..?!)
We had about 1 1/2 hours left on our parking ticket so decided we had time to take in the castle. There were 3 options for tickets, taking in the Wall Walk, the Victorian Prison and the Magna Carta. With time short we opted for just the Mediaeval Wall Walk at £6 each, which turned out to be really good value.
I was already impressed by the location of the toilets, but had to stop my exploration of the site of the gents up some stone stairs when a gent came down said stairs. I thought it might look a little dodgy if I carried on!!
The wall walk also takes in parts of the dungeons where prisoners were held in days gone by before being taken to the gallows, and spiral stairs up to the top of towers. There are a fair number of steps, some of them quite steep, so even though there is a lift to take you up to the wall itself (we walked) it could still be quite a challenging walk for some people.
It was very interesting with a free audio guide included which really brought the history to life. It’s also a fair walk!
In the grounds of the castle there is the old Victorian Prison and also a magnificent building that is still in full time use today as the County Court.
All in all we had a lovely day topped off by meeting up with cousin Jude for dinner, and joining her for a short while at her handbell practice in the old schoolhall (for which we had made her late. As she had the key everyone was waiting for her!)
We moved on to the Lincolnshire coast the following day – look out for posts regarding the wonderful beaches and Woodhall Spa with it’s Kinema in the Woods 🙂