A short, hot visit to Lincoln

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I hardly had time to draw breath after my break at the beginning of July. The first day back I had to drive over to east Lincolnshire as I was delivering some training Tuesday and Wednesday. I then had to drive over to Coventry on Wednesday afternoon, where I was staying overnight before a breakfast meeting the next day. No rest for the wicked as they say!

I set off early afternoon on the hottest day of the year so far (32 C). It’s not a great drive, M61, M60, M62 then a long run down the A1 which was only two lanes for most of the way. I had to cut across country past Lincoln and as I had never visited this historic city decided to stop for a couple of hours to look round. The core of the old city is on the top of a hill, but I managed to find a space on the car park on Westgate, avoiding the need for a steep climb in the sweltering heat.

A short walk and I was in the main square at the top of Castle Hill facing the Tourist Office which is located on the ground floor of this rather grand, well restored 16th century townhouse

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and facing the castle entrance

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and the cathedral

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The streets around the centre, many of them climbing up steeply to the top of the hill, are lined with old buildings – build from the Medieval through to the Georgian period. Most are converted into shops and places to eat and drink to serve the visitors from across the world (including Wigan!).

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The castle was originally built by the Normans after the conquest, occupying the site of a pre-existing Roman fortress. There’s a complete circuit of walls on which, for a fee,  visitors can promenade. Access to the main area within the walls, where there is a large, pleasant lawn, is free, though.

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It was late in the day, though and I had to make a choice between walking round he walls in the harsh sunlight or to have a look round inside the massive Gothic cathedral. So after exploring the castle grounds I decided to tour the cathedral. 

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It’s a massive Gothic structure with some Norman features, particularly the main west entrance. There are three massive towers. Two at the front behind the entrance screen, and a central tower (the largest of the three). At one time these towers were surmounted with steeples and the cathedral was reputably the tallest building in the known world for a time in the Middle Ages

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Given the limited time I had, I only got a taste of the city. You could certainly fill a couple of days looking around, exploring and visiting the sights. I guess I’ll have to go back one day. It’s a pity it’s such a pain of a journey!

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15 thoughts on “A short, hot visit to Lincoln

  1. I love to visit Lincoln, but you are so right about it being a pain to get to, but worth it. Glad to see the walls are open again, they were working on them the last time we went……need to re visit 🙂

    • The trouble with travel in the UK is that everything is London centric. I can get to London on the train in a couple of hours but travelling east from the north west is not easy. At the moment I’m on a toytown train from Crewe travelling to Derby for a meeting. From Wigan, a 90 mile journey that takes over 2 hours, including 1 1/2 hours on a cramped, uncomfortable one carriage antique. Getting to Lincoln by public transport would take over 4 hours.

  2. Lovely to re-visit Lincoln through your photos. It was the stopping point between Norwich and Hull back in the early 1970s. In those days the final part of the journey was by Humber Ferry. If we were lucky. If not, it was left turn about 3 miles from the river and a longer drive via Scunthorpe and Hessle.

  3. For a short time in the 80s we lived in Nottinghamshire and Lincoln was a favoured place to visit. We stayed overnight once to go to the Mystery Plays which were outdoors – even though it was summer the wind howled through that square and I required an emergency blanket from the Red Cross! So Lincoln wasn’t hot for me.

  4. We travel to Lincoln from Lancashire from time to time (I was born there and my parents live nearby). Next time try: M61, M60, M62, M18, M180, A15. Better bet than the A1 I think. The Bishop’s Palace is well worth a look. And the Collection Museum and Usher Gallery. Also the Roman Walls and various Gates.

    • Thanks for the advice. It’s an attractive city and I’d like to go back for a proper look round. Your route does sound much better. The A1 isn’t fun!

      • The M180 is usually very quiet and the A15 is arrow straight (a Roman Road no doubt) and OK if you don’t get stuck behind a tractor, although some of the overtaking is absolutely lunatic.

      • Aye. The problem with A roads out in the country. The locals can drive like maniacs as they know the best places to pass – or perphaps not and they’re just maniacs!

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