Top tips for a memorable weekend in Lincoln, UK

800 years ago, pilgrims travelling to Lincoln would have been able to see the distant tower of the cathedral long before they reached their destination. And today that splendid building can still be seen from afar. Visitors arriving by car will quickly find themselves down by the River Witham where there are modern developments and an extensive waterfront providing a pleasant walk with lots of open air bars and cafes where you can sit and watch the traffic and wildlife on the river.

However it is the old part of the town that provides the real interest. Climbing the steep hill there are a myriad of shops selling antique books and maps alongside specialist butchers and much more. Call in at Signature of Lincoln for the biggest selection of bags and wallets this side of Venice.

Lincoln

Reaching the top of the hill turn to the castle; a magnificent building dating back to 1068 and the subject of a recent £22m restoration completed in time for the celebration of Magna Carta. It is here that one of the best preserved copies of the document, written on a single piece of sheepskin, is kept.

The top attraction though is the cathedral. An incredible building, its sheer size is mind blowing; this was once the tallest building in the world surpassing the Great Pyramid at Giza. However it is not just the height that impresses but also the interior space capable of seating 4,000 people. The first cathedral was started in 1092 but a series of accidents followed. Nevertheless the bulk of the present building predates the fourteenth century. Apart from worship, the building is used for a variety of events. Visitors can join the tours of the cathedral and the hospitality extends to the refectory where Lincolnshire home-cooked fare is offered.

Lincoln Cathedral interior

Just two miles from the city centre lies the magnificent Washingborough Hall, known locally as “Washy Hall”. This former home of the rector of the nearby church is now a charming hotel retaining many of its Georgian features. The frontage faces westwards across extensive lawns that are available for croquet or bowls.

Washy Hall

Washy Hall room

Inside the architecture of the period is emphasised by the lovely wide doorways and shallow staircases. Downstairs there are spacious lounges and a dining room that serves fine British cooking with many of the dishes using locally sourced ingredients. We tasted the breast of wood pigeon with kale and white pudding, bubble & squeak with Cumberland sauce, twice baked Kidderton Ash goats cheese soufflé, and the rack of Lincolnshire lamb with a mint pesto. All the dishes showed a level of skill found in only a few restaurants. A light lunch in the lounge was a welcome break in the middle of the day. Staff throughout are warm and efficient under the guidance of hands on proprietor Lucy Herring. The new extension follows the style of the original building and provides facilities for functions of up to 150 guests.

Starter 2

Lamb dish

Dessert

Back in town the Castle Hotel is the place to stay. Being right in the heart of the centre it is convenient for the main attractions.

Castle Hotel

The modern entrance hall acts as reception and bar; an attractive area to have a pre-dinner drink or to meet friends. Matt and the other staff offer a friendly and efficient service. The dining room is popular with visitors and locals and serves food that is interesting and well-cooked. The clam and orzo vongole, beetroot marinated mackerel were good but the braised pork shoulder with seared scallops, parsley mash and rainbow carrots was out of this world.

Castle Hotel starter

Castle Hotel pork shoulder and scallops

Castle Hotel dessert

Breakfast included some more unusual dishes alongside the standards. There are 18 rooms in the hotel that are finished to a high standard but for a real treat try the cottage adjacent to the hotel. Fully equipped for self-catering, it has its own parking space right outside the front door!

Castle Hotel cottage

If you have the opportunity, for dinner on a third night try The Bronze Pig in the old town – an amazing restaurant with a brilliant chef and charming front of house team.

Bronze Pig starter

Bronze Pig main

Bronze Pig dessert

Disclosure: Our trip was sponsored by Visit Lincoln.

Comments (3)

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  1. Abdullah says:

    Cathedral is next to old bishops palace which is also worth visiting, if you visit also check out Lincoln castle … Great Medivial age buildings…

  2. This is an intriguing article. We are visiting the U.K. for our first overseas trip in late August and I am still searching for ideas of places to add to our itinerary. This is a beautiful cathedral and the town looks interesting as well. I have never heard of it, but thanks to your article I will be doing research to see if we can incorporate it into our visit. The food look great too.

  3. Cate Banfield says:

    LOVE Lincoln!!
    Have visited many times and got married this past summer at Washingborough Hall having fallen in love with this charming village years ago. Lincoln is a total hidden gem, a beautiful historical town full of fabulous pubs, shops, twisty cobblestone streets all leading to the castle and cathedral. It’s a must see!!

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