The capital of Lincolnshire County, Lincoln, is an English city of Celtic origin to which you will be grateful for having dedicated at least one day. Not being the typical destination for which one would move on purpose, if you are making a route through the center or northeast of England is not a bad idea to approach this city, if only to take a stroll through its center. It has a prestigious university whose students liven up its streets, and its castle and cathedral are the perfect excuse to stop here.
Walking in Lincoln
In the New theatre Royal Lincoln, whose doors have been open since 1893, there are shows of various kinds, and the truth is that we were what attracted us there. Sabah Douglas-Hamilton, Kenyan conservationist and protagonist of several BBC documentaries, gave a very interesting talk about her life surrounded by elephants in this theatre.
So, since we went there (with a lot of homesickness from our recent trip to Kenya) we decided to find out what else was interesting in Lincoln. And this article is the result of that.
What to see in downtown Lincoln
For us, the best thing about Lincoln Castle, built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, are the 360-degree views from the surrounding wall. The large stone curtain wall is one of the most emblematic features of Lincoln Castle today and a permanent reminder of its role as a powerful medieval bastion. Going around its perimeter you can see the cathedral perfectly, the city and, on sunny days (which are few), its surroundings.
Courtyard of the castleThe wallShall we go up?The wall can be traversed in its entire length
The Victorian prison at Lincoln Castle was designed for a “separate system,” an isolation regime that kept prisoners away from the corrupt influence of their peers. Victorians believed this would encourage them to reflect and repent. Men, women and children as young as eight years old were held here from 1848 to 1878 for crimes ranging from stealing a vest and the Bible, to highway robbery and murder. During this time, seven assassins were hanged in the castle and their bodies were buried in the Lucy Tower, where their graves can still be seen.
The prison yard next to the wall
Today the prison is restored and open to the public, where you can put yourself in the skin of the prisoners by entering their cells, separated into two zones: one for men and one for women.
Inside the prisonInterior of a cell
Inside the castle you can also see the Magna Carta. On June 15, 1215, King John and the barons met at Runnymede and agreed on a charter of liberties that would change the course of history. The Magna Carta enshrined the principle that the king had to act within the rule of law and became one of the most famous documents in history with a very important worldwide influence.
Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln
The origins of this huge English Gothic cathedral date back to the eleventh century, although it has had to be rebuilt on several occasions due to misfortunes such as fires and earthquakes. The stained glass windows are impressive in addition to the size of the building, where concerts are held from time to time.
Views from the wallLincoln CathedralViews from the centerInterior of the cathedralInterior of the cathedralRoof detailOne of the stained-glass windows
Steep Hill and The Strait
Narrow, colourful and as steep as its name suggests, the Steep Hill is located in the centre of Lincoln and there you will find all sorts of small independent shops. It is followed by The strait, a very similar street with bars where you can have some beer. By the way, if you’re looking for a vegetarian restaurant in this area you’ll find El Pimento, a cozy place with very rich food and where you won’t find a single plastic accompanying the menu.
Steep HillThe straitWalking through downtown Lincoln
There are several markets that can be found outdoors in Lincoln over the course of a month, you can check the calendar of events on the visit Lincoln website. In them you can buy all kinds of products such as fruit and local handicrafts. In the photos below you will see stalls from a Saturday afternoon flea market in Castle Hill.
Market in the squareMarket stalls
And if you have more time and want to visit the rest of the city, you can look for the High Bridge, enter the Museum of Lincolnshire Life or walk through the Lincoln arboretum.
Entrance to Lincoln Castle is free of charge, and you can walk around freelyThe entrance to the Cathedral is also freeThe walk along the castle walls next to the Victorian prison visit and the Magna Carta is priced at 14 poundsWith 18 pounds you have a joint ticket to everything in the castle plus a visit to the Cathedral (its views from above).More info at https://www.lincolncastle.com and at https://lincolncathedral.com/