Our father was born in Lincoln but moved away when he was very young. However we remember how he always supported Lincoln football club and so this spring we decided to take a visit to his birthplace.
My sister and I met at Kings Cross and got a Virgin train to Peterborough and then an East Midlands train to Lincoln Central. It would have been a quick pleasant journey except for a fatality on the track which delayed us for 2 hours outside Peterborough. The train staff kept us informed and offered us free tea and biscuits. We arrived at Lincoln Central about 5 pm and headed off to find out Hotel.
We were staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Brayford Park. It is a large modern building near a retail park but very close to the centre of the town. (The most difficult thing to manoeuvre whilst getting to the Hotel was how to cross the busy road outside! A large roundabout has numerous crossing places, none that seemed especially good for the Hotel access!)
The staff were very pleasant and our room was fine so after a quick freshen up we headed off to explore the area. We headed down to Brayford Waterfront where there are a lot of restaurants set by the riverside. We had heard about The Electric Bar at The Doubletree Hotel by Hilton so our first stop was a cocktail there! Views are lovely (although it was a little chilly on the balcony) and the staff weren’t overly friendly but it was a very pleasant evening. Afterwards we wandered down the waterfront to see where we wanted to eat.There are quite a few restaurants but a lot of them are the regular chain restaurants such as Prezzo, Harvester, Ask and Zizzi. (Maybe because Lincoln is a University town and these are not expensive places to eat). We fancied something a little different and found the lovely Royal William IV pub at the end of the waterfront. It had good food and drink and a warm atmosphere.
The next day, after our buffet breakfast in the Hotel, we set off, with our guide map clutched in our hands to explore this lovely town. The weather was beautiful (for a change) and we headed off up Steep Hill (that IS it’s name and it is indeed very steep!). We passed through the main part of the town and then the shops became more quaint and individual. The road wound round the hill and there were old fashioned lamp posts and cobbles on the street. At the top of the hill lies the awe-inspiring Lincoln Cathedral. This Gothic building can be seen easily from the town as it towers over it. Once up close, however, it is impossible not to be over awed by it’s size. The front of the Cathedral had scaffolding round it so we wandered around the building and got some wonderful shots of it from behind. There is a tower tour where you can climb 388 steps but we declined this! I am sure the view would have been extraordinary though! A look inside the Cathedral revealed stunning stained glass windows. If you go inside don’t forget to look out for the Lincoln Imp statue hidden away up in the rafters.
Across the cobbled Culture Quarter from the Cathedral stands Lincoln Castle. A very impressive Castle. You can see one of the surviving copies of The Magna Carta here and you can walk the walls of the Castle following in the paths of many soldiers, kings and prisoners.
After our steep climb we were in need of refreshment and headed back down to the town to Stokes High Bridge Cafe. A beautiful Tudor building set right on the bridge so you can see the river below, they serve a great array of lunches, teas etc.
We then took a lovely hours boat ride on the Brayford Belle, an open air river boat that sails down past the colourful houseboats and the numerous student accommodation lining the river. It was exceptionally good weather so this was really pleasant and the two staff on board were lovely and chatty.
A mooch around the High Street revealed many of the usual High Street stores but en route back to our Hotel we discovered the Retail Park with a Lidl Outlet! (Now you may wonder how Lidl could get any cheaper, we certainly did, but we were amazed to find that they had plenty of non-food stock at almost give-away prices! Hence our suitcases were slightly heavier than on the journey up from London!)
That evening we headed back down to Brayford Waterfront and had another cocktail in The Electric Bar (the staff who served us tonight were much more friendly) and then we dined in Prezzo where the food was fine.
We only had two short days in Lincoln but we both loved it and we know that there would have been a lot more to see if we had come by car or had longer time there.
We would definitely recommend a visit!