The Asylum Steampunk Festival

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August, 2017

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The Lincoln Asylum Steampunk Festival is like nothing you’ve ever seen before! I took so many great photos of the event (she said modestly) it was a hard job picking out just 8 for this review. I chose the ones that seemed the quirkiest and most eccentric. Steampunk for the uninitiated is sort of Victorian science fiction meets Jules Verne, Dr Who and Alice in Wonderland.

We travelled by train to Lincoln for the August Bank Holiday weekend staying at the Holiday Inn on the Brayford Waterfront. The Brayford Pool is a natural lake formed by a widened River Witham. The Romans used it as an inland port by constructing Foss Dyke linking it to the River Trent. The Pool is now a marina for small boats, barges and swans. The wharf has a range of bars, restaurants and hotels. The local Wetherspoon’s was very handy for a good value breakfast, although it’s not usual to see ladies in crinolines and gentlemen in top hats with goggles!

The main event took place up by the Castle and the Cathedral, one of the most historic parts of the city. There is an accessible circular bus, which takes you from the south of the city and up the hill, with a low floor and wheelchair access. We chose to walk up Steep Hill – and it is, even having a handrail in places. However, there was so much to see, photograph and experience that we took it steady and didn’t notice the steepness. As we walked up the cobbled street there were fascinating little artisan shops and cafes within the centuries-old buildings with the lovely gold-coloured stone.

The Cathedral Quarter was thronged with people enjoying the sunshine in Castle Square. Here you can find the Visitor Information Centre, with the Lincoln Castle itself at one end and through the ancient archway the awe-inspiring Cathedral. Inside the subterranean vault are two iconic and rare documents – the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest. These form the foundations of democracy and the rights of the people.

The Steampunk Festival in Lincoln is an international event, so naturally it is the largest. There was art, literature, music, eccentric fashion, comedy and Morris Dancers etc. There were steampunk of all ages, genders, ethnic background and all walks of life. It is all about creativity and was great fun! We collected our wristbands by walking along Bailgate to Westgate. The main events took place in the Castle grounds.

In the late afternoon, we looked for somewhere in the historic centre to have an evening meal. Everywhere was very busy and we were lucky to find a table at the Lion and Snake pub. I would advise you to pre-book a table when there are events on in Lincoln.

In the evening, we walked along Lincoln High Street in search of a micro pub Hop & Barley. After a day on our feet it seemed quite a long walk – bear in mind that the High Street is 1.5 miles long! Apart from the shops the High Street has a number of interesting buildings, such as the Guildhall and Stonebow. Eventually we found the micro pub at No,417 and it was worth the walk for the quality of the beer and friendly atmosphere. The landlord and customers had entered into the spirit of steampunk by dressing up in imaginative costumes – even adorned with fairy lights!

Overall, we had a great time, the weather was glorious and there was so much to see. In fact, we have made our minds up to return and spend longer to see and experience more of Lincoln itself.


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