Lincoln: A city of contrasts

From its iron age origins to its contemporary edge, this stunning cathedral city offers something for everyone. Here are our suggestions for the top places in Lincoln for sightseeing, eating, drinking and shopping.

Here are the best things to see and do in Lincoln, the great places to grab some grub, the perfect places to pitch up for a pint and where to head for some retail therapy. Plus the secret spots you might never have heard of…

With a magnificent cathedral, a bracing waterfront marina and a charming historic city centre, Lincoln makes a perfect family day out.

Things to see and do in Lincoln

Put Lincoln Cathedral right at the top of your list. The gothic building, ranked as one of the finest cathedrals in Europe, dominates the city’s skyline and dates back to 1088. And it looks stunning at night. Cathedral tours run Monday through to Saturday.

Elsewhere, check out Ellis Mill, the last of several working windmills in Lincoln (it is still used today to mill flour), enjoy a stroll along the beautiful marina Brayford Waterfront and find out more about Lincoln with a trip to the Museum of Lincolnshire Life (it’s free to enter). Take a look at our upcoming events in Lincoln for choice cuts of what’s happening over the next few months.

Shopping in Lincoln

Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter is a melting pot of independent retailers, well-known names and backstreet boutiques.

Pad the cobbled streets of Bailgate and sample more or less everything – crafts, books, gift shops and much more. The quirky home accessories and gifts at Follie, the malts at Lincoln Whisky Shop  and the offerings of cool alternative food shop Yellowbellys are among our favourites – but you’re bound to discover your own. By the way, people from Lincolnshire are known as Yellowbellys – find out why here.

Lincoln’s two big shopping centres – St. Marks and Waterside – are the places to head for big-name retailers such as Gap, Toys R Us, Debenhams and La Senza.

Food and drink in Lincoln

Lincoln has food and drink to suit all tastes and budgets. For fine dining, head to the Green Room at the Lincoln Hotel. Set in the shadow of the cathedral, this restaurant offers modern cuisine (we like the red snapper and Kalamata olive puree) in sophisticated surroundings.

Churchills is a great little eatery serving traditional British food using locally sourced ingredients. It’s also got a nice outdoor area – perfect for an afternoon in the sun.

Gastro-cuisine abounds at the Wig & Mitre (think beer-battered salmon and slow-cooked lamb) – why not pop in for a pint of ale and some good grub? The Adam & Eve Tavern (thought to be the oldest inn in Lincoln) serves salt-of-the-earthpub meals like burgers, chilli con carne and lasagne.

As for pubs, you should pay a visit to the Magna Carta, one of Lincoln’s most historic pubs. Enjoy cocktails at Bar ‘67 and The Appletree.

Hidden Lincoln

Here are three spots in Lincoln you might not have heard of…

The Dog & Bone on John Street is an out-of-the-way little pub widely regarded as one of Lincoln’s best-kept secrets. Enjoy a few drinks in the beer garden and say hello to landlord and landlady Chris and Sarah (and their dog Blade).

Bishop’s Palace is an English Heritage site, but it is dwarfed by its bigger sister, the cathedral. The palace’s heritage building and beautiful garden are open to the public every day until the end of October.

The Little Red Gallery is a real gem, hosting contemporary artworks by independent artists and up-and-coming talents.