Nostalgic Days

Lincoln Travel Blog

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Finally with a day off work at my disposal, I restarted on doing the Nottingham day trips.  I did have a short meeting for mortgage approval first thing in the morning, but that would still leave me with enough time on my hands for a little half day out.  I originally wanted to go around a few places such as Matlock, Belper, Crich, and possibly Buxton, but that would be far more of a whole day than half a day, so I chose Lincoln instead.

  I hadn’t been there since I was a young boy, and so going back to relive some youthful days was at least a little bit appealing.  With the city being small enough to easily get around, close enough to get to within an hour, and recognisably pretty, it certainly made for a good day out from the same old.

I got through the formalities, whilst Dora made use of the time by getting ready out of the way of the man’s talk going on downstairs.  It didn’t take an excessive amount of time, and I was all packed up and ready to leave for 11:30am.  I grabbed a little bit of food for the journey, and off we went (armed with an anticipative umbrella).  The journey was very much as expected, and we were parked up reasonably quickly, just a short walk from the old centre.  It was immediately appealing, and with its medieval feel.

 

It took us just a few seconds until we were in sight of the castle, and watch tower.  Though the city did take some bombing during the Second World War, it wasn’t absolutely rubble fortunately, and maintained its authentic feel around the old town.  Consequently, the city is a very touristy sort of place, and just walking the streets, we could see several others doing exactly the same as us, taking photos, and visiting the famous cathedral and castle.  We made our way into the heart of the old town, Castle Square, where you can pretty much see the whole of the tourist highlights just by spinning on the spot.  To one side you have the castle, to the other, the cathedral.  You are stood in front of the tourism office, which is housed in a beautiful building, and the old city hall is there too.

  You are also located at the top of Steep Hill Street, which was voted best street of Britain in 2012, so that was where we started.  By this stage of the day, we were both hungry, and had agreed to find some lunch first of all.  Dora had done a touch of research in the car, and had found a restaurant for us both, and so we went in search of that, only to find it closed down!  Not the best of start, especially as we had done the easy walk down Steep Hill Street, and would now need to do the more challenging climb back up.  Instead we found a nice little Italian place, and had a heavier than expected lunch there.

We had a little look around the more modern part of the city, and you could tell it was quite a fun place, and perhaps and overnight stop in the future would be good, but we focused generally on the architecture and the old Roman aspects of the city more than anything else.

  There are an abundance of little surprises as you walk along the roads, and with the canals coming from the River Witham, and beautiful houses and bridges along them, it is a pleasantly walkable city. 

With full bellies, we strolled (slowly) back up the hill towards the more historic sites.  We first started with the cathedral, and I explained the story of Lincoln’s famous mascot, the Lincoln Imp, which is quite a fun story, and a little out of the ordinary for the religious origins.  In brief, it was an angel who turned the imp into stone, after it was sent by Satan, along with a second imp, to wreak havoc, but the second imp fled from the angel.  Finding the imp is easy, if you know where to look (obviously), but look for an archway, and at the connection, supporting the rock above, you may find an out-of-place imp somewhere.

  We didn’t spend too much time in the cathedral itself (it wasn’t a huge amount of time since we’d seen the more impressive (in my opinion) minister at Southwell), and so instead walked around the iconic edifice, and circled back to the castle. 

Sadly the castle was undergoing a huge restoration programme whilst we were visiting, and wasn’t due to be fully open until 2015, however, entry was still permitted, and at a startlingly cheap £2, but that would just give us access to the grounds itself, and Cobb Hall, and just the few metres of wall walk, but it was the best part of the wall walk, as it gave the overlooking view of the city, and particularly the cathedral.  We gladly paid the entrance fee, and walked around.  Inside the ground, are several things of interest, and it would certainly have warranted more time had the whole area been open, but we had to make do with just the views of Lucy Tower, the Georgian Prison, and the Victorian Prison, but that was fine.

  It was a real shame not to get to the Observatory Tower, but given the price tag, we couldn’t grumble.  The castle was built by William The Conqueror in 1068, just shortly after he won the famous battle, and he obviously saw strategic value in Lincoln, as this was one of the first in the country to be built under his rein. 

That concluded our day trip. We were both tired by this point, and with a very quiet city closing up for the day, we started heading home.  We did attempt one final stop off at the close by Doddington Hall, and though such a very pretty village, we had arrived just a touch out of season, and the gardens had closed for the day.  It wasn’t the most impressive of hall from the outside anyway, and certainly not comparable to Wollaton Hall, but I still like these stately homes, especially as they are comparable in years to when the discovery of much more worldly, iconic buildings, such as Chichen Itza or Machu Picchu, and that always makes me think about how advanced Europe quickly became, whether for the greater good or bad, back in the years long gone.

  It was time to go home, satisfied I had finally returned to some boyhood memories. 

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photo by: Vikram