With the 800th anniversary of the city’s most significant battle, 2017 is an important year in Lincoln. Follow our guide for the best things to do in Lincoln this year
The Battle of Lincoln Fair of 1217 has been described as the most important battle fought on English soil after the Battle of Hastings. If you’re planning to visit the city this year, here are some of the top things to do in Lincoln.
This late-Elizabethan mansion, located just outside Lincoln, was built by one of the foremost architects of the time – Robert Smythson – and has been a family home ever since.
The five acres of grounds include formal walled gardens alongside restored wild gardens that remain true to their Elizabethan layout.
Make the most of the exquisite surroundings by attending one of the events in the Summer Concert Series, which take place once a month throughout summer. Concert ticket holders will be able to stroll the grounds, drink prosecco on a private terrace and listen to beautifully performed chamber music in the Long Gallery. It’s what summer evenings were made for.
You simply can’t visit Lincoln without stepping inside its magnificent cathedral, which held the title of world’s tallest building from 1311 to 1549. The medieval edifice is renowned for its two large rose windows, which light the transept, as well as both the Medieval Library and the later Wren Library, which houses an incredible collection of 15th-century books and was described by art historian Sir Roy Strong as ”the most beautiful room in England”.
The Cathedral is also home to a mischievous stone imp – the Lincoln Imp, supposedly turned to stone by an angel after wreaking havoc at the cathedral. See if you can spot the imp in the cathedral and also keep an eye out for other imps across the city, on door knockers and in gift shops.
Linked to the cathedral by a cobbled walkway, Lincoln Castle is the permanent home to one of the original 1215 copies of Magna Carta and until September it also houses the 1086 Domesday Book, one of the earliest surviving public records, which was commissioned by William the Conqueror, so is definitely worth a visit.
It was King John’s reneging on his promises in Magna Carta that ultimately led to the Battle of Lincoln Fair just two years later. By this time John had died and his young son, King Henry III, was in charge but faced fierce opposition from rebel barons and their French allies, who tried to overthrow the royalists at Lincoln. The 1217 Battle of Lincoln Trail, which sets off from the castle, explores this pivotal moment in the city’s (and country’s) history and takes in key places such as Castle Hill, Westgate, and Guildhall and Stonebow.
Though the 1217 Battle of Lincoln Trail also takes in Steep Hill, we thought it was worthy of a mention of its own. This steep and cobbled street is home to quaint tea shops and independent shops.