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Top 15 Things To Do In Lincoln Town Centre & Lincolnshire

Disclosure

I love a day out in Lincoln, it’s one of my favourite cities in the UK! Jack and I visit regularly as we have some good friends who live there. We’re always out exploring Lincoln town centre and looking for things to do in the Lincolnshire countryside, which is full of history and stunning architecture!

For the best Lincolnshire day out, you need to (of course) explore the main Lincoln attractions such as the cathedral and castle, but also head to the weekend markets, stately homes and country parks, which often get missed just outside Lincoln city centre.

There are so many things to do in Lincoln, but my favourites are listed below. The city really is magical and a great place to take a break!


Discover things to do in Lincoln Town Centre & Bonus activities for The Lincolnshire countryside!

Visit Lincoln Cathedral during your visit to Lincoln town centre
Visit Lincoln Cathedral during your visit and you’ll have the best day out!

In this post, I’ll share some of the best things to do in Lincolnshire, including things to do in Lincoln’s city centre. I’ll also cover topics like:

  • The best places and attractions to visit in Lincolnshire
  • Share my favourite things to do in Lincoln to ensure you have a fun time during your visit
  • Where to eat and stay that’s both safe and cost-effective
  • The best ways to get to Lincoln.

Is Lincoln Worth Visiting?

Lincoln is certainly worth making time for. It’s one of our favourite spots in the UK and a day out in Lincoln town centre is always fun. It’s known for its medieval history and captivating architecture, modern-day art galleries, canal-side eateries and cute cafes and let’s not forget about the boutique shopping!

The Cornhill Quarter at Christmas time is always a fun day out in Lincoln town centre.
The Cornhill Quarter at Christmas time is always a fun day out in Lincoln.

The Lincolnshire countryside is a beautiful home to country parks and old villages with stunning honey-coloured stone buildings that driving through them is truly a pleasure. The coastline is stunning, attracting tourists to its seaside resorts, and meandering waterways. You’re also likely to see the odd windmill!

The area is full of friendly people, and local tourists and the atmosphere in Lincoln is always good. We’re yet to have a bad experience and we’ve been many, many times!

Lincoln town centre and the Fossdyke canal
The Fossdyke in Lincoln

15 Things To Do In Lincoln City Centre

The city of Lincoln, which is the county town of Lincolnshire, is so wonderful to explore. It’s got everything you would want from a city plus some! History, cafes, shopping and stunning architecture are all at your fingertips.

1. Visit The Cathedral And Castle

Lincoln castle and cathedral are one of the most popular Lincoln attractions and top of the list for a good reason, they are gorgeous! Many people head to Lincoln town centre for a day out just to visit these two attractions which always makes for a lovely afternoon.

The design (particularly the cathedral) is captivating, I’m always in awe when I pass it, usually noticing something such as a piece of workmanship I missed before.

Lincoln Cathedral from the entrance
In a close-up of Lincoln Cathedral, you can see how intricate the craftsmanship is on the stonework.

They are located in Lincoln city centre and free to walk around but there are also guided tours which go along the castle wall informing about the history.

I remember the first time I visited Lincoln, we went around on a guided tour which also took us into the Victorian prison; a lovely red brick Victorian building.

There is an opportunity to dress up in Victorian attire like they would have done back in the day and take photos, which was really amusing!

Things to do in Lincoln could include a Visit Lincoln Prison and Castle
Inside Lincoln Castle grounds is this building which used to be a prison! It’s a great Lincoln attraction to visit.

2. Climb To The Top Of Steep Hill

Steep Hill is a quaint cobbled road which was named by the Romans due to its gradient. It’s hugely popular with tourists and visitors and one of the best Lincoln attractions due to an abundance of boutique shops, tea rooms, coffee shops and pubs which line the cobbled street!

Guess what? It’s also one of the steepest hills in England!

It’s tough to go all the way without stopping, something we don’t normally try as we like to stop for a coffee mid-way.

Lincoln town centre comprises of the Bailgate are where you will find many boutique shops
Even on misty days out in Lincoln, the city is magical. Here in the Bailagate are some of my favourite shops… the pink one has cute accessories and homeware to die for!

Is it weird that people-watching and taking in the city buzz is one of my favourite things to do in Lincoln?

✅ Just so you know, at the top of the hill is the entrance to Lincoln Cathedral and an area known as the Bailgate. The Bailgate is full of boutique shops and cafes. At the bottom of the hill is Well Lane and where you’ll find the Strait and the start of the high street.

3. Dine At The Botanist

One of our favourite things to do in Lincoln, actually anywhere, is to enjoy some delicious feel-good food! Although the Botanist is relatively new to Lincoln, it’s a popular chain providing a very earthy concept!

One of the best Lincoln attractions is to dine at the Botanist
On your Lincolnshire day out take a visit to The Botanist for lunch, they do great food at a good price, and the cocktails are also delicious!

The restaurants are covered with plants and flowers which is just as inviting as their famous cocktail and food menus, which incorporate a selection of botanicals creating a frenzy of flavours.

My favourite is the halloumi hanging skewers and house slaw with a rhubarb and sage spritz!

Dine at the Botanist with skewers, fries and delicious cocktails.
When I head to Lincoln I always end up in the Botanist ordering the halloumi skewers.

4. Quirky Cocktails At Strait And Narrow

Come evening and it’s time for some fun! There are countless restaurants, bars and pubs to be discovered in Lincoln’s town centre, but one of my favourite things to do in Lincoln is head to Strait and Narrow.

It’s a popular bar on the Strait which serves an insane number of cocktails, the menu is vast!

They also have an extensive beer menu, ales, spirits and wines.

Their goal is to “put exactly the right drink in the hand of their customer, whatever they want”. It’s the best place to start the night, or end it!

5. Is Lincoln Good For Shopping?

Lincoln is great for high-street shopping; no trip to Lincoln would be complete without a shopping trip!

It’s easy to navigate around Lincoln’s town centre but if you’re looking for unique shopping head to the Cornhill Quarter (where the Botanist lives); Steep Hill and the Strait are also good places to start.

Explore Lincoln town centre on your Lincoln day out
Lincoln is great for shopping trips!

Good to Know: There is also the Waterside Shopping Centre, St Marks Shopping Centre, the Bailgate and the Central Market – Lincoln’s only indoor market!

Expect to find popular high street brands, coffee shops, restaurants and entertainment throughout the city with a fantastic range of fashion and homeware, gifts and toys.

The different shopping areas are close to the main Lincoln attractions so you can spend a lovely day shopping and site seeing!

Enjoy the old and new architecture during your Lincoln day out in the town centre.
A day out in Lincoln will involve a walk around the town centre which has some lovely architecture.

6. Stroll Through The Farm And Craft Markets

On a few selected Saturdays in Lincoln, the town centre comes alive with artists, crafts and farmers’ markets.

It’s a fun opportunity to meet local farmers and buy local produce – Lincolnshire sausages being a good one to try!

If you like art, then the Makers’ Market showcases traditional and contemporary arts and crafts. The buzz is great and the people are really friendly!

The Farmers’ Market takes place every 3rd Saturday at Castle Hill. Opening times are 9 am – 4 pm.

✔️ While Lincoln’s twice-monthly Makers’ Markets is usually held every first Saturday of the month on Castle Hill and every second Saturday on Cornhill from March to December. To check the dates click here.

7. New Theatre Royal

Just off the high street in Lincoln’s town centre, you will find the New Theatre Royal, Lincoln’s best-performing arts theatre. Head there for a lovely evening of live entertainment from dance and music to pantomime and comedy nights.

Average prices are around £25 per person, which is superb for a night of great entertainment! We really enjoy the comedy shows but they aren’t on all the time so be sure to check the timetable.

Head to the New Theatre Royal in the heart of Lincoln's town centre for a lovely evening of live entertainment.
Head to the New Theatre Royal in the heart of Lincoln’s town centre for a lovely evening of live entertainment.

8. Glory Holes Mini Golf

This place is super trendy and a really fun night out. It’s adults only and they focus on making crazy golf an epic experience of unique entertainment. Some of the holes will make you laugh while others you might cringe at but it’s designed to be amusing, and it is!

They have a bar and a lounge area to hang out in after you’ve finished your 18 rounds and they do some funky cocktails to boot. Check out the website here at Glory Holes Crazy Golf.

A fun and entertaining night out in Lincoln can be found at the rather risqué Glory Holes, mini golf.
A fun and entertaining night out in Lincoln can be found at the rather risque Glory Holes, mini golf.

Things To Do In Lincolnshire

Outside Lincoln town centre, Lincolnshire has some beautiful stately homes, country parks to uncover and a wonderful coastline full of sandy beaches and seaside resorts. Exploring the Lincolnshire countryside is a fun day out for everyone! Here are a few of my favourite spots.

9. Venture To Whisby Nature Park

Explore this stunning landscape near Lincoln city, full of wildlife, trails and flora!

The park, which was once a quarry, has been transformed by nature into a buzzing habitat for countless wildlife.

Things to do in Lincolnshire include walking around Whisby Country Park in search of stunning blue dragonflies
If you want more of a natural thing to do in Lincoln then a visit to Whisby Country Park could be a winner, it’s a wonderful park!

There is a free car park and many walking routes to choose from, all ranging from 1 to 3 miles. There are marshes and numerous lakes to discover, playing grounds and soft play inside the visitors centre. It’s great for families and dog walking!

Things to do in Lincolnshire include visiting Whisby Country Park and overlooking this wonderful duck pond/lake
At the park, there is a huge duck pond too!

10. Take A Casual Stroll Along The Canal

For an active day out around the Lincoln countryside but accessible from the town centre, head to Burton Waters from Brayford Wharf, it’s a good one-hour trek along the scenic canal!

The canal known as Fossdyke Navigation is Roman built and joins the tidal River Trent to Lincoln’s High Bridge.

Make sure you walk along the Fossdyke to Lincoln town centre
The Fossdyke, heading towards Lincoln town centre.

Good to Know: You can walk or cycle, it’s a beautiful dog-friendly route, clearly waymarked. Stop at the Pyewipe Inn for refreshments halfway along the trail! But be sure to stick to the right side of the canal – water to the left.

Lincoln City Centre: The Pyewipe Inn

11. Head Over To Hartsholme Park

Another one of my favourite things to do in the Lincolnshire countryside is visiting Hartsholme Park. The park has Victorian landscaped gardens, a large reservoir, woodlands and grasslands.

It’s also a Green Flag Award-Winning park

Things to do in Lincolnshite could be a visit to Hartsholme park.
Another great park to add to your Lincolnshire day out is Hartsholme Park.

There’s a visitor centre; which has cool exhibitions and interactive features on the wildlife and history of Hartsholme, a children’s play area, a cafe and although I haven’t done camping there I know there is a popular touring park and campsite too!

The park is beautiful with pink and purple flowers lining the walk along the reservoir, it’s the perfect place for a picnic and another one of my favourite Lincoln attractions!

A day out in Lincoln at Hartsholme Park
You can walk through the beautiful trees in Hartsholme park which is just outside the city of Lincoln in the UK.

12. Hire A Boat At Burton Waters

Another great, and one of my favourite thing to do in Lincoln is to experience a fun day out on your own private riverboat!

We hired out a six-person riverboat for two nights and went on a wild adventure along the Fossdyke River.

There are loads of pubs and cafes along the way to stop at and don’t worry if you haven’t got any boating experience, Burton Waters will provide you with all the tuition you need!

Continue along the path from Lincoln town centre, past the Pyewipe Inn and you'll reach Burton Waters!
Continue along the path, past the Pyewipe Inn and you’ll reach Burton Waters!

13. Mablethorpe – Lincolnshire Seaside

One of the best-hidden gems in Lincolnshire is Mablethorpe beach. It’s got endless golden sandy shores, and soft sand dunes and sees fewer crowds than Skegness beach (which is also fun) but we like things a little quieter.

They also have a fun and educational seal sanctuary where you can see the cute little animals flop around lazily. There’s a good fish and chip shop – The Mermaid – which does the best ever crunchy chips and outdoor adventure golf which was really fun!

The stunning Maplethorpe beach in Lincolnshire.

14. Doddington Hall & Gardens

Smack-bang in the middle of the Lincolnshire countryside is this grand Elizabethan manor house of Doddington Hall. It’s a breathtaking building with stunning grounds, a shop and a restaurant.

However, one of the best times to visit is during Halloween when the grounds come alive with pumpkins! Doddington Hall has an enormous pumpkin patch where you can go and pick your own. This alongside the decorations makes for fun things to do in Lincolnshire.

15. Burghley House Gardens & Deer Park

Our favourite thing to do in Lincolnshire was to visit Burghley House. The house is magnificent with incredible paintings and murals throughout but the gardens are what captured our hearts.

There is so much to explore with water features and sculptures and even a deer park to wander around and have a picnic.

You want to plan to spend the whole day there as it’s pretty big, there is a cafe onsite and the entry ticket will give you access throughout the year, so don’t chuck it!

Outside of Lincoln town centre and you will find this beautiful stately home - Burghley House Gardens
Burghley House Gardens & Deer Park.

Lincoln Activity Map

What’s Lincolnshire Famous For?

Lincolnshire is the place to go to visit the endless countryside and a bustling historic city with a magical castle and cathedral. Lincolnshire is famous for its picturesque villages, old windmills and sweeping coastline. It’s a breathtaking part of the county which deserves to be explored!

What Is Lincoln Like To Visit?

As you can see the city of Lincoln is surrounded by beautiful countryside ready to be explored with many walking and cycling routes. The shopping district in Lincoln city centre is fantastic and the city’s history is vast; all waiting to be uncovered.

It’s a great place for a quick weekend break for families and a romantic trip for couples, you could even go by yourself and be totally at ease! 

The new shops at the Cornhill Quarter at the bottom of the High Street in Lincoln town centre.
The hops at the Cornhill Quarter at the bottom of the High Street.

How Long Do You Need In Lincoln?

You need to have a plan! It’s possible to enjoy Lincoln city centre in a day, including a visit to the Cathedral and Castle. You’ll be able to stroll around while doing some shopping, however, you will miss some other amazing parts such as the stately homes and beautiful countryside!

Therefore, I would suggest visiting for one night or two to get the most out of your trip! There are some great places to stay to suit everyone’s budget and also great eateries. Lincolnshire has so much to offer, and if you’re anything like me, you won’t want to rush around!

A Lincoln day out wouldn't be complete without a visit the the Lincoln Cathedral
Inside Lincoln Cathedral

👉 Looking for a 2-day itinerary to spend a weekend in Lincoln? Luckily for you, I’ve put one together. It’s a full 2-day itinerary (with a bonus day 3) giving you ideas and travel tips for your visit.

It’s also a good idea to (although you don’t have to) rent a car while you visit. It just makes it easier to get around if you’re planning to visit areas outside of Lincoln.

Best Places To Stay In Lincoln

If you’re thinking to spend longer than one day out in Lincoln, there are so many places where you can stay.

I would suggest staying central if you’re not driving, however, if you are you have to be careful as many places in Lincoln don’t have car parking, so just check this!

📍Budget Suggestion: Tavmar Rooms

Independently managed, these rooms are pretty cool and newly refurbed. You’ll need access to your internet to get the codes to open the doors and you’re unlikely to see any staff members.

So, if nothing goes wrong then it’s great to stay, in clean and comfortable rooms in Lincoln. (There’s no parking though).

👉 For more information and to check prices on the Tavmar Rooms click here!

📍Mid-Range Suggestion: Castle Hotel & Apartments.

The staff are super friendly here and great at explaining the city and points of interest and providing ideas for your Lincoln day out!

The hotel has a lot of amenities too, including car parking and room service. It’s in the Bailgate area which is very close to the Castle and Cathedral.

👉 Check out prices and more details at Castle Hotel & Apartments by clicking here.

📍High-End Suggestion: Lincoln Cottage.

We haven’t been, but the reviews are exceptional. It’s a very relaxing and beautiful self-catering cottage overlooking the Lincoln countryside but still within walking distance to Lincoln high street.

There’s a private hot tub too!

👉 For a truly luxurious stay while you’re in lincoln check prices and details on the Lincoln Cottage here!

How To Get To Lincoln?

✔️ The easiest way to get to Lincoln is to catch a train. The East Midlands Trains run an excellent service from London to Lincoln throughout the week and takes only 2 hours!

✅ A train is great if you want to stay in Lincoln; however, if you’re planning on exploring Lincolnshire, then it’s easiest to take a car so you can explore.

✔️ Alternatively, there are also very good bus links which serve Lincolnshire, you can view Lincolnshire bus timetables and routes here. The main bus terminal is right opposite Lincoln train station!

✔️ We usually drive up from the county of Essex (where we live), and this usually takes us around 3 hours!

Lincoln train station.
Lincoln train station.

Resources For England

Is it your first time visiting England? We’ve written lots of useful posts to help you plan your trip. You can check them all out on our England Page herebut below are some of our most popular articles:


Visiting Lincoln FAQs

In case you were wondering here are some common questions people ask!

What is Lincoln town famous for?

Lincoln is a city in the east of England, known for its rich history and stunning architecture. One of the most famous landmarks in the city is Lincoln Cathedral, a magnificent example of Gothic architecture that dates back to the 11th century!

Another popular attraction in Lincoln is Lincoln Castle. The castle is home to one of only four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta, a document that established the principle that everyone, including the king, is subject to the law.

Lincoln is a charming and historic city with stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside. For anyone interested in English history and architecture it is well worth a visit.

Does Lincoln have a shopping Centre?

Of course! Lincoln has a few shopping centres but the most popular is called the Waterside Shopping Centre. It’s located in the heart of the city and offers a wide range of shops, restaurants, and cafes. The shopping centre features many well-known brands such as H&M, Topshop, and Boots, as well as smaller independent stores.

It also hosts regular events and activities, such as fashion shows and children’s workshops, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists. Overall, the Waterside Shopping Centre is a vibrant and bustling hub of retail activity in the city of Lincoln.

Other great shopping locations include St Marks Shopping Centre, the Bailgate and the Central Market – Lincoln’s only indoor market!

What shops are there in Lincoln?

Lincoln is a vibrant and bustling city that offers a wide range of shopping options for visitors and locals alike. The city is home to many well-known high-street brands such as H&M, Topshop, and Zara, as well as independent retailers offering unique and fashionable clothing items.

Additionally, there are several stores catering to outdoor enthusiasts, such as Cotswold Outdoor and Millets. Lincoln also boasts a number of speciality shops, including vintage clothing stores, record shops, and bookstores.

Whether you’re looking for clothing, outdoor gear, or something a little more niche, Lincoln’s shopping scene has something to offer for everyone.

Where is the main shopping area in Lincoln?

The main shopping area in Lincoln is located in the heart of the city centre, around the pedestrianized High Street, Cornhill Quarter, and Waterside Shopping Centre. These areas are home to a wide range of shops, restaurants, and cafes, making them popular destinations for shoppers and visitors alike.


In Summary: Things To Do In Lincoln Town Centre

If you haven’t been you need to go! It’s a fantastic city full of so much life and history. It’s perfect for anyone; couples, families or solo travellers.

Lincoln has a lot of character which makes it one of my favourite cities in the UK, it never disappoints and I’m sure you’ll love it too!

It’s best to visit both Lincoln town centre and the parks for the ultimate Lincoln day out! Lincoln is pretty spectacular and we always have fun visiting. I hope you’ve enjoyed these things to do in Lincoln!

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Thanks for reading. If you have any questions shoot me a message.