Good Friday in Lincoln was very busy.
Lots have changed since my last visit two years ago and lots haven’t. On this trip my intention was to visit the Joseph Banks exhibition at “The Collection” and to explore the Bishops Palace next to Lincoln Cathedral.
The main town remains pretty much the same. The University now dominates Brayford Pool and I didn’t have time to look around there but I understand that there are now lots of restaurants and hotels around this area. A hive of activity and a far cry from the days when you struggled to get a cuppa down there.
In the main town the usual high street suspects remain and as ever Stokes coffee shop stands proud as the Lincoln institution is it. In fact by town centre standards Lincoln didn’t seem to be doing too badly.
I started the climb towards the Cathedral. Lots of new restaurants have appeared here too, Carlucci’s being very prominent. I was looking for the Cheese Society and found it, but alas no room at the inn for this wary traveler on Good Friday so I walked back to the strait and browsed the Cheese Society shop instead. Very friendly staff with plenty of tasting opportunities awaited me inside. I eventually emerged with a nice piece of cheese and I continued on.
I have to say that I cheated and did not walk straight up Steep Hill as I made a detour into The Collection. It’s a lovely exhibition space, free too. Very interesting Joseph Banks exhibition with plenty of significant exhibit loans. A local lad celebrated handsomely, I wonder what he would have made of that? A wander through the Roman collection fired up a thirst but yet again the cafe was full; maybe we have become a nation of coffee drinkers and natterers?
Avoiding Steep Hill didn’t mean that I had found a sneaky flat way to the Cathedral, there’s really no escape, you have to climb the hill at some point. I meandered my way through a pretty street via the temple gardens. Steep Hill loomed in front of me, and, a shock, a “For sale” sign over Readers Rest. I stopped to catch my breath; the bookshop was no more. I was surprised in one way as maybe I though its reputation might have been its salvation, but reputation doesn’t pay the bills and on further investigation I have discovered that business ends were not meeting. It’s said that charity shops etc. have captured some of the market for second hand books, and the internet, I can’t really say why this owner called it a day. I haven’t the facts. It had closed in March 2014. I stood for a while and pondered on the happy memories of trips to Lincoln that included a visit to the shop and a book purchase. However there’s little point in my bemoaning, as my one book purchase every two years is hardly going to help keep the wolf from the door.
Further up the hill it was pleasing to see that some of the shops were familiar; The Pie Shop, the Wig and Mitre. There were some new ones too.
Outside the castle and cathedral there were plenty of people milling about but I had decided to walk towards Bailgate to see the Newport Arch. Still a remarkable Roman ruin but I didn’t take a photo as it was somewhat covered in scaffolding. I looked at the information board and boggled that it was actually still standing after the infamous lorry incident in the 1960’s. The photo is quite alarming. This article explains the current repairs and also shows the 1960’s photo. Newport Arch
From here I walked around the North side of the Cathedral for a different view to the normal ones of the Cathedral and made my way to the Bishops Palace. I have to say this was the quietest part of Lincoln that I saw all day, obviously off the main drag but quite pretty on a pleasant spring day.
Not many takers for the Bishops Palace but the admission price seemed okay for the super audio tour provided, the views of Lincoln and the Cathedral and, it is still a significant ruin.
From the Palace there was a different view of the glass window. I hadn’t noticed before but the window features two lime tree leaves.
I enjoyed returning to Lincoln. There was plenty more that I didn’t see, so there I have my excuse to return sooner rather than later.