This weekend myself and The Hills In My Wolds went for a sophisticated mini-break in LINCOLN. It was ACE!
The idea for the trip came about a few years ago when we were in Belfast - we were having such a lovely time there that we thought we'd look up other places that we could get to fairly easily which had Interesting Stuff in them. LINCOLN turned out to have everything we were looking for i.e. a Cathedral, a Castle, a Premier Inn, some kind of museum and a rail link to London, and so it was that last Thursday night we boarded the train NORTH. Our original plan was to get an open ticket, but when we looked at it a few nights before the aforesaid Price Of My Bargain pointed out that we could go FIRST for only about 5p more if we advance booked, so we DID. Brilliantly, as we were travelling on a weekday, we got FREE BOOZE, which meant that we arrived in Lincoln in high spirits! Hoorah!
I don't know what they do at Premier Inns that make them this way, but almost invariably they seem to be staffed by Nice People who are Happy In Their Jobs, and this was very much the case at the Lincoln establishment. On the Friday morning we missed breakfast but arrived downstairs to discover that it was CAKE FRIDAY, where Bev (one of the staff) makes CAKE, and she let us have a bit. It was GRATE! It was an excellent start to what turned out to be a brilliant day, featuring a look at the CASTLE and the CATHEDRAL. Crikey O Riley - this place has an ACTUAL CASTLE in it, just a few feet away via an MEDIEVAL TOWN CENTRE from a GINORMOUS CATHEDRAL, and yet nobody I know (including until recently US) seems to have ever thought about visiting. Everyone goes on about YORK, but Lincoln is, in my opinion, SLIGHTLY NICER, also nearer!
The castle is HUGE and has a complete wall all the way around, which we WALKED round, and also a Victorian Prison with (apparently) the only surviving Isolation-based prison chapel, where there were BOOTHS for each prisoner to stand in so they could only see the Priest. The whole place was ACE, with a whole prison to wander round and a display about the Magna Carta also. The only slight downside was the Walking Tour which was led by (CLEARLY) a former Primary School Teacher who talked AT SOME LENGTH so that, after half an hour's talk with very little walking but a LOT of descriptions of HANGING, we had to make our excuses and leave. We were the THIRD sub-group to do this - "I'm used to people leaving my tours!" she said happily.
The Cathedral was EXTREMELY impressive, not least because they had taken all the PEWS out so you could see how GIGANTIC it all was, like an indoor TOWN. It took us a while to work out where The Lincoln Imp was and when we did... er... we had seen it. We also went to a PUB, and then later on went for TEA in a Prezzo that had previously been a Car Showroom.
We discovered this fact the next day on the OPEN TOP BUS TOUR which was a ZOOM around the outside of the city, re-learning things we'd learned the day before. We followed this up with a trip the The Museum Of Lincolnshire Life, where we received the latest in a long line of Very Friendly Greetings. Speaking as Someone (Technically) From Lincolnshire (born in Stamford) I can say that people fron Lincolnshire are LOVELY. They are proper East Midlanders - not OVER friendly but very nice indeed, and also they TALK PROPER. The narrations in the museum made me feel like I was sat in a pub in Market Deeping, and lots of the exhibits made me feel as if I'd wandered into my Grandad's garage circa 1978, keeping a safe distance from the TOOLS and IMPLEMENTS which had had hanging from the roof! I also learned how BRICKS are laid - I always thought that the half bricks you see in a pattern were exactly that, and was STUNNED to realise that they were actually normal bricks side on, as part of a double-thickness of bricks that make up a wall. I could feel my BRANE churning as this new knowledge was input!
Both our BRANES were pretty much full at this point, but we still managed to have a quick zoom around The Usher Collection (it was Quite Good) before going back for our bags and then nipping to the shops for some PICNIC TEA before catching our train home. The first leg of the journey back was in a little chugger train, which heavily featured a KRAZY GIRL who pretended her ticket was on her phone but it was out of juice (and then rang someone up to ask for ticket money) then forced various people in the carriage to put her make-up on for her, but otherwise it was a DELIGHTFUL journey, although sadly lacking in FREE BOOZE.
It was, all told, a GRATE trip and a LOVELY place to visit - honestly, I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes castles, cathedrals, museums, pubs and Premier Inns, although possibly not anyone allergic to Really Steep Hills. Our only question remaining now is where to go next?