A few weeks ago, feeling worn out and over-worked, I decided that what Thomas and I were in need of was a post-Christmas, post-PhD weekend away. And so, just a few days after Thomas aced his viva to become a Doctor, we hopped on the train to Lincoln for an overnight stay.
Lincoln was a regular destination for day trips when I was a kid but I hadn't been back in years, while Thomas had only visited very briefly, so this was a good opportunity for us both to explore the medieval lanes of the cathedral quarter and get to know the city a bit better.
Lincoln is very much dominated by its magnificent Norman cathedral, which sits majestically atop the mound known, accurately, as Steep Hill. Entrance is free on Sundays and we were lucky to arrive just as the morning service was drawing to a close, giving us the chance to hear the cathedral choir. The cathedral itself is one of the most impressive I've visited (and yes, I'm sad enough to have visited quite a few. Apparently all those churches my dad used to drag us to visit when I was a kid have rubbed off) and the cathedral quarter is a glorious mish-mash of medieval cottages, Georgian splendour, and half-timbered Tudor buildings.
A weekend away for me and Thomas tends to be dominated by three things: the pursuit of bookshops, of cider, and of vegan food. We found the latter at Cafe Shanti, a cheerful place bedecked with batik fabric, serving vegan and vegetarian food that's both cheap and incredibly tasty (the perfect combination). For cider, we particularly liked the Wig & Mitre pub on Steep Hill, but found decent cider on tap pleasingly easy to come by in most pubs (yes, we tried a few!).
As for bookshops, Lindum Books in the cathedral quarter has a great selection of both new and used titles, while the secondhand bookshop on Steep Hill, Jews' Court Books, was great for a bargain. I also fell head over heels in love with the amazing homewares in a new shop on Steep Hill, the name of which escapes me and which I can't seem to locate on Google. Just take my word for it that it's ace! I very much wanted one of the bear print tote bags to come home with us, but totes are something I have in abundance so I left the little fella for someone else.