HISTORY buffs will be in their element in the historical town of Lincoln in the East Midlands. With a medieval cathedral, one of Britain’s steepest hills and a raft of fascinating attractions, Lincoln is a top spot to immerse yourself in for a weekend.
Lincoln Cathedral is an imposing Gothic pile dating back to 1185.
It can be seen from miles away, looming proudly above the city. You’ll be enthralled by the incredible carved wood and stone architecture.
The once richly-painted stonework was whitewashed during the Civil War but if you look closely you’ll see some traces of gold and red glinting through; even the stonemason’s initials are etched into the stone, forever remembered. Nearby is Lincoln Castle, built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century.
It is home to one of the four remaining copies of the 1215 Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest agreement that marked the beginning of the end of the Dark Ages.
It’s held securely under toughened glass in the subterranean vault within the Victorian prison which, in itself, is a haunting example of a great but misguided penal system.
You can explore the tiny cells and listen to the stories of the prisoners brought to life with holograms.
Make sure you visit the segregated chapel, an eerie place of worship.
Finish your tour by scaling the heights of the medieval wall walk and take in amazing views of the castle grounds and city.
This year is the RAF Centenary anniversary and the International Bomber Command Centre serves as a point for recognition, remembrance and reconciliation for Bomber Command and the 57,861 lives given to it during the Second World War.
Within the state-of-the-art exhibition galleries you’ll be taken on an interactive journey into the life of Bomber Command.
Fly your own bombing mission and hear about the experiences from the men, women and children who lived through these times.
Absorb the poignant and beautiful peace gardens leading to the dramatic Memorial Spire where you can see straight through to Lincoln Cathedral, which would have been the last home landmark for the departing bomber crews and the first view of home for returning planes.
Doddington Hall is a much-loved Elizabethan family home dating back over 400 years, originally built for Thomas Tailor, the registrar to the Bishop of Lincoln.
The impressive mansion is home to a huge collection of family heirlooms including vast tapestries, paintings, ceramics and weaponry.
Its grounds are every bit as breathtaking as the house.
A highlight is the herb garden, where you can learn about the ancient medicinal and magical healing powers.
Finish with tea in the farm shop cafe.
Steep Hill in the cathedral quarter is foodie heaven.
Don’t miss Browns Pie Shop, a dining favourite of locals, serving gourmet pies and all Lincolnshire food has to offer.
The historic building has a fascinating past, built in the 17th century and serving as a pub until 1898.While at RAF Cranwell in 1925, Lawrence of Arabia lived in the shop.
It’s where he wrote the Seven Pillars Of Wisdom.
The building is also known to have a ghostly presence and it is said that Humphrey, a mischievous spirit who likes to cause trouble in the kitchen, must be greeted each morning to ensure a smooth service.
Its a traditional restaurant, with a wooden front counter and modest, cosy dining area, is the perfect place for a hearty lunch.
The homemade pies are packed with delicious fillings.
Beef and ale is the best-seller and each day there are specials such as venison in rich gravy.
For a cracking pint in cosy surroundings head to The Strugglers Inn, just a stone’s throw from Lincoln Castle.
With traditional, quirky interiors and lots of vintage memorabilia it seems it hasn’t changed since the 1940s. A weekly updated ales board and live music on Sundays makes this a hidden gem.
Washingborough Hall country house hotel (01522 790340/ washingboroughhall.com) is a beautiful mellow, Grade II listed Georgian property dating back to the 1700s, set in stunning manicured gardens just two miles from Lincoln.
It is doggie friendly so our Dottie was a pampered pooch in our superbly-spacious room.
All 20 rooms are individually designed with country-chic interiors; think soft floral wallpapers, cosy tartan furnishings and a calming palette throughout the hotel.
Each beautifully-appointed room has luxurious Noble toiletries, super-plump beds and homemade biscuits.
Dinner didn’t disappoint with a glass or two of perfectly chilled Prosecco in the cosy bar next to the log burner, before heading to the light and airy dining room. Highlights from the locally- sourced menu included mackerel three ways and melt-in-the-mouth fillet steak.
Doubles from £135 (two sharing), B&B.