I always enjoy a busy day shopping in Lincoln. However, the best time to visit is when the city holds its annual Christmas market. The narrow cobbled streets and quaint Victorian shops automatically take you back to the time of Charles Dickens. With old fashioned lamps and architecture dating back hundreds of years, if you close your eyes, you can almost hear Scrooge mumble ‘humbug’ in your ear.
There’s plenty to see before you reach the market. There are ample tearooms, filled with delicious chocolate cakes, cream scones and pastries. Antique shops are filled with fascinating curiosities and there’s book shops galore. There’s also a small fun fair with lots of stalls to browse and I mustn’t forget to mention, the many fine restaurants in Lincoln itself.
Did you know that the Lincoln Christmas market is such a huge event, that a special team is drafted in each year to organise it? Coaches/buses await you just outside the city, enabling you to ‘park and ride’ without the stress of finding somewhere safe to leave your car. This also means that most of the streets are pedestrianised so it’s much safer and more enjoyable for everyone who visits, especially if you have young children.
The smell of Gluhwien, (mulled wine) wafts in the breeze and its delicious aroma is almost intoxicating. The spicy cinnamon helps to make the atmosphere feel rather Christmassy along with the smell of citrus fruits which drift through the air. As you walk the cobbled streets, Christmas carols are piped through loud speakers, and the outside world is soon forgotten as you enter the very heart of Lincoln.
Lincoln Market is a truly exceptional day out. The hustle and bustle of the crowd is happy and jovial, everyone’s there to enjoy their day, although be warned it can be very busy at times. The actual market itself is held in the courtyard, protected by the walls of Lincoln Castle. With the market being held inside the castle, it makes the event even more appealing. You will find traditional gifts and handmade crafts which are unique. You will simply be spoilt for choice. There are also International stalls too and I even saw furry Russian hats being sold last year. It was cold, so wrap up warm, otherwise you may be keen to buy one.
For those who enjoy a tipple, have you ever tried Sloe Gin? No? Well, there are samples of this alcoholic drink to try, cheese to munch and delicious pies and cakes to fill your rumbling tummies. You can find delicate glassware of angel’s, sparkling Santa’s and glittering baubles which will help to adorn your Christmas tree and fill those empty stockings. There is always an abundance of stalls to choose from and the Market goes on until well after dark.
All in all, if you would like a day to remember, which will capture the excitement of the season, then take a trip to Lincoln and create a memorable day that will live with you and your family for years to come.
Also, don’t miss the Medieval Christmas Market at the Medieval Bishops’ Palace, and the Christmas Artists’ Village at St Martin’s Square for more unique, festive markets during the weekend.
Lincoln Christmas Market Souvenir Guide
You can pre-order the official Christmas Market Souvenir Guide on the Visit Lincoln shop to give you all you need to plan your visit.
The guide is A5 with 44 pages and includes information about stallholders and events as well as market maps and other inspirational articles to help you enjoy the Market – available for just £1.
The guide is also available to pre-order alongside the Park & Ride and at Lincoln Visitor Information Centre on Castle Hill.
You will be able to pick up a guide at the market itself: from the Visitor Information Stall in Lincoln Castle; the information chalet at Lincoln Central Station; the Lincolnshire Echo vendor on High Street.