So as our UK Cities tour draws to a close, we've seen nearly 10 UK Cities in just under a month.... but which one caught our eyes the most? Well, there's no doubt Exeter's outdoor adventures were a favourite, or London's attractions... but the one that we felt was best set up for children was Lincoln.
So if you've missed any of our previous posts on this wonderful city of Lincoln in the centre of England, then click the links above to take you straight to our previous articles... If you've never been then grab a second to read about a city that dates back to Roman times in AD48.
A vibrant, family friendly city with Cathedrals, Castles, Museums and the brilliant 'Stokes Tea Room' or 'Burton Road Chippy'!!! It's even been voted in the 'Top 10 UK City Breaks' by The Telegraph!
So with Libby grasping her new Pipity Activity Case, we headed back into Lincoln's Castle so she could take a few notes as we walked the impressive castle walls (complete with interactive audio guide) .Interestingly, Lincoln Castle has been a centre of justice for the city for many years and even has a working Crown Court within the castle walls close to the Victorian Prison.
Thankfully we were fortunate to get a guided tour (at 11am) of the site from a fantastic guide who told us factual and anecdotal stories that enthused both girls. From the origins of ' Money for Old Rope' to "Hangers On' (both related to hangings in the city). And who knew that the travel agents 'Thomas Cook' were known to put on transport to see the hangings.....!!!! But in truth the tour wasn't just about the 'gore/blood' of the castles history, it also focused on the life of city folk over the ages and finished with the romantic story of Queen Eleanor's Cross. It's well worth starting any visit with a tour... before you head off to explore it under your own steam!
From the city walls, you can see the impressive cathedral rising imperiously above this county of contrasts... full of miles of coastline, picturesque countryside and historical cobbled streets! It really does paint a picture of historical significance - not just to the Romans, but also the Danish in the 9th Century who revived the city until the Norman's arrived to build Lincoln Castle!
Lincoln had inspired us that much that we'd made it into a '3G' trip this time (3 Generations!) Which was fantastic to see both girls regaling their grandfather with stories they'd remembered from our previous visits. Before long though, the lure of the excellent food in the Cathedral 'Undercrofts' saw us head across the old medieval square at the top of Steep Hill.... So after some food and a chance to light a candle for peace and see the Lincoln Imp, we headed back to see the old Victorian Prison within the Castle
Both girls were a little cautious, especially after seeing the London Dungeons last week, but we were well met by an excellent guide who helped both girls enjoy the opportunity. In truth the excellent addition of interactive, tablet-screened tables also helped, as too did the useful rucksacks. These rucksacks offer the chance to see/feel what it must have been like to endure 'A Day in the Life of the Prison Matron'... including locking up duties!
There are in fact, two prisons (a Georgian & a Victorian) and are well worth at least an hour to visit, before you step down into the purpose built cinema complex which houses one of only 4 copies of the Magna Carta. Lincoln's historical importance is shown by the fact they have both this and a copy of the 'Charter of the Forest' for viewing... but the 20min cinema film shows just why the Magna Carta was and continues to be importance for modern day democracy and freedom of rights. This was the best part of the day as both girls loved learning more about something they've studied as part of our Roadschooling journey across Europe.
All in all, it's been a fabulous return to a city that really has impressed us... from photography opportunities for Lottie to chances to see Lincolnshire Life recreated (Lincolnshire Life Museum)... it's an excellent place to visit with a young family and we can't wait to return tomorrow to see just how an animal charity works at Bransby Horses... Roll on tomorrow!!
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