Lincoln goes for growth

As shoppers and visitors continue to flock to the city and recent investment brings benefits, Glynis Fox finds there’s plenty to explore in Lincoln.

Lincoln’s star continues to rise as a university city with the power to offer locals and visitors an impressive blend of historic buildings, vibrant shopping, leisure and learning opportunities.

This is an ever-changing city where nothing remains the same for long, which is why there are plenty of good reasons to keep discovering everything it offers on a regular basis.

With Christmas edging ever closer, retailers are making every effort to impress, new dining options are on the menu and a raft of events have been designed with the aim of putting everyone in an upbeat mood – despite the fact that Lincoln’s world-famous Christmas Market is no more.

One of the factors that makes Lincoln so special is that it is made up of different areas, which means there is lots for shoppers and sightseers to explore, and plenty of options for friends looking for a fun night out.

Top to toe, Lincoln Cathedral dominates the Uphill area, with its towering spires, stunning stained-glass windows and intriguing Lincoln Imp, which has its very own legend of how it was turned to stone, and gives the visitor something extra to search for!

Visitors will find the light and welcoming Lincoln Cathedral shop and café off Eastgate, to the west side of the Cathedral.

Just a few yards away from the Cathedral is Lincoln Castle, which dates back to the 11th century and which is considered one of the best preserved Norman castles in England.

Events often take place in the Castle grounds, but there is always the chance to step out on the medieval wall walk, dip into the Victorian prison and enjoy seeing a copy of the Magna Carta in its special vault.

The nearby Bailgate area is extremely popular with local shoppers and visitors and distinctive for its wealth of independent traders, including a bookseller, fashion outlets, gift shops, cafés and much more.

This cobbled area continues into the city’s famous Castle Hill (an accessible area, where you will find the city’s Tourist Information Centre, which is always worth a visit, to source essential information or signposting, but also for special gifts and souvenirs).

Prepare to walk down Steep Hill, which certainly lives up to its name, and enjoy the mix of independent boutiques, tearooms and quaint shops along the way. You will eventually find yourself in The Strait, followed by the city’s Upper High Street.

This is just the start of Lincoln’s amazing long linear High Street which eventually takes you out of the city – but don’t leave immediately because there’s lots more to see!

Naturally, in common with many other towns and cities, different stretches of the High Street are dominated by the well-known multi-nationals, but the lower part boasts many independents.

Lincoln also has two “concentrated” shopping areas – the Waterside Shopping Centre (a stone’s throw from Lincoln’s historic Guildhall) and St Mark’s Shopping Centre in the lower part.

In addition, the Brayford Waterfront, which offers views across Brayford Pool, is the place to find hotels, restaurants, bars and cafés, an Odeon Cinema and the Virtually Golf centre.

This is a fabulous area in which to sit outside and relax over a drink and a meal on a bright sunny day and offers people the option of enjoying a real mix of leisure and dining out opportunities.

Another unmissable place to wander is Lincoln’s Cornhill Quarter which has been transformed with the help of millions of pounds of investment, but which still pays homage to its past.

This heavily regenerated area is bursting with a mix of national brands, local entrepreneurs and an Everyman Cinema. Look out for The Botanist, Joules, Phase Eight, Trent Galleries and more.

The newest arrival in the Cornhill Market area (as we went to press) is the Caribbean-style restaurant and bar Turtle Bay, which has received a warm welcome.

A new market in Sincil Street is nearing completion too after a major refurbishment, which has taken over a year.

Summertime footfall figures are a clear sign that fast-changing Lincoln is attracting more visitors.

Today, we have a city which is seeing the benefits of local investment, catching the eye of outside investors keen to bring “new” brands to Lincoln and which also encourages homegrown enterprises to make their mark.

The latest available, as we went to press, reveal that during the period 22nd July to 5th September, the city centre welcomed more than 500,000 visitors – a figure up three per cent on the same period in 2022.

Lunchtime between 12noon and 1pm was the busiest time and, on average, people spent 218 minutes in the city. Almost 11,000 visitors explored the city each day – two per cent more than in 2022.

Lincoln’s festive calendar is loaded with great annual events, but this year the city promises to be even more sparkly. People will have barely said goodbye to the new Monster Trail (finishing on 29th October) and enjoyed a spooky Halloween before their attention is drawn to what’s happening in November and December.

This year, with a tantalising new event and the return of old favourites there’s plenty to get excited about.

On Thursday 3rd November the ever-popular Thor’s Tipi makes a comeback to the Cornhill, where it will stay until Monday 1st January.

Pop inside and enjoy refreshing cold drinks or a warming hot chocolate, enjoy the cosy ambience and live music from local bands and more. It’s a great place to take a break from the office and have a “mystery gift swap”!

The 23rd November is another unmissable date, when the annual Christmas Lights Switch-On takes place in front of the High Street War Memorial. This year the lighting scheme has been extended too.

Hosted by the City of Lincoln Council and supported by BBC Radio Lincolnshire, it will feature celebrity guests from the New Theatre Royal pantomime Aladdin. Why not arrive in the city from 5.30pm and enjoy a snack before the official switch-on at 7pm?

During the Lights Switch-On, families can benefit from free parking in the city – between 4pm and 9.30pm on 23rd November at Lincoln Central Car Park, when using the PaybyPhone app at city council car parks.

The Lincoln Light Trail will also be returning for the Christmas period, with the popular lights, including the giant Reindeer and LNCOLN letters on show, giving everyone the chance to be the “I” in Lincoln – and create super photographs.

The festive season will be made even more special, thanks to the addition of a fabulous new ice trail, which can be enjoyed over the weekend of 9th and 10th December. The trail will feature 20 fabulous ice sculptures which promise to bring extra sparkle to the city. There’s the added bonus of being able to see how they are crafted too!

During the weekend there will be live demonstrations in Lincoln Cathedral between 12noon and 3pm, which will show people exactly how they are created.

Over the two days, make sure to visit Castle Square to experience the wonderful atmosphere of a Lincoln Christmas.​ A traditional carousel will be found in the Dean’s Green at Lincoln Cathedral. FFN Lincoln will be serving traditional Glühwein throughout.

As evening falls each day, there will be stilt firewalking at St Paul in the Bail, followed by a closing show at Lincoln Cathedral at 6.45pm.

Designed to enhance every window in your home, Roger Davis Interiors is Lincoln’s leading supplier of fine interiors, curtains and blinds, offering a full range of window dressing from leading manufacturers to help enhance the look and feel of every room.

The expert team, who share more than 60 years’ experience, offer customers a five-star service tailored to their needs to help transform dreams into reality.

Every set of blinds are custom made to ensure an excellent fit, and can be manufactured from a wide variety of fabrics, selected by you in the comfort of your home.

Choose from vertical, roller, Venetian (made from wood or metal) pleated and panel blinds in a choice of colours, as well as an extensive range of beautiful wooden plantation shutters which provide the very best form of insulation and sun protection when fitted close to the glazing.

For more information visit

Having recently moved to new larger premises at Stirlin Business Park, The Gentlemen Distillers, producers of the Bandsman Gin range, are working on exciting new plans for the future.

Formed in 2018 from a desire to make “something we could be proud of and call our own”, owner and head distiller James Wood released their first product, Bandsman British Gin, in July 2019 and the dedicated team haven’t looked back since.

“We’re a small family-based company simply wanting to make good gin and do our best to support other local businesses,” says James. “In four years we released four gins which make up The Bandsman Ensemble of gins, as well as two gins supporting charitable causes and a number of bespoke releases for a wide range of clients. Now we are looking ahead to other new concepts.”

The company moved to its new premises earlier this year which allowed them to incorporate a new larger still which came from DES Subotica: a Serbian company with more than 60 years’ experience making high quality stills.

“We had three wonderful years at our old distillery, but when this unit became available it was a perfect opportunity which we could not afford to miss.

“The extra space and opportunity to lay out the new distillery with three years’ more experience has meant that we can utilise our space much more efficiently and expand our horizons.

“One new initiative has seen companies approach us to bottle up one of our gins with a specialist label or to make a special bespoke gin for them. We then develop brand new recipes unique to them so that they have their very own gin that only they have access to.

“We are always open to working with more companies or organisations to provide them with a unique product and we also hope to use part of the distillery for tasting events in the future.”

For more information visit

If you’re looking to breathe new life into your home or workplace, the team at Spraying By Numbers can help turn your dreams into reality with their trusted quality service.

Based in Lincoln, and a preferred contractor for Leicester Tigers, their professional qualified experts help customers revitalise spaces, transforming interiors and exteriors, including fitted furniture, staircases, garages, windows, doors and more, as well as commercial premises.

Renovating kitchen units by spray painting is a cost-effective way of transforming a room’s appearance – and extends its appeal at a fraction of the cost. Whether you’re planning to change the look of your favourite piece of furniture, or refresh your outside space, spray painting allows for a smooth, professional finish, enhancing the overall aesthetic and allowing versatility in colour options.

This bespoke service enables customers to customise and match their desired décor effortlessly, without the hefty price tag of a full refurbishment.

For more information tel: 0791 735 8184 email or visit 

The team at Washingborough Hall Hotel on the outskirts of historic Lincoln are busy preparing for the upcoming December festivities. Head chef Mark Cheseldine is excited about the menu he’s put together with his brigade: “December is one of my favourite times of the year, its when we get lots of new guests into the restaurant and there is a real buzz about the place.

“Lunchtimes and Afternoon Teas are obviously very popular with the evenings tending to be a bit quieter.

This year our special festive menus start on Monday 20th November, we are offering a two-course festive lunch for £31.95 per person rising to £36.95 per person for three courses. Dinner in the evening is from £41.95 for two courses. My personal favourites from the evening menu would be the pork rillettes, followed by the roasted loin of wild venison. To finish, the tiramisu!”

Company directors, Edward and Lucy Herring have just celebrated their 15th year of ownership at the hotel. What are their plans for the future? “More of the same really, we continue to invest in the fabric of the building, the past 18 months have taught us the risk of spiking energy costs and how damaging that can be to the economic viability of any business. We hope to introduce some renewable energy onto the hotel site in a sympathetic manner – this will be a challenge but ultimately old heritage buildings need to move with the times and conserve energy where possible.”

Festive bookings can be made over the telephone with the reception team on 01522 790340 or

Gardens are important to our well-being, so it is worth having an outdoor space that you can enjoy. That’s the advice of garden design experts Fullers Landscaping, who create characterful outside spaces that suit each individual client’s budget, size and shape.

Ed and Zoe Fuller have built the family company over 20 years to provide specialised garden design and landscaping services ensuring you get the dream garden you deserve.

Ed aims to help transform external areas into a beautiful haven: “With every job we work closely with clients to create their perfect garden and help them use their space more wisely. This can be through innovative and inventive designs, or by making some small changes that can make a big impact.”

Fullers’ comprehensive services include all aspects of garden makeovers, from design to installation with the highest standard finish. They can also help you fully visualise your project before it is started with 3D pictures that show what your finished garden will look like.

Tel: 01522 868717, email, or visit

Those looking for kitchens, bedrooms or bathrooms in Lincolnshire now have a company that is focused on providing exceptional quality, at unparalleled value. GMO Interiors, based just outside Lincoln, is fast making a name for itself in the industry and gaining a reputation for affordable luxury.

GMO Interiors was founded in 2020 and is successfully offering quality kitchens, interiors and a wide range of appliances, through a bespoke customer experience and, if required, a full fitting service.

Despite each project being designed and managed to the customer’s requirements, they are able to work to most budgets and offer great value.

By focusing on quality materials, excellent customer service, through one-on-one appointments and building a team of in-house fitters, GMO Interiors are offering something different – and this has led to dramatic growth over the past 12 months. 

If you are interested in seeing what they have to offer, speak to one of their designers by calling 01522 454435 or book an appointment through their website.

“In honour of what would have been our founder Philly’s 59th Birthday in October, we will be donating £2 from every afternoon tea to St Barnabas Hospice,” said son Finn Dillon, who has taken over the running of the hotel. 

Philippa Creasey (known as Philly), owner of The Tower Hotel in the Bailgate, passed away in April this year after four weeks of incredible care at St Barnabas’ inpatient Unit Lincoln.

“As a team, we have been working to create a way to both honour our much-loved Philly and raise money for a charity that has been at the heart of our business for many years.

“Our team has created a delicious afternoon tea menu, including a range of tasty sandwiches, scones, savouries and homemade cakes, such as our Bakewell Muffin, Chocolate Terrine, Raspberry Blondie and Lemon Marshmallow.

“Gift vouchers are available and large tables of guests are also welcome. 

“Enjoy a delicious and classic afternoon tea experience while helping those like our beautiful Philly.”

For more information visit

Lincoln Print & Copy Centre offers a variety of print solutions in Lincoln for business, not for profit, public sector and individuals.

Although leaflets and posters are the most requested items, the specialist team also supply brochures, booklets, menus, large posters, pull-up and vinyl banners, as well as printed house plans, engineering drawings and much more.

Professional graphic design is an in-house service, helping to attract the right attention and convey the most important information. Recent work completed includes wire bound training manuals of 300 A5 pages, or more in short runs for organisations in the health sector, as well as A6 booklets, landscape and square brochures, to each customer’s specific requirement.

“Business cards also remain useful. Lincoln Print & Copy Centre can use customer’s own artwork or create something new. They can also supply in short runs, allowing organisations to change the details and information regularly. Other services include scanning original artwork from local artists to create prints – why not create your own Christmas card?”

Tel: 01522 546118 or visit

Brylaine, which has operated in Lincolnshire since 1981 as a family business, has announced a long-term aim to reframe local bus services as an affordable and easy way to get around with multiple benefits.

Until 31st December 2023, the national bus fare cap will enable travel on any single distance fare for just £2. The fare cap continues to enable local residents to pay a maximum of £2 for any end to end single trip length. You can get on in Boston and travel all the way to Lincoln, or anywhere in between for just £2.

Brylaine also accepts Lincolnshire Concessionary Passes and three under-5s can travel for free with a fare paying adult or pass holder – plus your canine friend can travel with you for a £1.

Since 2017, every single penny of Brylaine’s PAWS tickets have been donated to a dog rescue charity. From 1st October 2023 monies will go to Jerry Green Dog Rescue.

Having started in Old Bolingbroke with just three coaches, Brylaine now has a fleet of 52 buses carrying up to 5,000 passengers a day and operating over 1.4 million miles a year, with 60 team members operating from Boston, Skegness and Coningsby.

“We have invested in technology, with all routes being contactless and smartcard enabled. We were the first Lincolnshire bus operator to launch apps and digital tracking systems, along with CCTV and audio across the entire fleet for on road and passenger safety.

“Operating between Boston, Lincoln, Horncastle, Spilsby, Skegness and Splading, Brylaine covers a huge area of this amazing county and we look forward to doing so for many years to come.”

For full timetables, including services which operate on school days, visit or download the app from GooglePlay or the App Store.

Poly Postal Packaging is a Lincoln-based UK manufacturer and supplier of plain and printed packaging available both online and via Click and Collect.

Poly Postal Packaging is a locally based business and a leading manufacturer and supplier of ecommerce and retail packaging supplies.

Established in 2005, this eco-friendly company offers a huge range of packaging from its new location and warehouse on Cardinal Close, Lincoln. Specialising in custom made and custom printed packaging, across all types of products including Mailing Bags, Tissue Wrapping Paper, Parcel Tape, Compostable Bags, Biodegradable Loose Fill, 100% Recyclable Bags, as well as cardboard boxes, stretch wrap and much more.

“We are extremely planet conscious and have for many years only produced and supplied goods to our customers which fall into one of these categories: Fully Recyclable, Made from Recycled, Bio or Oxo-Biodegradable, Fully Compostable, Carbon Neutral.

“Our expert team has amalgamated more than 30 years’ experience of manufacturing and trading in packaging and postal supplies. With keen investment in both modern machinery and reputable stock raw materials, we strive to produce the highest quality products for our customers. We specialise in large production orders but can also cater for very small order quantity requirements, so if you have a need for plain or printed packaging but do not want to have to order huge amounts, then get in touch. Our core stock product lines are postal bags and ecommerce postal supplies with over 15 million mailing bags kept in stock in various sizes and colours, as well as lots of choices in cardboard boxes and other shipping consumables.

“We have been producing and sourcing packaging consumables for our customers for over 25 years.

This gives us an unrivalled ability to source the right products at the right price.

“We focus fully on all customers’ requirements and strive to fulfil all enquiries, no matter how large or small. Our online store, is the easiest and fastest way to order your packaging with options for economy or next day delivery, including a Click and Collect service from our warehouse premises in Newporte Business Park.”

Order before 3pm if you require next day delivery. Free local delivery is available subject to terms & conditions for postcode areas LN1-LN6.

Opening hours: Offices: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Warehouse/Click & Collect: Mon-Fri 8.45am-4pm, online: 24/7/365 days. For sales and enquiries contact tel: 01522 300591.

Lincs Man With A Van Ltd is a family-run business offering a range of expert clearance, waste removal and collection/drop-off services across Lincolnshire and surrounding counties.

The company, which is fully accredited, insured and holds the latest environmental waste carrier’s licence, delivers a first-class service and disposes of waste responsibly at official recycling centres.

“We offer premium quality man with a van services ranging from removals to cleaning and clearance. Our customers are our priority, so we ensure great quality, market-competitive rates, as well as free quotes.

No matter what you require, we have the right kind of van for the job – from our open back cage side lorries, for waste disposal, to our 3.5 ton Luton removal vans, we can provide cost-effective solutions. Our super-friendly staff are fully trained and no matter how big the job, Lincs Man With A Van are always here to help.”

Visit or email

Based in Lincoln, Lincs Cleaning Services Ltd is a professional family-run business serving residential and commercial clients. The team share more than 20 years’ experience and offer a variety of reliable solutions at very competitive prices. This includes a complete range of services for commercial premises and private homes, deep cleans, end of tenancy and cleaning and inventory management for student housing.

In addition, this highly regarded business provides one-off or contractual cleaning services for offices and shops, as well as window, guttering, carpet and upholstery cleaning.

“You can be sure that your home is safe in our hands and our 100% positive feedback speaks for itself.

All our staff are registered with the Environment Agency and fully trained in COSHH, First Aid, oven cleaning specialists and of course fully insured.”

For a free quote today, tel: 01522 413965, email: or visit

If you’re looking for a perfect present for photography students, keen amateurs or professionals, the London Camera Exchange in Lincoln’s Silver Street can help solve your shopping dilemma.

The London Camera Exchange offers a select range of up-to-date compact cameras, compact system cameras and DSLRs, plus a selection of lenses in most fittings, as well as quality binoculars, telescopes and accessories.

With digital technology constantly changing, photographers’ requirements for the latest digital equipment are at the heart of this well established brand, which stocks a wide range of exciting new products.

The helpful and knowledgeable team are encouraged to take an interest in new technology as it arrives so that they can provide practical and useful advice to customers contemplating a change. As a Canon Pro Centre and Nikon specialists, you can also shop for new and pre-owned premium brands such as Sony, OM-SYSTEM and Panasonic.

For more information visit

Limpopo was rescued from one of the worst cruelty cases Bransby Horses has ever seen. She would shake in fear when approached and it took 18 long months of rehabilitation and patience to restore her back to full health. Today, Limpopo is living a happy life in a new home. 

Without the support of people like you, Bransby Horses simply could not have saved Limpopo or be there for the many more that will need our help in the future. Legacies are vital to Bransby Horses’ future rescue and rehabilitation work, enabling them to provide lifelong sanctuary care for animals who cannot be rehomed. Bransby Horses has partnered with Bequeathed to offer a free Will writing service for anyone wanting to create a new Will or add to their existing Will with a Codicil.

Visit or call 01427 788464 

Photographs: Mick Fox

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