Summer Holiday Activities in Lincoln

With the summer holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start planning activities to keep the kids entertained! There’s plenty going on in Lincoln – we guarantee they won’t be bored. Here are our top recommendations:

See the sights

See the best of our fine city with an open-top bus sightseeing tour. You can hop on and off to explore the sights that pique your interest and the live commentary will have you up-to-speed on Lincoln’s rich history in no time.

Your tickets are valid for two days and, even better, the kids travel for free!

Follow the Knights’ Trail

This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln (Discover the Battle’s significance here). The Knights’ Trail marks key points of the conflict across the city – follow the knight sculptures, each designed to depict a different aspect of our city’s history and culture (you can even follow them on Twitter!). The little ones can also have a go at painting their own knight.

The trail is running until the 3rd September and it’s free! Download your map here.

Enjoy the great outdoors

Hartsholme Country Park is a beautiful oasis located just three miles from Lincoln city centre. Complete with landscaped gardens, reservoir and woodland, there are plenty of spots to take in the views or get involved in something a little more active.

There are lots of events running throughout the school holidays, including den building, butterfly walks and a family fun day on the 13th August. There’s something to entertain all ages and interests.

Build a sandcastle

Who said you need to head to the coast to enjoy the beach? Lincoln’s very own city beach will be back for the holidays (24th July – 3rd September). With deckchairs, fairground rides, and of course; a Punch & Judy show, it really will feel like you’re beside the seaside!

Watch the joust

Set in the spectacular grounds of Lincoln Castle, you can watch a grand Medieval joust re-enactment. There’ll also be lots more exciting Medieval activities and showcases taking place at the Castle on the weekend of the 5-6th August.

You’ll be well-placed to enjoy all the fun of the summer holidays with a stay at The White Hart Hotel. Situated in the historic Cathedral Quarter, you can enjoy some of the finest views of the city from your room. We also have our on-site bar and restaurant – the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal or relaxing tipple after a day of entertaining the little ones. Book your summer stay.

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Battle of Lincoln 800th Anniversary: What’s On?

The 20th May is the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln. Deemed by historians to be one of the most significant conflicts in Medieval England, there is so much going on across the city to mark the occasion.

A little bit of history

Let’s start by looking at just why the Battle of Lincoln was so important. Back in 1215, the Magna Carta was sealed, yet just 10 weeks later, King John began to rebel against the promises made. This resulted in a division between English royalists and the rebels who called for Prince Louis (the son of the French king) to take to the throne. The divide led the country into civil war and when King John died in 1216, his nine-year-old son Henry III took on the reign of a divided and hostile country.

It was in 1217 that these hostilities came to a head. Aside from Lincoln Castle, the whole city of Lincoln had been invaded by the French. William Marshal (Henry III’s protector) led a troop of royalist knights to the castle, where they resisted the invasion. The royalists were victorious, leading Prince Louis to return to France – saving Lincoln, and England, from French rule.

What’s On? 

To commemorate, there’s a whole host of events and activities taking place all over the city…

BGU Annual History Lecture – 17th May 2017
Learn all about the circumstances that led to the conflict and the details of the Battle from Dr. Sean McGlynn. Bishop Grosseteste University is less than a 15 minute walk (or four minute drive) from our hotel. Why not join us for a relaxing drink after exercising those brain cells?

Lincoln Knights Trail – 20th May – 4th September 2017
Follow the trail of 36 knight sculptures across Lincoln. The sculptures depict two of the central figures of the Battle of Lincoln: William Marshal and Nichola de la Haye (custodian of Lincoln Castle).

Preparing for Battle (Lincoln Castle) – 20th – 21st May 2017
Head to the royalist hub at Lincoln Castle to watch the king’s army get ready for battle. From the preparation of bows and arrows to King Henry III’s arrival, you’ll be right at the heart of the action.

Procession – 20th May 2017
At 1.30pm on the anniversary, you can join the procession of flags and shields through the streets of Lincoln. Starting at Stonebow & Guildhall, you’ll proceed up Steep Hill to Lincoln Cathedral, arriving in time for the re-enactment.

(There’s also the opportunity to make your own shield at workshops across the city in the morning. See workshops here.)

Family Cycle Ride – 20th May 2017 
A team of riders will be cycling from William Marshal’s grave in London to Newark on 17-19th May.

On Battle Day, they’ll cycle the route of Marshal’s knights from Newark to Lincoln – you can join them on the final stretch on a family-friendly bike ride.

Re-enactment – 20th May 2017
The day’s events culminate in a re-enactment of the Battle of Lincoln. Gather on Castle Hill from 2pm to see the events unfold.

Special Discounts 

To commemorate 800 years since the Battle of Lincoln, we’ll be offering the first 800 lunchtime diners 10% off their final bill when they dine at The White Hart Hotel. See full details on our offers page.

(For more information on the history of the Battle of Lincoln, read the Visit Lincoln blog.) 

The Best Family Activities in Lincoln

Any parent will sympathise with the panic that a looming school holiday can bring! Keep calm this Easter with our round-up of the top family activities in Lincoln – all within a 15 minute walk of The White Hart Hotel. 

Lincoln Castle

The striking medieval architecture is sure to leave youngsters in awe. A trip to the castle is the perfect way to combine both fun and learning – you can step back in time to discover life in a Victorian prison, see the Magna Carta and, of course, enjoy some tea and nibbles in the café.

From 1st-17th April, children can join the castle’s Easter Quest where they can search for clues in the grounds in pursuit of a delicious reward!

Distance from hotel: 1 minute walk.

Lincoln Mystery Treasure Trail 

Suitable for older children and teenagers, the mystery trail is the ideal Easter activity to make the most of the spring sunshine. The 1.5 mile trail will take you on an adventure to Lincoln’s finest spots as you discover a series of clues to solve the mystery. Pick up the trail from Castle Hill.

Distance from hotel: 1 minute walk.

Boat Trips

See the sights of Lincoln from the water with a guided canal trip abroad the Brayford Belle. Pick your seats inside or out on deck ready to see some spectacular sights as you learn all about our city’s fascinating history. Boats leave from Brayford Wharf North.

Distance from hotel: 15 minute walk.

Temple Gardens 

Pack a picnic, some outdoor games and sunscreen and head to Temple Gardens for a fun and free family day out! Located in the city’s Cultural Quarter, you’ll be just a stone’s throw from historic monuments including the iconic Lincoln Cathedral.

Distance from hotel: 10 minute walk.

When you’re done exploring, make sure you pop into The White Hart for a delicious meal to round-off your fun-filled day out. View our menu and call +44 (0) 1522 563 290 or email restaurant@whitehart-lincoln.co.uk to reserve a table.

The History of The White Hart Hotel

Situated in the historic Cathedral Quarter of Lincoln, The White Hart Hotel is over 600 years old. First opened in the 14th century as a coaching inn, the hotel sits between the Norman Castle and the city’s Medieval Cathedral, making it a fantastic location for visitors who are keen to experience Lincoln’s history and witness the beauty of Roman architecture and design.

The hotel is famous for being the meeting place for Sir William Tritton and Major W G Wilson in September 1915 – they together conceived of and created the first ever prototype military tank in what became known as the ‘Tank Room’, which is now a corporate boardroom on the first floor of the hotel. Thanks to their design skills the world’s first 200 tanks were manufactured in Lincoln.

An attractive mixture of old and new, the hotel is also known for its ghostly history and is synonymous with spirits and ghouls. The legend is that a highwayman was killed in the area of the hotel that used to be the stables many years ago and he now haunts the restaurant area, hiding his face with his cloak!

Lincoln Castle is just a short walk from the hotel entrance and is home to one of only four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, a Victorian prison and an archaeology exhibition. This year, a ceramic poppies sculpture will be exhibited at the castle until September to commemorate the Battle of the Somme. Originally a part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the autumn of 2014, the poppy sculpture (known as the Wave and Weeping Window) is just a short walk away from the Cathedral where visitors can inscribe and leave behind crosses with the names of their lost loved ones.

Lincoln’s Hidden Gems – By Ian Robinson, GM at The White Hart Hotel

A historic city steeped in culture and charm, Lincoln is the perfect spot for sightseeing. Home to Lincoln Cathedral, this beautiful region also boasts an array of hidden gems from stunning walks and theatre shows to museums and boutiques. Here’s a local perspective on the best bits of Lincoln from Ian Robinson, the General Manager at the White Hart Hotel:

(1)  How long have you worked at The White Hart Hotel?

Five and a half years and the time has flown by! I love working with my colleagues here – you won’t find a friendlier team of people anywhere else.

 

(2)  What do you enjoy the most about your job and why?

The diversity of the job and meeting people is one of my favourite aspects. I also like hosting weddings at the hotel – there’s no greater satisfaction than seeing the smile on a bride’s face and knowing that I’ve contributed to her perfect day.

 

(3)  In your opinion, what makes The White Hart Hotel one of the top hotels in Lincoln?

The top-class service, the superb location in the heart of Lincoln (the historic Cathedral Quarter), a superb cocktail bar, and award-winning dining at Grille – Restaurant & Bar.

 

(4)  What do you like most about the city of Lincoln?

The city is big enough to matter, but still small enough to care. Community spirit still exists here!

 

(5)  What would you say are the ‘must-see’ spots of Lincoln?

Lincoln castle, where visitors can see the Magna Carta and go on a medieval walk around the historic walls, is a must-see as well as the stunning cathedral that attracts tourists from all over the world. The cathedral entrance is right at the top of Steep Hill – it’s fun to walk up the cobbled street simple because it’s so steep and there are lots of boutiques and speciality shops to visit along the way. The Guild Hall is a great place to visit too because it gives an insight into Lincoln’s fascinating history.

 

(6)  In terms of ‘hidden gems’; can you share any with us?

  • Not many people know that there’s a thriving night-time economy here in Lincoln. There’s always somewhere fun to go every evening and no two nights are ever the same.
  • The Bailgate shopping area has a plethora of independent traders, speciality food stores and clothing boutiques. It’s based in the Cathedral Quarter, one of the most historic parts of the city, so it has a quaint charm to it that shouldn’t be missed. Plus, it’s just a short stroll away from the hotel entrance.
  • You can use a downloadable app called Roman walk boundaries to help you find your way around the city’s historic perimeter. It makes for a fantastic walk and there are plenty of opportunities to take some eye catching photos.
  • For the most fantastic view of the Cathedral, our rooftop terrace is the perfect spot.

 

(7)  Finally, if you only had one day to spend in Lincoln, where would you go and what would you do?

  • Brunch at one of the little cafes on Steep Hill because there are so many interesting places to eat.
  • A ride on a tour bus because there’s always something new to be seen as well as the main stops at the Cathedral, Lincoln Castle and Cultural Quarter (ghost walks in the evening can also be great fun where you learn about the legends of the spirits that haunt Lincoln’s local attractions!).
  • Champagne Afternoon Tea at Room Bar, which comes with a chilled glass of champagne, fresh scone, clotted cream and homemade cakes, simply because it’s so lavish and delicious.
  • Drill Hall Theatre to see a performance – there are comedy, music, dance, film and children’s events all year round.
  • Room Bar for cocktails, a night cap to end the perfect day.