We Went To Lincoln

31 Jan 2013

Sunday was my 24th birthday, and instead of a gift I asked Luke for a relaxing weekend away (that, and a phone case with cats on it that hasn't arrived yet.) We originally decided on the Peak District, but when the buckets of snow the sky started chucking over England started in a week before our planned trip, we decided on Lincoln instead. Luke booked us a room on Thursday, and on Friday we headed off for 4 days at the Lincoln Doubletree by Hilton.

Typically, I woke up with the start of a cold, though luckily I had my day nurse ready to combat it. We got some jobs done around the house in the morning, and headed off for the train around midday. It took about an hour to get to Lincoln from Nottingham, during which time I read Salem's Lot while Luke read through a copy of Michael Caine's biography, which I had picked up for him as a gift the day before.

When we arrived we found our hotel quickly, and as we were a little early we popped into the handmade burger company for lunch before check in. After lunch we went straight in. The hotel was very nice, they gave us warm cookies on arrival and the room itself was really comfortable - the bath was amazing and the bed was so soft it was like sleeping on a cloud. We were also right in front of the river, on a strip full of our favourite restaurants, a cinema and a Starbucks.

After getting settled in we went for a walk around the city, where I bought a hat (Lincoln is freezing) and a new bag, before stopping off for a drink in a bar called 'The Strait and Narrow' and deciding what we would do the next day. We then hung out at the hotel for a couple of hours (where we watched 'Suits' for the first time, and decided we have to watch every episode ever made when we get home) before going to Wagamama's - which was pretty awful. They forgot to bring us our order, and gave the girls next to us someone else's order before taking it off them and passing the food on to the right table about 5 minutes later. Bit gross if you ask me, but our own food was OK when it got to us.

We spent the rest of the night watching more TV, drinking hotel tea and playing a quick shooting game at the cinema.

We went to the cathedral today, via a quick stop for a full english (Luke) and poached egg on toast (me) at Patisserie Valerie. The cathedral was absolutely beautiful, and very much like the one in York that we visited last year (we seem to have a bit of a thing for old churches.) The area it was set in was absolutely beautiful too, up a very steep hill (appropriately named 'Steep Hill') it was all cobbled stones and little tea shops and was not unlike Montmarte, which of course I love, since I'm a bit obsessed with Paris. Anyway, back to the cathedral. We walked around for a while, talking about the random bits and pieces inside, while Luke did some instagramming. It was very, very pretty. My favourite part was the outdoor area, which was covered in snow, leading Luke to remark 'I bet you could have a really good snowball fight here.'

Following the cathedral we headed to a vintage tea shop we had spotted on the way up Steep Hill, where I popped my soggy shoes up against the heater as we shared a pot of tea and had something sweet to eat (me: a brownie, Luke: scones and jam) and read our books for a little while. We were the only people upstairs, and it was very relaxing. :)

We decided to do some shopping after our tea, but soon decided against it after a few stop offs, as we soon came to realise that the town centre (and subsequently the shops in it) is quite a bit smaller than we're used to. We popped into a few shops before I commented that I really wanted to try the bath, which Luke followed up by commenting that the football was about to start. After a quick stop off at Boots I had a pampering in the very relaxing bathroom whilst watching Miranda on the iPad, while Luke watched the football on TV. I think we both got what we wanted out of that agreement. It feels so indulgent to pamper in the afternoon.

In the evening, feeling very refreshed, we headed off to take part in the ghost walk. We had decided to go to Gino's for dinner beforehand (thanks to a recommendation from Rachael) but when we got there it wasn't open yet, and we would have been left with only half an hour to eat before the walk had we waited. As we hadn't eaten since breakfast we decided to pop into Dogma for a bowl of chips and a drink to tide us over, after which we had planned to go on to the Italian. We ended up getting two huge bowls of chips rather than the one tiny one we ordered since they messed up our order, which wasn't all bad.

The ghost walk was brilliant.. alongside a thing for cathedrals we also seem to be quite into ghost stories, as this isn't the first ghost walk we've been on. It was freezing cold outside and we kept ending up standing on areas covered in ice, which I thought added to the ambience (I don't think Luke agreed.) My favourite stories were of the man on a black horse riding up to the castle and demanding to be let in - which they think would have been the ghost of a man who fell to sleep on his way to give the castle a pardon for his friend, waking up to realise that his friend had just been hanged as he slept, and subsequently committing suicide due to guilt - and the tale of a man that stayed in a hotel just before Christmas (The White Hart hotel - quite a few of the stories were based there) and kept calling downstairs to complain that people were running up and down the corridor. Staff kept checking and didn't find anyone up there. He said that he could have slept through it if it weren't for the fact that they kept rattling his doorknob, trying to get in. The staff apparently told the ghost walk lady that they didn't know how to tell him that his door was one of the few in the hotel with a swipe card function, so if someone was rattling the handle they were trying to get out -not in.

We headed back to the hotel following the walk - I gave Luke the choice and he decided against stopping off for food since it was so cold out, so we picked up a take out Nando's instead.

On Sunday I turned 24! Luke (who is still 23) started the day by giving me 'something to open' - I'd asked for the weekend away for my birthday - and inside a big bag was the most chocolate I have ever seen in my life, alongside a cat magazine, which was apparently from the pets. We had some chocolate and a cup of tea as our first breakfast, and after a bit of time getting ready we headed out for breakfast number 2: a full english. I didn't really fancy mine, but ate the best bits while Luke ate his and then some of mine. He's a man that likes his breakfasts.

Our big plan for the day following our breakfast was to visit the castle. We didn't really know what to expect, but were looking forward to it anyway. We got there at around midday and stayed almost until closing time. The weather had warmed a bit and it was really quiet and beautiful in there. We sat on the bench for a bit after realising that one too many treks up Steep Hill had exhausted us, and I whipped out my camera for a picture of the view (see instax photo #1, above.) After a chat about what the castle was used for now etc, we decided to walk around the castle walls. It was really nice up there, if a bit windy. Really good views over Lincoln, and some telescopes that didn't actually work (see Luke's sad face after his 20p was swallowed, instax photo#3.) There was a museum type area in the old prison on the castle grounds, with a stuffed dog that had featured in one of the ghost stories the previous night. Spooky. We looked around that for a bit before going on the guided tour, run by a sweet old man that really knew his stuff. It was really interesting hearing about the history of the castle, and of the kings and queens that had stayed there. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the old prison, and the way in which the Victorians believed criminals could be 'cured' - through the use of 22 hours a day of solitude, one hour of prayer and one hour of silent exercise. The prayer room was still standing, so we left the tour a little earlier (just before we turned into blocks of ice) to check it out. It was pretty fascinating, rows and rows of tiny rooms, just big enough to stand up in as a preacher stood above the room and told everyone how bad they had been.

After the castle we tried shopping again, but once again ended up having afternoon baths and watching TV in the hotel for an hour. We had hot chocolates from Starbucks and after getting ready we headed out for Sunday dinner at 8ish. We were the last in and got the last two roasts, which at the time we thought was very lucky. We had planned a bar crawl following our food, but instead got ben&jerrys and headed back. The river outside our hotel had flooded and we didn't want to end up wading through dirty water to get back if it got worse. We may have gone up to the hotel bar, but about an hour after eating I started to feel a bit funny. I put it down to eating too much, and we made a few jokes about it. Turns out I had food poisoning, as I spent the rest of the night (and the next day) being sick, shivering and burning up and lying on my back with a wet towel on my face.

Not the best way to end a birthday - but I enjoyed the rest of the weekend enough to put that to one side. It's a shame we missed out on our Monday plans, but up until that point we had a really relaxing weekend - it was pretty perfect. I especially loved the ghost walk and the castle. The castle really was stunning (and Time Team were in the middle of a project there - which we found amazing since we'd accidentally ended up watching Time Team for the first time the day before.)

Thank you Luke x

(top pictures taken at the castle, bottom pictures from Luke's instagram)


  1. I go to uni in Lincoln, and my sister lives there, so I go there quite a lot. I've never been on a ghost walk there, though, need to do that! I've been on one in York before, that was a lot of fun. The rattling doorknob story was really creepy.

  2. aw looks like you had a lovely break, Happy Belated Birthday!xx

    vintage teapot//fashion, beauty and life

  3. i love these photos! It looks like you had such a blast and a wonderful birthday :) I love getting experiences rather than presents- my boyfriend and I have a tradition of doing gifts for Christmas and surprise vacations for birthdays! It makes the day way more memorable :)

  4. I so enjoyed reading this! Your weekend sounds so so lovely, apart from the food poisoning of course. Lincoln sounds so amazing- Jase and I love visiting castles and cathedrals too. I SO want to go on a ghost walk now, it sounds incredible!

    Happy belated birthday to you miss!

    Rosie xxx

  5. Lincoln looks so pretty! Shame about the food poisoning and flooding but sounds like you made the best of it otherwise :)xx

  6. Oh no. Happy birthday Charlotte, have some food poisoning. That's so unfair! I get sick on my birthday every year. My husband reckons it's because I get so excited. At least it was on the last day of your trip. It looks like you had a lovely relaxing time.

  7. All of the photo's are beautiful and I'm glad you had a lovely weekend apart from the food poisoning you poor thing :( <3 Happy belated birthday!
    Love Holly x

  8. It sounds like a lot of fun! Happy belated birthday to you! It made me want to visit Lincoln too :)

  9. I'm so glad you enjoyed Lincoln, I'm a Lincolnshire girl like Rachael, I miss my home county! The shops and cafes on the way up Steep Hill are some of my favourite places to visit and it really is a climb isn't it?! I had a bit of an 'incident' walking down the icy hill after the Christmas Market one year which resulted in concussion and a trip to A&E.

    So sorry to hear about the food poisoning though - what a rubbish way to end the weekend! Hope you are feeling much, much better - really like the instax shots!

    Jem xXx

  10. What a shame that you got food poisoning at the end of your trip, sounds like you had a lovely and cultured weekend otherwise. Happy belated birthday!

    Hannah www.cagneyandlace.com

    Check out my Neom candle giveaway!

  11. This post has made me yearn for a relaxing weekend away. It sounds amazing, but sucks that you had to miss out on a day and put up with food poisoning! Amazing pictures. xo

  12. Sounds like an amazing weekend with your boy. The best presents are memories, not things. You'll remember it forever.

    Belated happy birthday

    Nikki x

  13. i bet it was a beautiful birthday, apart from the part of being sick. mine wasn't nearly as good.
    i like your long and personal posts and with lots of pictures. :d

  14. ohh that sounds lovely, except for the food poisoning bit! Happy birthday for last Sunday! Also, Suits is freaking AWESOME. Season 3 starts sometime this year *fingers crossed* =)

  15. Sounds like a fab way to spend one's birthday! The ghost walk sounds awesome! I really want to go on one :D
    Happy late 24th!

  16. I think it counts as a present really but I guess not so much with how it ended up going, what with you getting sick and all. Ouch :( I hope you had a happy birthday all the same though.

  17. Oh no! I was all ready to comment on what a lovely weekend it sounded like, and then came the last bit. How awful, I hope you didn't feel TOO bad and got over it quickly. At least it did happen right at the end though, as it would've been a huge shame if you'd been ill from day 1.
    Hope you're feeling much better now.
    Mel xx


  18. Sounds wonderful! I know you live there and you're used to it, but I'm jealous of anyone in the UK. :)

  19. Glad you enjoyed you trip! It's funny how you take advantage of places when your so close to them but i'm glad you enjoyed Lincoln :)

  20. That sounded like a fantastic birthday weekend away (excluding the food poisoning)! I love ghost tours - have been on ones in York and Salisbury, so I shall remember the Lincoln one if I am ever that way :)

  21. That sounds like the most awesome time, I love that you did loads of explore-y tourist-y things, I love the idea of Ghost Walks and the castle. And you also made time to just chill at the hotel which I also love doing when you're away from home, I always think it's nice to take advantage of being in a hotel when you've paid for it rather than just using it as a bed for the night. Really sorry you got food poisoning, definitely not an ideal end to a birthday! xo

    Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

  22. Ahhh I loved this post! :) I'm living in Lincoln at the moment because I go to uni here, it's so interesting to see it from your perspective when you were visiting! I always walk past the hotel you were talking about and i'm always so tempted to stay there one night instead of going back to my house full of messy housemates haha! I'm glad you enjoyed Lincoln!! Sorry to hear about the food poisoning though! Hope you had a lovely birthday xxxx

  23. I'm so sorry you were sick! But the rest of it sounds like a really fun time. Happy birthday!!! Your instax photos are incredible... keep taking more :)

  24. Happy belated birthday!
    What a fab weekend Lincoln looks lovely great pictures!

  25. Lovely photos :)

    Shame about being il x

    check out my cath kidston giveaway 1stepclosereveryday.blogspot.co.uk

  26. How annoying about the food poisoning :(((
    Sounds and looks like the rest if the weekend was lovely though, I've always fancied doing a ghost walk (and we watch Suits too, love it) xx

  27. What a lovely relaxing weekend - not so good about the food poisoning, it's awful! XoX

  28. great post!


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