Lincoln is one of my favourite cities, the mixture of old and new, centuries melt away as you climb steep hill until you arrive at the cathedral and the prison where time has really been turned back.
The first weekend in December sees the arrival of the very popular Christmas market. For me, it is a short train ride from Nottingham.
We’d had terrible rain the night before and I was prepared for a slosh round but thankfully, in the end, crisp winter sun came out and all I had to worry about was cold hands.
The market takes over much of the cathedral quarter of the city, stalls offer homemade crafts from soaps to cheeses and many a food wagon enticed you with their mouthwatering smells. As this was the last day, the market felt rather empty and oddly this made me feel less festive but it did allow you get to the stalls without an elbow war.
There was a nod too to the medieval with three stalls offering Celtic and Viking objects such as jewelry and crockery. The vendors even got into role with their authentic costume.
We puffed our way to the top of steep hill, stopping midway to poke our noses into a gallery, we then snaked our way with the throngs through the ancient castle gates and then out across the draw bridge. On this side were rides and amusements for the little ones but personally I don’t consider that to be particularly festive, none the less they were popular and I’m sure for any suffering parent they offer a moment rest bite.
It was only right that we sample the wares of the market and tucked into a sausage that was three times bigger than the bun provided to hold it- the whiskey, mulled wine and mulled cider went down rather well.
The last time I visited Lincoln there was a charge to enter the cathedral but on Christmas market day this didn’t seem to be the case. It’s currently undergoing cleaning and so much of it was scaffolded which was a shame, however, the beauty and opulence inside more than made up for it.
I’m trying to convince Jessica to go to uni here as the cathedral will be where she would graduate and I can’t honestly think of a better place to celebrate such an achievement.
Light streamed through the stained windows causing a rainbow of colour to dance on the floors, two Christmas trees flanked the entrance adorned with nothing more than white light: elegantly understated.
With hushed voices we ambled our way around the ample building, my neck craning up almost the whole time. The intricacy of the carving showed a patience and a skill that I’m not sure happens today.
To keep the many market attendees watered and fed and to no doubt make a little money for the cathedral they were serving hot drinks with homemade mince pies and sausages rolls and despite the fact we were both still full we were unable to resist them.
As well as the market there was many a crafter nestled in small shops, surrounded by their wares and trinkets. In a world as busy as the one we now found ourselves in, I do wonder where they find the time to hone their craft. In a world where we are consumed by consumerism and everything appears to be mass-produced, it’s beautiful to think there is still pleasure to be had in hand made items and long may it continue or forever be lost.