Lincoln offers visitors a fabulous day out for shopping with shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops set against the backdrop of the Cathedral.
Bailgate is one of the most historic parts of Lincoln Cathedral Quarter. It is the main thoroughfare in Lincoln’s uphill shopping area and the cobbled streets that run off it are today home to independent boutiques, galleries and places to eat. The Bailgate shopping experience gives Lincoln a unique character.
In the shadow of both the castle and the cathedral, Bailgate follows the line of the famous Roman Road Ermine Street. At one end of Bailgate is the Roman Newport Arch, which was originally the North Gate of the walled city. At the other end is medieval Castle Hill.
Walking around it, visitors can’t help but stumble across Roman ruins as significant as an early timber church and a well. The inside of the buildings are just as interesting: cafés are housed in quaint, low-ceiling structures with features that have been preserved for years.
As Bailgate leads downhill to Lincoln High Street, pedestrians encounter Steep Hill. Named ‘Britain’s Best Street’ in 2012, it is renowned for its character and beauty. At its steepest point, the hill rises to a one in seven (14%) gradient and a hand rail is in position to help people climb it. Plenty of delightful little shops give you the chance to stop and catch your breath.
Steep Hill is home to a number of notable buildings. The Norman Jew’s House and Norman House have characteristic mullioned windows and are key tourist attractions in themselves.
The Jew’s House is one of the earliest townhouses in England still in existence; today it is home to a fine dining restaurant. Built in the mid 12th century, it has traditionally been associated with the thriving Jewish community in medieval England. In 1255 the case of Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln created much anti-semitism and the Jewish community was expelled from England in 1290.
Brown’s Pie Shop inhabits a building that was originally the Fox and Hounds pub when built in the 17th century. In 1925 T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) occupied it while serving at RAF Cranwell.
The Wig and Mitre pub next to Brown’s is another much loved Steep Hill institution. As expected it has rooms on various levels with winding staircases and is perfectly positioned to provide a break after climbing the hill.