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Creative & Curious Guide to Lincoln

25 Jul 2023

Our humble brag is that we’ve been a successful, (predominantly) remote-working studio since before 2020 made it a more universal concept. After working in our respective London Studios, we found Library a home in the UK Midlands- tucked away in the countryside, a short distance from Lincoln City.

For us, the combination of restorative nature and eclectic city feeds into our studio practice. We believe in a healthy and diverse work-life balance, that gives us the fresh perspective and creative freedom needed to produce exceptional work. Here’s our personalised guide to the City and Countryside spots that inspire us, for any curious visitors, students or tourists as we enter the Summer holiday season: 

Lincoln City

Cathedral & Castle

The Cathedral is an incredible piece of architecture and Lincoln’s most famous landmark, positioned atop one of the only hills for miles around.

The area surrounding the Cathedral (The Bailgate) is full of history and more beautiful streets, buildings… and of course, the castle, as well as remains of the Roman city walls.

 

Steep Hill

One of the only hills you’ll climb in the whole county – but worth the effort up the picturesque old cobble streets to explore all the independent shops and cafes that line the way.

Lincoln Museum & Usher Gallery

The Lincoln Museum & Usher Gallery are two more beautiful buildings, and a main cultural attraction for all, nestled in halfway up Steep Hill. We often visit their seasonal displays and join them for their weekly life-drawing evenings in the Gallery.

The University

The Brayford Waterfront is a serene harbour in a concrete urban setting, overlooked by the industrial architecture of The Lincoln University. The Uni’s Engine Shed and Lincoln Arts Centre venues host the best variety in performances, events, talks and comedy. Thanks to the Uni, the city has a vibrant student community generally.

South & West Commons

Both open, rugged spaces for walks, dog walking and a hangout for local horses. On the south common on Bonfire night, you get the perfect view of both the lit-up cathedral and display of fireworks across the city.

INDEPENDENT SHOPS

These are some of our regular stop-offs. Not only for high-quality stuff but for their friendly nature that gives independent businesses a great name.

  • Groceries:

    The Cheese Society
    Fantastic selection of cheese, crackers, condiments & foodie delights

    Lincoln Eco Pantry
    Our first packaging-free shop!

    Redhill Butchers
    Notable for their local pork, but carry a selection of local meats and produce.

    Lincoln Farmers Market
    Every 3rd Saturday of the month – for a full selection of local fish, bread, honey, veg and desserts.

    Morning Sun Chinese Supermarket
    For the best selection of specialist East Asian treats & ingredients.

  • Food & Drink:

    Coffee Aroma
    The trendiest coffee spot, with 3 quirky, snug floors to hide away and read, write, and sketch.

    Stokes High Bridge Cafe
    A distinctive tutor building, serving a very classic British lunches, with their locally roasted and blended selection of coffees & teas.

    Little Korea
    The best authentic South Korean food we’ve ever had.

    Dough Loco
    Sourdough Pizza by the Castle, with astounding Garlic Bread.

    Kine
    A mix of tasty dishes made from locally sourced ingredients

    Sign of the Fish 
    One of the oldest fish & chip shops in the country

    Vice & Co.
    Speakeasy style cocktail bar that you’ll need instructions to find – mixing up some of the most creative creations we’ve tasted.

  • Shopping

    Chambers Florist
    Our local house plant, pot and floral supplier

    Lindum Books
    Independent bookshop in Lincoln’s historic Bailgate – ‘Lindum’ is Lincoln’s Roman name.


    The Artisan Maker
    Sustainably minded, traditional hardware & home 

  • Entertainment

    Akedo Gaming Bar
    Video gaming + drinks + music, day & night

Sadly, some of our regular favourite spots were unable to make it through the incredibly difficult last few years we’ve had. So we’d like to briefly acknowledge the contributions of Red Panda Gaming Cafe, Vine Bakery & Angel Coffee House, whose high-quality and friendly service was enjoyed by so many Lincoln folk.

IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

Water Railway Cycle Route

Starting in the city, this route takes you into the heart of Lincolnshire countryside.

The path follows the River Witham, so the route is lined with trees, greenery and a whole array of wildlife and canal boats. It also happens to run behind our studio, so it comes highly recommended by our team, human & canine, who enjoy lunchtime strolls by the water.

Woodhall Spa

Following the cycle path out from the city, you’ll eventually come to Woodhall Spa – a pretty town with a distinct 1940s theme and even more independent shops, cafes and events. Our favourite attraction is ‘Kinema in the Woods’ – an independent cinema in-keeping with the town’s nostalgia, complete with charming, organ-accompanied interval.

Horncastle

A town FULL of vintage, antique & second-hand stores for everything you can think of. Our studio has a whole collection of books, furniture and interesting objects we’ve uncovered in the town’s cabinets of curiosity.

The Lincolnshire Wolds

There are so many incredible walks, and small towns and villages to explore. But this is THE place for long walks, hikes and breathing in the country air. If you want some remote, quiet time this is where to go. Grab a map, or check out the All Trails app for Roman and Viking routes.

The Coast

Lincolnshire coast is filled with Traditional British seaside towns, like Skegness. The beaches are vast, wide and open, and you’re more likely to see a caf and a helter-skelter than an artisan coffee house – but that’s part of the charm. Although it’s not all seaside Kitsch, there are some more wild, nature spots along the coast also for long, salty, dog walks & hikes.

IN SUMMARY

So there you have some of our highlights from up our way. We put this article together to spotlight some of the best independent and local spots, for an experience you wouldn’t get anywhere else.

As creatives ourselves, we can’t encourage anyone enough to visit the gallery, look up some of the weird and wonderful events happening and support our local scene.

Lincoln in recent years has seen a lot of positive redevelopment, and a lot of enthusiasm for local history. Despite this, our local Usher Gallery was recently under threat of closure. Thankfully thwarted by a dedicated group of local artists and residents, we hope to see, and give our full support to arts and culture in the City receiving more funding, for even more creative, community spaces that benefit everyone, but are too often overlooked.

For the extensive list of things to do, and plenty of photos, take a look at the Visit Lincoln and Visit Lincolnshire websites

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