Only have time to spend one day in Lincoln, England? There’s a lot you can do in this historic city in just a short amount of time! Check out these fun things to do with just 24 hours in Lincoln.
Surrounded by the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside, the city of Lincoln has 2,000 years of history to explore, from the Romans to Magna Carta and more. Less than two hours from London by train, a visit to Lincoln makes for a great day trip.
I visited Lincoln on a snowy day trip when I studied abroad. My one day in Lincoln itinerary shows you the best of this historic city!
One Day in Lincoln Itinerary
1. Walk the Roman Trail
Roman history is a great place to start for your one-day history tour of Lincoln. The city’s Roman Trail has 16 points of interest mapped out of the Roman colony of Lindum.
Many parts of the walled Roman city still remain, including the Newport Arch, the oldest Roman arch in the UK to still be actively used by traffic. You can also see parts of the Forum, the well, the site of one of Lincoln’s earliest churches, and parts of the walls all around the city.
The best part is that this a completely free walking tour!
2. Discover Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Cathedral was once the world’s tallest building. The cathedral was commissioned by William the Conqueror and construction began in 1072.
It got its incredible Gothic architecture, though, after being rebuilt following fires and earthquakes in the 1300s, and a great center spire was raised making it the tallest building in the world until 1549 when the spire collapsed.
The inside of Lincoln Cathedral is like a work of art with all the stained glass and sculptures. The whole cathedral is built on the idea of the movement from this world to the next, and the architecture reflects this.
The circular Rose Windows face North and South, representing the directions of darkness and light. The Angels’ Choir is blocked off from the Nave, so you have to move through the cathedral to see it, just like you move from this world into the divine world.
3. Lunch at Bells Tea Shop
Lincoln has a bunch of classic tea rooms, and Bells Tea Shop is my favorite! This local tea room isn’t far from Lincoln Castle (the next stop on this itinerary), so it’s a great spot for lunch!
Bells Tea Shop is located in an adorable cottage along Steep Hill. It’s black-and-white shopfront makes it easily recognizable.
Their lunch menu includes sandwiches, jacket potatoes, paninis, soup, and pate. They also have homemade cakes, Lincolnshire Plumbread served with Poacher cheese, and cream teas.
4. Explore Lincoln Castle
Lincoln Castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1068, but what it’s really known for is being the home of the 1215 Magna Carta, the document that was the first charter to limit the power of the monarchy and to uphold the rights of the individual.
This is one of four copies of Magna Carta that still exist in the world. The castle also holds the 1217 Charter of the Forest, which re-established the rights of the people to the forests of the land referred to in Magna Carta. Lincoln Castle is the only place where you can see these two documents side-by-side.
You can also explore the castle grounds, take an audio tour, and walk the Medieval castle walls. Lincoln Castle is also known for being a Georgian and Victorian Prison, and you can see the claustrophobic single cells the prisoners were kept in. This is the only example of original “separate system” prison cells left in the world.
5. Shop on Steep Hill
Steep Hill is…well…a steep hill. This charming street is lined with 12th century homes and shops.
It connects the newer part of Lincoln with the oldest part, so it feels a little like stepping back in time as you get closer to Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral at the top of the hill.
Along Steep Hill, you’ll find shops and restaurants. Even if you don’t want to buy anything, you’ll at least get a great workout!
6. Dinner at Magna Carta Pub
Now that you’ve seen Magna Carta, the only logical place to go for dinner would be the Magna Carta Pub.
This pub is just a short distance from Lincoln Castle at the top of Steep Hill. This homely restaurant serving traditional pub fare is exactly what you need after exploring one day in Lincoln.
Dig in to Hand-Battered Fish & Chips or Hunter’s Chicken. And wash it down with a beer or classic cocktail.
Mapping Out Your One Day in Lincoln
Ready to explore the history of Lincoln, England? Use the map below to help plan out your one day in Lincoln.
I hope this itinerary for 24 hours in Lincoln helps you plan the perfect vacation!
Top Lincoln Tours
- Lincoln: Quirky self-guided smartphone heritage walks
- Lincoln: Whatsapp Murder Mystery Interactive City Tour
- Private Miniature Horse Walking near Lincoln
Where to Stay in Lincoln, England
- Top Hotel: Washingborough Hall Country House Hotel
- Great Value: Holiday Inn Express Lincoln City Centre
- Unique Stay: Creston Villa Guest House
More England Resources
- Visiting Lincoln Castle in Lincoln, England
- 18 Best Things to Do in Grantham, England
- 13 Best Things to Do in Cambridge, England
- 10 Incredible Day Trips from London, England
- Why You Should Take a Day Trip to Burghley House
Ready to visit Lincoln, England? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Lincoln using Booking.com.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
Did you find this one day in Lincoln guide helpful? How will you spend your 24 hours in Lincoln, England? Let me know in the comments below!