Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Our Day At Lincoln Castle

Last week we were lucky enough to spend an amazing day out at Lincoln castle, as well as exploring the cathedral quarter and activities nearby. I thought I would share a little about my experience there and some pictures of our fun day out.

Lincoln has the most amazing history, it's main selling point really, as well as a few big name shops and the fact that it was the birth place of the tank! The Shire is also home to the amazing red arrows and we are lucky enough to see them fly over all the time living so close to the base. We have been to the castle a few times before, but this year the castle had a big makeover in celebration of 800 years of Magna Carta, part of which can be viewed at the castle - as well as walking round the new and improved castle wall, the old castle prison and eerie chapel.

You can't fail to notice the stunning architecture as you drive into the city from any angle and when we heard about a special family day there, we just had to pop along in the sunshine for some fun. There are a few of these over the summer holiday as well as lots of events to entertain children and tourists, well worth a visit if you find yourself up that way this summer.

Firstly I went to ask about tickets. The good news is that it is now free to enter the stunning castle grounds where you can have a picnic, use the new lovely cafe or make use of their on site vintage ice cream van, selling delicious locally made ice cream with some unique flavours like elderflower and gooseberry! Things are priced as you would expect at such a tourist hot spot, but there is such a lovely atmosphere to the whole place and the staff are all really helpful and extremely child friendly - just like our local museums it seems.

It costs £12 for the full ticket - which includes access to all areas, as well as free entry into the kids activity patch, but I later found out that I wasn't allowed to take a pram up to the castle wall so this was a no go. There are places you can lock your pram up, which is great but on my own on high walls with a heavy baby to carry and a toddler to wrangle, I decided against it. I'm not sure if this was 100% accurate or if the lady I asked just didn't know her stuff, it seemed a little odd to me especially as I was told there was a lift - but maybe there is a good reason. I know some of the areas there are steps, so maybe it's just not suitable or safe. I was a little disappointed, but we will return again with us all so that Mr. W can help with the children - which will make things easier. It was £10 to do all the other bits, but without the wall walk, I decided to opt for the children's play part only which was £1 per child. Baby S was heading for the land of nod, so I only had A to pay for. This event was organised for the school holidays, there isn't ordinarily a children's play area, but there is lots of well kept grass and hills to roll down, so plenty for children to explore! We played and relaxed on the grass while our friends (with a family ticket) looked at the sites. I think A was much more happy playing outside anyway, making friends, burning off lots of energy and firing a bow and arrow!

The other activities on offer were magnetic knight dressing which was a lot harder than it looked, as well as wooden skittles, connect four, naughts and crosses and a cool jousting game with hobby horses and knight helmets, such a cute idea. A (and me too) liked the bows and arrows best which had suckers on the end (which hopefully stopped any eyes being gauged out). Baby S loved the play tubes they had set up and spent most the day in there. There was lots of shade and it was a perfect warm summers day.

At the entrance there are some canons which the children love. These have also been used for many drunken student pictures too! At the moment there is a 'Baron Tour' in the city which we absolutely love. People are campaigning to keep them as a permanent feature - I love this idea! We spotted a few extras that we hadn't seen before. I love this Lennon inspired Baron and this mosaic Riches baron I think is my favourite of all, so much work has gone into it!

We had some of the lovely ice cream, A chose raspberry ripple, baby S had a little in a pot and I treated myself to a bottle of water from the new cafe. The cake looked amazing but we had taken or own picnic and were trying to have a cheap day out.

The views within the castle are amazing, you can sit and see the new observatory, the gorgeous new spiral staircase that fits into the scene beautifully, the newly restored wall and lots of interesting things like an eerie trunk wood carving.

We left the castle for a walk and listened to one of my favourite singers who was serenading us at the top of Steep Hill, another lovely view from here. We had a wow at the cathedral, it really is huge and the detail is just amazing, I wish they still made buildings with this much effort put into them. We then whizzed round to the lawns where we visited the secret garden to look at frogs in the pond, hoped to pick an apple but they weren't yet ripe and played in the playground.

We then returned to the castle via the draw bridge at the back, I think this is my favourite part! We were again greeted by a Baron and made our way back for more play time. Our ticket meant we could go in and out all day, I did have to buy one for Baby S as she had no intention of sleeping and was enjoying her playing. The staff said she was fine as she was too young really to make the best of it, but I got her  ticket as she did have fun and really enjoyed chewing the arrows - yum.

We had a great day at the castle and will be returning again very soon to look at all the other areas. Both kids were worn out and slept pretty well that night!

For more information on Lincoln Castle, you can visit their website and you can keep up to date with all the events held there - such as these fun days, jousting and concerts.

Thanks for reading,


Life Unexpected