The Lincoln Christmas Market 2015

Between Castle and Cathedral

Over the last weekend, the annual Christmas Market was held in Lincoln. As always, stalls stretched across a section of ‘uphill’ part of the city known as the cultural area – i.e. where the castle and cathedral are.  This area is, literally, ‘uphill’. Lincoln is a strangely shaped city: parts of it are at the top of the hill and some stretches out at the bottom. The slope in between the two is quite steep, though it is built on, of course, and the main, narrow road leading from the main shopping area of lower Lincoln to the top of the hill is aptly called, Steep Hill.

Top of Steep Hill
Top of Steep Hill before it dips down towards the lower part of the city

This year, we decided to visit the market in the evening, when it feels the most atmospheric. Last year we had a daytime visit, simply so we could take photos. I’m glad we did, because this year, our photos haven’t turned out well at all. I’ll share a few on this post, but a better view of the stalls and goods on offer can be seen on my last year’s post here. (Oddly enough, I posted that one on December 7th last year.)

As I said last year, the Lincoln Christmas Market is one of the oldest in England and the first one to be ‘German-styled’. It started in 1982 following the ‘twinning of the city with Neustadt in Germany, with an initial eleven stalls standing between the cathedral and castle. These two pictures are the same German stall with the name Neustadt on it. The one on the left was taken this year, at night, and the other during the daytime last year:

Now stalls spread through the castle grounds and along some of the streets –

and the fun fair, along with more stalls, takes over nearby carparks:

At the main gateway into the castle grounds was this welcoming figure. One of the ‘Barons’ of Magna Carta fame from throughout the summer had taken on his new role:

The majority of stalls were inside the castle grounds, many the traditional chalet style, others beneath a number of marquees. There were many goods on offer, on stalls from several European countries as well as different areas of Britain. German stalls were prevalent, as to be expected due to the ‘twinning’. Many of them sold food and drinks of one type or another, both hot and cold.

Here are a few of the dozens of photos we took around the  market and castle grounds. Many were just too ‘glary’ due to the bright lights.

Well, that’s it for this year about the Lincoln Christmas Market. Now I need to think of a post about all the ‘mini barons’ that are hidden around the city. We’ve managed to find quite a few.


111 thoughts on “The Lincoln Christmas Market 2015

    1. Yes, it’s a shame, but understandable. I was hoping you’d get there, then we could have said hello. I do understand why you couldn’t make it though. We had many years when we first married in just the same situation. The market at York is on all December. It’s not as atmospheric as Lincoln, but it’s got plenty of stalls. I don’t know whether Hull has one. Have a hunt online. They are fun!

      1. That would have been really sweet. Couldn’t at all warrant those train prices though! We’re thinking of going up to York – I absolutely love it there. Hull has very regular, but less intense and spectacular fairs. There is one on Sunday in Beverley which we’re going to, not too far away either! 🙂

      2. Well, have a great time in Hull! I’m going into Nottingham next Saturday. I think they have something similar to York – Christmas stalls all month. The thing with Lincoln is that it’s just the one weekend, so it does get packed. I don’t know how those train prices can be justified – and running a car costs the earth. Give it a few years and you’ll be well away. 🙂

      3. Yeah, exactly! Throw it all into one giant extravaganza! 🙂 I think that’s a brilliant way to go about it – it gets busier, but I can imagine it has much more of a buzz of excitement around it, knowing it’s short lived. Enjoy Nottingham!

      4. Thank you! As long as it doesn’t pour down, it should be fun. I’m going with one of my daughters and my 16 year old grandson (the one who keeps dragging us to the Railway Museum in York). No doubt we’ll spend the day watching trains! 🙂

      5. I’d have to ask Kieran that. He knows everything there is to know about trains and what’s going on where! Lol. He’s obsessed with them! I still have a post to write up about our last visit, but it will be after Christmas now.

    1. Yes, it’s lovely. People come from all over Europe, as well as Britain. Coachloads of people come, as well as on two chartered steam trains. It can get very crowded, but that adds to the fun. Thank you, Freda! 🙂

      1. I’m sure you’d love it, Freda. The German-styled stalls are lovely and there is so much to see. It’s particularly lovely as it’s in the catle grounds and overlooked by Lincoln Cathedral, It has that wonderful atmosphere of people enjoying themselves. 🙂

    1. Thank you! There are a lot of stalls displaying hand-crafted good. The German and Scandinavian items are really beautiful. We’ve bought a few handmade clocks over the years. There are always some great new stalls to find each year.

      1. I think many of those old crafts are dying out, unfortunately, and keep going mainly for the tourist trade. People much prefer hi-tech gadgets nowadays. Both have their place, of course. I love wood, the look and the feel of it. Wood carving is an amazing art.

  1. I wish I could attend this event! wow love the pictures and glad you took pictures both last year and this year. It would be so lovely in the evening. Sounds like you would get your exercise going up the hill! Love the stalls and crafts!

    1. Thank you, Lynn. Walking up Steep Hill is very strenuous. There’s a seat halfway up and it gets a lot of use. When we come to uphill Lincoln, we usually park near the castle. Nick’s partially disabled, and he finds walking up the hill too difficult. I do it when I’m with my daughters. The market is lovely and festive and there’s lots to buy. I’m sure you’d enjoy it, Lynn. 🙂

  2. It looks lovely, you must have had a great time. I love Christmas markets, they get us into that lovely Christmas feeling. I went to Winter Wonderland in London many times, but l am not sure if we are going this year, it is way too packed, not an ideal place to go with a baby.

    1. I know how difficult it is to get about with a baby. I’ve done it six time over! I’d like to go to Winter Wonderland, too, but it won’t be this year. I think many of us like these festive events. They mean so much at this time of year. Thank you Daniela.

    1. I felt really festive when we got in from the market. It’s all the colourful stalls and wonderful music. The trouble is, Christmas is still well over two weeks away! I’ll have to go and find a few more Christmas markets.:)

      1. I know, Jack. I’m still brooding on her words and wondering whether she was right. Things like that do make you doubt yourself. I just have to try not to be so sensitive, but I’m a bit too old to change my temperament now. 🙂 I know it will pass, but right now, it still smarts. Thank you for your friendship and advice. It’s so much appreciated.

    1. Thank you, Dinata. Markets like this are just what we need at this time of year. There’s such a joyful atmosphere amongat everyone as you walk round – both locals and visitors from some distance away. The German and Scandinavian stalls are my favourite – such wonderful, handcrafted goods.

    1. Thank you for that, Charles. My ‘camera’ (i.e. Samsung tablet!) doesn’t do well either in bright lights or darkish places. So we relied on a little camera we’ve had for years. I was relieved the photos turned out as well as they did. It would have been a shame not to share this event. We only live a few miles away from Lincoln and we look forward to it every year. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Lina! It is a wonderful event, and everyone in Lincoln looks forward to it. The city is quite chaotic over the ‘market’ weekend, with so many visitors. The local traders do very well, too. 🙂

  3. Looks like a wonderful place to visit during the Christmas market! These photos turned out great, I like that they’re taken after dark, it looks all lovely and lit up.

    1. Yes, Lincoln has a great Christmas market – the best one in the UK, I believe. It’s definitely the oldest one of its kind here (i.e. German-styled) Thank you for the nice comment about my photos, Ali. I had so many totally unusable ones! 🙂

    1. I do agree! Christmas markets are wonderful and definitley magical, especially at night. We were hoping to go to the one at Cologne in Germany this year, but other things have got in the way. So… next year .we’ll be making a big effort to get there. Thank you, Rockhopper. 🙂

      1. Yes, it seems that almost every town and village, holds a market in Germany. I imagine you’ve been to a few of them on your travels. We’ve found a couple of trips that include visits to a few different ones. On one plan, tourists travelled to different makets by cruising along the Rhine. If you have any advice on that one, I’d be very pleased to hear it.:) I know Cologne is the biggest and most visited of the markets, so we’d really like to see that one. Thank you, Rockhopper. 🙂

      2. I have heard of Heidelberg and will certainly look it up to see whether there’s a Christmas market there. I’m sure it will have. Thank you for the suggestion. 🙂

    1. I’m glad I posted the photos now. I almost didn’t bother. Yes, we always have roast chestnuts. We both love them and there are several stalls that sell them. There are a lot of hot foods on sale, and there are always queues at them. It’s such a carefree event and we really missed it in 2010 when it was cancelled because of the snow.

  4. Don’t worry about the quality of your photos Millie, because they do what is the most important thing, they capture the essence of the market, I could almost smell and taste the food, and hear everyone having a wonderful time 🙂
    It looks like a great event, and from what I’ve seen, Lincoln is a beautiful city too!

    1. Thank you, Andy! Lincoln is a lovely city, mostly because it’s small, as cities go (about the same size as Exeter, which you may well know). ‘Uphill’ Lincoln draws tourists all year round, especially around the cathedral and castle. Uphill was where the Romans had their fort, Lindum, too, so there are Roman gateways and other fragments of ruins there. This area is up on the Lincoln Ridge. The steep slope dividing upper and lower Lincoln was formed by the River Witham cutting its way through the ridge.(Oolitic limestone/oolite … lovely stuff!).
      Thank you for being kind about my photos. I’m glad you thought they captured the atmosphere of the market. I’m not a photography blog in any way at all, but I do like to illustrate what I’m blabbering on about. And the market was such fun. 🙂

      1. Thank you for the geological context Millie, Lincoln has taken on an even greater appeal now!!! I didn’t realise the Jurassic stretched across to Lincoln (not that oolitic limestones are restricted to the Jurassic). It is a wonderful rock type, both geologically and architecturally! Lincoln is definitely on my ‘must visit’ list, it does sound wonderful 🙂

      2. When you live so close to a place, you often don’t appreciate it. We only live seven miles from the city, and go there regularly for shopping. All the main shops are downhill, so uphill becomes a treat. There are lots of nice little tea-shops at the top of Steep Hill. I keep meaning to look whether the cathedral is built from oolitic limestone – and the castle, for that matter. The Normans generally had stone brought over from Normandy, so they may not be. Many churches in the area are, though. 🙂

      3. I love the names of the different parts of Lincoln, albeit a little unimaginative! Lol! That’s very true about taking places for granted. My parents house, (and my old bedroom window), overlooks St Michaels Mount, and that just seems a normal sort of thing. I’ve only once been up to the castle, and only a few times been over to the Mount itself – we just tend to take it for granted!
        I love the sound of all those churches built of oolitic limestone…….I’m picturing all these quaint medieval buildings, with village greens and inns 🙂

      4. Well, there are all kinds of villages in Lincolnshire. Some are of local stone, others are mostly brick-built. Lincolnshire as a whole is a very rural county – very little work for young people apart from on the land or in the towns, of course. It’s very flat, too, apart from the Lincoln Ridge and the Lincoln Wolds. There are some lovely villages in the Wolds – more expensive houses, needless to say. Your parents’ house is in a wonderful place! We intend to get out to St. Michael’s Mount next time we’re in Cornwall.
        I’m not a native of this area, and I miss living by the sea. But Lincoln has a lot going for it – and five of our six children are here. Thanks, Andy. 🙂

      5. The Wolds has always fascinated me, but I’ve never really looked into why they are so much higher than the rest of Lincolnshire, I assume they too are composed of Jurassic rocks.
        My parents are lucky, they look down on Newlyn Harbour, and can see right across the bay, over to the Lizard, and up as far as Carn Brae (Camborne) on the north coast. If you decide to take any photos of the Mount, it looks far more dramatic from the eastern end of Marazion or from Perranuthnoe 🙂
        I can imagine you miss the sea, but being close to where most of your kids now live, obviously more than makes up for that 🙂

      6. It’s funny where we all end up. Look at you, up in Scotland! Cornwall is a lovely county, but do is Fife. I’m sure you’re very happy there.
        As far as I recall, the Lincolnshire Wolds are a mixture of chalks, limestones and sandstones (Cretaceous) as well as glacial deposits here and there. It’s a SSSI, though, and very pretty. We have thought of moving there – along with a million other places!
        I do hope to go to Cornwall again soon, so I’ll take your advice re. photography. But first, I’ll buy a better camera. 🙂

      7. It is odd where we do end up, so many people live their whole lives in just one town or village. I think it often depends on your line of work, but in my case, only two of the moves were due directly to work, well actually the third was indirectly, I was made redundant 😦
        Scotland does feel like home to me, much more than Surrey or Anglesey ever did 🙂
        Of course, now you say it, I think I may have read about the Wolds being Cretaceous (Greensands amongst the chalk etc).
        When you do head down to Cornwall, I’ll look forward to seeing the various posts and photos! 🙂

      8. I’ll do my best with photos! I imagine we’ll do all the usual places again, like Tintagel and the Eden Project. But I would like to get out to St.Michael’s Mount – and I do like St. Ives. I’m looking forward to it already! 🙂

      9. I can imagine. It was November the last time I went to St.Ives, and there were plenty of people around then. (We were living in Crediton in Devon at the time). It might be outside of the school holidays, though. We haven’t got dates for any holidays next year yet.

      10. I think St Ives is just bearable outside school holidays, so you should be okay 🙂
        Wow – I see what you mean about moving around, I’d never have guessed that you at one point lived in Crediton Millie, that’s certainly in a nice location on the edge of Dartmoor 🙂

      11. It is very close to Dartmoor. It’s lovely around there. And we had a few days going into Cornwall, too. I love the red sandstone cliffs on the coast aroud Bude.

      12. The Carboniferous beds of the Crackington Formation just to the north of Bude are amazing, brilliant for structural geology 🙂 If you’ve been to Tintagel, I’m assuming you will have been to Boscastle. (This conversation is causing my wordpress dictionary to go crazy, I’m having to add so many words!! Lol!!)
        Anyway, I was going to ask, did you see the floods they had at Boscastle about 12 years ago?

      13. We had been to Boscastle not long before those floods happened. Then, a couple of years later, they were used as case studies in geography books, so I ended up teaching about them, too. As for the red sandstone at Bude, I do remember the wonderful folding. Awesome cliffs.

      14. I worked at Tempest Photos when those floods occurred. I used to drive one of the minibuses, which I then had the use of outside work hours. I’d parked in the car park the week before the flood, if it had been a week later, the Tempest owners would have seen one of their buses floating out to sea! Lol! I know that sounds almost sick, but the Tempests weren’t exactly the best employers for how they paid their workers ( whilst I was there, Mrs Tempest was the 64th richest woman in the UK) and when the minimum wage was brought in, almost a third of the workforce got over a 50% pay increase!!! Sorry, I got somewhat sidetracked!!!

      15. You can sidetrack as much as you like, Andy – I do it often enough. It’s all very interesting. It seems to me that really rich people are the same everywhere: no thoughts at all for the peasants – or, should I say ‘plebs’? Lol. On a serious note though, you were very fortunate not to have been on Boscastle a week later. I might have been you as well as your minibus floating out to sea! I know that very few lives were actually lost in that flood, thanks mostly to the effectiveness of rescue operations, I believe. The damage to the place was severe, as I recall from videos we had at school. Floods are Britain’s No. 1 natural hazard, but aren’t we fortunate not to have severe earthquakes and such like? I’d like to visit that area again, and of course go up to Tintagel.

      16. Lol!! It’s a hard life being a peasant! 🙂 Most importantly, I’m a happy peasant, and I’d much rather that, than to be an unhappy Lord of the Manor!!!
        It’s good in one respect that we don’t have any serious natural hazards ie so people aren’t coming to too much harm………….but from a personal aspect, I wish we did have real weather extremes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. I find the power of nature absolutely fascinating!! I was gutted that I had missed the Boscastle flood!!! But as I said, I don’t like all the suffering that goes with such things.
        I’ll have to go and live somewhere totally deserted that suffers from all these wonderful natural phenomena!!! 🙂

      17. I’m a happy peasant, too. Who needs money? 😀 As for natural hazards, I’m happy to study them – cause, effect and repsonse. I agree, that aspect of them is fascinating, and I’m impressed with methods of predicting volcanic eruptions. I just hope one day they’ll be able to predict earthquakes as well. I’m not nearly as interested in meteorological hazards as I am in tectonic omes. But the whole subject of how the earth works is amazing.
        But, as you say, the suffering and loss of life that comes with such hazards is absolutely heartbreaking. 🙂

      18. A complete change of subject Millie – I’ve started reading your book, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it!!! Your style of writing is very readable, but also professional too, so often you can tell when someone hasn’t been writing books all their lives! You’ll definitely get a positive review from this happy reader! 🙂

      19. I don’t know what to say to this wonderful comment, Andy, other than a great big ‘thank you’! I’d thought you wouldn’t manage to get round to reading the book, as you said you have little time to read. Obviously I’m overjoyed that you’re enjoying ‘Shadow’ and just hope you like the rest of it! And needless to say, you’ve just made my day with this comment. Thank you! 😀

      20. Well, we all have ‘off’ days, so I’m allowed a little self pity now and then. Lol 😀 I’m fine now and just trying to catch up with everything I’ve got behind with. Thanks, Andy. 🙂

  5. What a beautiful market! Just looking a your pics adds to the Christmas spirit over here on the other side of the Atlantic! 😉 I wish European Christmas Markets would catch on in the States… it seems like such a lovely way to do some holiday shopping as a family. So much nicer than going to a mall!

    1. Thank you, Jean. You know us Brits… we revel in the traditions of the past. The way the stall-holders dress in Victorian costumes adds to the ‘olde worlde’ feel. These markets are a lot of fun. We’re hoping to get to the one in Cologne next year. It’s the biggest Christmas market in Germany, and I’d love to see it – as well as a few others over there.
      I’m sure your shopping areas are very festive, too. I’m sure I read somewhere that some places in the U.S. were setting up Christmas markets.
      Thank you so much for reading! Millie 🙂

  6. Millie, how lovely! I really like the festive market atmosphere shopping much more than the prefabricated mall department store shopping that is available to me. The German influence is quite interesting. We actually have a fair amount of Germans who live in our city here as a result of the air force base. They are very active in the community, some have opened restaurants and they hold a traditional Mayfest celebration also every year.

    1. What you say about the German community in your area is very interesting, L.T. If many of them live there on a permanent basis, and have set up Mayfest celebrations, it’s a wonder none of them have thought of a few German-styled stalls at Christmas. The Christmas markets in many European countries date back hundreds of years, so the tradition is very well established. It would be lovely for you all, and good for community in general at this time of year. Perhaps someone could drop a few hints . . .? 😀

      1. Millie we do have several craft fairs where they may do this as the Air Force Base here actually puts a grand one on..The thing is that I don’t go to the craft shows so I don’t know if the Germans have anything set up or not. I may have to check it out next year.

      2. I don’t go to craft shows, either, although I’m sure there are lots of lovely goods for sale. But Christmas is great with or without markets and shows, and I hope you have a wonderful break from school for a while. Eat, drink and be merry, as they say…then diet until the spring! (I remember when I was still teaching, January was hilarious in the the staffroom. So many female members of staff would be eating little more than lettuce leaves for lunch! Penance for the Christmas indulgences.) 🙂

  7. Love the photos, and I can see quite well the markets. There is a special atmosphere at the xmas markets and the cold isn’t enough to dissuade folk from attending. It must be a nice chance to get out and meet old and new friends. Merry Christmas, Millie.

    1. Thank you, Amanda! It’s the atmosphere at the Christmas market that we love. It feels so ‘continental’, with lots of German and Scandinavian stalls. I just know you’d love it! There are so many handmade items in various materials – all very lovely. It is wonderful for a family outing, especially at night. Merry Christmas to you, too. 🙂

      1. In 2011, I went on a Christmas markets tour of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It was fantastic and I did go to the Heidelberg market too. Very cold there but the gluhwein warmed me up.

      2. Heidelberg sounds really lovely, but I think I’d like to do that in the summer. Like you, we’re considering a markets tour, but probably just the German ones. I’m sure you had a wonderful time! Thanks for that, Amanda.

    1. Thanks, Anna. The Lincoln market is a really festive event, but very crowded, especially at night. It’s only on for a weekend, whereas in other British cities the Christmas market lasts throughout December. A very Merry Christmas to you, too. 🙂

  8. Wonderful presentation,stunning and most effectual night shots!The atmosphere is so festive and heartwarming,dear Millie!You have displayed and discribed everything in awesome detail!The German style is obvious,you made me feel as if I were there strolling around and having fun.I’m glad I didn’t miss this post.Actually,all your posts are interesting,I’m glad I have met you 🙂 xxx

    1. Thank you! And I’m so glad to have met you – for which I have lovely Irina to thank. The Lincoln market at night is very atmospheric, and full of people from all over Europe. We are fortunaate to live only seven miles away, so it is easy for us to visit. 🙂 ❤

      1. I am glad to have met you too,I consider myself very lucky!Indeed,we have to thank our wonderful friend Irina!How nice you live so close to this lovely city and you are able to enjoy this festive atmosphere any time you want to without having to schesule everything 🙂 ❤ xxx

      2. Yes, Irina is a lovely person, and I very much enjoy reading her poetry. It is wonderful how we all connect with each other through WordPress. It’s lovely to be able to share our thoughts and ideas through our posts and comments. 🙂

  9. Such a lovely post! 😉 Everything looks so pretty in this Christmas market, beautiful lights, interesting shops and the amazing Ferris Wheel. ❤ If I were there, I wouldn't want to go home. 😀

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