This December the cathedral city of Lincoln celebrates 40 years of pioneering the German-style Christmas markets in the UK.
Thanks to being twinned with the picturesque town of Neustadt in Germany, Lincoln was the first British city to set up a traditional German Christmas market in 1982 with just 11 stalls.
The phenomenon has become so popular that in 2022, the city will welcome over 200 stalls located across the Cathedral Quarter, selling artisanal goods from speciality cheese and Christmas treats to handmade knitwear, gifts and stocking fillers, all against a historic backdrop of cobbled streets, colourful lights, a gothic cathedral and Norman castle.
A highlight in the Lincoln calendar, the treasured event draws thousands of repeat visitors and in honour of its German origins, traders from Neustadt continue to bring their local products.
The scent of mulled wine fills the night air as shoppers eat, drink and shop their way around the bustling stalls.
The city schedules a number of late-night shopping days to allow extra time to buy gifts and enjoy the first of unrestricted Christmas socialising in three years at the many new restaurants and bars that have opened in the newly regenerated Cornhill Quarter. To add to the magical atmosphere, visitors also have the opportunity to attend a number of festive services at the showstopping Lincoln Cathedral.
2022 Lincoln Christmas lights switch on: Thursday 17 November from 4.30pm
From Thursday 17 November, Lincoln’s Christmas lights will illuminate the city.
St Mark’s Shopping Centre will transform into a sparkling winter wonderland for the festive season, hosting a launch event from 4.30pm – 6.30pm.
The crowds will then be drawn to the High Street as they begin the countdown to the Christmas lights switch on.
Visitors are then invited to take the celebrations inside at the Waterside Shopping Centre, with decorations there lighting up at 7.20pm.
Local Lincoln tip: Gain a bird's eye view of the city lights on Lincoln Castle's Medieval Wall Walk. Head up at sunset to see the festive glow of the walls as day turns to night.
2022 Lincoln Christmas market: Thursday 1 December – Sunday 4 December
To mark the 40th anniversary of the Christmas market, the City of Lincoln Council will open the 40th Lincoln Christmas Market at midday on Thursday 1 December.
Live entertainment will feature on a brand-new stage for music, complete with dramatic lighting effects, to really kick the market off with some festive flair, before a traditional celebration begins at 6pm at Lincoln Cathedral.
- Thursday 1 December: 12noon – 9.30pm
- Friday 2 December:10am – 9.30pm
- Saturday 3 December: 10am – 9.30pm
- Sunday 4 December: 10am – 7.00pm
Local Lincoln tip: The markets are woven into the fabric of Lincoln's rich history and a Christmas favourite for residents – their annual presence has been a constant for families and friends for generations.
Tempting you with seasonal treats like gently spiced mulled wine, traditional ales, festive fizz and hot chocolate spiked with Amaretto will be Thor’s Tipi Bar.
This light-covered pop-up venue located at The Cornhill will open daily between 4th November and 1st January from 10am -11pm.
Get cosy around a log fire under a canopy of fairy lights to the sounds of resident DJs and enjoy Asian fusion dishes like gyoza, bao and Korean chicken from YUZU Street Food.
Lincoln has an array of fine dining restaurants and historic pubs juxtaposed with modern cocktail bars, world cuisine and English tea rooms so visitors will not be short of places to find some festive fuel.
Local Lincoln tip: Owing to its agricultural landscape, Lincolnshire makes three iconic foods – the Lincolnshire Sausage, Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese and Lincolnshire Plum Bread. Local produce can be found at countless eateries across the city, including Reform Restaurant and Duke William Hotel in the Cathedral Quarter.