It’s no secret on here that we love Lincoln. It’s a City I visited a few times pre-Jamie and now he’s here and we live near this beautiful City we visit it as often as we can. We are drawn to it, especially over the summer. There is so much to see and do. You have Lincoln castle, Lincoln Cathedral, Museum of Lincolnshire life, Collection and Usher gallery museums, Brayford belle water boat, cinema, great shopping and restaurants, theatre and more. When we were invited by visit Lincoln to have a ride on the Cities tourist bus I jumped at the chance. It’s something we have never done before and we have a challenge set on our bucket list to have a ride on at least 10 different tourist buses. So what better way to start than in Lincoln?
Lincoln Tourist Sightseeing Bus
Important information about Lincoln Sightseeing Bus
The first stop on the Lincoln sightseeing tour is right outside Lincoln Cathedral leaving at 10:30 am. You can’t miss it as it stops directly opposite the entrance. If you aren’t at this end of town the bus also stops at Brayford waterfront (in front of the waterfront hotels) and you can request the bus to stop at 7 other stops across Lincoln. A full tour takes just under one hour and there is just the one bus running.
Tickets can be purchased in three places. Either online in advance at the Visitor Information centre or on the bus itself. Adults are £10 each (16+ years), Up to two children under 16 can ride for free with an accompanying adult. Students are £8 and groups of 10+ are entitled to a 10% discount via the visitor centre. Prices are subject to change.
The bus is a hop on hop off so if there’s somewhere you want to stop just ring the bell in advance and the driver will stop for you. You are entitled to get back on at that stop or any other later on. Your ticket is also valid for two days.
Tours run from mid-March until the end of October. Please check their timetable on their website before travelling. The timetable can change on event days and in less busy months the tourist bus only runs at weekends.
My review of the Lincoln Open Top Tourist Bus
Our tour started up at stop #1 by Lincoln Cathedral. It was nice to just sit for a while and admire the architecture of the Cathedral. As well as perhaps visiting the Cathedral while you are up here you can also visit Lincoln castle and the English Heritage owned Medieval Bishop’s palace. If you want to visit both the Cathedral and the Castle it is worth purchasing a cheaper combined ticket.
The main reason we started the tour at the Cathedral was that I hadn’t paid attention to the time of the first tour. It was there nice and early so we showed our ticket to the friendly bus driver and took our seat on the top deck. Thankfully this dreadful British summer weather we’ve been having was kind to us and the sun shone. Just before the bus was due to leave the man doing the commentary arrived. I have to say that he was fabulous. He was so full of interesting knowledge and we learnt many things about Lincoln that we never knew before.
From interesting facts about the houses opposite the Cathedral is the first row of numbered houses in the UK to how Lincoln got its name (Lindon meaning pool by the hill). Plus much more that I won’t tell you because it’s up to you to go and find out.
What do you see on the Lincoln Sightseeing Bus
The tour takes you past some old Roman walls which are much lower down than the current city level and on to stop #2 by the Lincoln hotel. Then you travel around the streets past another significant roman structure. Newport Arch is a 3rd Century Roman arch, said to be the oldest arch in the UK still used by traffic. I hadn’t realised this was so old and we’d been by it a few times in the past.
You circle round to stop #3 and #4 and on past the castle.
Then onwards to stop #5 outside the Museum of Lincolnshire life. I can recommend a visit to this lovely and free museum. It’s well worth a stop. You can read more here – Museum of Lincolnshire life, Free day out review. Ellis Windmill is also around here and is free to visit. I highly recommend you keep all body parts well inside the bus. If you are sat on the left be prepared to duck a few times.
It’s a relatively long way from stop #5 down to Brayford Waterfront and stop #6. You pass some lovely scenery on the way down the hill. It is obvious why the Romans settled here all those years ago.
Down at Brayford waterfront, the bus does stop, without request, outside the Doubletree by Hilton and the Holiday Inn. This is a good place to stop off if you fancy some lunch or a trip on the Brayford Belle tourist boat. The ODEON cinema is also located here.
Once the bus has left Brayford you take a long route round past the University of Lincoln, the tank memorial roundabout and past some lovely views of the Cathedral.
This takes you on to stop #7 which is outside Debenhams, the stop is on the opposite side of the road. This is a good stop to get off at if you wish to do some shopping. The main high street is not too far from here for more shopping and restaurants. If you want to get a bit closer to the shops on the high street then stop #8 is the one for you. The central library and Drill hall are also located near this stop.
The second to last stop is #9. This is where we ended our tour before the sightseeing bus headed on its final journey back up to the Cathedral. We chose to alight here so we could have a wander around The Collection museum for a bit. This is another free museum in Lincoln and is located near the Usher gallery which is also free. The Theatre Royal Lincoln can also be found near here.
I have taken Jamie here every year for the past three years. I need to take him again soon as we didn’t have quite enough time to explore properly. It’s a very child-friendly museum and there’s lots to interact with and explore. It provides a very fascinating insight into Lincoln and Lincolnshire throughout nearly half a million years of history. Practically everything you see in the museum has been found in Lincolnshire.
And so ended our tour as now it was time for lunch. We chose not to use the tourist bus again that day as we walked back down to the waterfront for a ride on the Brayford Belle. Not only is the bus a great way of seeing Lincoln but it’s also a handy way of getting around, especially if you want to avoid getting up and down Steep hill.
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Disclaimer: We were provided with 2 adult tickets for the purpose of my review. All words, photos and opinions are completely my own and not influenced in any way other than by myself!