Lincoln Cathedral has undergone significant restoration in recent times to continuously improve its facilities and offer exciting new visitor experiences. The latest development to be unveiled is a fresh new shop and contemporary café space on the west side of the building, supported by £16.4 million of National funding. Ahead of its grand opening, here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect at the new Lincoln Cathedral shop and café.
When will the new Lincoln Cathedral Shop and Café open?
The new-look Lincoln Cathedral shop and café opens to the public on Monday 28 June 2021. It marks phase one of a restored and renovated visitor centre at the cathedral.
We went along to a special preview event to take a look at the space, and came away impressed! It adds a fresh dimension to visiting the city’s most iconic building.
Lincoln Cathedral Shop: bigger and fresher
The new shop and café complex is set in a large, bright and airy space on the west side of Lincoln Cathedral. In the mid-19th century this part of the building was used as the old deanery, and it was later repurposed as part of Lincoln Minster School.
Anyone who had been in the cathedral’s previous shop may remember it was set in quite a confined space by the main entrance, with little room to move around among other shoppers. This new space is a vast improvement, and positioned perfectly to pop in at the end of your visit.
The new shop has a high raised ceiling with a long sky-window that brings lights and warmth inside. You can also look out onto the cathedral’s famous circular stained-glass Dean’s Eye window above.
Don’t be afraid to ask staff questions about the building – they’re all enthusiastically knowledgeable about its history, and happy to share their insights.
We often write on this blog about how Lincolnshire is spoilt for riches when it comes to both local food produce and creative arts. The Lincoln Cathedral shop embraces this by sourcing many of its products from local suppliers and creators.
You will find shelves stacked with chutneys, chocolates, honeys, gins and ales, all made by independent Lincolnshire businesses.
The jams and chutneys, for example, are provided by Saints and Sinners Preserves, based nearby in Spalding. The honey is freshly sourced from local hives in Hartsholme Country Park.
The same is true of much of the artwork you will see in the shop. There is a gorgeous collection of merchandise on offer bearing the illustration work of Lincolnshire artist Sophie Allport. On the opposite side of the shop is a collection of colourful glasswork by local designer Donna Evans.
On top of this, the shop is filled out with everything you would expect of a museum shop. Books, cards, novelty biscuits, keyrings, figures, pens – you name it.
Lincoln Cathedral Café: a contemporary space
The new-look Lincoln Cathedral café is set in a spacious network of high-ceilinged rooms, with many of the tables looking out onto the recently revitalised Dean’s Green gardens.
The combination of high windows and white-painted walls ensure that the space captures lots of light. Bring a book on a sunny day and it’ll be a great spot to read with a coffee for an hour or two.
You can also tuck into a choice of light lunches and snacks from the fresh menu. Judging by the taste of the samples we tried at the preview event, you won’t be disappointed!
Inspiring local artworks
Like the shop, the café is supplied by local businesses. One of our own favourites, Foster’s Butchers & Bakers, provides fresh meat produce. (Check out our guide to Lincolnshire sausages for more about them and other fantastic local butchers!)
An interior seating room showcases the works of talented Lincolnshire artists on its walls. One example is a set of three illustrations of Lincoln Cathedral Quarter by local artist Toni Stefaniuk.
Community meeting rooms at Lincoln Cathedral
The upstairs space at the renovated complex has been repurposed as a community meeting space available for hire. There are boardroom and breakout-style meeting rooms, complete with a range of modern facilities, and the unique benefit of a stunning close-up window view of the cathedral.
More reading on Lincoln Cathedral and nearby
Planning to drop by Lincoln soon? Our complete visitors’ guide to Lincoln Cathedral explains everything you need to know before your trip.
Take a look at our rundown of things to do in Lincoln for more inspiration on activities in the area.