This isn’t going to be a normal December in Lincoln. We can’t enjoy the wonderful winter season in the way we usually do. Our celebrated Lincoln Christmas Market is sadly cancelled, and with the whole county in Tier 3, hospitality businesses are staying closed. But we do have each other, we have our festive spirit, and even with restrictions in place there are still some ways to enjoy the city with safety measures in place. So, to end a difficult year with a little good cheer, we’ve compiled a few Covid-safe things to do in Lincoln in December.
1. Find amazing local craft at Lincoln Makers’ Market
Lincoln Christmas Market traditionally takes place over the first weekend in December, with 250,000 people flocking to the city. We will have to wait until next year for this flagship event, but for locals in the city there is an alternative option with fewer crowds.
Lincoln Makers’ Market has been given the all-clear to go ahead on Thursday 3 to Sunday 6 December, and then again the following weekend on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December. Taking place in Castle Square at the top of Steep Hill, a collection of stalls will be selling handmade goods. It’s the perfect place to find a unique and artistic Christmas gift.
To ensure the safety of customers, there will be ample spacing between stalls, hand sanitiser stations for both customers and stallholders, and all stallholders will be wearing face masks. Wrap up warm and come along!
2. Take part in the Virtual Lincoln Christmas Market
Although Lincoln Christmas Market will not be taking place physically this year, the organisers have created a virtual market where you can find all of your favourite stalls with links to buy their products online.
The Virtual Lincoln Christmas Market also brings together some festive entertainment. On the website you will find video clips of some of the most popular past performers, seasonal recipe suggestions and colouring books for the kids. So don your Christmas jumper, pour a glass of mulled wine and bring Lincoln’s biggest event into your home.
3. Find unique handcrafted gifts at Christmas @ Harding House Gallery
One of the creative gems on Lincoln’s Steep Hill, Harding House Gallery is run by a cooperative of ten local volunteer artists. Each has a different artistic style and plays a unique role in keeping the gallery running. The gallery itself is set inside a beautiful 16th-Century building.
The gallery had to close for several months throughout 2020, but after working hard to put safety measures in place, its doors will be opening again on Wednesday 2 December. Throughout the month the upstairs gallery will host a special Christmas @ Harding House Gallery exhibition, which will feature an array of unique handcrafted items by local and invited artists.
4. Walk around the sparkling castle grounds after dark
Following the announcement that Lincolnshire would enter Tier 3 restrictions, Lincoln Castle sadly had to cancel its highly popular Illuminated Wall Walk, with Christmas light displays and tree-lined pathways. However, the castle grounds will still be brought to life for the festive season, and you can explore them a little later than usual. The opening hours have been extended to 7pm, and the Lincoln Castle team have promised “a bit of added Christmas sparkle”.
Alternatively, it’s a special time of year to simply take a wander and see Lincoln Castle and the nearby Lincoln Cathedral lit up after dark from the outside. There are many great spots around the city with vantage points to see our two most iconic buildings. One of our favourites is a walk along Catchwater Drain, just off Tritton Road, with lovely views at any time of day (although you will need a torch after dark!). We use it regularly for dog walks, and it’s just right for an afternoon breath of fresh air. The map below shows where you will find it.
5. Join the Santa Hat Hunt on the Skellingthorpe Christmas Trail
Santa has lost his hat! Can you help him find it?! This December will mark the very first Skellingthorpe Christmas Trail, some safe and festive outdoor fun for the family. The trail will take participants around the village of Skellingthorpe, solving clues and collecting letters to find the missing Santa hat.
You can download the trail for £2 and do it on any day of your choosing throughout the month. After successful completing the trail and unscrambling the clues, you can submit your sheet to be entered into a prize draw. All proceeds will be donated to Saint Lawrence Primary School and Billy’s House, a home for families with children undergoing cancer treatment.
6. Have Christmas Day lunch at a Lincoln restaurant
With restrictions being lifted for a few days over Christmas, some restaurants may be able to open their doors briefly. The Reform Restaurant at the Castle Hotel is taking bookings for Christmas Day for groups of up to six people. Or, if you prefer the comfort of your own home, they are also offering Christmas hampers for home delivery. The Lincoln Hotel is another option in town taking restaurant bookings for Christmas Day.
So if you would prefer to avoid the hassle of preparing Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, you can have a local restaurant take care of it for you instead.
7. Support a local business and bring Lincoln into your home
Maybe these things to do in Lincoln in December aren’t up your street, or you’re just not comfortable going out at the moment. No problem – there are all sorts of ways you can bring Lincoln into your home instead. Many of the hospitality businesses that have been forced to close are still offering takeaway and delivery, as are plenty of the city’s independent shops.
In our guide to hosting a Lincolnshire night in we compile some of our favourite local businesses around the county that are open for deliveries or collection. On Thursday 3 December you can also join us from your living room for an evening of free entertainment at The Big Lincolnshire Night In, in partnership with Heritage Lincolnshire and The Lincs Pass.
So, it’s not a typical December, but all is not lost. It’s time to make the most of what we have, and look ahead to better times in 2021. Are you with us?
Heard about other things to do in Lincoln in December?
We would love to add more ideas to this article, so if you’re a local business, you are running an event, or you have heard about something that’s happening, please get in touch and we’ll add it to the list.
It’s also never too early to start planning for next year. Read our full rundown of the best things to do in Lincoln to find some inspiration for your 2020 trip.
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