Travel Diaries: Lincolnshire Tour – The Cathedral at dusk

Lincoln Cathedral at dusk

On the occasions when our adventures are city-based, our family of six  pack our rucksacks just as if we were about to hike across fields or mountains and we treat the landscape exactly the same.  We walk and explore, and try and find the hidden corners that breathe character into the bricks and mortar.

Dusk was already beginning to fall, as we crossed cobbled streets that led towards the Cathedral.  It’s a very peaceful time of the day, workers have gone home, and revellers are yet to arrive for the evening and the city feels very still.

We made our way through an old stone archway to the cathedral square just beyond.

When you look at our children exploring the courtyard below, you can see the sheer scale of Lincoln Cathedral, which for hundreds of years (1311-1549) was the tallest building in the world.

Standing under the main entrance, we look upwards to see layer upon layer of carved stone above the doorway and we get the children to run their hands over the door and imagine the countless number pilgrims who have crossed this threshold over the centuries.

Our youngest boys enjoy spotting all of the carved creatures in the pillars…

… and then we spend time just quietly walking around the entranceway, looking at the details.  We are the only people here.

As we walk around the outside of the building, there is an ancient wall to our right with a set of wrought iron gates, leading to a little courtyard and the ruins of the medieval Bishop’s Palace – we’ll return again in the daytime to explore further.

Onwards, and it’s starting to get dark.  The first lights flicker on under the eaves, and a choir begins to practise, the song floating along the air.

To the other side of the Cathedral, at Priory Gate, there’s a wide green and rows of terraced houses…

… and a small path winds under a stone arch and into a little public garden.  Its here that we eat a small packed supper together and watch the street lamps slowly light up along the road.

As we continue our circuit of the cathedral, darkness falls and the floodlights come on.

The air feels heavy, and there are swirling storm clouds above us.  We retrace our steps back to the cobbled street and turn back, to see the spires dramatically illuminated against an inky sky.

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