Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday's spotlight - York versus Lincoln

By guest blogger Pete.

I can only hope that none of the thousands of readers of this blog will be able to identify me through shared citizenship of Lincoln. The reason for this is because I'm going to talk about York in the same breath as Lincoln and that is something that the good citizens of Lincoln are not encouraged to do. Lincoln folk think that our city is far better than York (true) and York citizens mistakenly believe the opposite.

I must confess that we don't visit York too often - it's one of those places that is just too far for a comfortable one day visit and, knowing the area quite well, it's not the location for a longer break. If you visit both cities, though, you'll realise that York is by far the busier place with far more folk milling around making both the streets and the shops very crowded, decent street entertainment and a lovely river to have a boat trip on. One if the reasons for this tourist popularity is that York is tourist conscious whereas Lincoln appears to be quite slack (maybe not even "appears") about getting visitors into the city. I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that we're about to close our two tourist offices. That has changed a little through, I think, private intervention to keep the Tourist Information Office near the Cathedral open. Parking within York is pretty awful - it's a little better in Lincoln (especially on a rainy day!!!). But York have overcome their parking problems by a number of Park and Ride locations around the outskirts of the city offering free parking and a bus trip into the centre of the city. Lincoln have been thinking about Park and Ride for the past 20 years or so but we still wait and the tourists drive round and round looking for somewhere.

Lincoln has a Cathedral and York a Minster. Both are magnificent buildings but here I come out strongly in favour of Lincoln. We visited York last year and I must confess that the Minster there looked tired, drab and somewhat grubby. There wasn't a great deal of colour there and colour is one of the things that you are immediately conscious of when entering Lincoln Cathedral. Also the sighting of Lincoln Cathedral atop a hill makes it dominate the city. It's more impressive than the setting of York even though that Minster is surrounded by the old city walls.

If you go to York, other than visit the Minster, walk along the Shambles and enjoy the many museums there. There's also a beautiful river to take a trip on. If you should come across a reasonable place for lunch - i.e. reasonable price and reasonable menu - then please let me know. All the years we've been going there we've never found any place decent for lunch. The photos this week are of York Minster - some of the better parts of that building!

If you come to Lincoln - well, there's the Cathedral, medieval houses, a Roman port, Romans walls, Roman city gates, parks, boat rides, good eating houses -- oh yes, and lousy parking.

Keep on visiting those interesting places.

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