The White Hart Hotel opened in the 14th century as a coaching inn and it has continued to welcome guests for more than 600 years. It’s located in the heart of Lincoln’s historic Cathedral Quarter close to both the cathedral and castle. Lincolnshire is situated in the East Midlands and is easily accessible from all parts of the U.K. being only 90 miles north east of Birmingham and 70 miles south of York.
I arrived by train and with LNER now operating regular Azuma services direct from London King’s Cross into Lincoln Central, it couldn’t be more convenient with the journey taking just under two hours. It’s a fifteen minute walk up to the hotel from the station but be warned, it’s not called Steep Hill for nothing! I easily managed the walk pulling along my small wheeled suitcase but help is at hand if you might struggle. A shuttle bus ‘Walk & Ride’, also referred to as the ‘Steep Hill Shuttle’ operates from outside the railway station at 20 minute intervals Monday to Saturday, terminating conveniently just across the square from the hotel with taxis also being available.
Arrival and check-in
Check-in is from 3.00 p.m. so we dropped off our luggage a couple of hours earlier with the friendly receptionist, returning later in the afternoon to gain access to our room. The reception area is just to the left as you enter the hotel through its traditional dark wood glass paned revolving doors.
Comfortable armchairs face the reception desk where we were invited to sit whilst completing formalities. We were attended to quickly with the staff seemingly genuinely pleased to welcome us to the hotel, enquiring if it was our first visit to Lincoln and offering a map of the town centre to help us find our way around.
We took the antiquated lift up to our room on the second floor which was still working well but was a bit of a squeeze with our luggage. Being such an old building, it’s a warren of small corridors slightly confusing at first, but it didn’t take long to find our room which had stunning views of the cathedral from both its windows. In recognition of the hotel’s close proximity to the Cathedral, rooms have both a number and the name of one of its former bishops. We were staying in James Gardiner 1693 or more simply Room 251.
There was an attractive entrance archway leading into a spacious room with separate sleeping and seating areas. Antique style furnishings complimented the style of the former coaching inn, brought up to date with a large wall mounted television and good wi-fi connectivity.
A selection of teas, coffee and biscuits awaited us on a side table with bathrobes, hairdryer and ironing facilities also at hand. The stylish bathroom came equipped with an over bath shower, thick white towels and complimentary toiletries.
The beds were very comfortable and as the Cathedral clock bells do not chime between 11.00 p.m. and 7.00 a.m. we slept soundly. Even though the bells do chime during the day we could barely hear them with the windows closed even though we were almost within touching distance. For an old building, there were no draughts and we were kept warm and cosy during our stay.
The hotel serves bar meals throughout the day in its lobby bar ‘Room’ which along with the restaurant is open to non-residents. The bar is arranged on two levels with a variety of seating for couples or larger groups. It has an informal atmosphere and seemed popular with both locals and hotel guests.
Just beyond the bar lounge is the hotel’s ‘Grille’ restaurant with modern decor and views overlooking the historic cobbled Bailgate.
We enjoyed breakfast here on both mornings, enjoying a relaxing start to the day. From the buffet table we helped ourselves to fresh fruit, pastries and yoghurts and then ordered hot dishes from the menu (no additional charge). On the first morning, I opted for the cooked breakfast prepared with locally produced Lincolnshire sausages and bacon. Eggs can be cooked anyway guests wish, and mine were cooked to perfection with runny yolks just as I like them.
The following morning I settled on Eggs Benedict which was one of the best I’ve tasted. Tea and coffee are served at the table with waiting staff on hand to refill our cups whenever we wished.
As mentioned above, the hotel has both a restaurant and lounge bar. There is a large car park just across the road which is free for hotel guests and a real bonus as parking in the Cathedral Quarter is very limited.
The White Hart is a dog friendly hotel and during our stay we came across several well behaved dogs with their owners. Cyclists are also very welcome and secure bicycle storage is available by prior arrangement.
Out and About
The hotel is located in an enviable position between the city’s 900 year old Norman castle and the medieval Cathedral, both of which I highly recommend visiting. Along the narrow Steep Hill which leads up to the Cathedral Quarter there are lots of small independent shops, cafes and restaurants all offering something a little different. Just beyond the hotel the road levels out and the little Bailgate shops in this part of town have a village like feel and we came across a high quality butchers, bakers and a delightful bookshop – all sadly disappearing from our high streets but gladly still thriving in lovely Lincoln.
There’s plenty to see and do in the city centre without needing to use a car but if you are interested in history then a visit to the International Bomber Command Centre and memorial park just 15 minutes away is an absolute must.
Our weekend at the White Hart was very relaxing. Elegant furnishings and antiques accompanied by modern comforts blend well together to create a very pleasant stay in this former coaching inn. The staff were all very approachable and efficient and nothing was too much trouble. I popped down late on the Saturday evening to enquire if I could have some more milk and it was suggested that I could have just phoned down and a jug would have been delivered to the room which was so kind, but of course, it was no problem collecting it myself. That sums up the White Hart, an independent hotel offering excellent, friendly service.
The White Hart Hotel Bailgate, Lincoln, LN1 3AR. Tel: 01522 526222
We were guests of Visit Lincoln and the White Hart Hotel and as always, all views and opinions are entirely my own.
If you have enjoyed reading this post you may be interested to read about our weekend in Lincoln: