Lincoln Christmas Market

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Lincoln Christmas Market, Lincolnshire, U.K. December 2007

Lincoln Christmas Market, held in Lincoln, England, is one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe, attracting up to 250,000 visitors[1] over the four-day event.

Held around three weeks before Christmas, the market spreads around the historic centre of Lincoln including the castle and cathedral. As well as stalls selling goods there is a funfair with Ferris wheel, open air classical music and rock concerts and traditional events such as beer barrel rolling.[2]

The number of visitors is so great that a circular one-way system for pedestrians around the streets of Lincoln is put into place.[3] The route includes travelling through the grounds of Lincoln Castle.[4]


Lincoln Christmas Market was the first Christmas market in the UK. It started in 1982,[5] after Council Leader, Jim Sullivan and two other Lincoln city councillors visited Neustadt an der Weinstrasse (Lincoln's twin town) and were impressed by the Neustadt Christmas Market. When they came back to Lincoln, they set up their own Christmas market consisting of just eleven stalls. The market was cancelled in 2010 due to severe weather conditions both in the city of Lincoln and the surrounding region.[6] This was the first time the market had been cancelled in over 28 years. In 2017, the last day of the market was cancelled due to the forecast of bad snow. It turned out that the snow never materialised and Lincoln City council were left embarrassed by the decision as they received much criticism from the public and press.

Train transport[edit]

During the weekend of the market, charter trains are organised from around Britain. In 2006 this included Central Trains hiring a Class 47 hauled set from the West Coast Railways, to provide additional and increased capacity services between Leicester, Nottingham and Lincoln Central railway stations. Hertfordshire Rail Tours organised a charter of its Blue Pullman train from London King's Cross. A train organised by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society travelled down starting from the Scottish town of Linlithgow, then proceeding via Edinburgh and the East Coast Main Line.

Lincoln City Centre during Christmas Market

In previous years, Central Trains had leased the use of an InterCity 125 set from Midland Mainline for the Nottingham to Lincoln shuttle. Other rail tours for the Christmas Market, including stream-hauled trains, have set out from Blackpool and the London stations of Finsbury Park and London Victoria. Carriages from the classic Venice-Simplon Orient Express train have been used on some of these services.


Coordinates: 53°14′03″N 0°32′20″W / 53.2343°N 0.5389°W / 53.2343; -0.5389