Lincoln is an underrated city, partly because of the surrounding dullness (sorry Spital in the Street) and partly due to it’s a perception that there’s just a large cathedral and castle.

The cathedral is one of my personal favourites, but it’s the steep walk down from there to the modern town centre that really appeals, possibly less so in years to come as I inevitably struggle to get back up it.

At the bottom is a compact shopping centre, with a few gems like this by the river.  There used to be a classic Sam Smiths cellar pub, the Cornhill Vaults, lost to redevelopment.

Lincoln is well-pubbed, and the vast majority of Beer Guide entries are proper drinkers pubs, rather than restaurants. The Morning Star (Bass !), Dog & Bone, Strugglers and Victoria stick to the knitting of reliable family brewers beers in unfussy pubs.

My latest flying visit was to visit what looks like the first craft bar (of sorts); I don’t count Spoons despite their merits.

The West End Tap is tucked away on a residential street in the West End (obviously), in amongst the student accommodation.  I couldn’t claim Carholme Road is a hotbed of independent creativity though.  The nearby West Common and recreational area give it a feel closer to, say, Oxford’s Parks than Jericho.


This is clearly a craft venture; you can tell by the taps on the wall (makes a change from white).  Actually, it’s much more cask-oriented than that, even if my half of Yeovil Stargazer (NBSS 3) was served in a BrewDog glass.

Quite why I didn’t have the Dark Star Espresso Stout I’ll never know. It’s a particularly attractive range of drinks, with Oakham and Robbie’s Trooper on keg.

West End Tap. Lincoln

The opening hours (from 4pm) are a bit micro-pub too, though the outside loos are old school alehouse.

The barperson was very cheery (take note Simon Everitt), but I was the only customer, which is never the ideal situation, as the “banter” was of the talking to yourself type.  Visit it in the evening.

The Queen in the West itself hasn’t been in the Beer Guide for a while, but it’s a classic looking pub that seems a little too Greene king dominated at the moment. Worth a visit.

6 thoughts on “LINCOLN’S WEST END

  1. I have a fascinating book called “The Historic Towns of Britain” by Lewis Braithwaite, which includes a large number of town plans taken from the OS first edition six-inch maps from the 19th century. Well worth getting a copy off eBay if you haven’t go it already.

    In it, he says of Lincoln, “feels like a large Northern industrial city and has less historic town to explore than Boston or Stamford”. Maybe a bit harsh but, while the historic core on the hill and down to the river is lovely, there isn’t really all that much to it and much of the rest is a bit dull.

    It has the unusual feature of a very long High Street with the numbering going up one side and then down the other, which made pub location a bit challenging the first time I visited it. I remember going in the Cornhill Vaults many years ago.


    1. I’ll have a look for that book. That’s largely fair about Lincoln, though the area around the cathedral is bigger than I first thought.

      Few folk now would put Boston in same bracket as Stamford; they’ve moved in opposite directions over last 200 years !


      1. I think his point about Boston is more that it has lots of historic buildings than it is particularly “nice”. Apparently Britain’s obesity capital 😦

        We in the north are rather spoilt by having Chester and York – few other cathedral cities can match the scale and quality of their non-ecclesiastical architecture.


  2. I really like Lincoln,we visit it quite often and always go to the Christmas Market,we even did a Pub club crawl there back in 1983 and did over 70 pubs in the city,i went there last summer to mop up some of the bars that i have not yet done,i think there about about 3 pubs or bars that i have yet done in the City,this includes the outer areas of the city.
    The West End Tap was called The Vine with no real ales on,the Queen in the West was a Wards tied house when i first did it,the Morning Star was a Manns tied house when i first did it,this is probably my favourite pub in Lincoln,the pub has about five real ales on the bar,we last went in a couple of year ago,we also visit the Victoria and Strugglers every time we go there.
    I personally think the City is underated.


    1. I agree it’s underrated, as a place and for pubs. There’s quite a lot of Manns signage still on pubs in the east (Lincolnshire and Peterborough area). Sincil Bank quite a good football ground too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s