"The UK's very first German-style Christmas Market was held in Lincoln."
The history of Lincoln’s Christmas Market dates back to 1982, when it was first held in the city’s Castle Square. In fact, it was the very first German-style Christmas Market held anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Although there was some doubt as to whether it would be a success, it was embraced by the people of Lincoln. Subsequently, the concept of Lincoln’s Christmas Market has since been copied by towns and cities across the UK.
The inspiration for the Lincoln Christmas Market came from Lincoln’s twin town of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, a small town in south-western Germany.
Every year, Neustadt held a traditional Christmas Market throughout December, selling gifts, food and drink (gluwein, the German version of mulled wine, was especially popular to keep the cold at bay!).
Three council representatives from Lincoln visited the Neustadt Christmas Market and were so impressed by what they saw that they thought such a market would be perfect for Lincoln.
Hence, in December 1982, Lincoln’s first Christmas Market was held with just 11 stalls. Nestling between the cathedral and the castle in Castle Square, the market had the most spectacular backdrop.
Stamford-based artist John Bangay had one of the original 11 stalls and has been a regular at the Christmas market ever since. Selling greetings cards, prints and calendars of local scenes, John is a Lincoln Christmas Market institution!
Another of the original stallholders is Neustadt, Lincoln’s twin town and the inspiration behind the Lincoln Christmas Market. The Neustadt stall showcases its local wines, beers, bratwurst and gifts, and is a highlight of the market.
You’re sure to receive a very warm welcome when you visit the Neustadt stall!
Lincoln Christmas Market is one of the most popular Christmas Markets in Britain, attracting over 200,000 visitors every year. Still held in and around Castle Square, it has one of the loveliest settings of any Christmas Market and has a fantastic atmosphere.
Stallholders travel from across Britain and Europe to sell their goods at Lincoln Christmas Market. There is also a Medieval Christmas Market held in the grounds of the nearby Bishop’s Palace.
In 2010, Lincoln Christmas Market was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions – the first time in its history that it had been cancelled. It was forced to cancel ten years later in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
From its starting point of just 11 stalls, there are now over 200, selling a huge variety of fantastic gifts, food and drink, plus fairground rides and attractions to keep the kids amused.
Neustadt is a picturesque small town located in Germany’s second largest wine producing region, the Palatinate or Pfalz, famous for its Reisling wine.
Neustadt’s full name can be literally translated as New Town on the Wine Street.
The Deutsche Weinstrasse, or German Wine Route, passes through Neustadt and is an 85km trail along the vineyards, towns and castles on the banks of the River Rhine.