Going to a tiny town has its perks: there is a never-ending source of quiet and relaxation. But there comes a point where I long for a coffee shop, a bookstore, and seeing a hint of city life. We didn't do any research about what was around Bleasby, which turned out to be totally fine. Locals gave us recommendations, and sometimes, that's just the best way to travel!
Did you know that the Magna Carta was signed in Lincoln, England in 1215? Yeah, me neither. (Or maybe I'm alone on that one?!) The owner of The Red Lion Pub recommended this day trip to us, and it was a surprisingly easy city to reach by way of Newark, which we stopped over in long enough to get some tea and walk around a little bit.
Our day began in Newark, which is (thank goodness) very different from its neighbor in New Jersey. We sat at a sidewalk cafe and enjoyed tea and coffee, and then wandered around a little bit before catching our train to Lincoln. There was an outdoor market where we bought some raspberries, and John got his hair cut while I sat on a bench and tried to figure out what the well-meaning but impossible to understand older British woman next to me was saying. (I did a lot of nodding. It amazes me that it's sometimes so hard to understand people even when you speak the same language.)
Next was Lincoln. We did some window shopping on High Street, and I resisted (believe it or not!) buying any books at Waterstones (even better than Barnes and Noble). We then began the climb up Steep Hill, and yes--it's incredibly steep! But the way is lined with adorable shops and cafes and we were sucked into Bunty's for a quick snack (chocolate peanut butter cake).
Once you reach the top, there are still more cafes and restaurants, as well as the cathedral and the castle. We decided to buy a ticket to the castle that allowed us to walk the walls, see the Victorian prison, and see the Magna Carta. What a cool experience to see such an old, important document that is still celebrated 800 years after the fact!
Southwell was another small town (though larger than our super-small town) a few miles away from Bleasby that was accessible by bus. We caught the bus one evening and went to Southwell for dinner and had a lot of pubs to choose from. The weather was perfect, and The Hearty Goodfellow was a great spot to sit outside on the green lawn and enjoy a plate of fish and chips.