Top 10 famous visitors to Lincoln

The last few weeks saw a number of famous faces visiting Lincoln, but recognisable faces have been around Lincoln beforehand, so The Lincolnite looked back at the top 10 famous visitors to the city.


David Cameron

Photo: Lincolnshire Co-op

The Prime Minister visited Lincoln last week as part of his PM Direct initiative, where he visits workplaces and answers questions from members of staff.

He went to Lincolnshire Co-operative Pharmacy in Proctor’s Road and spoke about public sector cuts, fuel tax and sports provision in Lincolnshire.

Earlier in the day Cameron visited the RAF College Cranwell for a graduation ceremony where he spoke about their work as being “complete and utterly essential”.


Top Gear

James May and Jeremy Clarkson were testing electric cars for their upcoming series, only for the cars to run out of charge in the city centre.

This led to the public having to help push the cars to the University of Lincoln in order to reach a viable charging socket.

The pair left the cars to charge on the Brayford Pool campus while they enjoyed a tour of uphill Lincoln. They then returned later in the evening to collect their cars.

The new series of Top Gear starts on June 26.


Brian Blessed

Photo: Tim Ellis

Blessed, who is famous for his booming and powerful voice, visited Lincoln as part of an animal protection campaign.

Earlier this year Blessed was visiting cities across the UK in order to raise awareness for life-saving radio collars for cats and dogs.

After wandering around the city centre meeting fans and signing autographs, Blessed then went to the University of Lincoln’s Riseholme Campus.


Queen Eleanor of Castille

Photo: Lincolnian

King Edward II and his wife were on a pilgrimage in 1290 to the city to visit the tomb of Hugh of Lincoln. Unfortunately Queen Eleanor never arrived as she died just outside the area at Hardby.

However, she had made plans for her funeral, so that her heart was to be buried at Black Friars in London, the rest of her organs buried at Lincoln Cathedral, and then her body was laid to rest at Westminster Abbey.

Along the route the funeral procession took, crosses were erected at the places where it stopped overnight.

The first cross was built at St Catherine’s Priory but was mostly destroyed during the Civil War. A fragment was saved and it is now in the grounds of the Castle. There are also statues of King Edward and his Queen at the Cathedral.


Queen Elizabeth II

Photo: ComSec

The Queen opened the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool campus in 1996.

Staff and students gathered in the Atrium as she thanked the local businesses and organisations who helped with the cost of the development and said that their “foresight has been rewarded”.

Watch a video of the opening here


Fearne Cotton and Zane Lowe

Photo: Michael Spiller

Radio 1 made a fly-by visit to Lincoln as part of Fearne and Zane’s Student Tour in October 2010.

Fearne Cotton’s mid-morning show came live from the Tower Bar in front of an audience of about 60 people. There was also a special live lounge session from Darwin Deez held in the student bar.

They also brought with them 30 Seconds To Mars who performed at the Engine Shed.


Tom Hanks

Photo: Blue Serge

The movie adaptation of Dan Brown’s bestselling book The Da Vince Code had some scenes filmed in Lincoln. Tom Hanks played the lead character Robert Langdon, who is trying to solve the murder of a member of an ancient society.

Westminster Abbey refused to let filming take place as they called the book “theologically unsound”, so Lincoln Cathedral acted as a double for Westminster Abbey in the film.

During Hanks’ stay he and his family have supposedly had a private Ghost Walk around the Bailgate area of Lincoln.


Jamie Oliver

Photo: Scandic Hotels

Television chef Jamie Oliver came to help Lincolnshire County Council improve their primary school meals in 2006.

Oliver visited because at the time he said only three of the 286 primary schools in Lincolnshire were providing hot meals.

It resulted in him suggesting that the solution would be teaching local chefs how to cook and schools using products from local famers.


Hairy Bikers

Photo: Birmingham News Room

David Myers and Simon King, better known as the Hairy Bikers, visited Lincoln back in 2009 as part of their Food Tour of Britain.

They pair, who are famous for their unique brand of cookery shows, started the day in Louth, ending up at the top of Steep Hill cooking in front of an audience in the Castle Square.

Si and Dave also got their hands dirty at a cauliflower farm when looking for the best ingredients that Lincolnshire can offer.


Sir Steve Redgrave

Five times Olympic gold winner Sir Steve Redgrave came to open the youth centre The Showroom back in April.

Redgrave said that The Showroom felt like a cause close to his heart as his mother ran a youth centre. He also spoke about how sport helped him as a child to get out of the classroom: “It wasn’t about Olympic ambitions but going out on the river with mates to have fun.”