Steep heel: Why I’m proud of the UK’s best street

Lindsay Narey is a PR professional and trainee journalist currently residing in Nottingham, who used to live Lincoln. After Steep Hill winning the Best Street in the UK, Lindsay shares her fondest memories of Steep Hill, and why she is proud of Lincoln.

Lindsay Narey

You’d have thought the Romans might have spared a thought for ladies in inappropriate footwear when they made a cobbled cliff face the connection between Lincoln’s uphill and downhill drinking zones. Unfortunately, they didn’t.

Steep Hill, newly crowned Best Street in the UK by the Academy of Urbanism, was not designed for tackling in heels. I’m sure the reason for this is obvious to locals and visitors alike but just in case – the clue is in the name.

It’s quite simple really; wearing silly shoes, drinking several glasses of Pinot Grigio and then taking on a 1 in 7 gradient might well equal a twisted ankle and unfortunate end to your evening. Despite this danger, the descent from historic Bailgate to the High Street is risked by countless foolishly clad feet every weekend.

Why? As an ex-resident of the fine Cathedral city I may be biased, but where else can your night out be enhanced by a walk/stagger down a narrow hill dotted with Norman houses, Roman architecture, cosy tea rooms and pretty gift shops? Where else can you entertain yourselves by coming up with the most inventive way of reaching the next pub along the route uninjured? Why not walk backwards, slide down on the hand railings, adopt an unusual reversed-ostrich style saunter, or if all else fails, get on the floor and roll down! Steep Hill, despite its heel-based hazards, is unique.

On hearing about the well-deserved Best Street in the UK title I felt truly proud, and was moved to help spread the good news via various social networks. Based on the response the subject, obviously lots of others feel the same. Whether memories of racing up the hill in childhood, entertaining visitors with a leisurely tourist-trail stroll, or braving the icy pavements to reach the crowds in Castle Square on New Year’s Eve. When it comes to stories of ascending or descending Lincoln’s virtually-vertical stretch of cobbles, everyone has a tale to tell.

It’s really great to see the fantastic city of Lincoln given some recognition and Steep Hill is central to the many charms it has to offer. If you’re a local then appreciate what is on your doorstep, and if you’ve never been before, then you should pay a visit — remembering to pack a pair of sturdy flat walking shoes of course.