April 8, 2023 12.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

Lincoln, UK vs Lincoln, USA – which is better?

We put the two cities head to head

To many Yellowbellies, Lincoln is the greatest city out there.

Its mix of history, culture and community is beloved by thousands – but it isn’t the only city of that name.

There are more than 100 in America, several in Canada and a handful in Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

The UK Lincoln’s biggest rival is the capital of Nebraska in the USA.

While we have nothing but camaraderie for our fellow Lincolnites across the Atlantic, we decided to see definitively which is the best Lincoln of them all.

Using our completely made-up parameters, we looked at which one deserved the title of the greatest Lincoln. 

Best cathedral

The West Front of Lincoln Cathedral | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

An easy victory for Lincolnshire here. Our glorious cathedral (known as Cathy to some) is an architectural marvel, which has been standing proud for around 950 years.

At one point it was the tallest building in the world and was described by a Victorian writer as being “roughly speaking worth any other two Cathedrals we have”.

Lincoln, Nebraska, has some pretty big churches, but not on the same scale or majesty of ours.


Most interesting name origin

Brayford Pool. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Historians believe that the UK Lincoln can be traced back to Lindo, the Celtic word for pool (in honour of the Brayford.)

Over the years, it morphed in Lindum Colonia as a Roman settlement, and eventually Lincoln. 

Its American cousin was originally founded as the village of Lancaster, but was renamed in 1869 in honour of the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

He’s regarded as one of the country’s greatest leaders for winning the Civil War and ending slavery, so this category is a tie. 


Historic claim to fame

| Photo: Steve Smailes

In the 1100s, Lincoln Castle was the site of a decisive battle in a Game of Thrones-like struggle for power. 

Centuries later, Lincoln revolutionised a different kind of warfare as the first prototype of a tank rolled out of William Foster and Co Factory.

One of the most interesting events to affect the Nebraskan Lincoln is a one-in-200-year snowstorm which hit the city in 1997, blanketing the city with snow for two weeks.

However, Lincolnshire’s  millennia-long history has to take the crown here.


Biggest population

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The UK Lincoln was 115,000 at the last census, including the North Hykeham and Waddington urban areas.

The Nebraska Lincoln has just under 300,000 residents over 100 square miles, making it the second biggest city in the state. Point to America.


Best sights to see

Lincolnshire Flags flying high for Lincolnshire Day. Photo: Emily Norton

Besides the Cathedral, our Lincoln has the historic Norman castle, the picturesque Brayford, and Steep Hill whose cobbled road was named the UK’s Best Street in 2011. 

The well-preserved ancient charm keeps photographers flocking to the city.

TripAdvisor recommends that visitors to Nebraska try the Sunken Gardens, a tour of the state capitol building or its Pioneer Nature Park Centre.

Without seeing them in person, we’re going to give this one to the UK.


It looks like a convincing win for Lincolnshire’s own city. Feel free to share what makes Lincoln great for you in the comments.

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