What are the best Photography Spots in Lincoln?

What are the best photography spots in Lincoln? We asked Charlie Bland, a photography tutor at ACC Lincoln, for his top tips on where to shoot in this historic city. Read on to find out more.

When starting out as a photographer you may find it difficult to look at a location and envision what it might look like in front of a lens. Sometimes the streets look dirty, or the light is ‘too harsh’ during the day for certain locations to work. This usually means some treatment of some sort may be needed or more specific areas are required. Lincoln has many hotspots for tourists to visit, including the Cathedral and Steep Hill. These spots are filled with Lincolnshire limestone and cobbled streets that fit a very particular aesthetic. If you’re into ‘Cottage Core’ or minimalist, neutral looks, these areas will be for you. 

Depending on if you are a landscape, street or portrait photographer will determine the locations that will be of interest to you. In the following section, we explore location ideas for different styles of photography. 


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Photography Locations in Lincoln

Steep Hill

What is located on Steep Hill?

  • Michaelgate 
  • The Rest
  • Christ’s Hospital Terrace 

Lincoln bridges and high locations


  • Scott’s Bridge
  • Lincoln Central Car park
  • The Usher Gallery

The High Street

Cathedral Area

  • Minster Yard
  • Cathedral Quarter
  • Priory Gate

Lincoln Arboretum

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Landscape photography

Lincoln landscape photo of city centre

Landscape photography can be explored in many different locations within Lincoln. Despite Lincolnshire’s reputation for being ‘flat’, Lincoln itself has a few different levels of landscape that would make for great new topographic style photography. This is where man-made meets natural landscapes and is often characterised by its layered look, with the natural landscape encompassing a manmade structure. 

Each location around the Steep Hill area has great opportunities for various angles and subjects, with room to set up a tripod. This area has lots of Tudor buildings that are heavily preserved. Visit Michael Gate to see the crooked house on the same street as the modern eco home; making for a varied theme to keep your photos interesting. The Rest and Christ’s Hospital Terrace offer great views of the lower part of the city, allowing you to capture the entire city centre from these vantage points.

The locations that are high up (Scott’s Bridge, Lincoln Central car park and the Usher Gallery) provide access to upper Lincoln, including the Cathedral and Castle with a breathtaking, uninterrupted view. These spots will allow you to develop your landscape skills and try techniques such as a slow shutter speed (for light painting) or photo stitching (putting multiple photos together to create a higher resolution image, great for landscapes). 


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Street Photography

Lincoln street photography

Street photography can include objects or people within the street. Like many famous street photographers, you may choose to include a variety of shots within your own style. Many of the above places will be very suitable for street photography but more specifically, anywhere with high foot traffic will be great for those ‘decisive moment’ shots. There are lots of buildings along the high street that will lend themselves to street photography due to their interesting architecture, including objects like phone booths or greenery sections to provide framing or reflections. 

Up near the Cathedral Quarter, a row of Georgian houses is beautifully presented on Priory Gate. This row of houses fit in well with the surroundings of the Cathedral, making it a good spot and worth the hike up the hill. 




Portraiture Photography

Portrait photo of Lincoln Castle

A lot of cities have famous landmarks that deserve a quick tourist photo, but what about the places where you can take your time to compose a thoughtful portrait?

Around the Cathedral, Minster Yard and the Bail Gate area provide luscious, bouncing light from the bright Limestone and large Georgian windows. If you are looking to create artistic portraits, this area is easy to use due to its upkeep and lack of rubbish and graffiti. This area often has a high foot traffic, and so at certain times of the year, you may have an audience while shooting. You will need a reflector with you to really make use of the light, but again, this will be worth the hike. The greenery and flowers around this area can create lots of natural frames for portraits and provide a more dynamic photo. If you want your model to pop, planning ahead and getting them to wear less neutral clothing will help, and is a great way to provide some contrast within your shots. 

While thinking about portraiture within Lincoln, you may be asked to take some photos of couples, potentially for an engagement shoot. These will look great around this area. The tones the buildings and surroundings create are very on-trend at the moment. 

If you are looking for a less natural environment to explore for portraiture, you may consider speaking to local businesses such as Akedo. They have some amazing neon lights that would create a very stylised shoot. Outside of Wagamamas on the Brayford would also offer a similar aesthetic, as would the Cornhill area of town. 

To find other areas that better suit a specific topic, you may consider how your settings may change the appearance of the background. If the location appears ‘messy’ and cluttered, will slowing your shutter speed or lowering your F Stop help? Doing so may create more negative space and create a more aesthetically pleasing photograph. Similarly, don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that as it’s a city with lots going on, a portrait must have a high aperture to blur out the ‘messy’ background. Play around with the rules and see what simply looks good. 


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Your one-stop spot for nature photography has to be the Arboretum. Lincoln’s Arboretum is home to a maze, water features, small ponds, bridges, a bandstand and lots of wildlife. The garden is a popular destination for dog walkers and the local community. The ponds are teeming with life and the trees host a range of animals. Due to the garden being visited regularly, animals will stop by closely and may be interested in what you might have to offer them. Bring a good zoom lens and be ready! 

Lincoln has many great photography opportunities, but some just need a bit of further consideration before they appear to be useful to us. Many of these destinations will be great to use as a freelance photographer, whether it’s for couple’s portraits or the local musician’s social media content, Lincoln will have the right spot. Grab your camera, model and good walking shoes, you may have to go climbing! 

If you’d like to hear more from Charlie and explore this wonderful city through the eye of a lens, check out our media pathway at ACC Lincoln.

Last updated on: 15th April 2024