One of the first castles erected by the victorious William the Conqueror to keep his new kingdom in line, Lincoln Castle offers awesome views over the city and miles of surrounding countryside. A major restoration program, completed in 2015, has opened up the entire castle walls and given the 1215 Magna Carta (one of only four copies) a swanky, subterranean new home. One-hour guided tours, included in castle admission, depart from the eastern gate – check the blackboard for times.

Videos and exhibits explain the document's significance, while the surprisingly bright Victorian prison houses a unique 'separate-system' chapel and displays a Saxon sarcophagous found during the restoration.