The Lincoln Hotel which has hosted prime ministers, royalty and Oscar winners


Lincoln isn’t known for hosting an influx of celebrities and well-known faces, but when they take a trip to town, there’s a hotel that prefers to stay. The White Hart Hotel, based in the Bailgate, is a top choice for the rich and famous when visiting the cathedral city.

Whether on vacation or for work, when celebrities come to Lincoln, they often stay at the White Hart Hotel, including former prime ministers, royalty and Oscar winners. More recently, musical theater legend Andrew Lloyd Webber stayed here while visiting Lincoln because of his love for its architecture.

Ian Robinson, general manager of the White Hart Hotel, told Lincolnshire Live that Lord Webber was reenacting a visit from the age of 15, when he first stayed at the hotel. While in Lincoln he visited the local Michelin starred restaurant, the Bronze Pig, Lincoln Cathedral and even a cafe in the village of Stow.

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However, the writer of the Phantom of the Opera is far from being the first known character to cross the doors of the hotel. “We’ve had former prime ministers, royalty and a Japanese emperor,” Robinson said. “We had Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Edwina Currie, but not at the same time as John Major,” he joked.

“We had other politicians like Ann Widdecombe and Nigel Farage. Royalty in Princess Ann. The Top Gear crew came when they were filming in Lincoln. A Japanese emperor stayed here in the late 80s, early 90’s.”

When The Da Vinci Code was filmed in Lincoln, stars such as Oscar winner Tom Hanks, Sir Ian McKellen and Paul Bettany stayed there. Other former guests include Rick Astley, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Colin Dexter, John Hurt, Robert Webb and Colin McFarlane, but the list is much longer.

Mr Robinson said the emphasis on how celebrity guests are treated is on discretion, noting they can be here for a quiet getaway from London. “They come to us for a peaceful and relaxing stay,” he said.

Departure of Sir Ian McKellen during his stay in 2005

Despite this, he said the vast majority of celebrity guests are “normal, down-to-earth people” who are always happy to sign their guestbook. However, he added that it is the stars of reality television, from shows such as Love Island, who often get the most attention.

“As soon as someone notices them after doing a promotional night at Home Nightclub, the news travels pretty quickly on social media,” he said. However, some celebrities have been turned down in the past. Mr Robinson recalled a time when Bob Geldof went to the hotel to ask for a sandwich and a cup of tea, just as they were closing.

The person working didn’t realize who he was and even thought he might be homeless and fired him. “I couldn’t believe we denied that the man saved so many people in Africa from starvation with a sandwich,” he said with a laugh.

“He was very kind about it. She doesn’t work here anymore, but the few times I see her, I make sure to remind her.” With Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby scheduled to be in Lincoln to film Ridley Scott-directed Napoleon, other famous faces may soon be staying at the White Hart.

Prices for staying at this chic hotel vary, with a double room with shower at £95, an executive room at £125, a triple room at £115 and a suite at £155. The hotel includes a restaurant and bar, where Thursday night is Steak Night and live music is played in the bar.


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