There were a number of possible routes but we elected to go along the coast as far as Bridlington, following the A165, then coming inland and skirting Beverley before crossing the impressive Humber Bridge.
We eschewed the delights of the dual carriageway to Grimsby, staying inland and bypassing Louth before turning towards the coast and onwards to the site. It took around three and a half hours to do the 130 or so miles, and it was one of those journeys that while not hard, did require a lot more input than just trundling up the A1. Whilst the landscape got generally flatter as we approached the Humber, the other side was full of twists and turns that kept our attention. Quite important with a tonne and a half of caravan bouncing around on the back. The second half of the journey did remind us of the fens in East Anglia – flat as a pancake and quite a difference from what we’d become used to over the last couple of weeks.
The site presented no surprises being a caravan club site. All the usual facilities and nicely laid out but not within walking distance of any er, research venues. Something which both wallet and liver were extremely grateful for.
Saturday brought with it the rain the weather forecasters had so gleefully been promising. To be honest I wasn’t that sorry as it was a good excuse to take some time out. Saturday morning TV, a book and the internet all vied for attention whilst we waited for the rain to clear.
At last however we were able to hit the road and headed first for the seaside resort of Skegness. What should have been a short journey turned into a much longer one thanks to the main road being closed but having found our own detour eventually found our way in.
There’s two things there is lots of around Skegness. The first is sand. The beaches that stretch along this coast are massive – and impressive with the gentle gradient making it the perfect spot to bring kids – which clearly many do. The second is caravans – statics make up the vast majority but there are but a few tourers too. There are sites everywhere and they are massive, like villages. It’s a remarkable sight. The whole area is geared for families and kids will have a great time on the beach when weather allows. There are amusement arcades and fun parks nearly everywhere too – catering for both the young and young at heart.
We stopped for our usual caffeine and cholesterol top up in the main shopping street before searching out the compulsory fridge magnet.
Further up the coast sand dunes emerge separating the beach and we found a great place to stop at Chapel Six Marshes. Steps lead up to an interesting contraption designed as a viewing platform. When you first step in to it though, there is nothing to see, then the inner cage tilts forward alarmingly lining the viewing letterboxes.
Mablethorpe was next – a much smaller resort than Skegness where a diversion from all the sea, sand and fruit machines could be found in amongst the fun fair in the form of a model railway. It’s mighty impressive and the attention to detail was astonishing.
Last stop of the day was back at Sutton-on-Sea – although a good couple of miles from the site. Sutton proudly announces itself as amusement arcade free, giving a quieter – and no doubt cheaper – alternative for parents and others alike whilst still being able to enjoy the fabulous beaches.
Sunday was sadly, more of the same – weather wise I mean – and it was gone lunchtime when we emerged in search of food. Lots of places were offering Sunday lunch, but only until 2pm, so a drive around eventually found us in the Red Lion at Mumby, but not before seeing the lovely windmill at Alford in full flow.
We both forwent a traditional Sunday roast opting instead for a big fact burger and chips. Yes, the diet is still going well. The landlord is a man after my own heart – although undoubtedly not literally – and keen real ale fan with a display of on the wall of his er, research. Worryingly, there was an awful lot there that I’d sampled too.
Another quite night in saw us up somewhat earlier and reasonably recharged for our last day in Lincolnshire and a visit to Lincoln. I knew it had a Cathedral already, but for once undertaking some proper research revealed it has a castle too – home to another copy of the Magna Carta. Sadly this was not going to be of much help to us as it didn’t open for the season until after we’d left. Dammed inconsiderate! Anyway, further research revealed the existence of a useful bus service – and location of car parks served by said bus service it it was one of these we headed for on Monday morning.
As anyone who has visited Lincoln will know – it aint flat. The cathedral and castle – the ‘Cultural Quarter’ sit at the top of a hill – accessed – on foot by a steep footpath winding up from the end of the high street and main shopping drag. This is where the bus comes in. The ‘Walk & Ride’ service covers thirteen stops around the city including those up around the Cultural Quarter. Useful for locals who are unwilling or unable to make the steep ascent – or descent come to that but handy for tourists too. For three quid you can hop on and off all day and it runs every twenty minutes or so. A lot cheaper than a ‘proper’ tour bus although of course you don’t get any commentary.
We perused the main shopping area first – where I got a very nice compliment from a gentleman about my coat – then caught the bus up to do the cathedral bit. And what a pretty bit it is too. We against ‘doing’ the cathedral but did stick our heads in the door for a couple of photos.
We ambled around ‘up top’ for a while before making the steep descent, pausing on the way at a Mod themed cafe for a foot long Lincolnshire sausage hot dog and cuppa. And before you ask, yes I managed the whole twelve inches…
To the south of the city is the Brayford pool development – Cinema, bars and eateries on one side of the water and the university of Lincoln on the other together with a not-quite-out-of-town retail park. We headed back into town, pausing by the railway station for coffee before catching the bus back to the car park. At the entrance to the castle we poked our noses in – they have recently made alterations allowing you to walk all around the castle walls and this is certainly something we’d do on another visit.
I really liked Lincoln – we both did. Some places grab you like that. The Cultural Quarter is classic tourist fodder and rightly so, but the town centre has enough individuality to set it apart from others too. There is plenty of parking and both rail and bus station are within walking distance of the town centre. A great place to visit and it’s on the ‘must do again list’.
So our time in Lincolnshire was at an end, with the city being the undoubted highlight. It’s a good place to for a stop over next time we head up north so we’ll be back I’m sure.
Right, Nottinghamshire next and our last stop before it’s back to hopefully sunny Saltdean. So look out for the last blog soon.