A Skegness Day-Trip

It's been several years since the dawn of this bloglet, and I've deliberately avoided jumping onto the Coastal Holiday bandwagon. However, a large proportion of the visitors to Horncastle are either on their way to the seaside, or going out for a daytrip at somepoint in their Wolds adventure. It's arguable where Staycations were born, but the East Coast can't be faraway from tripper's thoughts if they opt for the UK.
The coastal environs, dominated by Skegness, are a smørgasbord of shops, and a variety of people from all over the East Midlands.
  car park with beach & sea vista behind & giant bouncy slide amusement A clean wide beach and a fresh sea breeze, which clears the town of fuel & exhaust fumes, means any approach to the coast is a healthful and happy one. With many of the car parks at Skegness adjacent to the beach, a daytrip starts almost immediately the key's out the ignition. The season for such things is generally between the equinoxes - March to September, although with the Indian summer, many shops and attractions stayed open to bonfire night, which is usually when the weather changes for the worse in Britain.

Attractive Wildlife

  girl with owl on her arm Much of the anticipation for adults must come, at least partly, from   childhood memories of colour, warmth, family, friendship and adventures amongst the dunes.
The layout of the streets, occasionally a new bit of an estate built; the old footpaths down from the beach; the shelter the family used 40yrs ago; the place on the caravan site where parts of the childhood six week holidays were spent....maybe the ghosts of old pet dogs.
The lite snacking, kiosk grazing, evokes the prehistoric habits of our hunter-gatherer ancestors who moved from patch to patch sampling the fruits on offer. Maybe a sweet treat of ripe berries here, a rockpool of crustacea there, and no doubt a hedonistic orgy of meats as darkness approached.
One of the more intangible aromas is that of the donuts and candyfloss at the promenade kiosks, which is a heady mix with hot sand and salty sea. With swimming costumes, bikinies and various other forms of flashing the flesh, paradise is approached. (The donkeys are almost totally naked.)

  Lady laying in the Sun amongst tethered wild birds The old seaside resorts in Britain are pretty poverty stricken and difficult to live around full-time. This means the shops have tweaked their prices accordingly, and chains such as Lidl, Morrisons, Yorkshire Trading & Poundland are readily available to the Daytripper out to pick up a bargain. Many Horncastrians can be seen in them, whilst the Co-Ops in Horncastle stand empty most of the time, testament to shortsighted planning and   over-enthusiastic coporations who think that small town UK is there to be extorted.

Prized Experience

I usually alight at the Pier, and head straight for a coffee and a banana at   Cheryl's Kiosk, in the open air, surveying the sea and beaches.
  donkey with Union Jack saddle on sunny beach infront of fayre big wheel captioned British Holidays There's a good strong 4g signal, wifi inside the pier and free deck chairing along it's length to enjoy a milkshake or ice cream.
A walk north or south a few hundred yards to a lifeguard lookout is an easy way to fill the lungs and exercise the legs after travelling. Turning to go into the town, I more often than not walk the length of the shopping area browsing for bargains and comparing prices. Vodafone, EE and O2 have a prescence, with Tesco, Argos, Carphone Warehouse and Game.co.uk providing competition in the digital device markets.
Amusements abound, and Botton's   Funfair by the prom, the 'casino' arcades and Tower cinema are also notable for their snack cafe areas with what seems like subsidised prices.

Daytrip Album   VOUCH€R$ H€R€!

Twopenny push machine with toy cars for prizes
Quite often, especially when the kids are at school, the arcades are full of adults. I used to enjoy them for the more adult prizes like the £4 wraps of coins, or the quality toys I used to send to an orphanage in Kenya - I sent 4 or 5 Land Rover's (toys) one year!
Many people trawl the charity shops, play bingo or ball games on the beach. I always have a vegetarian breakfast while I edit any photos I've taken. More often than not if I hear a geordie or Nottingham accent, or spot a biker, I'll have a natter. In the afternoon I make sure I get some Sun, and then do essentials and delicatessen shopping before heading for the bus station. Lidl's giant gherkins, rice and spaghetti sauces; Yorkshire Tradings cleaning supplies and lightbulbs; Morrison's sauerkraut; Tesco's for electrical comparisons, maybe Argos for a quick browse, etc, etc..
The bus, coach, taxi and train stations are together at the SW bottom of 'chip-pan alley'. A main train can be had to Nottingham and Midlands in the season.

  National Rail Enquiries
small british rail carriagesmall british rail carriage

Life's A Beach

I don't partake much of intoxification, consumerism, programming or gluttony, so alot of my time is spent around the beach. It's a pretty spiritual experience on quieter days, and after a walk North half a mile, there's an ice cream van parked on the North Shore boat ramp. A bit further brings the Winthorpe area where many mining kids spent their hols. Further still is Ingoldmells and the Butlins / Fantasy Island area which can be a bit of a peach beach in the summer hols.
The south shore is dominated by a long promenade which can be a free cold shower at high tide and storm. At the south end, turning into town, past large rocks you can lay on to sunbathe like a chameleon, and down onto Drummond Rd, can be found   Windy's Cafe, full of workmen who'd had their feet in the wallow in the early morning. Their heads were brawn and nicely shawn, and I swear   'Bewlay Brothers' was at least partly written there; A few years ago I used to turn up there at 7am in case of any day work, but I think they thought I was a loon for   biking it down to Skeg in the first place.

Actual moon phase Nasa imageSkegness Tide Times
"...Stalking time for the Moonboys..."


  hot beach day with couple dug in sunbathing
(THIS IS NOT A NASA APOLLO IMAGE)

Another way of visiting the town is to come for a scheduled event. I can remember visiting with Heanor Town FC and spending the morning on the beach before going to the match in the afternoon, as this intrepid   Blogger did. Skegness still had an undeveloped Richmond Dv area, that were old railway sidings; some 2nd World War pillbox placements along the seawall; overgrown blackberry areas next to footpaths, and I remember we explored all of these and ended up getting advice from the RNLI balloon tyred Land Rover, as the tide turn back in the 70's gave rise to quicksands in places.
The beach today is very much safer, and the    Lifeboats  station and Coastguard Lifeguards are near everpresent. The charity shop for these is at the end of the Clocktower road, in the RNLI station, where it's possible to walk around the boat and memorablia of nearly 200yrs of life-saving. The longer pier of olden times allowed sloops from tall sail ships to dock, and the sea traffic around Skeg was as busy as the Humber & Wash. There has been feasibility studies into a   ferry service to Hunstanton, but such things would be far easier if everybody sang from the same hymn sheet and the pier was rebuilt to length again.

Having experienced the Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean,   Baltic and Irish oceans and seas, I must say Skegness is probably one of the homeliest and safest towns with the North Sea never failing to invigorate. Bracing, as the Jolly Fisherman would say, speaking of which....

Skegness in Winter

 Wolds Snow Album
weather anime showing cold air moving south mainly on the sea Winter time at Skeggy can be dominated by Norwegian and Icelandic air temperatures and winds blowing South.  So while it may be nippy in Horncastle or Lincoln, it's hypothermic at the coast. A walk along a short stretch of beach is ok, as long as you spend some warm up time in the casinoes, cafes or shops. It's rare to see snow or ice with the salty seaside, but the webcam photo on my  Weather page shows it does happen occasionally.
Even when it's just no longer warm, Skeg becomes a place of solitude and quiet. The crowds and shoulder to shoulder shopping like it never happened. I'm not sure what I prefer. I go to the coast nearly every Sunday after a week of cleaning chemicals and a saturday of factory air. The scenic busride, bargain breakfast, pound & charity shops, sociability and variety is icing on the cake.

small animated mermaid