Hi guys. It’s been a while. Hope you’ve all been well in these last few months? I am glad you are still here and haven’t completely forgotten me. Sorry, somehow life got a little hectic and the blog had to stay on the backburner. But, I’ll try my best to make up for it going forward. Anyhow… I thought I might take the opportunity to tell you a little about our most recent trip, a weekend in Skegness Lincolnshire.
Thanks to a different holiday pattern at work (mine being calculated by calendar year, Mr. T’s by tax year), we generally end up with a week’s worth of annual leave that needs to be taken before end of March. In previous years this often meant a trip to New York. Three years ago, it was a week in San Francisco. Well, this year things were a little different (let’s just pretend last year didn’t even happen, shall we?). Rather than a trip to the US (or another place on our lengthy bucket list), most of this leftover annual leave was taken in February to go and see our families in Germany… and to celebrate a slightly delayed Christmas.
But, Mr. T still had a few last days to get rid of, and we decided on a little weekend getaway here in the UK at the end of March. And aren’t I glad it was that weekend, not the next one. Given that we had sunshine and warm weather for most of the trip but ended up seeing the first snow for the entire winter the following weekend.
Why did we decide on a weekend in Skegness?
To be absolutely honest, we didn’t. Or at least not at first. When planning our weekend trip, we initially looked at Norfolk. We had been to King’s Lynn a few times (last time after Mr. T’s 3-day cycle tour from Cambridge to Norfolk). But as convenient as Norfolk might be (even on a Friday afternoon we can make it there in around two hours), we quite fancied seeing something new. So, we ended up looking a little further north. And found a cute little cottage in Chapel St. Leonards, which was directly by the beach, allowed dogs, and came at a reasonable price. Perfect. Well, until the host cancelled our reservation two weeks before the trip, courtesy of a water leak in the cottage.
Trying our best to find a suitable replacement that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg (and possibly my left kidney), we eventually found a place in Skegness. Not quite as characterful and a little further to the beach, but it did allow dogs and the location appeared to be fairly central. A weekend in Skegness it would be.
Until then, I had never really heard of Skegness and had no real idea what there was to see and do in Skegness. Or if Skegness was really worth a weekend trip at all. But at the end of the day, the main aim was to get away for the weekend and get to the coast.
A weekend in Skegness: Friday
As I finished work around lunch time, we packed up the car and headed towards Skegness. Although not that far (around 120 miles give or take), it took us a good 3 hours. Mainly due to the narrow country lanes on the second half of the journey. But we never expected it to be much less, so all good.
We arrived in Skegness around 4ish and having dropped our bags at the Airbnb, we were immediately off to the beach. After all, pup had been well behaved during the entire car journey but was now desperate to stretch his little legs. And what better way than a proper run around along the beach. Pair that with the fact that it was sunny and warm, none of us could wait. Armed with a tennis ball (obviously), we set off. And discovered it was less than 10 minutes’ walk to the beach at Princes Parade. And I am talking proper beach here. Endless sand and no pebble in sight. Hardly any people around either (a few fellow dog owners aside). Having learned the hard way last year in Southend, I had already checked whether there were any dog friendly beaches in Skegness (or Lincolnshire in general). Luckily, there were. TBH, I don’t think we would have booked a weekend in Skegness if the dog wasn’t allowed on the beach.
We walked along the beach until we got to Skegness Pier (pretty as the sun was setting in the background, but unfortunately already closed that time of day) and had a walk through the town centre before heading back to our place.
Our weekend in Skegness: Saturday
Having enjoyed a very relaxing Friday evening, we were all wide awake at the crack of dawn. And since the weather looked decent, we decided to start the day with a morning run. I haven’t done much running recently, so it certainly wasn’t my best performance. But it didn’t matter. There is something super relaxing about an early morning run before breakfast. And it gives you a unique perspective of your surroundings, as you have the place almost entirely to yourself (something I learned to appreciate during my early morning runs in Paris).
As Saturday would be the only full day during our weekend in Skegness, I did a little research beforehand, to see what there actually is to see and do in and around Skegness.
Things to do in Skegness: Gibraltar Point
We started with a trip to Gibraltar Point, a national nature reserve just south of Skegness. Stretching around 5km along the coast, the nature reserve consists of two sand dunes and a long stretch of salty marsh. I must be honest; I expected the hike to be longer. A 5km stretch does sound a decent size. But turned out that you couldn’t actually walk all of the reserve. Some areas (including the southern tip with the actual Gibraltar Point) are fenced off to preserve wildlife and plants.
Even though it wasn’t quite the lengthy hike we hoped for, we still enjoyed the scenery and walk.
There are two car parks, which both charge a small parking fee. But the actual nature reserve is free. And dogs are allowed if they stay on a lead and don’t disturb the wildlife. Towards the Southern end is a visitor centre with café and toilets (next to the second car park), so after our walk, we enjoyed a nice coffee out on the terrace. Dogs aren’t allowed inside the visitor centre but are free to stay on the terrace and in the garden (and water bowls are provided for four-legged visitors).
Things to do in Skegness: Natureland Seal Sanctuary
Once we had enough of Gibraltar Point, we headed back towards Skegness, parked the car at our Airbnb and walked along the beach towards the Natureland Seal Sanctuary (about a five-minute walk from Skegness Pier).
The name probably gives it away already. The Natureland Seal Sanctuary is not a normal aquarium (there is one of those in Skegness as well, but we didn’t visit). It is a place for lost seals to be cared for and nurtured until they are healthy and fat enough to be returned back to the sea.
Tickets are just under 10GBP for adults (8GBP for kids) and dogs are allowed, provided they stay on their lead.
If you time your visit right, you can watch the older seals being fed (unfortunately we timed it a little wrong and arrived just as they finished the feeding session).
In addition to the seals, you can see penguins, meerkats, reptiles, a small petting zoo and the ‘floral palace’ with tropical plants and free flying birds and butterflies. Unfortunately, the floral palace is only open from April to September, so we didn’t get a chance to enter (plus the dog would not have been allowed in there for obvious reasons). Neither did we see the reptiles, as that area was also closed when we visited. According to their website, the Natureland Seal Sanctuary is also home to a group of Alpacas. But these were still in their winter camp and would not return before April.
Visiting the Seal Sanctuary in March was not necessarily the best time of year, as so many things were still shut. But we did pay a reduced entrance fee that day to make up for it. Hopefully, you’ll have better luck for your weekend in Skegness. It is worth mentioning that most of the seal sanctuary is outdoors. Not the ideal activity should you have picked a rainy weekend in Skegness.
Once we left the Seal Sanctuary, it was time for lunch. As we were already near the pier, we decided to head to the seafront for some alfresco fish and chips. I mean, we are on a beach holiday after all. Would be rude not to.
With the weather this nice, the seafront was rather busy. But dog and I managed to find a shady spot, whilst Mr T joined the lengthy queue for lunch.
The Skegness seafront very much has all to offer that you would expect to find in an English seaside town. A pier, an amusement park with various rides, an arcade and a large selection of restaurants.
I have to be honest, we didn’t fancy helter-skelters as part of our weekend in Skegness, so gave Skegness Pleasure Beach (aka the amusement park) a miss. In all fairness, I am not entirely sure if we would have even be allowed in with a dog.
Instead, we visited Skegness Pier again (this time it was open, and we were able to go on it, rather than walk below it).
The rest of the afternoon was spent on the beach. Although it was lovely and sunny, it was only March. So it was still a little too cold, to actually have a dip in the water and sunbath all afternoon. But it was warm enough to sit on the sand, enjoy the waves and watch the dog play and run in the water.
Our weekend in Skegness: Sunday
This being Britain, all good weather must come to an end eventually. So, it came as no surprise that Sunday morning we were greeted by a cloudy sky and rain.
But it didn’t really matter. We had seen all we wanted to see in Skegness and even Frankie had enough of the beach for one weekend and was happy to just snuggle up and have a rest.
After breakfast we packed our stuff and set off. But as we still had an entire day, we decided on a little detour instead of going home directly. Our first stopover was Boston (the UK version that is, not the one in Massachusetts obviously). As it was en route, it wasn’t really a big detour.
We had a little walk through the centre of Boston. Soon realising that this might be the original and older Boston, but definitely a lot smaller than its US counterpart. We only spent about 2 hours in Boston and that included a coffee break and me visiting the cathedral.
Next on the route back from our weekend in Skegness was Peterborough. We had driven through it in the past, but never actually visited. So, we took the opportunity, to have a little wander around and see what Peterborough had to offer. As so often, we did no research whatsoever on what was there to actually see or do in Peterborough. Instead, we just parked up and started walking. Going with the flow and seeing where it’ll lead us. Lucky for us, the rain had meanwhile stopped and it was brightening up a little.
We had a wander through town and visited Peterborough Cathedral (or at least I did, Mr. T and dog decided to wait outside). And after a late lunch, we eventually called it a day and headed back home. But not without the promise to ourselves that we would come back and explore Peterborough and its surrounding a bit more another time.
There you have it, our weekend in Skegness and what we were up to whilst there. As I mentioned in the beginning, this was the first time I’ve ever been to Skegness (or even heard of it), but funnily enough, it seems no week goes by since without someone mentioning Skegness. Guess it is one of those English seaside towns that you just have to visit once in your life.
Have you been? Did you enjoy it? Would you recommend it?