I woke up at 4am to a pink hue – it was the a really lovely sunrise :-)
We decided last night that we would go to Skegness today on the train so we set off in sunshine to the station. We must have taken a long route as we only just made the train thanks to the guard who saw us coming down the bridge steps. The train was full of families on a day out or, as we discovered later, going to Butlins. We headed off in the direction of the sea and could soon smell fish and chips. I have never seen so many fish and chip shops in one area before - I saw four all next door to one another! We went and had a look at the Life Boat which is a Mersey and kept ashore. They had 11 shouts last year though their D Class had 43. (Hayling Island had 89 in total) From there we walked out to the RNLI Life Guard Station where there were four Life Guards on duty but, needless to say, no one was swimming. Looking out to sea there is a huge blot on the landscape which is the Lynn and Inner Dowsing Offshore Wind Farm – I counted 55 turbines. Slightly further out to sea there are a lot of “stumps” which we discovered are going to hold a further 75 turbines as part of the Lincs Wind Farm – this is due to be fully operational in 2013. They really are ugly but when the sun shines on them they do look better!
Because of my healthy eating regime we tried to find somewhere healthy to eat – I don’t know why we bothered :-( Fish and chips seem to be the only thing on offer – oh unless you want ice cream or doughnuts. I pulled the batter off my fish and inside was a rather pathetic haddock fillet that was barely cooked. We did finish the “meal” with a rather nice whippy ice cream though :-)
We walked out onto the rather short pier which is now only 387 feet. It used to be 1,843 feet long pier and was opened on Whit Monday 1881 at a cost of £20,840 and was at the time the fourth longest in England and was originally a T-shaped pier with a saloon/concert hall at the Pier head. However due to a collision in 1919 and storm damage in 1978 most of the pier was demolished in 1983 with the cast-iron stanchions being removed in January 1986 on one of the lowest tides of that year.
Skegness still has its donkeys and they look to be in really good condition. We had to smile as when even only one donkey was being used the others all trudged off behind! They were awarded the title of Britain's Best Beach Donkeys of 2009 and one, 7-year-old Sooty was awarded the Britain's Best Individual Beach Donkey title,
The very first Butlins was opened in Skegness in 1936. Billy Butlin's inspiration for his holiday camp empire came from an unhappy holiday on Barry Island in his youth, when he had been locked out of his bed and breakfast accommodation all day by his landlady, which was normal practice at the time.
Before we left home there had been an item on BBC South Today about Skegness. They had been showing adverts of unflattering images of Brighton and Blackpool in a bid to promote the resort. We didn’t find one image of Skegness that is a patch on lovely Brighton. Last year the resort was described in the Lonely Planet guide as "good family fun if you immerse yourself in the whole tacky spectacle". I’ll say no more.