Monday 14th August
This is part of our ‘Road round Britain’ which we started after the Morris Register rally at Thoresby Park in August 2000.
We started on the Lincolnshire coast south of Boston at a place called Fosdyke. We drove round of a lot of little roads -a network of roads looking much like Holland. It was rich agricultural land, growing cabbages potato and wheat. There were a lot of little houses here and there with nice flowers growing in the gardens. We headed towards Boston. We passed Frampton Parish Church - an attractive stone church. There were sheep in the field around and a brick-built thatched cottage nearby. We followed Wyberton low road and we could see ‘Boston stump’ in the distance. We made our way into Boston and managed to park beside the river Witham. It looked just like a mucky muddy hole. We could see the skeletons of sunken boats stuck in the mud. We enjoyed walking around Boston to ‘the stump’. I had thought it was called the stomp.
It is apparently the tallest parish Church in the country. There were a lot of stained glass windows, but none that particularly took my fancy. I had come here 40 years ago. Adrian thought the town itself looked a bit unloved but had huge potential. There were some lovely buildings with very much a Dutch influence. There was some lovely brickwork, but a few modern abominations stuck in the middle. We came back to the Tiv and had a cup of tea and a piece of cream sponge thinking of Olive who was 90 years old today and always used to bring us a cream sponge cake. We had bought a new map case in Millets. We telephoned a C.L. We saw a beautiful windmill on our way out of the town.
Earlier we had been listening to an interview on local radio with the Countess of Rutland who lived in Beaver Castle. After much searching we realised that this was Belvoir Castle which we had passed and had a discussion about today.
We went through agricultural land up to Skeggy - with a winding road, very flat, rather Dutch looking. We noticed all the little stumpy churches. We drove right into Skeggy. It didn't look any different from any other town - seaside town at least. We turned off south down to Gibraltar point. By now it was coming out sunny - the best time of the day. We parked in a car-park where we had to pay a pound. It was £2 earlier in the day! We had a walk for an hour or more - it wasn't very exciting. We walked along to the sea - we were supposed to be seeing birds. There were several hides and freshwater lakes and marshes. We saw coots and moorhens and not a lot else. We saw a lot of rabbits and some birds of prey. I thought later that this might have been a marsh harrier. We saw sea lavender. It was pleasantly warm but quite windy.
We drove through Skegness and then on to the C.L. at Bratoft which we had rung earlier. We settled in - it was now 7.40. The sun was just fading. We got going getting supper ready. It was nice enough for us to sit outside which we did until dusk. We realised that it was full moon tonight . In the morning, we also realised that this had been our 400th night in the Tiv.
Boston Stump (or Stomp, as I had thought)!
Tuesday 15th August
We awoke to see the sun pouring in. The weather forecast was good for the morning and not so good for the afternoon. We had decided to set off for a walk from here. We had breakfast sitting outside in the sunshine. The air was coolish. We set off on this walk soon after 9 o'clock. Our first stop was at the delightful little Church of St Peter and St Paul at Bratoft. There was a lovely wooden screen across the front of this lovely little Church. There was a painting which we would not have noticed had we not read about it in our notes. It was a painting on wood of the Spanish Armada with the Armada depicted as a red dragon. We left here and set off across the fields of wheat in this pleasant rural countryside which had the feeling to us of the thirties.
It seems a very safe and happy area. As we walked in this rural idyll with cows on one side and fields of corn on the other our peace was shattered by noisy jet aircraft flying overhead. We came to a moat which would have been around the house of the Massingberg family. The house had been demolished in the 1600’s.
It was a varied walk now across grass paths and through fields to Gunby Church belonging to Gunby Hall and owned by the National Trust. Gunby Hall wasn't open to the public today. We viewed the Church from the outside as it was locked. It was a very pleasant little Church in rural surroundings with Gunby Hall behind it.
We then had a bit of road walking with a lot of cars passing us.
We walked round the village of Orby. Again this was a bit of road walking and then we went through some fields of corn with a narrow pathway made through the middle of them. Next we went across a newly ploughed field. This was very hard going . We went across another field of corn and then we came to Burgh Le Marsh. This is the big town around here - well a small town anyway. We walked through part of the town. We saw the windmill which we had seen yesterday and also another converted windmill. We also saw the Church tower with a brightly coloured clock on one side. The tower of Portland stone can apparently be seen from way out to sea as a guide to sailors.
We turned off from the town across more fields back towards Bratoft. Just towards the end of this field, we were approaching a stile and I decided to get out the chocolate biscuits which I had been carrying on me and which were rather melted. I was aware of a thundering noise behind me and a group of cows charged after me, scaring me rather until I said ‘boo’ to them. They then came and looked pleadingly at me over the fence as we ate our chocolate biscuits, having climbed the stile.
We walked across two ploughed fields and came to the road just near the old Burgh le Marsh railway station. It was looking in a sad state of repair. It used to be quite busy of course. It was closed in 1970 and opened again in 1987 as a railway museum but unfortunately was then sold off along with its contents.
As we walked across this field we saw a mother duck tearing across the field and all her little babies running after her. In the corner of this field in a separate little area were two men and a group of cows. One man had his hand up the cow's rear end. There seemed to be some problem and then afterwards the man went running across the field. We got through a rough area and then came to a new house being built and services being laid to it. This entailed us leaping across a big ditch. We then came to a children's playground with a roundabout and slide half-buried in the ground. There was also a pond with some goldfish. We walked across some more fields with some sheep in them and then we had to cross a dyke - several dykes in fact - some of them with a lot of weed in them. Then we walked along beside a narrow dyke through tall grass which scratched our legs. We should actually have walked along beside one of the other dykes and not across this field, which had filled our socks with chaff reminding us of being in the Okavango. We were now back in Bratoft and got back to the Tiv at a quarter to one.
It was too hot to sit in the sun and so we sat in the shade and had our lunch. It was very peaceful. Adrian emptied the dirty water tank and we left at about a quarter to two (although not strictly on the coast this delightful walk is included into our road round Britain as its only a few miles inland).
We returned through Burgh le Marsh seeing its 5 winged windmill, and back to Skegness. Here we drove up and down the road with the amusements either side and absolutely buzzing with people. The car-parks were full and it seemed a really happy, busy, sunny English holiday resort. We then continued north. There was a lot of traffic on this road. We went down to Seacroft and managed to park in the road one back from the sea and walked down a little track to the sea. Here we enjoyed a really lovely English time on the beach. It was a beautiful sandy beach rather muddy in places being close to the Wash. And there were lots and lots of people happily enjoying being by the sea, all ages from toddlers upwards. It was a bit breezy down by the sea - we had a little paddle. We then came up to a shop and bought a Mr Whippy ice-cream for just 60p. It was a large one too although it was the smallest size. We went back to the beach to enjoy it and laze around amongst all the beach people for a while. We set off from here in the Tiv at ten past three.
We now turned off to a place called Ingoldmells where Skegness holiday camp was and this is where I came when I was 17 in 1960 - 40 years ago. I was glad that we had gone to the beach before here and taken a photograph as you couldn't get to the beach here. Driving past I couldn't really recognise anything - I could remember lots of chalets and a swimming pool. We then did a tour of the place called Ingoldmells and it consisted of thousands and thousands of static caravans - caravans as far as the eye could see. We found that quite horrific. We came back to the road and continued north ready to turn off to Chapel St Leonards. It was just as bad here. We went on to Chapel Point where we parked by a little cafe. It was all-day parking for a pound. We didn't pay we just had a look at the beach here. As this was a ‘point’, we had superb views in both directions of the wonderful sandy beaches. There were far less people here and it was really pleasant. We stopped again at Chapel Six marshes where you could stop for free right by the sea. We stopped here and lay on the beach for a while.
As we left we found that there was a C.L. right at this point so we pulled in there to stay for the night. It was called White Horses. We then walked back down to the sea and had a long walk in a northerly direction and back. It was very pleasant, a nice temperature and a lovely sandy beach. We came back and cooked supper. Adrian started to cook the turkey outside but we had a few drops of rain so we finished cooking inside. Later in the evening we walked back down to the beach. We were hoping to do this with the full moon shining, but it was rather cloudy by now and we just got an occasional glimpse of the moon. There were little fishing boats lit up on the horizon. They disappeared as we walked down to the edge of the sea. We could see Skegness lit up to the south of us too. Just as we got back to the Tiv there was a little flurry of rain.
Cornfield near Bratoft
Remains of moat round former Massingberg Castle
Amongst the corn near Gunby
The old railway station at Burgh le Marsh
The cows pleading for our biscuit
Paddling at Skegness - 40 years later!
Adrian on the beach at Chapel Six Marshes
Wednesday 16th August
There was some more rain in the night. We awoke to a bright morning but with a strong cool wind. We had breakfast inside. Adrian filled the water tank and we left and drove a few miles north to Anderby Creek where there was a little place to park by a cafe and shop, beside the sea, on the continuation of this huge long sandy beach. If it was a few degrees warmer it would have been like Quiberon. There was just one family, grandparents, mother and children, on this huge expanse of sand. There were some bungalows here and someone passed riding a horse.
We continued a little way north through a place called Sandilands where we didn't actually get to the sea. There was a sea wall with chalets behind it. Just beyond here was Sutton on Sea. This was a delightful little old-fashioned seaside resort with a paddling pool behind the sea wall and all the low-key tourist attractions and still the miles and miles of wonderful sandy beach. There were quite a few happy holidaymakers around.
I should mention the radio which we have been listening to today. As we left the campsite we had been listening to a man who'd been a doctor in a what was then Basutoland and as we arrived at Sutton on Sea there was a discussion on the pursuit of happiness. We came back to hear a black South African woman who had written a play about life in South Africa. This was on Radio 4 which we enjoy listening to. We left here at 10.30. As we turned off on the road to Sutton we had seen a delightful little Church - very old and made of brick.
Next came Trusthorpe. Here we pulled in behind the sea wall, beside another caravan park. Again this was a beautiful beach, this time on a sort of point. There weren't many people about at this low-key place. We decided to have our coffee here. As the wind was blowing offshore we took our coffee and sat on the step just over the sea wall. The sun was now warm. Several people were enjoying being on the beach as it wasn't windy there. We have noticed how many family groups there are on this bit of coast, grandparents, parents and children.
We drove off and immediately came into Mabelthorpe - a much larger resort. It was a bit glitzy but nothing like the size of Skeggy. We drove straight along the front and tried to stop at the far end, called North End, but this was a paying car-park, so we continued northwards - there were still more caravan parks. We now had to come back to the main road north. We thought this was the end of the beach section. At Threddlethorpe, there was a large gas terminal. We now had a very pleasant surprise. We took the road called Sea Road and this wound its way round fields, where a tractor was ploughing and birds were following, until we stopped by what was called a reserve. There were lots of grey foliage bushes here reminding us of fynbos in South Africa or saltbush in Australia. We started walking off between these and then got a wonderful vista down across a huge expanse of sand to the sea. So whereas we thought there was no sand here in fact the area of sand was much bigger. There were just one or two people on the beach. We settled ourselves down and relaxed for a while.
By the time we left at 12.30 more people were arriving. The peace was shattered by some very noisy planes flying overhead. A bit further north we turned off, where it said ‘Seaview Farm’ and again were able to stop by the reserve. This time we looked down over half a mile or more of salt marsh before the sea.
We decided to have our lunch here so I made up some rolls and we had our lunch sitting on a wartime emplacement. It was a bit windy but we had some great views. We watched some swallows. The other bird that we see everywhere on this coast is the wood pigeon. We also saw a flock of birds making wonderful patterns as they flew off. By now the clouds were coming up, but the sky was quite wonderful with fluffy white clouds and long streaks of white clouds amongst the blue. It certainly made us think of Australian and South African coastal reserves with its grey bushes. We tried one more view to the sea, down an unmade up track, but all we could see were the marshes. We now came to North Somercoates.
We drove on through one of two more small places on this road before turning off one more time, to Horseshoe Point. This was down a long single-track road and again all we could see ahead of us were salt marshes. Some people had been out collecting sea creatures in large sacks. I decided to take the wheel on the way back and luckily we didn't come across too many cars coming in the other direction. The Lincolnshire Wolds were very close to us at this point and we could see them in the distance. We now came into what was signposted as North East Lincolnshire but marked as Humberside on the map. We were at a place called Humberston.
Now we came into Cleethorpes which seemed extremely busy with lots of people and lots of cars. We managed to park by the leisure centre and someone gave us a ticket to park as he'd somehow got two from the machine. There was a lot of sand in front of us but also much mud, this being on the estuary of the Humber. We walked along to the pier and back amongst all the happy holidaymakers. We were reminded of Cairns with all the mud, going for a long way out, but the beach was nice. There were lots of happy people building sandcastles and enjoying themselves. We saw an amphibious vehicle and thought about having a go on it but it left just as we got there. Instead we bought an ice-cream and sat on the sand before we walked back. We left here at ten past four.
Cleethorpes became Grimsby. We followed the road round to the fish harbour which was immense but now extremely quiet, but the smell told us that we were there. We drove right round the harbour and back again. We saw a lot of fishing boats and then we looked at the campsite book to find somewhere to stop for tonight.
Grimsby was a nothing of a place. North of it there was a lot of industry but also a lot of fields of wheat. We now made our way to Immingham which I hadn't heard of before, but is the port for Hull. Before we found our way on to a container ship we turned off to look for a C.L. for tonight at South End. We found our way to the site and drove into it but there was nothing to tell us that it was a C.L. and we pondered what to do. Adrian wandered off and tried to find somebody, but nobody knew anything, so he tried telephoning the number in the book. He got the owner's son who didn't know much, but said yes it was the site. In the meantime a car had driven up and parked in the gateway to the actual site and the people had got out and gone off. I went off in search of them, walking around the little fishing lakes that are here. On the way I saw what must have been a water rat, but no sign of the people. The sun was shining so we parked in a bit next to the actual site, got out the seats and sat in the sunshine to have our cup of tea, but during this time the people came back so Adrian quickly took the wood from the gate way and drove in. Quite a little saga! We walked around the lakes but by now the clouds had come up and there were even a few drops of rain. We met a man to whom we paid £3, hopefully the site man! There was a young a girl with him who looked a bit like Emily (Cook). Back at the van it had come over very black and there was a sharp heavy shower, which lasted quite a while and resulted in a most wonderful double rainbow - a complete semi-circle. We enjoyed looking at it. This went away but by now it was getting dark. We had luckily decided to cook the meal inside or we would have been rained off. We ate inside and had an evening inside. Adrian had telephoned the man who had been minding the Morris for us and we found that we have got to collect it tomorrow, so this will be our last day up here. Before going to bed we walked around the lakes in the dark. It was very still.
Thursday 17th August
We awoke to a beautiful morning with a clear blue sky. We were right next to the railway. That hadn't disturbed us but the tractors going across the level crossing had. It was harvest time and they were coming back late last night and leaving incredibly early this morning. We went for a walk around these fishing lakes. People were already out fishing. It was a delightful time to be out, the water lilies looked lovely. We saw fish jumping and a few coots but no sign of the water rat I'd seen yesterday. We sat outside and had our breakfast - it was really pleasant. We left at a quarter past nine on this final stage of this part of our ‘Road around Britain’.
We took the road down to a place called Goxhill Haven. At this point the River Humber did a right-angled bend. We could look across to Hull and down to the Humber Bridge and to the industry on the north shore.
It was a really interesting spot. There was a cool wind. Beside us was the dyke and the sea wall - not looking very high for this enormous river. There were one or two bungalows here and at the end of the marshes a totally unrestored brick-built building looking straight out of Dickens. There were several cars around it and it was obviously lived-in. We came back through Goxhill itself - a very ordinary-looking place and then down to the Humber again at New Holland, but this was just a terminal so we couldn't get to the river. We went along to Barrow Haven. This was also a terminal - a timber terminal. We then made our way towards Barton upon Humber. We drove right down to the end of the Humber Bridge where there was a little car-park. With difficulty we took a photograph of the two of us with the Humber Bridge as a background. At 11 o'clock we left here. This is the end of this section of our road around Britain. We had really enjoyed the Lincolnshire coast.
Sandy beach at Threddlethorpe
Looking across the saltmarsh near Seaview Farm
Adrian with his icecream, Cleethorpes
Fishing boats in Grimsby Harbour
The Humber Bridge from Goxhill Haven
Looking across to Hull
Us by the Humber Bridge