Skegness, England

Skegness Pier signage. Photograph by Graham Soult
Skegness Pier signage. Photograph by Graham Soult

Situated on the bracing Lincolnshire coast, Skegness attracts millions of visitors each year with its clean beaches and plentiful attractions.

The town has been populated since Roman times, and fragments of Roman pottery are still found among the shells on its beautiful sandy beaches. However, Skegness was just a small village of a few hundred people until the 19th century, when it blossomed as a holiday destination with the coming of the railways. In 1936, Billy Butlin opened the first holiday camp at Skegness, followed by further Butlin’s resorts across the country. Today, the original Butlin’s holiday resort continues to pull in the visitors.

Indeed, accommodation in the town is plentiful and varied. Choose from the self-catering opportunities and luxury hotels, or enjoy bed and breakfast in Skegness at one of the many family-owned guest houses – offering friendly hosts, homely rooms and lovely fresh food at affordable prices.

Being beside the seaside is still Skegness’ biggest draw, and the beach has received many awards for its cleanliness. Sitting on the beach, looking out at the sea, and enjoying the lovely traditional seaside town atmosphere and sea air is a pleasure everyone can enjoy, with the pristine sands being easily accessible for the able and less able alike.

Away from the beach, the town’s attractions include The Village (also known as Church Farm), an open-air museum that hosts regular events and is run entirely by volunteers. The historic Skegness Pier also boasts a range of family-friendly entertainment, including ten pin bowling, Laser Quest and a fabulous waterfront restaurant, along with the Lucky Strike amusements and entertainment centre. The town also has a theatre and cinema complex, plenty of pubs and restaurants, and many clubs for those who want to enjoy the nightlife.

The town has a busy events calendar too. The amazing SO Festival is held in June/July each year, with world-class street theatre, visual art, music, dance, drama, film, sport and comedy. If you’re visiting at this time of year, the festival is an absolute must.

Meanwhile, if you enjoy shopping, the town provides independent shops and high street names, many of which can be found in the Hildreds Centre, a modern complex with ample parking and a light and airy feel. The centre is also well-known for its seasonal displays throughout the year, including at Christmas.

Just outside Skegness is its stadium, hosting stock car and stunt car racing, as well as fireworks displays and other events. Alternatively, if you want to go somewhere a little different, you can take a bus from the Embassy Theatre on the Grand Parade to Britain’s largest parrot sanctuary and zoo, which cares for many other animals as well as its parrots. For something a bit more energetic, nearby Ingoldmells hosts the Fantasy Island theme park, with rides, shows, and a popular seven-day market.

If you’re feeling brave, one of Fantasy Island’s more extreme attractions is called The Amazing Confusion, where you get strapped to a rotating seat on a giant pendulum, and then swung over the top of the ride – a somewhat disorientating experience. Happily, though, there’s no amazing confusion about Skegness’ enduring appeal as a seaside holiday destination – its heyday may, arguably, be behind it, but it’s still a wonderful, fun place to spend some memorable and enjoyable family time.

As Butlins in Skegness used to say, “our true intent is all for your delight” – a sentiment that still rings true today!

Photo credit: Graham Soult

The Visit Skegness & Mablethorpe website is full of extra information to help you plan your visit.

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