Whose a pretty boy then ?
The National Parrot Sanctuary has just opened recently, south of Skegness.
The entrance price of 4 pounds 60p does seem a little steep - but their aim of caring for abandoned parrots is quite admirable.
If your into parrots then I'm sure it is a very enjoyable place to visit. The Website looks good, but I will check it out in real life in the next few months.
Open 9-5 seven days a week. Teaching the parrots rude words is extra.
I could of course make lots of obvious jokes about Norwegian blues being nailed to their perches - but that would be in poor taste, so I won't.
- Family Travel
There are about 50 piers left in the UK. Although not a uniquely British phenomenon, they do seem to symbolise the British Seaside. The pier at Skegness would orginally have been quite impressive, a good length you might say. It was mainly used to board pleasure steamers to Hunstanton and other Norfolk destinations. It was already unsafe from before the first world war, and had also contracted it's first rash of slot machines for the great unwashed.
Nowadays the pier has been completely riddled with the cancer of slot and games machines. Only a stumpy little piece remains after the amusement arcades. At least that has been restored to something resembling civility.
As a little detour, walk around by the side of the pier - it has been painted with a dozen or so 'seaside postcards'. I hope some will get the relevance of the Bamforth's postcard I have selected for the secondary picture !
Jolly fisherman - again
The principle statue of the town's mascot stands behind the clocktower, right on the front, surrounded by his own little fountain.
From a distance, as he prances alomg with arms outstretched, he looks just a little on the 'gay' side. Of course that is in the true 1930's meaning of the word. He is overwhelmingly happy - unlike his altar ego, Sourbugger.
I hope one day to have a statue of myself erected in the town.
The Jolly fisherman goes on holiday...
The introduction page to Skegness gives you the full rundown on one of the oldest mascots in the business. I only recently found out that a rather excellent second bronze statue of the happy chappy is placed in Skegness station. This could be the only possible reason for going onto the station. The station is quite a disgusting rotting mess, and smells of wee.
The statue itself is however a gem, as he is merrily striding towards the town centre as if arriving from a train, pulling his suitcase behind him. It needs a little repair to whatever was slung over his shoulder - and it is an absolute disgrace that this has not been fixed for the start of the 2007 season. In fact the whole station needs a serious cash injection and makeover to bring it up to the standard of complete dump.
Home of legless lizards
When Sourbugger is usually talking about 'birds' in Skegness, it is normally of the mini-skirted variety (an abiding long term interest) rather than the feathered kind.
Gibraltar point, as any 'twitcher' (bird spotter) will tell you is of national imprtance for lapwings and many other species of birds.
Just a couple of miles out of town on the coast south of Skegness this national Nature reserve consists of two sets of sand dunes and an area of saltmarches.
From the parking area (pay and display) you can gently wander out to the coast and amongst the dunes - but be warned of the speed of the incoming tide.
The area is also important for other forms of wildlife such as snakes : adders and grass snakes. You can also find slow worms, although these are not actually snakes, but legless lizards. They must feel quite at home in Skegness - there are plenty of (Lounge) Lizards who are also legless in search of birds to devour.
- National/State Park
The delights of Northern cuisine...
Tony's Fish & Chips is situated in a prime spot on the front at Skegness. There maybe a canopy and outside seats, but unlike some upmarket mediterranean resorts with their posh cafes and tavernas, the canopy is to keep off the rain and the seats are moulded from recycled from old Trabants.
The main clientelle are of course lardy-arsed northerners, getting their supplies of heart-attack inducing mountains of chips with mushy peas on top.
If you do eat here, I would go for the fried Haddock, that was actually quite reasonable.
And for the children ? Only British restaurants could come up with the delicacy that is fried chicken teddy bears, I kid you not.
- Food and Dining
You could go to Skegness and see many examples of large and slippery mammals with whiskers who smell of fish and make strange croaking noises when approached.
But less about life in the nightclubs - the natureland / seal sanctuary is very good at what it does for just over a fiver with seals (obviously) penguins, an aquarium and a tropical house. Nice to see the accent on conservation.
Don't miss the 'seal hospital' and feeding time for the seals - see how many seagulls manage to get a free feed !
Meet the happiest man in Skegness
Here's a little task for you if you ever visit Skegness. See if you can find this plastic gingerbread man. He certainly needs a good scrub, much like the rest of the place.
One little clue, you will find him quite close to the prancing Fisherman who find Skegness so bracing !
He's certainly no sourbugger - I think I will use him as my picture on my homepage soon.
UPDATE : FEB 2006 - I appear to have vanished. Perhaps the council will return me in the summer. Tell the council this. I am an institution !
- Family Travel
It doesn't exactly compare to the Eiffel tower,Big Ben, the Trevi fountain or even Blackpool's tower.
This pidley little clocktower stands on the central roundabout in Skeggers, where the promenade road turns into the main shopping street.
Still if you have seen it, you know you have been to Skegness.
It is said that if you look at the clock once and immediately but a bag of chips, you will never return. Hurrah.
Beauty parades on the beach
On no account miss this selection of beauties lined up on the beach at Skegness.
You thought that such pagents had died out in these PC correct days, but here lined up in their swimwear are the most gorgeous creatures in Skegness.
P.S. Make sure you vote for 'Noddy'. Not very good in eveningwear, but she does move down the beach with a lovely movement.
Two sick making machines to enjoy.
Fantasy Island is not a palm-fringed tropical beach populated by dusky maidens, but rather a collection of thrill rides on the windswept Lincolnshire coast above Skegness.
Fantasy Island at Ingoldmells (just beyond Butlins) tries to bill itself as Britain newest theme park, but it is along way from that.
You pay per ride (up to 4 pounds for the rollercoasters) rather than an all-in-one price, which can make it expensive. There is very little actual 'themeing', rather it is collection of 'thrill rides' located on a large carpark with associated piles of the detritus from the visitors.
There are two main rollercosters.The one built for the millenium is a little tame compared to those on offer at Blackpool and Alton Towers. The New ride (called Odyessy) however, looks very promising. It's a 'suspened' type of coaster, and of its type is the biggest in Europe. It is claimed it gets up to 100Mph in places and you will experience more inversions than sitting in a tumble dryer at the Laundrette.
- Theme Park Trips
lOOK ! I got me own earthmover..
There are countless sideshow stalls dotted around Skegness, many of them in the area of the pier (not that there is a pier anymore).
Most of them feature the fairly conventional fairground sideshow methods of losing a few quid chucking darts, hoops, bullets or balls to win some tawdy prize.
Just occasionally you don't begrudge the odd quid not a nicely thought out diversion like this mini JCB stall where your treasured offspring can happily spend a few minutes pushing some gravel around.
Notice the very oversized kid on the right - maybe he's finding his inner child. That, or he's never grown up.
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
If you have kids this is an absolute must
You have to admire the company that runs the donkey concession on Skegness Beach for their persistence in trying to earn an honest dollar.
The fourty or so donkeys earn their keep to the tune of one pound 50p every time they delight a child by transporting it to the sea and back.
The donkeys are all checked out medically throughout the season and seem to enjoy their work. The season runs from the start of June through to the end of the August.
'Noddy' is apparently the best looking of the donkeys on the beach, although I was a little reluctant to enquire further about what actually makes a donkey good-looking.
It's a pity that Jesus wasn't an Englishman, the disciples would have had no problem around here finding a donkey for palm sunday.
- Family Travel
Sensible tip - to get unsensible
Brewery tours are nothing new, but Bateman's at Wainfleet (4 miles on the train -use it) is a little unusual.
It's about as small as you can get without being a micro-brewery. The new Brewhouse (called the "theatre of beer") is very modern, whilst the old brewhouse adjoining has heritage orders slapped all over it, and it's
The tour (3PM) is informative and well-thought out, although it lacks a tasting session.
The brewer is very much in the real ale, beardy-weirdy, twigs in your ale camp. The exhibition (open all the time) make clear they have no truck with disgusting things like lager.
George Bateman (Mr George) is seventy something and still basically runs the place. You certainly get the vibe that this is very much a "family" type of business to work in where people stay for years (some of them 50 years or more). One of the attractions must be the fact that you can drink on the job and waddle (or widdle) home afterwards.
- Beer Tasting
This is Skegness's famous Mouse Trap Rollercoaster ( and notourious !)
Its very old and abit of a bone shaker. I'll have a go on anything, but even this gave me the willies !