So Day 42 (Thursday) completes 6 weeks on the road and to mark the occasion I reached Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast.
When I was a boy I grew up in the city of Lincoln and we used to come to Mablethorpe for day trips to the seaside. I wondered if I would recognise any of it after all that time.
The honest answer is, no I didn’t, but the last time I set foot in Mablethorpe was over half a century ago!
Like Skegness, Mablethorpe has grown and become more commercialised but this simply means that both are great seaside towns in the best British tradition: lots to see and do, great places for the kids, big sandy beaches, a laid- back atmosphere and changeable weather.
One of the most glaring changes is the huge kick-ass wind farm off the coast of Skegness that obviously was not there when I was a youngster.
Anyway the walk from good old Skeggie to Mablethorpe, via Ingoldmels, Chapel St Leonards and Sutton on Sea, about 18 miles in all, was trouble-free although I was feeling a bit sluggish in the aftermath of my exertions on day 41. Much of the walk was along the beach as the tide was going out and I could make easy progress along the firm sand.
The beaches were, for the most part, deserted. It is quite surprising how sparsely populated the Lincolnshire coast can be in places, especially if one is used to the more densely populated areas of the South East.
Just outside Skegness I passed the Butlins holiday camp, which is the first and original camp first set up by Billy Butlin in the 1950s (or 40s?). Nowadays I think they are called Holiday Villages and I can see why. The one at Skegness is so huge it is more like a small town. It looks very nice too, with neat rows of apartment blocks and extensive facilities.
By about 7pm I reached Mablethorpe and am being shown great hospitality by the Beach Lodge Hotel whose owners, Michelle and Steve have kindly donated a night’s accommodation, which is very much appreciated. This is a very smart, comfortable, modern hotel nestled quietly between the sea front and a large boating lake with vast numbers of very large ducks in it.
I was made to feel very welcome despite not being at my best after a hard day’s slog and arriving, as I always do, looking like something the cat dragged in.
Anyway, here is the lovely Beach Lodge Hotel’s website, which I recommend you pay a visit as THE place to stay in Mablethorpe http://www.beachlodgehotel.co.uk
I am starting to lose track but I am pretty sure I have now walked over 700 miles, whIch is the distance from London to Barcelona in Spain or Venice in Italy or indeed Oslo in Norway.
I am hoping to cross the Humber into Yorkshire by the end of the weekend.