Sunday, April 27, 2008

Advantage fox.

The lovely weather that presented itself yesterday did not fall on the house of a lazy fox!!

Following on from last weekend's trip to Hull, we took another journey (this time avoiding public transport) to the Humber Estuary and visited the delightful Cleethorpes.

The lovely Dawn, with her hair characteristically annoying her by blowing into her face, and no doubt saying to me "you better not be taking my picture" or words (that I dare not repeat in mixed company) to that effect!!

Much like many "classic" British seaside "resorts", Cleethorpes has seen its share of hard times. I'm happy to say that Cleethorpes has survived the season of unfashionability that has dogged our coasts. Perhaps it's global warming or a dose of environmental awareness that is now prompting people to return. Cleethorpes has now begun its restoration and is looking decidedly chirpy. The promenade is really pleasant* and some of the shopping areas are really looking nice, quaint and respectable.... the seaside "tat" shops are being slowly whittled down.

The pier and the groyne. Lovely sky with the "sea" somewhere in the distance.

* Seasides are like magnets for teenagers with badly modified, cheap cars - typically Citroen Saxo and if you can mask out the occasional open ended exhaust pipe and tinny, rattling, euro dance or god forbid r&b (the modern version, not the good version), then it's a help.

* Seasides tend to attract the elderly. while I have nothing against the elderly, it is slightly off putting that you can't buy food that needs to be chewed or beer which doesn't come from an electric pump!! The more the resorts can cater for the discerning punter, then surely, the more discerning punters will be likely to visit and even more importantly REvisit.

* Yes, I know, Cleethorpes isn't actually "seaside" it's tidal estuary, but it's much the same thing apart from the large tidal range and expansive mud flats!!

* Grimsby were playing at home, but if you avoid the football chanting pubs just above the train station, then you wouldn't really know much about it. For those that don't know, Grimsby and Cleethorpes are pretty much the same town, although I am sure someone will pick me up on this broad generalisation.

Having spent an hour or so "promenading" with my lovely lady friend, we decided that we should head out of town and find a more natural environment in which to take a constitutional stroll along the myriad of wildlife havens along the edge of the estuary.

A view along the "prom" at Cleethorpes from Ross Castle, a Victorian folly (recently renovated).

We (eventually) parked up at the "Lakeside" area... not far out of town. It's like an old 1920s boating lake, and you can tell it's also had its fair share of troubled times, but its being invested in and its looking very nice. A boating lake, a light railway running through the area with mini steam engines, some ancient sand dunes, and access to lovely salt marshes and stunning low tide walks along the beach.

Haile Fort, constructed in the mouth of the Humber Estuary during the first world war, and hailed as "an outstanding triumph of modern engineering".

It was a great day out... For me, the walking on the beach, picking up interesting shells, and feeling the sun on your back, and the sand whipping around your ankles in the breezier moments, and soft terrain under your feet, was the highlight of the day.

Go to your nearest coastal resort and support it. I maintain that there are so many places in this country that I have never experienced, that I ought never to need to go abroad again. That's obviously not to say that I won't go abroad, but damn it, most people don't know what's on their own doorstep!!

1 comment:

  1. i grew up in a seaside town, and while they are for the most part grotty and full of little granny machines, there is something wonderfully nostalgic about them. and, of course, there's the sea ... i love the sound of the gulls crooning. and then dropping one on your ice cream. classic.