223. Mablethorpe to Cleethorpes

June 2016

This is another section of coast that was difficult to plan and I had puzzled about how to walk this section of the coast for sometime prior to this walk.

The problem was simple  – lack of transport. Lincolnshire seems to have particularly poor public transport. Having got to Mablethorpe previously the obvious solution was to walk north from there. But to where? There were a few obvious destinations. Saltfleet? North Somercotes? However although being fair sized places none of them seemed to have anything other than a once-day weekday only bus service or one you had to book in advance (and register before you could do that). The next sizeable town, Cleethorpes was, I estimated, around 22 miles and that assumes I could follow a direct route along the coast (which may well not be possible, because there are no footpaths in places). 

So I had puzzled about the best approach. Stay somewhere on route was a possibility, (except I couldn’t find anywhere). Walk up and back, as two walks? In the end I settled on a plan to do the (almost) marathon-length walk of Mablethorpe to Cleethorpes in one day. If I couldn’t make it, I could always call a taxi (albeit probably at high cost) to get back. The problem is the route is over 20 miles – if I can walk direct, but with no clear route for parts of it I wasn’t sure that would be possible, so I could well end up having to walk further. In addition Mablethorpe is a right pain to get to from home, the earliest I could get there by public transport was around midday (via Skegness) which itself is only served by a very slow hourly train. This would not give me enough time to walk to Cleethorpes in time to get public transport home again (or even back to Mablethorpe). 

So I decided I would have to drive there but then there was another problem, I’d need to get back to my car, as even getting between Mablethorpe and Cleethorpes by public transport is a pain. The A1031 provides a fairly direct route between the two towns, but despite this there are no direct buses that run between the towns . Instead to travel between them it takes well over 2 hours and involves 3 buses. (Or 2 buses and a train) and the service stops running quite early in the day. I had also already done the walks north from, Cleethorpes and south from Mablethorpe, so I didn’t really want to go up for the weekend with only one walk to do. That is why I decided to try to tackle this long walk on one day.

In the end I finally worked out a plan. I would do the walk in mid June, so there is plenty of daylight. In order that I could make a reasonably early start, I would drive (most of the way) after work on Friday, stay overnight and make an early start on Saturday. 

I’d also drive to Grimsby, not Mablethorpe or Cleethorpes, due to the bus connections. This meant from Grimsby I would take a bus to Louth and then another bus from there to Mablethorpe. Then I would walk back to Cleethorpes, where there were regular buses and trains back to Grimsby, until late into the evening.

I had therefore booked a room at the at the Travelodge Scunthorpe, because it was most of the way there, near to the motorway and (primarily), because it only cost £29 for the night. I left home around 6:45pm hoping the worst of the traffic had cleared by then. It hadn’t. Traffic was moving very slowly on the M25 and not much better on the M1. I was north of Milton Keynes before I was finally able to reach a speed above 60mph – but not for long. Beyond there I had two long sections of road works (with 50mph speed limits) to negotiate as well. It was only the last 90 minutes or so traffic was clear and so I reached the glamorous location of the Scunthorpe Travelodge at around 10:30pm.

Thankfully the staff were friendly, my room was clean and a fairly good size. Annoyingly however I was woken at 4:30am by the sound of a lorry stopped but with the engine running right outside my window (the hotel is on the edge of an industrial estate I think) and struggled to get back to sleep after that (it gets light about then at this time of year). So I didn’t wake quite as refreshed as I might have hoped, though I hadn’t slept too badly either. One problem with the Travelodge is they don’t serve breakfast other than a “Breakfast Box” of cereal and fruit juice to eat in your room for about an extra £7! Instead I opted for McDonalds across the road instead, though it was surprisingly slow (I had to wait for them to cook it and bring it over, usually fast food places are, well, fast).

I then set off for Grimsy, via the M180 and A180 . When I reached the town, many of the roads in the town centre were closed for some reason (road works I think), including the one I wanted to drive down (or at least, that my SatNav wanted me to drive down). So I took the next turning instead which took me to the Town Hall car park. This is open to the public at weekends, but not weekdays so as it was a Saturday that would do.

The next problem was that the Pay and Display machine in the car park insisted on me entering my car registration before I could buy a ticket. Not a problem except that the machine only had a numeric keyboard (no letters). Nor was there any key to make it switch to letters that I could see. I tried typing a first digit of 5 and pressed 5 again in the hope it might then toggle onto letters, but instead I ended up with 55. I tried looking for any other buttons that might toggle it into letting me enter letters, but I couldn’t get it to. So I opted to just enter the digits from my car registration plate instead (57) in the hope that would be accepted. It wasn’t, the machine rejected this as too short. So I tried 575757 but it rejected that too and would not accept any money until I’d entered a valid registration, which seemed impossible. I was getting nowhere and embarrassingly had been defeated by a parking meter (there was no one else about at the time, as it was before 8am).

I gave up with the car park and as a result of the delays as I drove out of the car park again I spotted the bus I had hoped to catch just leaving, so I knew I was now going to end up starting my walk later than hoped, as that would cost me 1 hour.

I wondered about a plan B – driving on to Cleethorpes in order to catch a bus back to Grimsby in time for the next bus to Louth but was not sure how long that would take either so in the end decided to stick to Grimsby. I turned out the car park I had failed to buy a ticket in and found another large car park near the station. 

I wondered if it might have the same type of machine, but this time I could not find any pay and display machines at all, only signs saying “Have you paid and displayed?”. Wandering around I headed to the entrance to the car park where I then spotted a sign saying that both the parking ticket machines were out of order and had been removed for repairs (no wonder I couldn’t find them). It added that as a result of no machines, parking in this car park was currently free. Result!

I headed into the town to buy lunch and then locate the Bus Station (which was clearly marked on my recently purchased Ordnance Survey Map), which the bus timetable showed the buses to Louth departed from. I couldn’t find it and after asking someone for help he told me that the the bus station marked on my maps had been closed “for a while” and directed me to some stops on the street instead where he thought the buses now stopped. I found the bus shelter with the correct timetable eventually (it was the last one I got to!). (The bus timetables still, even now, show as departing from the bus station, which doesn’t exist)

Thankfully the next bus left on time and I bought a day ticket (as I’d be using another bus by the same company later and it would be cheaper than two singles). I was travelling to Louth, where I had to change buses. As we approached Louth I noticed we were a couple of minutes behind schedule, a possible problem because I only had 5 minutes to change onto the hourly bus to Mablethorpe at Louth (and didn’t want another 1 hour delay). I was getting a bit nervous as we reached the town centre and then around half a dozen pensioners wanted to get on, further delaying the bus! I was a bit irritated by this, because it was the stop before the bus station that they all got on – so they were only going one stop (to the bus station), which could be walked in a couple of minutes.

We arrived only 1 minute before my onward bus to Mablethorpe, but I was relieved to see the bus to Mablethorpe waiting there so I hadn’t missed it. When I got to it, there was no driver, the doors were closed and several passengers were already waiting. Eventually I spotted the driver just finishing a cigarette. Once he’d done that I hoped he might come and open the doors and let us on, but no – now he wanted to stop for a chat with the driver of the bus I had just arrived on! I needn’t have worried about missing the bus – by the time he got around to getting on it and opening the doors, it was already 7 minutes after it should have left. By the time he’s sold all the tickets, it was 10 minutes late leaving. Still after all the hassles of the morning I had reached Mablethorpe, albeit a bit later than planned at around 10:40.

Still I had reached the sea and now I could relax as I had many hours to get to Cleethorpes if needed and it was nice to hear the sea again.

The beach at Mablethorpe

The beach at Mablethorpe

It was a nice beach but largely deserted, as it was quite cool for mid June (the forecast high was only 13 degrees) and there was also quite a strong wind coming from the north east. This was blowing the sand around, but thankfully mostly not high enough to get into my eyes or mouth, but I soon had quite a lot of sand on my trousers! I stuck to the the promenade initially, but soon headed down onto the beach itself.

The beach at Mablethorpe

The promenade soon ended anyway and the beach was then backed by dunes, a lovely unspoilt place. 

The beach north of Mablethorpe

It was a beautiful beach and I was surprised to see also had a “sand train”, a little train running not along the promenade, but along the beach itself (I’ve not seen this done before). The reason is that behind the beach, and out of sight to me was a large caravan park and I think the train was designed to serve that.

The sand train north of Mablethorpe

But there was no one on it when it went past, making it look rather forlorn!

I continued on the beach trying to find the firmest sand to walk on (it got a bit soft in places) and enjoying watching the ever changing patterns as the sand was blown about by the wind.

The beach north of Mablethorpe

Thankfully even on the beach it still was not blowing high enough to get in my eyes.

I was now approaching a military firing range. I had checked on the map and the footpath is just outside of it, so I hoped it would not cause me any problems and in any case I doubted it would be in use on a Saturday. As I reached it I came across the usual warning signs but no flags were flying (as I had expected).

Firing range warning notice

I had walked a couple of miles and I realised the area to my left was becoming salt marsh rather than beach, a seemingly common occurrence when the beach is very flat and the tide goes out a long way, as it does here. So I headed back closer inland, concerned about getting cut off if I stuck to the beach in front of the marsh, or having to try and get through salt marsh to get onto any sort of path.

I found a good path between the dunes and the salt marsh. It was not an official right of way that I could see but it was over some short grass and I soon passed a remnant of World War II, and old pill box slowly getting buried in the grass.

 

Old World War II pillbox at Saltfleet

I continued on this path as from here north, it was a good path and looked to have been recently mowed!

Saltfleet

Ahead the map indicated that the river of Saltfleet Haven and various other streams flowed across the dunes, so I thought it unlikely I would be able to get around on the beach so stuck with the path. This soon was marked as a track on the map leading to a view point. 

I headed briefly inland to see this but the view was not much better, it was only a few metres higher.

Marshes at Saltfleet

I continued north on this good track. I soon started to see more people, a sure sign I was approaching civilisation again and this time it was Saltfleet. The path I was following soon became a track and crossed the first part of Saltfleet Haven on a bridge (it splits to two channels just before the coast).

Saltfleet Haven

Saltfleet Haven

There were some lovely wildflowers growing on the grass beside the path here.

Daisies at Saltfleet Haven

The track soon continued to cross the second channel on another bridge and beyond that I was on the road and back (briefly) to civilisation.

Saltfleet Haven

As I said at the start this village is on quite a busy A-road so I am surprised it does not have a bus service.

I turned right along the road admiring a lovely old windmill now sadly sans sales and obviously a residence.

Saltfleet

I passed a lovely old red brick pub, which was huge and called the New Inn even though it was clearly very old.

The New Inn, Saltfleet

I continued on the main street. Just by the Crown Inn I turned right on a track (also a footpath).

Saltfleet

This passed some houses and then went between fences to go past a large caravan park turning left along the main drive through the caravan park where a sign advised you must stick to the public right of way unless visiting the chip shop! (However my map shows no right of way here anyway). A man was sat outside said shop who watched me pass but said nothing and I was then on a minor road. I turned right down this road to soon reach the sea wall.

There isn’t a footpath north along the coast here so I hoped I might be able to find some sort of route between the marshes and the dunes.

The beach at Saltfleet

However on reaching the shore, I was a bit surprised to see so many people walking out across the marsh. Presumably residents of the caravan site wanting to reach the sand, but I was reluctant to head too far out because I was worried I would have to cross the marshes to get back.

I was however pleased to find that there was a good and clearly well used path along the sea wall, so I continued along it with the marshes to my right. It was not signed as a public right of way, but neither were there any signs denying access.

The army “Danger Area” was still close by and a sign warned not to pick up any suspicious objects etc. Another sign just ahead told me I was now in Donna Nook nature reserve and confirmed, as I had hoped, that there was permissive access along the sea wall north.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

I continued for around half a mile with the marshes now to my right and the sea just a distant line of water beyond.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

After about half a mile I passed another car park and a little stream over the marshes – confirming my thoughts it was wise to keep to the sea wall!

There was now a channel of water on my right so I took the lower path just below the sea wall alongside this. It was initially good, but soon began too come overgrown. I tried the sea wall, but that was just as bad, so I battled through the increasingly thick grass, which was knee height in places and still quite damp.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

Soon though it improved and I again had some pretty wildflowers (daises). 

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

After about a mile I came to a gate where there was a stile over but there was another gate beyond that, marked as a dead end with a warning sign there was no path beyond it and that I should turn right to continue to Donna Nook.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

So that is what I did, passing a nice little picnic site and then coming to the shoreline.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

Here a sign marked a footpath going both left and right.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

So perhaps there is a more coastal route that I could have followed, but I didn’t want to turn back to investigate, so I turned left now along the grassy path near the edge of the marsh.

Very soon there were dunes to my right. I made my way down through the dunes and back to this glorious and deserted sandy beach. I could see and hear the sea, but it was still some distance over the sands so I did not head out to it as I was concerned it might become muddy again. So I continued on the firm sand near the shoreline. I understand seals can be seen here in the spring, but I did not see any today. The sun was coming out now, too.

The beach at Donna Nook

As I neared Donna Nook there were a few buildings and from here a good path along the edge of the dunes. This led west to a car park for the nature reserve. Out to sea I could now see all sorts of odd structures, presumably targets for the nearby firing range. West of here a public right of way is once again marked on the map along the top of the sea bank so I was able to follow this. After a while the beach once again gave way to salt marsh.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

After about a mile I passed a stream flowing out to the sea, marked as Seven Towns South Eau and as it got further out, Somercotes Haven. It was, like most round here narrow and muddy.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

Ahead there is now a large area of saltmarsh. I had read reports from another coastal walker that the path marked on the map here wasn’t passable and he had had to walk further inland. But I was using a new map and was not sure if there used to be an old right of way further out and the land had been deliberately flooded or if he was talking about the path currently shown on the map. I hoped my map was right and followed the path. This heads a bit inland on the land side of this area of salt marsh and I did become concerned when I could see parts of the land to my left had also been flooded, presumably by the sea that there must be a breach in the sea wall. But I did not come across any.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

Oddly a little further up the path is marked as leaving the sea wall briefly and returning further up but the path on the ground did not seem to do this nor could I see any signs, so I continued on the sea bank. This then turned to the right and crosses another stream. This was called Seven Towns North Eau. I still don’t know what an Eau is, or what the seven towns are.

Seven Towns North Eau

A path was marked as heading out to a dead end over the marsh here so perhaps this is all that remains of an old path. Either way I now had a clear and arrow-straight path to follow over the sea bank to Horse Shoe Point.

By this time the brisk wind had calmed down and there was some hazy sun about. The view inland was typically Lincolnshire – massive flat fields surrounded by drainage channels and a few large farms. Not very inspiring. Out to sea, it was better.

The beach at Tetney Marshes Nature Reserve

Ahead I soon reached a place called Horse Shoe Point where there was a minor public road. I’m always glad of places like this on remote and long walks like this one because they bring the possibility that if I do get really stuck at least I can call a taxi and get back to civilisation and also the possibility that if the paths ahead are impossible I have a way out on the road.

There were also a couple of people parked up in the small car park here not sure if they had walked over the marsh to the beach or gone for a walk. One man had parked his car on the sea wall and was doing some bird watching and remarked on the cold wind and weather for mid June. I had to agree!

The path onwards continued on the sea wall but only for around 250 metres, where it seemed to abruptly end and the sea wall ahead had no right of way marked. This could be a problem. I hoped this was a mistake but as I grew nearer I could see a gate across the path with several signs on it, which did not look encouraging (usually such signs are to tell you it’s private).

As I got closer I could read them. The sign told me the land was owned by Humber and North Lincs Wild-fowling clubs and managed by English Nature. It seemed an odd combination, one organisation keen on shooting wildlife and another on preserving it. Thankfully the bottom half of the sign said that you should conserve the wildlife by sticking to the path at the top of the embankment, keeping out of the marsh and keeping dogs under control and warned that this was a permissive path and may be closed at any time.

Path beside North Coates Airfield

So since I wanted to walk on the embankment anyway this all sounded good news. There was a metal gate with a smaller pedestrian gate built into it, so I could open that and continue.

I continued on the sea bank but could here gunshots and see cars parked over to the left near the buildings of the airfield. That was a bit worrying given I knew I was in the “wild fowling” area and it was clearly being used. However nothing had indicated the path was closed, so I assumed it was safe to continue.

There were also the occasional small plane taking off from North Coates Airfield. I was not sure if the cars parked were to do with the wildfowling club or the airport. I decided to continue (and did not get shot or shouted at). As I neared Northcoates Point I came to another identical gate but this time the pedestrian gate was locked! However there was a stile alongside, so I used that. 

Now I was a bit confused about where to go next. The gate I had just got over had the same notices for those going back the way I had come, that it was a permissive path. However there were no signs on the sea wall ahead, or on the raised path heading inland (I suspect on a former sea bank). Was I meant to go along the coast ahead, turn inland or was this a dead-end path (and I was meant to go back)? The route inland became a footpath again after 300 metres or so, but here I could see there was a red-flag flying, presumably meant to indicate the permissive path I had just walked on was closed. Was I even meant to be here?

I decided not to take the path left with the red flag flying and continue on the sea bank ahead in the hope I was not in the area they were shooting!

Tetney Marshes Nature Reserve

I could soon see pipes ahead which crossed Tetney Haven. I continued on the sea bank where there was a passable path over the short grass.

Tetney Marshes Nature Reserve

At the corner by Tetney Haven I turned left and continued on the sea bank. I now needed to cross Tetney Haven (a river). There was a bridge ahead, but although it had a right of way on either side of it, there was no path marked actually across it. Before I got there though there was a pipe bridge crossing the river. On the other side of this was a right of way so I decided if required I would sit on this pipe bridge and slide over. But I continued on to the other bridge. As I approached I saw there was a man standing on this side of it watching me. He didn’t move for some time and I began to become concerned he was from the wildfowling club about to tell me off or worse send me back where I had come (I still wasn’t on a right of way at this point). But as I got closer he suddenly headed off carrying his bike over his head, onto the bridge and then got on his bike once over the bridge and rode off. Odd.

Tetney Marshes Nature Reserve

Still when I reached the bridge whilst there were no signs stating public access there was a stile at either end, which the man had lifted his bike over. So I crossed the bridge turned left on the track, passing a dog walker and then joined the public right of way which now resumed along the sea bank. Now I was back on a public right of way so had a legal right to be here and this continued all the way to Cleethorpes so I was relieved that at last I now had a clear route all the way to my destination so there would be no turning back and no further problems with access.

I passed under the pipes that led to the pipe bridge and continued on the sea bank path with the coast to my right becoming less marshy and more sandy. I could now see the large boats heading in and out of the Humber estuary which is now close ahead. After a mile or so along the sea bank path I was now seeing people ahead and a large caravan park (Humberston).

It might not be pretty, but at least it was civilisation. By this point, I had done over 20 miles. My original plan was to end as soon as I reached the edge of Cleethorpes and take a bus into the town, covering the rest of the coast into Cleethorpes next time. At the end of the sea bank as I approached Humberston the sea bank turned right. Again no right of way ran along this short sea wall but there was a car park at the end so I could follow this to the car park and back to the coast at long last.

The beach at Humberston

There was now a promenade ahead and a sandy beach to my right, where there were plenty of people walking. The sun was now shining, it was a lovely end to the day.

The beach soon narrowed and I was only just able to get past, as the tide was rising.

The beach at Humberston

The beach at Humberston

I continued for a little over half a mile along the promenade past some park type houses on, wooden cabins mostly. At the far end after half a mile was another car park. Since there was a huge holiday park here I was hopeful there might be a bus so I headed into the car park. With no sign of a bus stop and no desire now to walk down dead ends I continued along the promenade.

The beach at Humberston

This took me past the caravan park and then to a bridge over a stream.

The beach at Humberston

I continued ahead, now passing Pleasure Island on my left, a fun park, and soon some rather run down looking beach huts. To my right the coast was becoming a bit marshy again. I continued soon with a miniature railway on my left (still running). 

The beach at Humberston

Beyond the railway I came across something I hadn’t expected. I was crossing the Greenwich meridian line. I hadn’t realised it crossed the coast here. I sign helpfully gave me the distance to the north and south pole.

The Greenwich Meridian at Cleethorpes

A line on the path marked the route of the meridian (and is also the front cover of the Ordnance Survey map).

The Greenwich Meridian at Cleethorpes

An artwork boasted “The World revolves around Cleethorpes”. Well, if you say so.

The Greenwich Meridian at Cleethorpes

Beyond this were some boating lakes.

Boating lake in Cleethorpes

Boating lake in Cleethorpes

Just beyond these boating lakes is the main road which runs parallel to the shore and as I continued I soon spotted the roof of a Stageocoach bus going along the road inland of the boating lake. So I decided to head to the road as soon as I could and end the walk, as I was very tired now. I found a bridge over the boating lake and headed to the road, near a McDonalds and retail park. I soon spotted a bus stop and made for it. It indicated the buses were every 30 minutes, the next one due in around 15 minutes at 17:44. So I took up a seat and waited.

I saw a bus on the route go the other way and was surprised to see it was open top. But a few minutes before my bus was due another bus came around the corner showing a different route number and a destination I had never heard of, but I assumed it must first go to Cleethorpes town so hailed it, but it drove straight past without stopping. Presumably this is why the bus route was not marked on the stop I was waiting at. I waited for some time until the bus was now a few minutes late, but had not come. I waited and waited. Once it got to 10 minutes late with no bus coming I had had enough. I had been sat here for 25 minutes with no bus having arrived.

The rest it had given me though meant I felt less tired now so I decided to walk along the road keeping any eye out for the bus that might come up behind me, as there were regular bus stops along the road. I reached the next bus stop and still with no sign of the bus I decided to return to the promenade and give up with the bus.

Instead I continued along the promenade to head for the pier ahead, but I was tired and so making slower progress so it took a while to reach. I had spotted on the map the rail station was just beyond the pier. Having had the previous bus not come I resolved to try and take the train to Grimsby and my car instead of the bus (I had already bought an all day ticket valid on the buses, so the bus would not have cost me any extra). I found the next train due in about 20 minutes. Not ideal but I figured that it would likely be faster than the bus overall because trains are normally much faster than buses. So I bought a ticket and took the train, which arrived on time but left a few minutes late. Tired but happy I got off at Grimsby a few minutes later and made the short walk back to my car.

I was very happy to have got this walk done, it had been bothering me for a while that it was likely to be tough but the flat terrain and the fact I had not had to take any long inland diversions meant I was not as tired as I had feared. That was just as well, as I now had to face the nearly 4 hour drive home though (and stay awake doing so)! I headed out of Grimsby, having taken a probably rather longer route than necessary (road closures), then headed for the A18, M180, M18 and then the M1. Traffic was light heading home, as it often is on Saturday evening. I stopped at one of the services on the motorway for dinner, at about 8pm then continued south.

All went well until I reached the M25 where signs informed me that the motorway was closed beyond the junction I needed to exit at (11). This is the problem with the M25 in the evening, bits of it often get closed overnight. As I neared junction 12, signs warned of a queue ahead. I couldn’t face sitting in a queue for several miles and I knew if all the traffic on the M25 had to leave at the junction I wanted to use, the local roads would never cope with the traffic. So I left at junction 12 onto the M3 west instead. This would ordinarily be a longer route to get home, but I suspected it would be quicker tonight. As I headed under the M25 on the slip road I could see the traffic was already stationary, so it was the right choice. I could leave the M3 at the next junction and follow another road home, avoiding any of the traffic from the closure. I eventually made it home at around 11:30pm, tired but happy and with a great sense of satisfaction that I’d completed this walk.

This had been a lovely walk. Nice sandy beaches most of the way and the marshy sections had not proved any bother either, because I was always able to find a good path (even when one wasn’t marked on the map). It was a flat coast but still a very beautiful one and it was nice to be away from towns and out on unspoiled beaches. I was pleased I had been able to follow a route right by the coast all the way, despite my initial doubts. The only issue is I knew I now had a lot of heavy industry ahead on future walks as I need to negotiate the industrial Humber estuary, but that was for another day.

Here are details of the public transport needed for this walk. You need two uses 3 buses or two buses and a train. Connections work best going south. All the buses are operated by Stagecoach, so it is cheapest to buy a day ticket from the driver of the first bus (be sure to ask for the one that covers all of Lincolnshire).

Stagecoach Lincolnshiresimplibus route 3” : Cleethorpes (Pier) – Grimsby (Riverhead Exchange). Every 12 minutes, Monday – Friday. Every 15 minutes on Saturday. Every 30 minutes on Sunday. It takes 15 minutes to travel between Cleethorpes and Grimsby.

Stagecoach Lincolnshire route 51 : Grimsby – Scartho – Waltham – Holton le Clay – Grainsby – North Thorseby – Ludborough – Utterby – Fotherby – Louth (Bus Station). Hourly Monday – Saturday. No service on Sundays. It takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to travel between Grimsby and Louth.

Stagecoach Lincolnshire route 59 : Louth (Bus Station) – Legbourne – North Reston – South Reston – Withern – Strubby – Maltby Le Marsh – Mablethorpe – Trusthorpe – Sutton on Sea – Sandilands – Huttoft – Mumby – Hogsthorpe – Chapel St Leonoard – Ingoldmells – Skegness.  Hourly Monday – Saturday. No service on Sundays. It takes 40 minutes between Louth and Mablethorpe.

In addition trains run between Cleethorpes and Grimsby with between 1 and 2 trains operating per hour in total, on the following routes:-

Transpennine Express Manchester to Cleethorpes : Manchester Airport – Manchester Picadilly – Sheffield – Meadowhall – Doncaster – Scunthorpe – Barnetby – Habrough – Grimsby Town – Cleethorpes. Hourly, seven days a week. It takes 13 minutes between Grimsby Town and Cleethorpes.

Northern Rail Barton-on-Humber to Cleethorpes : Barton-on-Humber – Barrow Haven – New Holland – Goxhill – Thornton Abbey – Ulceby – Habrough – Stallingborough – Healing – Great Coates – Grimsby Town – Grismby Docks – New Clee (request stop) – Cleethorpes. Once every 2 hours Monday – Saturday. No service on Sundays. It takes 9 minutes to travel between Grimsby and Cleethorpes.

Northern Rail Sheffield to Cleethorpes : Sheffield – Darnall – Woodhouse – Kiveton Bridge – Kiveton Park – Shireoaks – Worksop – Retford (Low Level) – Gainsborough Central – Kirton Lindsey – Brigg – Barnetby – Haborough – Grimsby Town – Cleethorpes. 3 trains per day on Saturdays only (no service on weekdays, or on Sundays). It takes 10 minutes between Grimsby and Cleethorpes.

East Midlands Trains Nottingham to Grimsby and Cleethorpes : Newark North Gate – Collingham – Lincoln – Market Rasen – Barnetby – Habrough – Grimsby Town – Cleethorpes. Most trains terminate at Grimsby, but one on weekdays runs to/from Cleethorpes and 3 on Sundays. It takes 9 minutes between Grimsby and Cleethorpes.

Here are the complete set of photos for this walk : Main Link | Slideshow

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11 Responses to 223. Mablethorpe to Cleethorpes

  1. A long walk, and well done for navigating those sea walls despite an absence of footpaths. THe beaches look wonderful, although I always find after an hour or so of walking along featureless sand I become slightly disorientated, as I lose track of time and have the illusion I’m walking on an endless sand treadmill! Public transport in Lincolnshire is pretty hopeless, isn’t it. From where I lived in the south of the county it was quicker to get to London by train then it was to get to Lincoln.

    • jcombe says:

      I quite enjoy a long beach. Though yes it is easy to get lost. I usually carry a GPS which I can check if I’m not sure how far I’ve got along the beach, which helps avoid getting lost!

      Agree about the public transport!

  2. owdjockey says:

    Hi Jon, a good tactic to use the third point i.e Grimsby to complete this section. I used a third point on the Lleyn Peninsula which also had sparse public transport links. I did contemplate walking th whole distance from Cleethorpes to Mablethorpe but decided it was too far. I used the Call Connect service twice in Lincolnshire and each time the first thing they asked for was my registration number, I simply said I was an infrequent traveller and this was no problem. Unlike the crappy instructiosn I received from the range officer at the Donna Nook firing range which was active when I passed through.
    BTW, the word Eau is used quite alot around Boston, with names like Eau Dyke road/Friskney eau Dyke, I always took the word simply on its French meaning i.e Water wall or water bank.
    Anyway, this weekend there is a good forecast for NW Scotland, So i’m off to Torridon on Thursday for three days. No public transport to help me on this trip, so I’m taking my bike. I also have to do an 8 mile out and 8 mile back walk to link two public roads.

    • jcombe says:

      Yes sometimes you have to get creative with transport options to work something out! I do recall the Lleyn peninsula too. In one case I got on the bus and the driver was amazed, told me he had been doing the route for many years and NEVER seen anyone get on where I did before. He was quite a character, even stopped the bus and waited for me to visit a bakery to get some lunch.

      I did worry about doing Mablethorpe to Cleethorpes in one day. it was too far really and I wouldn’t have coped if it had been hilly, thankfully Lincolnshire is flat.

      Eau – that makes sense now you mention it.

      Glad you had luck with the Call Connect buses. I did try to use one of those Dial-A-Ride buses like that on my recent trip to Scotland, but was unable to summon then (either my phone wouldn’t connect the call or if it did, I got told that the number I’d called was currently unavailable). This meant I had to do two “up and back” walks along the B869. I don’t like doing that if I can avoid it, though it wasn’t bad on this road, it’s incredibly pretty and only about 1 car every 20 minutes or so!

      (I’ve just uploaded the photos in fact, it will be a long time before I post the report here
      Unapool to Loch Nedd : https://www.flickr.com/photos/joncombe/sets/72157700087336112
      Clashnessie to Loch Nedd : https://www.flickr.com/photos/joncombe/sets/72157703510657834)

  3. My goodness, that was epic! Not only the longvwalk, but the complicated travel to get there.

  4. Scarey. I’m currently doing the Yorkshire coast, so Lincolnshire is in my sights. I’d seen those distances and wondered how to do them I guess the answer is grit your teeth. I did 20 odd miles walking from Hull to withernsea on my coast to coast so knowing that it’s passable as well as possible is good to know. Great blog

  5. Roger Browne says:

    Thanks for your notes, which I’m sure I will find useful. I’m doing Mablethorpe to Grimsby slightly differently. Today I drove to Horseshoe Point, then left my car and walked to Cleethorpes and Grimsby. After staying in a hotel, tomorrow I will go by bus to Mablethorpe and walk back to my car, at Horseshoe Point.

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