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Cleethorpes in General
Member Name: skittle
Cleethorpes in General
Date: 13/11/07, updated on 14/11/07 (385 review reads)
Advantages: Lots to see and do
Disadvantages: May cost a pretty penny
Cleethorpes is the end of the line.
True that. The local railway line terminates in Cleethorpes, the station is literally right on the beach, you can just walk down off the station, cross the road and youíre paddling (when the tide's in, that is). Now the really important question is, should you want to?
Cleethorpes, for those of you that donít know, is a coastal town in North East Lincolnshire. Known as ĎMeggiesí by the locals, for some reason lost in the mysteries of time. Itís often referred to as a seaside resort, but thatís not strictly true. Cleethorpes actually sits on the banks of the Humber Estuary, not the North Sea. However, it does have a nice long stretch of beach thatís lovely for walks or horse riding, though youíre only allowed to take dogs on some stretches of the beach at certain times of the year.
The border between Cleethorpes and Grimsby was built upon years ago, so that nowadays for all intents and purposes theyíre just one big town. One place thatís commonly known as the border between the two towns is Park Street, a street where the houses on one side are in Grimsby, but their neighbours across the road are in Cleethorpes. Itís an interesting thought that if you were to drive down the middle of the road youíd be in one town, but your passenger would be in the other.
But the closeness of the two towns isnít all that Grimsby and Cleethorpes share, oh no. Grimsby Town football club actually has itís home, Blundell Park, in Cleethorpes. Having said that, plans are being considered to move the home of Grimsby Town back into Grimsby itself, to an area of open ground close to the Grimsby Auditorium. Mind you, this is something thatís been rumoured and talked about for years, and nothing has yet to come of it.
Cleethorpes has itís own pier, which was opened on August Bank Holiday of 1873. Itís length, back then, was an astonishing 1,200 ft. There have been two pavilions on the pier, the first was built at the end of the pier, but sadly this burnt down in 1903. The pier was shortened during the Second World War, for fear of invasion, and sadly was never rebuilt. However, the shortened pier is still there with itís second pavilion kept in good order and now running as an infamous local nightclub.
Thatís not the only landmark in Cleethorpes thatís been affected by war, though. In the Humber itself stand two monuments to the role the Humber and itís towns played in the Second World War. Haile Sand Fort stands at around the low water mark between Cleethorpes and Humberston, whilst itís partner, Bull Sand Fort is 1.5 miles from shore off Spurn Head, on the opposite side of the Humber. These forts were built during the First World War to guard the entrance to the Humber Estuary, unfortunately, they were completed just as the First World War ended. During the Second World War a netting was strung between the two forts to prevent enemy submarines entering the Humber and travelling upriver to Hull or Grimsby. The forts were often attacked by enemy aircraft, but theyíre still standing now. There have been many attempts to find a new use for the forts over the years, but none has ever been successful.
Cleethorpes as a town has gone through a period of regeneration lately, noticeably along the Ďfrontí where older buildings have been torn down and replaced with luxurious, new apartment blocks with views over the water. One such older building, the Winter Gardens, was torn down last year despite complaints from local people, as it was the last remaining entertainment venue of any decent size in the town.
Primarily, though, Cleethorpes is a holiday town. If youíre looking to step back in time for a traditional seaside holiday, then you should really look into renting a chalet on the Humberston Fitties, a conservation area with a whole village of chalets next to the beach.
Haven now own Thorpe Park and offer caravan holidays in the town. Their holiday park is situated at the quieter end of Cleethorpes, right next to the beach and only a very short walk from Pleasure Island, the townís theme park. Iíve never been to Pleasure Island myself, not being a fan of theme parks as such, but friends who have been say itís a good day out. Itís owned by the same people who run Flamingoland, and from the outside on a nice day you can hear plenty of screaming and yelling from people on the bigger rides, believe me.
Back up near the pier and train station is the more cosmopolitan area of Cleethorpes if you like, with its pubs, bars, nightclubs, shops, arcades and the infamous Wonderland. Wonderland is generally packed every Sunday with punters looking for bargains at the Weekly Sunday market. If you want to spend your money fast, this is the part of Cleethorpes to head to, and Yorkshire people congregate here in droves every year. In mini-homage to Blackpool, Cleethorpes has a string of illuminations all the way along the front, too.
You canít turn around in Cleethorpes without seeing somewhere selling food. All of the usual seaside treats like candyfloss and rock can be bought practically everywhere, as can the ubiquitous fish and chips. However, if you feel like splashing out and youíre looking for a really decent fish supper, you canít do any better than checking out Steels in the marketplace. Steels is a bit of a local secret, being away from the main hustle and bustle of the front, set back in the towns market square. However itís always full, and with good reason, the food there is generally considered the best fish & chips available in Cleethorpes.
If youíve had enough of arcades and shopping, and you donít want to get sand in your shoes, then you can go for a walk along the Ďpromí and take in the beautifully tended gardens and modern art displayed within them, perhaps stopping off for a quick game of crazy golf on the way.
If you walk far enough youíll come to the Cleethorpes Leisure Centre, which is right next to the beach. Just behind the Leisure Centre you can check out the wildlife around the boating lake, or take out a boat for a little light rowing, if youíre feeling energetic enough. Leave the boating lake by the beachside path and youíll quickly come to a row of pretty beach huts, past which is the Greenwich Meridian marker, marked by a bar set into the pavement.
If you keep walking youíll pass Pleasure Island, then Thorpe Park with its row upon row of caravans all the way down to the chalets on the Fitties. The very last building, where the Fitties end, is the Yacht Club, with itís yard full of boats of all sizes.
Beyond this is probably my favourite place in the area, the nature reserve with its beautiful lake and fields of long grasses. Thereís ample parking here, with paths around the lake and beyond. Youíll always come across birdwatchers here, sharing the area happily with dog walkers and the odd horse rider too. Itís tranquil and beautiful, especially in the winter when I always try to remember to bring plenty of bread to feed the ever-hungry birds on the lake.
By taking you along the beach path, weíve missed the Cinema, one of those multiplexís where you can be assured of watching the latest films with a bucket of cola and the same again of popcorn, without having to queue for long. The cinema is on a little retail park with some shops and a fast food outlet or two, and a bowling alley.
Across the road, and along a little way, you can find ĎThe Jungleí a mini zoo with mostly parrots, but also with some small furries and goats for the children to pet and feed. Thereís a monkey at the Jungle that always looks sad when I go, I expect because heís all alone with no monkey friends, poor little guy. Still, the Jungle is definitely worth a look, youíll easily spend an hour or two in there oohing and aahing over the animals.
If all of this sightseeing has quite tired you out, then you can catch a train on the Cleethorpes Light Railway at either Kingsway, Lakeside or North Sea Lane Stations and enjoy a trip on the East of Englandís last surviving steam seaside light railway.
Cleethorpes is often overshadowed by Grimsby, but I think thatís unfair, itís a decent town in itís own right thatís well worth a visit if youíve never been.
Summary: Definitely worth a visit