We were looking for things to do in Skegness, that wasn’t Butlins. Don’t get me wrong we love staying and playing in Butlins, but there has to be more to the area. So, on our Halloween week break, we left the safety of the chalets to find what else there is to do in Skegness.
Things to do in Skegness
To guide our explorations we completed a Treasure trail of Skegness, which took us to places we’d never have spotted on our own. What tends to happen is that you visit a town centre and head to the shops and maybe the largest visible tourist attraction on the coast, then head home. With a Treasure trail you follow a guided route and stumble upon many new discoveries.
Which is where we started the day out at Tower Gardens.
Tower Gardens is a public park in the heart of the Skegness sea front. Almost opposite Skegness Pier, it would be easy to walk pas this and not pop in.
The park has many climbing frames, swings, slides and a Zip Wire. Once we entered the park it was hard pushing the kids on to the next location. Further around Tower Gardens is a band stand, seating and lots of lovely landscaping. Plenty of ducks were making the most of the mild weather and the meandering pond / lake.
Skegness being a seaside holiday resort, has lots of penny arcades. At it’s entrance the Pier has a family entertainment complex, with lots of flashing lights to distract the most focused holiday maker. However you can walk past the “slots” and climb the stairs further back to get on to the pier.
The actual pier is well looked after and has lots of bench seating to watch the world go by. At the far end are a couple of telescopes, which are great if you love windmills.
Skegness has a huge offshore wind farm. The quantity is so dense I’ve never seen them this close before. I won’t say I love them, but they certainly make it an interesting view.
Skegness has also got some lovely beaches, that seem to go on for miles when the tide is out. We were here in October, so didn’t really spend much time out here. However we have also visited in the summer and it is a lovely seafront to sit out / lay out on.
Along the seafront parks, there are a couple of different lakes to hire boats / peddle boats on. The one near the RNLI life boat station is a long wandering river like path that ducks under several bridges and seems to run the length of the resort, well beyond the pier. This one definitely has powered boats and seems to be more interesting that the other.
The other one, which is next to the Skegness Aquarium, is a larger body of water, with a few islands, 1 bridge and a lot of ducks, geese and swans.
Fairy Dell Paddling Pool
The Fairy Dell Paddling Pool looks like a great place to cool down in the height of summer. Unfortunately as it wasn’t the height of summer, it was locked off and closed.
The Skegness Icon
It doesn’t matter where you go in Skegness, you will see the iconic Jolly Fisherman. He is on all the posters, fridge magnets and postcards. So if you keep your eyes peeled near the Entrance to the Pier you will see that there is a fountain with “Jolly” as it’s centre. You’ve come this far you may as well get the official photograph.
We come from Newcastle that has a lot of good shopping areas, so comparing Skegness’s shops to Newcastle isn’t comparable. Although the biggest difference here is the quantity of bargain shops. Furry Blankets, Fuzzy felt colouring in sheets, enough fidget spinners to start a hadron collider. The main route of shops from the pier is full of this sort of stuff.
There are other shops too. Across the road from here is a small shopping centre that had, Sports Direct, Poundland, The Works, Superdrug and a Pandora Shop.
Gunby Hall National Trust
Not technically in Skegness, but very nearby was Gunby Hall. Gunby Hall is a National Trust property that has large gardens and a Property to explore…. Except on the day we visited. The Hall was closed, but we think this was to set up for a Halloween party.
As National Trust members we sailed in to have a walk around the gardens and look in the art gallery.
Gunby Hall has a huge orchard full of many different varieties of Apple. I wan;t to say there are over 50 varieties at the property, but that may just be a big lie that looks like I know what I’m talking about. In the Stable block they had a display showing all the different varieties and names, including a few unknown varieties!
The Hall looked very impressive from the outside and reminded Cat of Wallington Hall. The Gardens were well looked after and it was nice to have a leisurely explore. Abigail played Crochet, while we soaked up the last of the heat from the sun.
Gunby Hall looks like it had potential to be a good day out, but with the Hall closed we only spent an hour there. Fingers crossed for next time.