Over the Easter holidays I went on a day trip to Cleethorpes and then spent a good amount of time wondering if I could blog about it? But it’s Cleethorpes, it’s tiny and well a little bit shit. No one would want to read that… Then I had this idea to make a blog series of underrated places in the UK. Places that are either known for being a little bit shit or simply aren’t known. And where better to start than lovely little Cleethorpes…
So Cleethorpes is this small seaside town in North East Lincolnshire about 30-40 minutes away from where I grew up. It’s one of those places in England that has a really bad reputation, at least to the people who live close by. The best way I can describe it is as a traditional, pretty naff, seaside town. Think lots of fish and chip shops, amusement arcades and the odd crazy golf course. But nevertheless it’s a small part of my childhood and pretty good afternoon/day out. So if you happen to find yourself up north and the sun is shining here’s how to spend your day in Cleethorpes.
Start by parking at the boating lake. This kind of does what it says on the tin. I admit I don’t often spend a lot of time around the boating lake. My family starts our trips there because there’s always a parking space and it’s quite a pretty walk from there to the main area, along the sea front.
However, if you do want to hang around the boating lake, there’s plenty to do. Pedalos and rowing boats to hire, a sand pit and paddling pool for children as well as a café for a quick bite to eat. As well as the largest amount of geese and swans and ducks I’ve ever seen…
You can also catch the Cleethorpes Light Railway from here. Although I’ll be 100% honest I have where it goes, and if it’s worth it. So y’know if anyone wants a trip on a steam train, chose this one then tell me all about it.
From the boating lake take a walk along the promenade (or the beach if you fancy it) towards Cleethorpes pier. If you don’t fancy the walk you can also take the land train for the crazy price of £1.
Personally, this is my favourite part of a trip to the seaside. I love just being able to stroll along at my own pace, staring out to sea and breathing in the fresh sea air.
I also have to admit Cleethorpes promenade is actually quite pretty. There’s even an old tower/castle/building thing that gives pretty good views out to sea.
Now I don’t know about you but I can’t visit the seaside without a quick round of crazy golf. Just before you reach the pier there’s a crazy golf course called oddballs. There is at least one other course in Cleethorpes but this one is the best in my opinion. Each of the 18 holes are based around something to do with North Lincolnshire. Although as you get past hole 9 the links become a bit tenuous… Like most crazy golf courses it’s as fun as you want to make it. So, if you’re like me and still 9 years old at heart it’s very bloody fun.
After whopping everyone else at golf, it’s time to see if your luck will continue in the amusement arcades. After watching quite a lot of tipping point over the years me and my mum have developed a little obsession with two penny machines. I could happily spend all my money putting pennies into a machine in the hope of winning just one little sweet. Luckily I always have a limited amount of cash on me!
One thing that is a must on any seaside trip is an ice-cream. In my opinion the best one in Cleethorpes is from the little stall to the right of the amusement arcade, by the entrance to the pier. They also sell things like donuts and rock but you can’t beat an ice-cream cone by the sea!
And then all that’s left is to end your day with what I believe is the best thing about Cleethorpes: Fish and Chips! And boy are you in for a treat. Taking pride of place on the newly refurbished pier is Papa’s Fish and Chips – the world’s largest fish and chip restaurant! (Although don’t hold me accountable if that’s wrong!) Papa’s has quickly become the number one reason we visit Cleethorpes. It’s well worth a visit for this alone!
The fish is incredibly fresh, straight from the Yorkshire coast and the portions are definitely more than enough. Even if fish isn’t your thing there’s plenty of other options – I’m a huge fan of the Whitby scampi and my vegetarian sister can’t get enough of the battered halloumi. Just make sure you save a bit of room for their 20 layer chocolate fudge cake! If you’re in a rush Papa’s also has a take-away option so there’s definitely no excuse not to try it! They were after all voted Britain’s best fish and chips in a nationwide search run by the BBC.
After stuffing your face full of food all that’s left is to take a gentle stroll along the beach back towards your car. Or maybe a gentle jog in the hope of working off all those delicious calories!
Now, I don’t know whether it’s because it reminds me of my childhood and home but I will always have a soft spot for this little seaside town. I would love for you to visit and let me know what you think! Or are there any underrated places near you that I should visit?
And if you are seriously thinking of visiting Cleethorpes please feel free to drop me a message and check out their website.
All my love,