Monday, 5 September 2011

CLEETHORPES

The stretch of coast between Mablethorpe and Cleethorpes is a bird and wildlife watcher’s paradise. At Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes National Nature Reserve birds, insects, amphibians and mammals share the dunes, salt- and freshwater marshes along with a variety of flowers and grasses. The village of Saltfleet has a grade II listed 19th century windmill in red brick with a fetching white ‘hat’, while the nearby Manor House dating from 1673 is thought to have been visited by Oliver Cromwell prior to the Battle of Winceby. Donna Nook, a short distance to the north, has a seal colony whose inhabitants delight visitors by coming close enough to the shoreline to be photographed easily; the best time to see them is from October to December. Other creatures to be found here include red-legged partridges and skylarks. However, care must be taken when wandering around here because the area is also used by the RAF as a bombing target range. Look out for red flags! Continuing north again, just inland from a distinctive spit of land called Horse Shoe Point, the RSPB reserve of Tetney Marshes forms part of the Humber Estuary, which is one of the top five estuaries for birds in the UK.

Cleethorpes is yet another example of a resort which became popular thanks to the arrival of the railway, all the more so because the station is right on the Promenade. It has a pier dating from 1873 which was largely financed by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. Another attraction on the Promenade which was built by the Railway is a 19th century folly called Ross Castle, which has a viewing platform overlooking the Humber estuary. The castle was closed for a time due to safety concerns, then reopened in 2008 after renovation work. However, that did not prevent an unfortunate woman from falling to her death from the castle in January 2009.

Cleethorpes has had its share of UFO sightings over the years. On the afternoon of 22 September 1956 a large spherical object was observed off the coast, and was also picked up by the radar at RAF Manby. The phenomenon lasted for over an hour. Another sighting, reported in the local news on Halloween, took place at the end of October 2008. A local mother and her young son witnessed “two silver cigar shaped objects” – a sighting shared by several other people who submitted comments on the newspaper report. Earlier this year, a witness reported seeing a “rotating black shape” flying towards Grimsby.

For a list of events in Cleethorpes see here

Map of the area.

'Cleethorpes view' photo (c) 2011, Andy king - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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