Popular tourist destination Skegness is your classic British seaside town in every way.
Located on the Lincolnshire coast, the town is a summer paradise for people from Yorkshire and beyond who flock to the area to enjoy the beach, seafront food, and rides on Fantasy Island.
Perfect for kids and young families, it’s also a relatively affordable way to enjoy summer fun without leaving the country.
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And during the summer months, the city is full of life – full of tourists and local shopkeepers making the most of the trade.
But in the off-season, Skegness becomes a very different town than the one that is alive with ice cream stalls, donkey rides and kids splashing about in the sea in the sunshine.
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As in many coastal towns in the UK, shops in Skegness have to close during the winter months as there simply isn’t enough commerce to keep them open.
LincolnshireLive reporter Adam Laver drove into town to see what the area was like on a cold November day, admitting he had never been to town in the off-season.
Here’s what he had to say about it …
I’ve only been to Skegness in the summer so far. I’m from Lincoln so of course I grew up in town over the summer vacation, but it’s never been an off-season place.
So I decided to leave on a cold November day. It felt strange putting on my winter coat to drive to Skegness.
Of course, I had an idea of how it would be. Skegness has a seasonal economy, so I’m not going to pretend I’m amazed that there weren’t many people in town lining up for ice cream.
Locals previously told me it was turning into a ghost town and it was obvious how true that actually was.
It was scary to visit a place that I associate with being full of happy people on their vacation who are so destitute and lonely.
When I looked up at the empty roller coasters of Fantasy Island, it felt like they had been abandoned.
I’m sure people who live in Skegness will read this and roll their eyes as this is not new information to them.
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Also, I’m by no means claiming that skegness being less busy in winter is necessarily a bad thing.
Worksop’s Sheila and Michael Poxen are regular out-of-season visitors. They said they like to be by the sea and the weather doesn’t change that.
Michael, 73, said, “Our favorite place is Huttoft Beach. It’s nice there. “
Sheila, 71, added, “We like the quiet. I like to be by the sea, even when it rains. I do not care.”
Perhaps there will be a chance for couples like Sheila and Michael to enjoy skegness without the crowds and a lot of noise.
They might want to enjoy fish and chips without having to fight their way through a queue, and grayer skies is something to handle.
However, it was clear how many stores closed their stores. In many ice cream parlors the shutters were closed. It feels like a great challenge for any company to rely on retailers from the summer to accompany them all year round.
There are clear pros and cons to less hectic skegness, but one thing is for sure, the city changes at this time of year.
Have you ever visited Skegness during the winter months? Let us know what you thought in the comments!