Thursday, 14 February 2013

Guest Blog: A Favourite Lincolnshire Walk by Tracey Edges

Tracey Edges is a Writer, Artist and Radio Presenter whose pictures and stories I have enjoyed for many months. I am delighted she has written a guest blog for me (the first one!) This beautifully written piece takes you out of the Lake District and Sussex and into a part of the country I have never explored - Lincolnshire - and she has a few friends accompanying her....

My favourite walk always starts off with a drive. The first part is tedious but then, after about 10 minutes from my house in Grimsby, I turn into a world that has barely changed since I used to be excitedly raring to get there, cuddling an equally excited dog, on the back seat of my grandparents’ Austin Maxi. 

I now have 3 excited dogs in the back, one of which has been emitting high pitched whines since the turn that indicated which glorious run was to be had.
The 10 mile per hour speed limit frustrates some but, to me, it affords the opportunity to slow down, breathe and look. After the caravan park section you drive through an open barrier, (which can fiscally catch the unwary when it closes early in January and February), onto the little world, at Humberston, Cleethorpes, called “The Fitties.”
"Whatever the weather"
This area is one of the few remaining examples of ‘Plotlands’ where holiday chalets and bungalows of various sizes and sophistication, were all built on their own plots.  This land was reclaimed from the salt marsh and “Fitties” is a Lincolnshire term for this. Originally this area was just used for camping in tents but gradually shacks started to appear. They would be built out of anything that could be assembled to make 4 walls and a roof. As time went on, the chalets became more substantial; many wooden and built on stilts in case of flooding. A few non-descript, characterless brick-built bungalows have crept in but, thankfully, not many as it is the diversity which gives this area its character. From the peeling ‘vintage’ paintwork on the shabby, if not exactly chic, older ones to the newer designer ones which would not look out of place on the cover of Elle Decoration or Coast magazines.

After following the main road you eventually turn left into the potholed car park, adjacent to the Humber Mouth Yacht Club with its accompanying soundtrack of the wind slapping ropes against masts. You can pull up in front of the Nature Reserve lake and watch the glorious sunsets which transform the water into rich pinks, orange and reds.

Decanting from the car into the hubbub of a busy Sunday complete with camper vans and horse boxes or, alternatively, the peace and emptiness of dusk, you have two choices. You can turn left and walk along the wide, sandy beach right through Cleethorpes as far as the Docks at Grimsby or turn right and walk along the marram grass carpeted dunes through the RSPB Tetney Marshes Nature Reserve with the lake to one side and the sea, or rather the Humber Estuary, to the other. 

Although over 1,500 hectares of coastal mudflats, sat marsh, dunes and saline lagoons a barrier has now been erected to prevent people walking very far into the reserve. This is very frustrating for responsible walkers particularly as I have walked my dogs there for many years.  For a small bimble it is a beautiful spot though, particularly close to sunset. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a Special Protected Area. At least, 175,000 birds use the estuary during the winter months with, up to, 50,000 wintering and passage waders and wildfowl. Herons are a common, but beautiful, sight and the dogs get swiftly put back on their leads if they start to head in their direction.
"Mabel & the rainbow"
I love it down there, whatever the weather, and there is nothing lovelier than arriving home to a roaring fire and a cup of coca after being  lashed by the rain, or even snow. A couple of very cold winters ago the sea dramatically turned into ice floes much to the amusement of the dogs who enjoyed skating about on them.
To me, the experience of a walk by the sea is not just repeatedly putting one foot in front of another but more the whole sensory experience. The taste of salt on your lips, the pungent aromas wafting up your nose that change from season to season, and the sounds of the wildlife. The cacophony from the ducks swooping back to their lake, after a hard day at the office, and crickets chirruping away, on a balmy summer’s evening, are a delight. The sights and sounds constantly change depending on the time of day or season. 

Lincolnshire is renowned for its big skies and this is nowhere more apparent than on the coast.  

There is a huge difference in atmosphere depending on the height of the tide, it can be right up lapping at the shore, with swans bobbing up and down on the waves, or so far out you can’t even see it. It can be calm or madly wild.
It is a beautiful area and one that has inspired many of my paintings and photographs. I will never get bored of walking my dogs there as there is always something different, to rest my eyes on and recharge my batteries, every single time.

Tracey Edges is a Writer, Artist and Radio Presenter. Her paintings and illustrations can be seen in her photo albums on Facebook: Tracey Edges or on her website  Her short stories are on her blogs at: or
She presents “The Edges Review Show” on Estuary radio
You can follow her on Twitter:

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  1. Lovely blog. Love the photo of Mabel with the rainbow.

  2. What a lovely blog and fantastic description of a great walk. Paul

  3. very well written as always tracey, sounds a great place for an evening walk :)

    1. I agree Phil - Tracey has made me look at Lincolnshire in a whole new light! :)

  4. I'm looking forward to exploring Lincolnshire later in the year, this is a good starting place, cheers

    1. That's great Marttin. Enjoy exploring! It is on my radar now too :)