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Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, Home of the Bathing Beauties

Updated on November 12, 2014

Mablethorpe Home of the Meggies

Have you ever been to Mablethorpe? What are the bathing beauties at Mablethorpe? Read on to learn more. Mablethorpe, fondly known by its inhabitants, or Meggies, as Meg, is a popular seaside town on the Lincolnshire coast.

Mablethorpe is smaller than its near neighbour Skegness (a.k.a Skeg) and the beach and dunes give it greater intimacy in my experience. I visited Mablethorpe frequently as a child and still have a fondness for Meg's huge expansive beaches and wildlife inhabiting the salt marshes of the East Coast. Here are some of the highlights of Mablethorpe. I have done a little research to see what is happening now, but interspersed it with some fond memories of my own....

Lens image is me rolling in the sand at Mablethorpe a very long time ago! Other images also from my own collection. Do not copy!

Mablethorpe - Quiet Seaside Resort

Bathing Beauties Festival

Mablethorpe hosts the UK's only Beach Hut Festival. For 2013, it runs on 13th, 14th and 15th September. This is known as the Bathing Beauties Festival.

Beach Huts are billed as a wonderful place to take shelter from the Lincolnshire East winds or simply a place to hide away!

Sheds on the Beach at Mablethorpe - Books About the Lincolnshire Coast

"The Bathing Beauties Festival, celebrating the unique beauty, culture, architecture and history of the Lincolnshire coast, is the longest linear arts festival in the world. If you are a hut owner join in the festival by entering the Beautiful Beach Hut Competition."

Beach huts all along the coast from Trussville at Mablethorpe to Sutton-on-Sea and Sandilands (a distance of approximately five miles) will host a variety of performances. These will include poetry, music, fire dancing and fire eating, art galleries, exhibition spaces for sculture and installations, film and drama events and fun should be had by all!

Dr Kathryn Ferry has chosen the Festival to launch her new book 'Sheds on the Beach' She is the country's leading expert on Beach Huts.

The Penny Arcade at Mablethorpe

Antique amusements from a bygone era!

Fondly remembered from my childhood and subsequent visits! The Penny Arcade was an amusement arcade with a difference, it featured rescued antique amusements that ran on old fashioned large copper pennies and the prizes were usually sweets rather than money. The games were truly games of skill and winning was always possible with practice.

The visitor would "buy" their pennies at the entrance desk and proceed to "lose" them in the many wonderful old machines. These included old fashioned upright pinochle, the forerunner of pinball, a tableau called "The Death of the Miser" - complete with little skeletons and closets - no prizes on this, just a salutary lesson on the consequences of miserliness! There were old fashioned bioscopes portraying "What The Butler Saw" and the inevitable grabbing cranes. These were the old-fashioned mechanical sort, so had no annoying money-grabbing "time out" on them!

There were statues outside, laughter inside and nostalgia for a bygone era! Truly this was a special attraction and I dearly hope it remains!

Image by Photahsiamirabel, please do not copy.

Mablethorpe has a Blue Flag Beach

Clean sands and beach

"Encams, the Environmental Charity, only awards their Flags to seaside resorts that can demonstrate they meet stringent standards in cleanliness and have sound environmental management.

"Being given the privilege of flying the Blue Flags and Seaside Award Flags also demands that each resort has good facilities and information available to the visitors."

The beaches at Mablethorpe have always been spacious, clean and safe for bathers. In addition you can rent Beach Chalets to relax in the shade or have a cuppa whenever you want.

Image by Photahsiamirabel, please do not copy.

Seal Rescue at Sutton on Sea

Seals on the Lincolnshire Coast

On visits to the coast, you may be lucky enough to see wild seals. I have seen them at Sutton-on-Sea and recently they were seen off the pier at Cleethorpes.

The long expanse of sand with its shallow incline makes for fast tides and also for seals on the beach. Sometimes the seals get into trouble and Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary is there to assist. It has rescued hundreds of injured and orphaned seals since opening in 1974. These seals are cared for in a special hospital facility and then released into the wild. For those too sick to be released, the Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary offers safe haven to these wonderful creatures who live a contented life.

The Wildlife Hospital was opened in 1989 thanks to a major donation from the readers of the Daily Mail and donations from many businesses and individuals alike. As well as seals many other animals have since been treated in the hospital. Foxes, badgers, barn owls and kestrels have been provided with a refuge in this natural environment after treatment and visitors can walk through two acres of dunes looking for local wildlife.

The Seal Sanctuary at Mablethorpe

Cat Rescue Centres in North Lincolnshire

Zoos and Wildlife Centes near Mablethorpe

Lincolnshire's Poet Laureate loved Mabelthorpe

Alfred Lord Tennyson - a poet at sea

In the early 1800's the sand dunes formed the East Coast's sea defenses. As a child, Alfred Tennyson and his brothers played in the sand dunes at Mablethorpe. They stayed in a cottage a mile from the sea which cost them 25 shillings. Later they lodged on Quebec Road at Ingoldby House.

In 1827 "Poems by Two Brothers" was published; Alfred and Charles traveled to Mablethorpe by carriage and happily shouted their poems to "no other audience than the deaf sand and the sounding sea waves."


"Crossing the bar"

Over a period of 14 years up to 1843, Alfred visited Mablethorpe and stayed at Marine Villa at the Pullover end of High Street, lodging with Mrs. Wiliman.

Where is Mablethorpe? - Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire Coast

Take a satellite view of Mabelethorpe and its golden beach or ask for directions - the choice is yours!

Mablethorpe, miles and miles of golden sand in Lincolnshire:

get directions

Places to Stay and Things to Do in Mablethorpe - Looking for places to stay?

Why not investigate some of the options of places to stay in Mablethorpe here.

Self Catering Holidays at Trussville

Seaside Holiday Village caters for those seeking a traditional British family seaside holiday. This self catering holiday village at Trussville has beach front access and is situated ne mile south of Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast. Miles of golden beach are ideal for young families. Nearby amenities include boating lake, paddling pool, adventure play area and miniature train at Queens Park.

Seaside Holiday Village has two clubs, Dreams Bar, Live entertainment, Line Dancing, Karaoke, and Bingo. Other amentities include crazy golf and a heated outdoor swimming pool and paddling pool. Sue's Cafe has affordable prices, and the site advertises Sunday lunch at 4.75 for two courses. Seaside Pub provides live entertainment for children with Competitions, Karaoke and Disco. The snack bar and arcade next door have machines.

Smugglers on the Mablethorpe Coast

Desperation, taxation and smuggling

In the 18th and 19th century, smuggling was as common along the Mablethorpe coast as anywhere. People, desperate for money, ran huge risks to smuggle goods in without paying duty.

Horses faces were camouflaged with soot and their hooves covered with sacks to deaden their sound as smugglers passed on chalk roads. Iron shod cart wheels were wrapped with straw. Otherwise, the noise would carry a long way over flat land on a still night.

Gin, tobacco and bales of silk were hidden in barns, cellars and chimneys. The export of wool was taxed and illegal wool exporting carried harsh penalties of whipping, transportation to Australia and even hanging.

A distance of up to ten miles inland was patrolled by Riding Officers of Customs and Excise to prevent goods moving inland. Shallow water made it easy for carts and horses to pass over the sand dunes and head out to where the ships waited.

Find out more in "The Book of the Lincolnshire Seaside"

by David N. Robinson

Algernon Rudd likes Mablethorpe too

The Rudds of Meg! Rudd Mug!

Another famous Lincolnshire poet is Oliver Tadpole who wrote:

Algernon Rudd, Algernon Rudd

Lived with the bats in a steeple.

Who would live there? Algernon would

Preferring the bats to people!


algernonrudd by persimew

This links us nicely into Meg's most recent famous fan - the prime minister of Australia!

Kevin Rudd, PM

Kevin Rudd, a keen traveller and Twitter user was recently discovered to be one of @mymablethorpe's earliest followers. This made National news. In response, it was stated that he follows anyone who follows him and uses an API to do so!

If you have, perhaps you can share your experience her. Thank you.

Mablethorpe Guestbook - Have You Ever Been to Mablethorpe?

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    • profile image

      David Cameron 

      3 months ago

      Bathing beautifies festival ? Sound like fun. And not to mention the seals. Mablethorpe, here we come!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile imageAUTHOR

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      @BritFlorida: Wish I was there now... It is hot in Lincoln! :)

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 

      6 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      Oooh a long, long time ago. Because I'm from Yorkshire, it wasn't far away.

    • savateuse profile image


      7 years ago

      @savateuse: I returned to bestow my first blessing!

    • savateuse profile image


      7 years ago

      Like a knight of olde, I quest an ancyent playce of swimbing...

    • SeanVernall LM profile image

      SeanVernall LM 

      8 years ago

      Wow I can remember going to Trusville Holiday Village several times for our family holiday when I was a boy. Those were really great holidays.

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 

      8 years ago from London

      A lens with the personal touch! Blessed and added to the The Best of the UK

      Maybe try a list of links to the places people can stay rather than a plexo?

    • TheWebDesignTeam profile image


      8 years ago

      Well I learned a fair bit reading this and liked the photos and verses. Nice lens. Maybe you could read mine sometime?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Alas!!! After searching for hours together information on this topic, I find yours. I read it and it is just the way I wanted to know about the subject. Clear, simple language and in detail! I am sure there isnt anybody else who writes as well as you do.

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens. Mablethorpe and Skeggy are must visit seaside towns from where I live in Nottingham!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Excellent Lens!! I enjoyed reading it.

      I'd Love for you to visit my lens & give me some feedback.

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      9 years ago

      Mablethorpe, just gets better and better, and for a small seaside town it is amazing that it has Russells International circus, we never expected to see such atop show in this small resort

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 

      9 years ago

      I've never been there but it looks beautiful. I adore seals, so anywhere where they are must be awesome ;)

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      10 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Sorry I haven't been to Mablethorpe, wish I had though! Love this lens, it brings back happy memories of similar places in my childhood. I grew up on the East coast of Scotland and our favorite seaside town had those beach huts too. We really needed them to keep warm!


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