Skeg-vegas, Boston and more...
Stretching from The Wash to the Humber estuary, the Lincolnshire coast can be considered somewhat off the beaten track; though its seaside towns bustle with tourists at the peak of summer, the off season can be surprisingly quiet and therefore an ideal time to enjoy its roads.
This special ride rolls out of Boston and traces a meandering course north, zigzagging up the coast to the promenade at Cleethorpes. The closest filling station to the start is on the dual carriageway section of the A52 through town; it’s actually on the wrong side, so will involve a loop between roundabouts before heading to the start point at Burton Corner.
The first half of this route is all A52, which makes directions easy – just follow the signs, making sure you start off in the direction of Wainfleet. The terrain is generally flat and rather featureless, but that only serves to enhance the ‘big sky’ sensation of freedom – the open road, the fields flashing by – this ride is all about the sheer pleasure of being on two wheels.
After 20 miles or so Skegness will present several opportunities to top up your tank if needed, just bear in mind that it will be busy on high days and holidays. Once clear of caravans and campsites, however, the A52 shakes off urban restrictions and gets its twist back on. Thanks to the uncluttered landscape most of its smooth curves offer a clear line of sight and, although there’s nothing particularly tight or technical, it will take some effort to suppress a grin.
The A52 terminates at Mablethorpe, which also happens to be a good place for a paddle if you’re so inclined – although mainly hidden by sea defences, there’s 30-odd miles of sandy beaches along this awardwinning coastline. Turn left onto the High Street (or right to stop off at the seafront) and follow the A1104 towards Alford, but keep an eye out for the A1031/grimsby right turn as you leave town. This next section runs as a flat tarmac snake across the fens and features some fabulous turns; it jinks between the dykes and drains to reveal sharp 90 degree corners, challenging double S-bends and long, lazy curves.
At Cleethorpes take the third exit marked Town Centre/a1098, which leads to the promenade and great sea views. Motorcycles park for free by the pier and there are of plenty of places to grab an ice cream or a brew – the Hawaiian Eye café dead opposite is particularly popular with bikers, especially at weekends, and makes a fitting spot to kick back and reflect before deciding on where to go next.