The Fens meet the sea in south Lincolnshire, fertile low-lying agricultural land gives way to a muddy coastline of creeks and seabirds. The towns of Holbeach, Spalding and Boston are close to the sea, but very much depend on the land. The Boston Stump, the 272ft octagonal tower of St Botolph’s Church is visible for miles around, even to ships navigating The Wash. At Gibraltar Point a nature reserve studies bird migration; thousands of colourful wigeon visit in winter, oystercatchers and fieldfare in autumn, and short-eared owls can also be seen.
Leaving The Wash behind we reach Skegness, famously described on advertising posters as ‘bracing’. Skegness is a big resort, the closest to the East Midlands, with holiday camps, a pier, amusements and extensive gardens and beach. Its neighbours Ingoldmells, Mablethorpe and further north Cleethorpes offer similar attractions to holidaying Midlanders.
In the mouth of the Humber is Grimsby, a large town and a major port. Although sea fishing has declined in recent years, Grimsby still has a large fish processing and packing industry, and is home to over 500 food companies in all, leading the council to promote it as ‘Europe’s Food Town’. Together with nearby Immingham, Grimsby is the largest UK port by tonnage, and Immingham has freight ferries to Scandinavia and the low countries. Large petro-chemical plants have been developed around Immingham in recent decades taking advantage of the deep-water access.
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