Skegness – a guide for visiting this misunderstood (and underrated) seaside town in 2023

In our opinion, Skegness is one of the most underrated and misunderstood holiday destinations in the UK. Thousands of people head here every summer and have a great time, yet many people continue to stick their nose up to this seaside town.
But our question to the Skegness haters would be - if it's so bad, why do so many people continue to flock here every year? If you've ever seen the traffic around Lincoln on a sunny weekend, you'll understand how popular Skegness is. We wanted to highlight some of our favourite things to see and do in Skegness for 2023, in an effort to inspire more people to visit. You might be surprised at what you'll find, let’s get into the guide:

Where is Skegness?

Skegness is in the county of Lincolnshire, East Midlands, on the Lincolnshire coast. The town is 43 miles East of Lincoln and up the coast from both Hunstanton and King's Lynn (check out our guides about both of them). The main road routes into the town are the A52 and A158, otherwise you can hop on a train right into the town centre.



FireShot Capture 1721 - Skegness - Google Maps -

What can you do in Skegness?

As we mentioned in our introduction, there is plenty to see and do during your time in Skegness. Here are some of our favourite things to check out:

Explore the Beach

A trip to Skegness will always be focused around the beach, but something which might surprise some people is how fun the beach is to explore. Sure, there are donkey rides and ice creams on the main part of the beach, but you can walk around half a mile from The Clock Tower towards Gibraltar Point, which is a really pleasant walk (particularly in the evening). We think you might be surprised at how pretty Skegness beach is and how much there is to do here. For example, you could hire a paddleboard from Skegness Water Sports, or just bring your own paddleboard.


Embassy Theatre

If you're wanting to catch some great live entertainment during your time in Skegness then a trip to the excellent Embassy Theatre is highly recommended. Here you'll find a range of top-notch shows on regularly, with everything from live music to comedy. There is always something to suit every taste and the venue itself is very well-kept. We also find the ticket prices to be very reasonable given how much fun you'll have. Learn more and book your tickets here -

Bottons Pleasure Beach

Although this small theme park isn't really going to exhilarate thrill seekers, it is still lots of fun for younger visitors and if you've got kids with you it's an excellent place to visit. Bottons Pleasure Beach has a variety of rides which are ideal for parents and kids to enjoy together, including the bumper cars and the giant wheel (as long as you're ok with heights). You can buy a wristband which will give you access to all of the rides for the full day, learn more here -

Enjoy the amusements

This definitely isn't Las Vegas (although some locals do refer to the town as Skeg Vegas, more on that in a minute), but for anyone who enjoys a bit of a flutter the amusements can be really fun. Nothing serious of course - the 2p machines are probably where we spend most of our time, desperately trying to get a keyring over the edge and wondering if I could get away with nudging the machine. But in all seriousness, the amusements are perfect harmless fun. Get a bucket of 2p coins and spend a few hours slowly putting them into machines.

Grab some food

Yes, it might just be fish, chips, ice cream, and doughnuts, but you might actually be surprised at how good the food in Skegness is! Firstly a lot of it is really fresh, particularly the doughnuts which are often made and cooked fresh to order. Secondly, it’s not too pricey at all, especially fish and chips which can easily be more than £10 in other nearby areas (and aren’t nearly as good).


If you're looking for a proper sit-down meal, then Italian is probably your best bet - San Rufo’s and Tarantino are the 2 favourites, serving up delicious pizza and pasta in a relaxed setting.

Fantasy Island (Ingoldmells)

This theme park isn't quite on the same level as somewhere like Alton Towers or Thorpe Park, but given how cheap it is we think it is actually pretty awesome. It's in Ingoldmells which is just a stone's throw from Skegness, but if you're looking for proper thrills and the beachfront theme park isn't doing it for you, Fantasy Island is where to head to. Open since 1995, the theme park has become a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike. Many of the rides are suited to older kids, so if you've got teenagers they'll probably enjoy themselves. The one thing to watch out for is the parking situation, which can be a nightmare. Basically, just keep a hold of your receipt and be prepared for a slight headache at the car park. Plan your visit and learn more here -

Get a Butlins Day Pass

Butlins can sometimes get a bad rap, but honestly, a day pass is so much fun. The pool there is great and there are plenty of shows to check out throughout the day. It can also be fun to let the kids run free without worrying about where they are as Butlins is a safe area for them to explore. The only issue with Butlins is the price of the beer - almost £6 for a pint is a nasty shock, particularly if you've been enjoying the happy hour on the beach for the previous few hours. Learn more here -

Take on some Adventure Golf

You've actually got a few different options if you're looking for some adventure golf - our personal favourite would probably have to be the Arnold Palmer crazy golf course (pictured), but they're all pretty good to be honest. If you're not sure what Adventure Golf is, then it's basically just a miniature golf course with a variety of obstacles to navigate. The other options include Jolly Rodger on the Grand Parade, and the Atlantis Adventure Golf at the Tower Esplanade. Definitely a great way to spend an hour or 2!

Head to Mogg's Eye

If you're visiting Skegness for an entire day then honestly, it can sometimes feel a little intense. If you're looking for something a little more chilled out then Mogg's Eye to the North is a great area to head to. Often referred to as 'Huttoft' by locals, this beach is very quiet and is definitely a hidden gem. It's dog friendly so is an ideal place for your furry friend to run around, but if you're looking to spot some interesting wildlife (which you can often find in the grassy section behind the beach), then you might want to keep your dog on a lead. This is also a popular spot with surfers and swimmers, so if you enjoy getting into the sea then we recommend heading here. It's only a 30-minute drive North and is a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of Skegness.

Head to the markets

Skegness has a reputation for tat shops along the seafront, and although we think that reputation is somewhat earned (there are plenty of shops where you can buy fridge magnets and a bucket and spade which won't last for more than a day), you'll also find markets with some genuinely interesting items. The Ingoldmells Market (Fantasy Island Market) is packed with more than 300 different stalls selling all sorts, from handmade jewellery to food. This is actually Europe’s largest 7-day market and you can easily spend an hour wandering around the stalls. For something smaller and a little more hit and miss, the Skegness Market at Briar Way is only a handful of stalls these days, but you can sometimes find a gem. If you enjoy snooping around stalls looking for a bargain, both markets are worth a visit.

Visit the seafront bars

If you're looking for something a little more adult-friendly, then you can't go wrong with some of the bars on the seafront. There is actually a bar just up from Skegness market which has a sort of reggae vibe and during happy hour sells pints of beer for £2! On a sunny day, this is as good as anything you'll find in Tenerife. Wellies Bar is a great place to head if you want to watch sports, and Wolfies Wine Bar is an awesome bar which serves great wine and nibbles until late.

Visit Gibraltar Point

If you want to get away from the seaside for a bit and fancy a bit of countryside for a change, a trip to Gibraltar Point is a great idea. This nature reserve is definitely a lot more chilled out than the Skegness seafront, and is ideal for anyone who wants to see some wildlife and enjoy a peaceful stroll. There is a cafe there which is genuinely good and it’s a great area for walking across to the beach. The area is under the ownership of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, so it is very well managed and always clean. You'll have to pay for parking but the area can be explore for free, learn more here -

Natureland Seal Sanctuary

Probably the highlight of a trip to Skegness for us is the Seal Sanctuary - known as Skegness Natureland, this attraction is perfect for children who want to get up close and personal with seals and who want to learn more about the rehabilitation process for injured seal pups. That's one of the things we love about Natureland, they're actually doing a wonderful thing by rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured seal pups that are found along the Lincolnshire coast.  A highlight of the visit is the opportunity to feed seal pups in the rearing pool, an unforgettable experience for young and old. If you're going to visit one place during your time in Skegness, then we'd recommend Natureland. Learn more here -


Head to the Aquarium

Another great place to visit for the kids is the aquarium. It's not quite as heartwarming as the seal sanctuary, but you can still enjoy some really amazing hands-on experiences here. There is the opportunity to dive with sharks, which is really cool. You'll learn how to use the diving equipment and for younger participants, it might spark a lifelong fascination with sea creatures. Even if you're not wanting to jump in a tank with sharks, there are plenty of other things to get involved in - the outdoor Jurassic Falls section includes animatronic dinosaurs and is really memorable. Overall we think you'll be surprised at how fun the Aquarium is, learn more here -


Just walk around!

To be honest, one of the best ways to enjoy Skegness is just to stroll around and to take it all in. Skegness can sometimes feel like an attack on the senses, with something going on everywhere you turn. Most of the attractions we've recommended so far will require a payment, but we think one of the best ways to enjoy the town is to just walk around - the seafront is of course very interesting, but so is the high street. You'll probably spot some street performers and it'll be a good laugh. Obviously the walk will be best enjoyed when ice cream is included!

Take a photo under the Skeg Vegas sign 

Skegness is often called ‘Skeg Vegas’ because of the amusements and attractions which are reminiscent of Sin City, but this nickname is of course slightly tongue in cheek, as is the sign which was erected. It’s a bit of fun and a great way to mark your time in Skegness is with a photo under this iconic sign. You'll find it right outside the Skegness Raceway which is just outside the town on Marsh Lane. The raceway itself can be a fun place to visit if you're a bit of a motorhead, particularly when shows are on. Learn more about the raceway here -
FireShot Capture 1722 - 'Skeg Vegas' sign brings selfie-hunters flocking to Skegness - ITV N_ -

Enjoy a tasting at Skegness Distillery

The gin distillery at Skegness does tasting sessions which are really interesting and enjoyable, plus money from every sale is donated to the LGBTQ+ organisation Stonewall, a great reason to take a bottle home with you. You'll need to book your session well in advance but we think it is worth the effort, learn more here -

Visit Gunby Estate

Gunby Estate is a 10 minute drive from Skegness on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, but if you’re interested in impressive country houses then this is well worth a visit. Built in 1700, the estate is centered around the Grade I listed Gunby Hall. The lead-up to Gunby Hall is impressive, with a half-mile-long private drive.  Gunby Hall is excellent to explore, but the gardens are really memorable - a walk around the estate will allow you to take in the beautiful colours and enjoy scenic views of the flatlands. It's owned and managed by the National Trust and is a very good day out, learn more here -

Head up to Mablethorpe

Go a bit up the coast toward Mablethorpe - this is a popular seaside town but is definitely a step down in intensity from Skegness. Here you'll find a lovely scenic beach and plenty of old-fashioned activities to enjoy in the town. Similar to Skegness you'll find a seal sanctuary here (just in case you haven't had your fill of cute seal pups after a visit to Natureland), and plenty of fair attractions. It's only a 40 minute drive and a great day trip from Skegness, learn more here -

Parking tips

It might not sound like fun to plan your parking before a trip to Skegness, but if you want to make the most of your time here then it helps to know where to park! Our main insider tip would be to use Princes Parade car park - if you're spending a whole day at Skegness and you're looking for somewhere to park which is in a good location and near the seafront, this car park is probably your best bet. There are other options of course, but we'd probably head here.

Anything else to mention?

Our last bit of advice would just be to have fun and to not take it too seriously! Lots of people will be really down on Skegness, and it's true that it can sometimes be a bit much for people to handle. But if you come with an open mind and a willingness to have a laugh, we promise you'll have a great time. It also helps if you can pick a sunny weekend to visit. This is a proper old-school British seaside town and we love it!

If you enjoyed this guide, please check out our guide about other seaside locations throughout the UK including Seaton, Worthing, Crail, and Boscastle.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *