Day 300: Skegness to Boston
Distance: 26.33 miles
Ascent: 822 feet
Weather: Sunny Spells
Accommodation: Quayside Hotel, Boston (Kindly Courtesy of Rob & Jen)
I was up very early, the clocks had also gone back and being a fairly long mileage day I just decided to get on my way just after 6am. The forecast for today was cold, with heavy rain later on. Fortunately, it was dry as I left and with the clocks having gone back it was getting light not long after I set off.
The first couple of miles were along the quiet road (in fact completely empty) to Gibraltar Point which is a nature reserve. Today actually had a red flag due to the crossing of the Wainfleet River/Relief Channel here, as though there was a footbridge across it near the Nature Reserve Car Park I believed it had a gate on it which may stop me getting to the other side, but with no other options I was going to try it. To get to the bridge I had to head up the river 500m and actually passed another embankment works (how many of these are there at the moment!) to the bridge. Indeed there was a gate on the bridge, which I believe is owned by the environment agency and will eventually be the route of the England Coast Path so why they have a gate on it I don’t know, but it was going to be harder to get around than I had expected. I thought I would just swing around but with my backpack on this would be too dangerous over the river, so I decided to go over the 2m gate instead which actually was not too hard.
Once on the other side of the river it was going to be flood embankment walking for many, many miles and the first bit though not shown as a public right of way ,as I expected had no fences and made for great walking. In fact it continued like this for the next 7 miles or so with a really great surface under foot and though there was plenty of rain drifting close by none had actually hit me yet. The fields around here are ginormous and in fact they were harvesting by hand as I went by I think it was a cabbage crop.
Suddenly my heart sunk when I saw that the embankment (which was now an official right of way) had been worked on and I was half expecting a path closed sign soon. It was still open but it was an absolute quagmire, and it was just about still walkable but it did slow me down. I reckon within a month, after more rain, this route will become completely unwalkable. In fact as it turned out later there had been a path closure due to works active till September (there was one board left up) but unfortunately the environment agency had not done a great job really with reopening this, the new stiles were not particularly user friendly and in fact a short person may well struggle to get over them and in fact in 2 separate places there was still a barbed wire fence across the path which you had to carefully get over. This is not the first issue I have had with paths around environment agency areas, and I sometimes think they see ramblers/hikers as a nuisance.
The embankment path was quite bad for several miles but at least, and to my surprise, the sun came out. Eventually the embankment path started to improve from where it hadn’t had recent work and then as I reached a carpark just shy of Freiston Shore Nature Reserve suddenly there was an almighty explosion of gun fire about 20 shots I’d guess, which seemed like it was from less than 50m away. As I climbed back on to the embankment it turned out some people were doing clay pigeon shooting just on the other side of the embankment.
About 3 miles later still on the embankments I turned inland and started heading up The Haven towards Boston. Heading 5 miles up this river and inland I finally reached Boston. I had actually barely eaten today due to being an idiot and forgetting to stock up and so after 25 miles or so of walking I stopped for food at the first shop I passed in Boston and had a feast of very unhealthy food.
Not long after this I reached The Quayside Hotel, which Rob and Jen had very kindly booked and I met up with them again not long after I arrived. We had another lovely evening before once again I fell asleep quite early.
A long day, but contrary to the weather forecast I never got hit by rain luckily even if it was drifting nearby almost all day. Plus today signified the 300th day of the walk.