Another summer weekend coming by and another reason for a road trip across the counties of UK. This time it was to the riverside town of Hull (or formally Kingston-upon-Hull) and the traditional British seaside town of Skegness and ofcourse a quick detour into the kingdom of Robinhood, Nottingham, to spend the night. The journey took us across 3 counties – East Riding of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. We had started from York, crossed the Humber bridge and went on straight into Skegness and then overnight at Nottingham. Went all the way back to Hull to see The Deep and back to York again. Thats a rather odd route to take, but I have never been not unusual myself.
Skegness is not blessed with the perfect British countryside aura, but it does have the sea and with the sea comes the sea-side resorts. And it is home to Butlin’s, a large chain of seaside budget resorts, founded by Billy Butlin in 1936 to provide ‘affordable’ holidays for ‘ordinary’ British families. But I was no ordinary (!), nor was I British so gave a miss to Butlin’s and the sea side and headed to the Natureland Seal Sanctuary. It is in fact a animal rescue centre mostly with seal pups which get washed ashore due to tides, which are then treated and restored back to the sea. But it also houses a host of other animals including the meerkat which I donot have have picture of!
And lo and behold, I saw my first live penguins here. I had always imagined that I would have to hike in a mile deep snow to be able to see these funny little creatures. But the Skegness Seal Sanctuary houses a lot of these penguins, originally native of South Africa. What?!!? Did you just say Africa or was it Antartica or atleast America! Well, as nature will have it, these penguins, much shorter than the Emperor Penguins one would spot in Antartica, are perhaps the only kind of warm weather penguins found in the South African coast. They are named the Jackass Penguins allegedly because they bray like donkeys but I happened to read that they have South American relatives too who share their vocal affiliation to this most talked about species of the animal kingdom. But these are the only ones who ended up being called thus. Nothing surprising there, eh?
After Skegness we drove over to Nottinghamshire, into the town of Nottingham – famous for the legendary tales of Robinhood.
After an uneventful night in Nottingham and skipping the Nottingham castle in the morning for reasons best unknown to me right now, we headed towards Hull or as it is formally known, Kingston-Upon-Hull.
Although there isn’t an awful lot to do in Hull, the visit to The Deep, one of UK’s biggest aquariums, does feature in Things to do.