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Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes Nature Reserve - - 480929.jpg

Sand dunes and beach past North End
Mablethorpe is located in Lincolnshire
Location within Lincolnshire
Population12,531 (2011. with Sutton-on-Sea)
OS grid referenceTF506850
• London130 mi (210 km) SSW
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLN12
Dialling code01507
AmbulanceEast Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
53°20′27″N 0°15′40″E / 53.3409°N 0.261°E / 53.3409; 0.261

Mablethorpe is a seaside town and civil parish in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England.[1] The population including nearby Sutton-on-Sea was 12,531 at the 2011 census and estimated at 12,628 in 2018.[2] The town was visited regularly by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, a 19th-century Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom. Some features of the town have been named after him, for example, Tennyson Road and Tennyson High School.


Roman Empire

A horde of Roman treasure was found in Mablethorpe in the 1980s, as were a Roman brooch and pottery.[3][4]

Mablethorpe Hall

Mablethorpe has existed as a town for many centuries, although some of it was lost to the sea in the 1540s. For example, records of the Fitzwilliam family of Mablethorpe Hall date back to the 14th century. In the 19th century, it was a centre for ship breaking in the winter. Mablethorpe Hall is to the west of the town along Alford Road near the parish Church of St Mary.[5] The Mablethorpe church parish includes Trusthorpe.

Town lifeboats

In 1883 the first lifeboat station was built in Mablethorpe and ran until the First World War, when it closed temporarily due to crew shortages. These continued and the station closed permanently after the war. It reopened as an inshore lifeboat station in 1965. A further new lifeboat station ensued in 1996.[6] A D-class lifeboat, D-506 Patrick Rex Moren, went into service on 9 July 1996, followed in 2001 by a B class Atlantic 75-class lifeboat, B–778 Joan Mary, and in 2005 by a latest D-class lifeboat, D–653 William Hadley.

In 1998, a bronze medal was awarded to the helmsman for service on 12 April, when the lifeboat rescued a crew of two and saved the fishing vessel Lark, which had broken down in the surf and was drifting towards the shore without her anchor. The lifeboat was launched in a force 7 gale and a heavy swell – extreme conditions for this class. The helmsman had difficulty in negotiating the rough seas to reach the fishing boat, decided it was too hazardous to take off the crew and passed a line and towed her from danger – a considerable feat in huge seas for a lifeboat smaller than the fishing boat and powered by one 40 hp outboard engine.

East Coast floods

In 1953, Mablethorpe was hit by the disastrous East Coast floods. The seawall was breached on 31 January. A granite rock memorial was unveiled on the coast on 31 January 2013 on the 60th anniversary of the disaster, in memory of the town's 42 victims.[7][8]

In literature

One of Britain's most renowned historical poets, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, once frequented Mablethorpe. It is said that he used to shout his poetry aloud towards the sea.
One of Britain's most renowned historical poets, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, once frequented Mablethorpe. It is said that he used to shout his poetry aloud towards the sea.

Mablethorpe is the destination for the fictional Morel family's first holiday in the D. H. Lawrence novel, Sons and Lovers, published in 1913: "At last they got an answer from Mablethorpe, a cottage such as they wished for thirty shillings a week. There was immense jubilation. Paul was wild with joy for his mother's sake. She would have a real holiday now. He and she sat at evening picturing what it would be like. Annie came in, and Leonard, and Alice, and Kitty. There was wild rejoicing and anticipation. Paul told Miriam. She seemed to brood with joy over it. But the Morel's house rang with excitement."

Mablethorpe is the seaside setting for the Ted Lewis crime novel GBH, published in 1980.[9] The novel was his last and has been described as a "lost masterwork".[10]


Mablethorpe and much of east Lincolnshire lost its rail service in 1970 to the Beeching Axe, despite its long history.[11] The station site is now the town's sports centre.

Stagecoach Interconnect operate hourly services to Grimsby and Skegness, as well as a service to Louth. Grayscroft Coaches operates several services from a base in Victoria Road. Brylaine runs a service between Mablethorpe and Alford and Spilsby, usually every two hours.[12]

Lincolnshire County Council operates a demand-responsive CallConnect service linking remoter areas to connection points at Alford, Chapel St Leonards and Mablethorpe for mainline bus services.[13]


Mablethorpe, in the East Lindsey council district, is administered with Sutton-on-Sea and Trusthorpe as the civil parish of Mablethorpe and Sutton. The original parish of Mablethorpe covers a rectangular area inland along Alford Road towards Maltby le Marsh, as far as Grange Leisure Park, where Earl's Bridge crosses West Bank.[14][15][16][17] The south of the former parish follows the Trusthorpe Drains, which are crossed at Bamber's Bridge on Mile Lane.[18] Out towards Alford lies Strubby Airfield, with the Strubby Aviation Club and Lincs Gliding Club. To the north is the large parish of Theddlethorpe St Helen, which extends to the River Great Eau at Saltfleetby. The town is the eastern terminus of the A52. The town is also accessed by the A1104 and A16 through Alford. The A157 heads west towards Louth and is said to be the "sixth bendiest A-road in the UK".[19]


The town's one retail bank branch, Barclays, closed in July 2019.[20] There are two supermarkets – a Co-operative and a Lidl. Branches of some high street chains are present, but most shops in Mablethorpe are independently operated.


Family attractions include a small fairground and an award-winning beach with traditional seaside amusement arcadess. One of Mablethorpe's long-standing features, its sand train, takes visitors to and from the northern end of the beach.[21][22] Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary and Wildlife Centre is also north of the town.

Mablethorpe's cinema, the Loewen in Quebec Road, was previously known as the Bijou. The Dunes leisure complex lies on Mablethorpe's seafront.

A skatepark opened in 2008 on the seafront. This includes a small funbox, a spine and two quarter pipes.

Several small caravan parks and guest houses provide tourist accommodation.

Electric power

Just over a mile north-east of the town, near the Seal Sanctuary, lies Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal, which supplies 5 per cent of the UK's gas. To the west is the Bambers wind farm, housing eight turbines and producing five MW of power since November 2004. An extension called Bambers II opened in November 2006 and produces an additional five MW of power.[23] The two turbines of Mablethorpe wind farm, which produce 1.2 MW of power, were the first such turbines in Lincolnshire when built in July 2002. All three wind farms are owned by Ecotricity, and stand at the corner of West Bank and the Trusthorpe Drains. Mablethorpe's Star of the East is on the seafront.


The local weekly newspapers are the Mablethorpe Leader and The Target.[24] Radio coverage for Lincolnshire is provided by BBC Radio Lincolnshire and Lincs FM. In October 2012, volunteers created a local community radio station, Coastal FM.[25]


The community's primary school is Mablethorpe Primary Academy School.[26] The Mablethorpe site of Monks' Dyke Tennyson College closed in August 2016.[27] Adult learning is provided at Mablethorpe Learning Centre.[28]


A child examines a decorated beach hut on Mablethorpe's seafront
A child examines a decorated beach hut on Mablethorpe's seafront

Mablethorpe hosts a unique beach-hut festival each September.[29] Privately owned beach huts compete in outward design, amidst a backdrop of poetry, music, and drama.[30]

Mablethorpe has long hosted motorbike sand racing each winter and spring. This has inspired the Lincolnshire Bike Week by the local Coastal Events Community Interest Company, following from the successful Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea Bike Nights.[31]

Each summer Mablethorpe hosts an illuminations event (a "switch on"), for which a celebrity is invited. Those officiating have included Barbara Windsor, Timmy Mallett and Wolf and Hunter of Gladiators.


  1. ^ OS Explorer map 283:Louth and Mablethorpe: (1:25 000):ISBN 978 0319238240
  2. ^ City Population site. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  3. ^ Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  4. ^ UK.
  5. ^ St Mary's church
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ BBC News. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  8. ^ Mablethorpe info. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  9. ^ Powers, John (7 May 2015). "Gangsters, Goons And 'Grievous Bodily Harm' In Ted Lewis' London". Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  10. ^ About GBH, Penguin Random House. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  11. ^ Stewart E Squires, The Lost Railways of Lincolnshire, Castlemead Publications, Ware, 1986 ISBN 0-948555-14-9, pp. 38–39.
  12. ^ Grayscroft services. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  13. ^ Mablethorpe Transport. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  14. ^ A1104.
  15. ^ "Grange Leisure Park". Archived from the original on 23 December 2007.
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ [3]
  18. ^ [4]
  19. ^ "BBC NEWS – UK – England – Dorset – Bendiest roads in the UK revealed".
  20. ^ East Lindsey District Council site. Retrieved 07 October 2019.
  21. ^ [5]
  22. ^ [6]
  23. ^ [7]
  24. ^ "Louth Leader".
  25. ^ Coastal FM.
  26. ^ Mablethorpe Community Primary School.
  27. ^ "Mablethorpe Tennyson High School". Archived from the original on 15 December 2005.
  28. ^ [8]
  29. ^ Bathing Beauties
  30. ^ "BBC NEWS – In Pictures – Picture Gallery: Mablethorpe huts".
  31. ^ [9]

Further reading

  • Winston Kime, Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea in Times Past, Skegness: C. H. Major & Co., 1990
  • Alfred J. Ludlam, Louth, Mablethorpe and Willoughby Loop, Locomotion Papers, no. 162, Oxford: Oakwood Press, 1987
  • Jeff Morris, The Story of the Mablethorpe and North Lincolnshire Lifeboats, Coventry: Lifeboat Enthusiasts' Society, 1989
  • A. E. B. Owen, "Coastal Erosion in East Lincolnshire", The Lincolnshire Historian, vol. 1, no. 9, 1952, pp. 330–341
  • A. E. B. Owen, "Salt, Sea Banks and Medieval Settlement on the Lindsey Coast", N. Field and A. White, eds, A Prospect of Lincolnshire, Lincoln: privately published, 1984, pp. 46–49
  • A. E. B. Owen, "Mablethorpe St Peter's and the Sea", Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, vol. 21 (1986), pp. 61–62
  • T. S. Patchett, The History of Mablethorpe County School, Mablethorpe: Mablethorpe County Primary School, 1968
  • Simon Pawley, "Lincolnshire Coastal Villages and the Sea c. 1300–c. 1600: Economy and Society", PhD thesis, University of Leicester, 1984
  • R. E. Pearson, "Railways in Relation to Resort Development in East Lincolnshire", East Midlands Geographer, vol. 4, 1968, pp. 281–295
  • David N. Robinson, The Book of the Lincolnshire Seaside: The Story of the Coastline from the Humber to the Wash, Barracuda, 1981
  • David N. Robinson, "The Changing Coastline", Dennis R. Mills (ed.), Twentieth Century Lincolnshire, History of Lincolnshire, no. 12, Lincoln: History of Lincolnshire Committee of the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, 1989, pp. 155–180
  • Ruth N. Neller, The Growth of Mablethorpe as a Seaside Resort, 1800–1939, Mablethorpe: SBK Books, 2000
  • Ruth N. Neller, "Skegness, Mablethorpe and Cleethorpes: contrasts of land ownership and investment in the development of seaside resorts", Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, vol. 47, 2012, pp. 35–47
  • Sally Scott, "The early days of planning", Dennis R. Mills, ed., Twentieth Century Lincolnshire, History of Lincolnshire, no. 12, Lincoln: History of Lincolnshire Committee of the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, 1989, pp. 181–211

External links

Media related to Mablethorpe at Wikimedia Commons

News items

Video clips

This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 20:08
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