St. Valentine’s Day walking nightmare

ONLY WE COULD GO FOR A COASTAL PATH WALK AND END UP IN PRISON !!!!!

Monday 14th February 2022

Waking up early with hangovers was a pretty grim start to the day! Last night we went for a fabulous Thai meal in Boston. Then, as we were staying in a pub we felt it was polite to stop off for one drink rather than head straight upstairs. Well …. one turned into several more as the pub was a local with a great jukebox and lively customers. We ended the evening with singing and dancing and making many new friends! And having to get up to move the car out of the car park by 8.00am wasn’t the best of planning.

Headed into town for a full English before attempting to walk. Made the very sensible decision to cut today’s route short – settling on a 6 miler as opposed to the original 13 miler planned. So tummies full we drove from Boston to Butterwick.

Boston Cathedral

Managed to successfully park the car in Butterwick and catch the bus back to Boston to continue the coastal path walk. Like the pilgrims we set sail from Boston … except instead of the Mayflower we just had our trusty walking boots.

The Pilgrim Fathers Memorial

At the start it was an easy enough path, again along the embankment wall, with views to the right of mud flats and views to the left of flat farm land. Not much out of the ordinary although again huge gatherings of Shelducks with their lovely waddling ways.

Managed to misjudge the route at a couple of points but thankfully had not gone too far along before turning back. However … third time not so lucky. The OS app took us through half a mile of ‘trickiness’ – first we had to pick our way through a jungle of reeds with dodgy ground underneath and then this changed to walking precariously along the edge of muddy farmland with lots of tripping hazards … only to find a dead end – we had to turn back and repeat the torture in reverse. Oh joy!!

So we then took the alternative path and guess where we ended up … IN PRISON !! As we were nearing what turned out to be HMP North Sea Camp, we were approached from across the ditch by a burly prison guard. We explained our plight and he ever so kindly allowed us into the prison grounds and escorted us through to where we could pick up the coastal path again. It turned out that the coastal path (which we had temporarily lost) actually goes through the prison anyway – escorting ramblers therefore is not such an uncommon occurrence.

What was a little hairy however was on leaving the grounds being followed by a more senior prison officer who caught up with us and asked for our names. He then asked if we had taken any photos and the couple we had sneaked for the blog he asked us to delete after he had had a good check. We felt like two naughty schoolchildren. When we reflected later, they may have thought we could be paparazzi – Steve had a camera slung round his neck with long zoom lens … yesterday’s National news had reported an escapee from said prison. Later too we discovered that this is where Jeffrey Archer served some of his time. And … there’s been recent controversy over their use of the term ‘residents’ instead of prisoners, which is one of the photos of signage I had taken!

After that it was pretty plain sailing to complete the 7 miles (could have been 6 without the confused bit). With garmins switched off we walked the last 1 and a half miles from the path to the parked car …. in torrential rain and wind – we were literally drowned rats.

Drove to our airbnb where we are now for 2 nights. It’s a cosy annexe to a farm house – stylish and packed with goodies … chocolates, wine, porridge and croissants.

And being Valentines we ended the day with champagne, chocolates and cuddles – SO much better than prison slops !!!

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