Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve is Skegness’s very own National Nature Reserve, part of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust it’s three and a half miles down Drummond road. The beginning of Drummond Road can be found opposite Tower Cinema.
If you are fit enough you can cycle to Gibraltar Point. The top of Drummond Road is not too busy, the beginning of the road can be a little hectic during holidays with cars trying to park in the car park,
if you have children I would suggest cycling on the path at the beginning part of the road.
Don’t cycle on footpaths in Skegness a £30 fine for cycling on footpaths in Skegness was introduced in October 2009!
The rest of the road is a quiet country road, half way up Drummond Road there is a cycle path on the right hand side, but it doesn’t go all the way to Gibraltar point.
This is not a problem though since this is a relatively quiet road, me and my children usually cycle to Gibraltar, it’s a three and a half mile bike ride so, if you and your family are not up to the exercise :-) I would go in the car.
Parking at Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve
The nature reserve has two car parks, the second car park (as you drive from Skegness) is the main parking for cars and is at the Gibraltar Points Visitor Center. The car park to the Visitors Center is at the very bottom of the road, so go passed the first exit (coming from Skegness way) and keep traveling up to the end.
There’s no public or support transport to Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve unfortunately.
Gibraltar Point is a Great Place to Unwind and it’s FREE
Gibraltar Point is a great Skegness Attraction and it’s totally FREE!
A great place to recharge your batteries, have a picnic and see what new plant and animal life you can find. The first time we went to Gibraltar Point we saw a water vole :-) who knows what your family might spot.
Since kids always seem to have lots of energy, here are some activities we do with our kids to keep them entertained while we have a slow and relaxing walk behind them. These family fun activities still work even with a 15 year old.
1. Get the kids to gently catch grass hoppers and crickets, this is a great activity because the kids have to be quiet so they can listen for the grass hoppers chirping :-)
2. Get the kids to compete in a photography contest, let them snap some pictures (a digital camera is best) then when you get home see who took the best photo. As a bonus this activity makes a great memento of your day at Gibraltar Point and if the kids snap a gem you can frame it and pop it on your wall.
3. Have a contest the first person to spot: A grass snake, a common blue butterfly, a harlequin ladybird etc…
4. Nature Treasure Hunt get the kids to find bits and pieces first one to find it wins. We’ll have them look for things like a dead leaf, a flower, basically anything you see they might not have.
5. See how many different species you can spot, the winner is the one with the biggest list at the end of your visit. Or who can spot the most interesting/unusual thing, get the whole family to vote on who won.
6. Take a net with you and have the kids try to catch some butterflies or take a jar and a magnifying glass to take a closer look at the mini beasts.
Walking Around Gibraltar Point
There’s pathways all the way round the reserve with several routes to choose from, the path is hard aggregate so wheel chairs and push chairs can be pushed on the paths, (might be a little bumpy though) .
There are some slight hills, but nothing too drastic. If you’re a wheel chair user and you need more information on the reserve you can telephone Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve on: 01754 898057
Bikes are not allowed to be used on the Reserve so have to be left in the car park.
Dogs are allowed on the reserve, but must be kept on a lead at all times, at the bottom of this review are some interesting facts for responsible dog owners, I got the information from the Wildlife Trust website.
Please keep Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve clean, really spoils a great day out when you see unnecessary litter and dog mess :(
Dogs are banned on the beach from the 1st April – 1st September at Gibraltar Point
Wildlife Watching at Gibraltar Point
Gibraltar Point has plenty of bird hides so you can look out over one of the many lakes and see some of the many species of water birds that visit the East Coast which stay at Gibraltar Point at different times of the year and on their migration routes.
Ponds are also dotted around the reserve so the kids can see some dragon flies and if you take a net on your visit and a tub you’ll be able to see what lies beneath the water.
Another benefit in visiting Gibraltar Nature Reserve compared to other Lincolnshire Nature Reserves is, since it is based next to the East Coast you can spend a few hours on a quieter part of the Skegness Beach taking in the sun or exploring the sea with the kids.
Gibraltar Point also boasts a brand new visitor center where you can learn more about the nature reserve and it’s inhabitants, gifts can be brought and there’s a cafe so you can have a nice cup of coffee and a current bun or an ice cream for the kids after your walk.
We have spent quite a bit of time in the Visitor Center, there are fish tanks with inhabitants from the sea and you can sit in front of the tanks and watch the fish at your own leisure.
Gibraltar Point has events throughout the year for both kids, adults and families these can be viewed on the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website.
I would recommend the Wash Week event that takes place at Gibraltar
Point Nature Reserve usually in August (phone for dates) where there are stalls, games and lots of family activities like sea and pond dipping to take part in.
Gibraltar Point Disabled Access
Everyone is welcome at Gibraltar Point, the ground is mainly compacted aggregate with some parts being tarmac, most of the main areas are accessible to wheel chair users.
Gibraltar Point is mainly on the flat with only one shallow hill I can think of that goes up to the shorebird sanctuary viewing area. There is only one circular track I can think of that would be wheel chair friendly, but it does mean cutting across a field, the path in the field is compacted aggregate but there are gates at either side to manipulate and sheep or cows occasionally graze there.
There is no way onto the beach for wheel chairs sadly.
Most of the bird hides on Gibraltar have paths that a wheel chair user could easily reach, the hides are roomy but some have stationary seating benches all the way along the front of the hides and the windows are quite high basically you have to sit on the benches to get a good view.
the bird hide at Jackson’s Marsh is the best for disabled people, it’s large and spacey inside the hide with benches that are hinged so they can be lifted, the windows are at different levels so viewing is made easier, but Jackson’s Marsh hide has loose aggregate on the path up to the bird hide which might make it hard going to reach it, but not impossible.
Gibraltar Point Visitors Center is disabled accessible with the visitor center being tarmacked from the main car park to the visitor center entrance. inside is roomy with all of the interactive exhibits like the fish tank being low down at a reasonable height.
I have no personal experience of how good Gibraltar Point is for a disabled person, so keep this in mind when you read the above, the closest personal experience is my hubby had his back fussed after an accident and he can’t use the bird hides because the windows are to low (means he has to bend to look out) and he can’t sit on the benches due to pain. I would suggest if you do find anything wrong that made your visit hard in anyway to talk to one of the staff or email/write to Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and give them some suggestions on how they could make Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve better for your family.
Gibraltar Point Visitor Center Opening Times
Winter opening times for the Visitor Centre at Gibraltar Point:
Weekdays: from 11.00am to 3.00pm.
Weekends: from 11.00am to 4.00pm.
Please note: During very bad weather, the visitor centre and café may close early
Christmas Opening Times for the Visitor Centre at Gibraltar Point:
Christmas Day – closed.
Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New years Eve and New years Day: 12 noon – 4.00pm.
There are no litter bins at Gibraltar Point, so all rubbish has to be disposed of sensibly by visitors taking it home with them. There is one dog bin at the main car park but this is usually full of litter so again all mess has to be taken off site and disposed of responsibly (please read below about dogs on Gibraltar Point) the nature reserve say this is because of the cost to empty the bins is to expensive for a charity organization to afford (the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust run Gibraltar point).
Guidelines for Dog Walking on Nature Reserves
The Trusts nature reserves are special in many ways and we want them to be accessible to all. However the purpose of the nature reserves is to support, protect and conserve wildlife and wild places. We therefore must find the balance between allowing access to experience the nature reserves whilst continuing to protect these precious habitats.
Dog walking is one area where this balance is difficult. Many people experience the nature reserves as a result of dog walking, but dogs without close control and guidance in the reserves can cause a significant amount of damage. We hope the following guidelines will help dog owners understand some of these issues and help keep the reserves both wildlife and people friendly.
1. Clean up after you dog and take the poo home with you.
Dog poo is rich in nutrients – wildflowers need low nutrient soil in which to flourish. Soils over enriched with dog poo encourage the growth of coarser plants such as nettles and thistles, which compete and outgrow specialist flora such as orchids.
Volunteer workers and dog poo – volunteers and reserves officers are responsible for maintaining the reserves through management work, such as meadow cutting, scrub control and coppicing. Dog poo, however far in the bushes, under trees, or in the long grass can soon be found by unsuspecting hands or tools. If ingested dog poo can cause serious diseases in humans such as Canine Toxocariasis.
Dog poo placed in plastic bags then thrown into bushes or undergrowth is also a problem for nature as it damages the environment and can cause harm to wildlife, Nature Reserves are charities they work on a volunteer basis they get no money from the government in protecting the country side for future generations, and the cost of clearing dog poo in plastic bags from hedge rows is expensive and money the reserve cannot afford to waste and is a horrible job for a volunteer to do.
Other visitors – the reserves are used by all kinds of different people. Cleaning up after you dog prevents others taking the mess away on the bottom of their shoe, or in the case of a wheelchair user prevents the spread of poo from wheel to hand.
Leaving your dog poo behind causes stress to other visitors especially those with small children, instead of people looking up and enjoying there tranquil surroundings other visitor get to see nothing but the floor never being able to look up at the horizon as they walk.
Leaving your dog poo behind also increases the fly population which can spread disease.
Take the poo home – we don’t have the resources to keep bins on the site, so please take the little bags home with you.
2. Keep your dog under close control or on a lead
Birds and mammals on the reserves – Nature reserves are a haven for many types of birds and mammals, with some habitats offering unique breeding grounds. Dogs allowed to roam freely, or simply wandering in and out of the verges can disturb these creatures, for example driving birds away from their nests, crushing eggs and killing baby birds and animals. Keeping your dog firmly at your side will prevent your dog unwillingly or willingly causing distress to wildlife.
Worrying stock – Many of our reserves have grazing cattle and sheep. Dogs can easily cause extreme distress to stock unless kept closely under control, this can causes a risk to you as live stock like cows who have calves for example can stampede. Several dog walkers a year in the U.K are killed and many people injured after walking there dogs near live stock.
3. Please pass on the word to other dog owners. Education is the key to keeping our nature reserves beautiful and fulfilling.
Please help us keep the Trust nature reserves as they should be by encouraging other dog owners to use the reserves responsibly
Visit the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts Website for more information on Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve.
Skegness Attractions Star Rating for Gibraltar Nature Reserve 9/10