Airstreams in Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve with showers

Spot avian spectacles from sandy marshes at one of Eastern England’s key birding sites.

Popular camping styles for Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve

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Airstreams in Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve with showers guide

Overview

For its tiny extent (under two square miles!) Gibraltar Point NNR, south of popular beach resort Skegness, packs in an impressive array of landscapes. Two banks of sand dunes are centred in a tract of salt marsh, while bordering it to the east is the sand, mud, and shingle beachscape that forms the northern edge of The Wash—one of England’s largest estuaries. These contrasting habitats make the reserve and its encircling marshes a mecca for many bird species to be seen while walking the trails winding through the reserve. The closest camping is at Skegness, three miles north, or west via footpath around Wainfleet All Saints.

Where to go

Skegness

Chances are that visitors will arrive at Gibraltar Point NNR from Skegness—Lincolnshire’s most popular seaside resort. Skegness excels in traditional seaside activities with a long, tan sandy beach, pleasure pier, funfair, boating lake, and crazy golf course. Follow the beach and dunes out to the reserve on foot from Skegness’ seafront. Camping is mostly found in busy holiday parks and caravan parks around the edges of town.

Wainfleet All Saints

Not the closest place to the reserve by road yet only a leisurely walk across the marshes, the handsome old town of Wainfleet All Saints has amassed several excellent, laid-back campsites in its immediate environs. It also has a station on the Nottingham-Skegness line. A network of paths leads out across the marshes, which attract much of the same birdlife that the reserve does, and you can continue by footpath via Havenhouse Station to reach the reserve’s North Car Park area.

North Car Park Area

Coming from Skegness three miles north, this is the first part of the reserve you reach. From the car park and picnic area, you can access the reserve’s main circular trail, which takes in a mix of saltmarsh, dunes, and lakes. Most bird hides are in this zone too. The nearest camping is around Wainfleet All Saints, where there are a few choices.

Visitor Centre Area

Continuing south beyond the North Car Park area, you’ll hit the NNR’s heart—where you can find a car park, picnic area, and visitor centre, which informs about the birds that are spottable here, from skylarks to brent geese. Pick up the reserve’s circular trail, offering a taster of the area’s various habitats, or walk out to a viewpoint over The Wash. Several campsites can be found around nearby Wainfleet All Saints.

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