When we’re looking for a fun day out at the seaside in Lincolnshire filled with activities, the first place we usually think of is Skegness. This bright and boisterous resort town is known for its sandy beaches, amusement arcades on the pier, funfair rides, top-notch fish and chips, and ice cream parlours. Sounding good? Then read on, as we’ve compiled the best things to do in Skegness to make sure you have a fabulous time.

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Things to book before you go to Skegness:

Most activities in Skegness can be booked on entry, like the Pleasure Beach and Natureland Seal Sanctuary. But these are some things you could book ahead of time:

Pedalo rides on Skegness Boating Lake
🧊 The Ice Experience one-hour slot in the ice bar
🦈 General admission tickets at Skegness Aquarium

Want to stay overnight? Here are some great accommodation options:

🍳 White Lodge Guest House – lovely B&B in quiet area a short walk from the beach
🏨 The Northdale Hotel – our top choice for the best budget hotel in Skegness
👫 The Vine Hotel – beautiful luxury hotel in an 18th-century building

See our full guide to places to stay in Skegness for more options.

Is Skegness worth visiting?

Skegness is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a fun day out at the seaside. It’s especially good for families with children, as there are absolutely stacks of activities for kids.

When I was a kid myself, Skegness had a reputation as a bit of a grubby seaside resort town. The kind of place people would joke about as an underwhelming surprise honeymoon destination. But since I’ve moved back to Lincolnshire, I’ve found that “Skeg Vegas” has changed a lot, and has really upped its game!

The beaches that once had litter and water quality problems have been completely cleaned up, and now have Blue Flag status. There are so many more places to eat and drink around the town, and a much wider variety of things to see and do. Every time we visit these days, there’s something new to try.

Skegness Clock Tower
Skegness is Lincolnshire’s most popular seaside resort town

Skegness’s stock has risen to the point that The Times featured the town in its list of the 50 best beaches in the UK. People are taking notice, and with over 2 million visitors a year, Skegness is now among the top five seaside resorts in the UK for annual footfall.

This growing popularity does mean that our Skeg can get a bit crowded. On hot, sunny summer days, Lincolnshire folk head here en masse, and the roads pile up with traffic. Especially when there’s a good forecast for a weekend.

So, if you’re not a fan of busy beaches then it may be better to come out of season, during a weekday, or perhaps head to a quieter Lincolnshire coastal spot like Huttoft Beach or Anderby Creek.

But, if you’re set on hitting up Skegness – and we don’t blame you, we love it! – then here are our tips on the best activities in town.

Things to do in Skegness: on the beachfront

1. Hit the rides on the Pleasure Beach

Skegness Pleasure Beach is the main amusement park in town, with its big wheel and rollercoasters standing tall over the seafront. It has been the heartbeat of the town’s attractions for as long as I can remember.

The place has a traditional funfair feel, with all the classic rides you can imagine. Dodgems, cups n’ saucers, waltzers, pirate ships, runaway trains… they’re all here! And on the stalls in between you can buy candy floss, ice cream, and other sweet treats.

Pleasure Beach
Skegness Pleasure Beach is the town’s main amusement park

To go on the rides at Skegness Pleasure Beach you need to buy a wristband. These give you unlimited access, and you can buy them from cash desks on the sites. You can choose from a full day wristband (£25 or £20 off-peak) or evening wristband (£15).

Check out the Pleasure Beach website to find out about the other rides and attractions on offer.

2. Have fun on the beach

Skegness Central Beach is genuinely one of the best beaches in Lincolnshire. It’s a huge, sprawling beach with flat, golden sand that is perfect for games or sunbathing. When the tide is low, the stretch of sand is seemingly endless.

There are lots of fun activities to try on the beach too. Lifeguards patrol through the summer months, and you can go for a swim, or even a surf when it’s windy enough. Along the beach you can also go for donkey rides or try a round of adventure golf at Atlantis.

Skegness Beach morning
Skegness Beach is quiet in the early morning before visitors arrive

Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach through summer, but if you wander either side of the Central Beach there are areas where you can take them on a lead.

3. Enjoy the views from the end of the pier

Skegness Pier is one of the defining landmarks of the town’s seafront, protruding out onto the water. It’s best known for its amusement arcades – which we’ll come onto in a minute – but if you walk out to the end, it’s simply a lovely spot to enjoy the views.

There are benches dotted along the pier where you can relax and gaze across the beach landscape. Take a romantic walk right to the end, and you will see padlocks tied to the railings by lovestruck couples.

Skegness Pier
Skegness Pier gives you great views of the beach

4. Play amusement arcade games inside Skegness Pier

You will find amusement arcades all along the Grand Parade in Skegness, but the biggest and best in town is inside the pier building. Walk through and you will be dazzled by the bright colours from the carpets to the casino slots.

There is a lot more gaming to be done at Skegness Pier besides just the arcade machines. You can come here for laser quest, escape rooms or bowling, and there’s a soft play area for kids as well.

Things to do in Skegness: around town

5. Go shopping in the town centre

Skegness’s iconic clock tower stands at the foot of Lumley Road and the High Street, which is the main thoroughfare for shopping. Walk up here and you’ll find a mixture of high-street brands and local bric-a-brac and souvenir shops.

We do have a favourite shop in Skegness. Shops often come and go, but Spalls of Skegness is one that has stood the test of time. This quirky gift shop has been around for years, and it’s a real treasure trove of goodies, from plush toys to solar-powered ornaments.

Spalls is our favourite souvenir shop in Skegness

6. Take a boat ride on the lake

If you are looking for fun and relaxing activities, a boat ride on the lake is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Skegness outdoors.

You will find the Boating Lake just off the promenade at the south end of the beach. Head here and hire one of the big red pedaloes, which are available for 20-minute slots.

Boating Lake
Taking a boat ride is one of the best things to do in Skegness outdoors

7. Meet seals (and other creatures!) at Natureland

“Does Skegness have a zoo?” is a question we hear a lot. Skegness doesn’t technically have a zoo, but Natureland Seal Sanctuary is the closest thing to it.

Lincolnshire is a great place to encounter seals in the wild. From October to December, you can see grey seal pups during the birthing season up at Donna Nook. Occasionally, the pups become separated from their mothers, or get ill or injured – which is where Natureland Seal Sanctuary in Skegness comes in. They rescue pups, rehabilitate them, and release them back into the wild.

You can visit the seals at Natureland’s seal hospital, learn all about them and the work that goes on here. There are more creatures to meet as well; in addition to the seals you will find penguins, meerkats, alpacas and more. At £11 for adults and £9 for kids during the main season (April to October), this is a really fun and educational family activity.

8. Have a picnic in Tower Gardens

If you want to escape the noise for a while in Skegness, Tower Gardens is a place you can find some peace.

This lush green park and gardens is only a short walk away from the beach and makes an ideal spot for a summer picnic. There’s a lovely little lake where you’re sure to meet some ducks, and lots of space to sit down.

On summer weekend afternoons you can also catch jazz, swing or brass bands playing from the park’s bandstand.

Things to do in Skegness: Tower Gardens
Tower Gardens is a great spot for a picnic

Things to do in Skegness: food and drink

9. Have breakfast at Cosy Corner Cafe

If you’re arriving early in Skegness, then you can start the day with a proper fried breakfast at Cosy Corner Cafe.

This friendly local café is our favourite spot in town for a full English. The prices are good, the portions are large and the food is delicious! It’s open until mid-afternoon as well, so you could come for lunch if that fits better for your day out in Skegness.

Cosy Corner Cafe
Enjoying a full English breakfast at Cosy Corner Cafe!

10. Pirate-themed fish and chips at the Trawler’s Catch

Fish and chip shops are a staple of any English seaside town. You don’t always see pirate-themed fish and chips though, which is what makes the Trawler’s Catch in Skegness stand out.

Look out for the pirate scene with hook-hands, barrels and cannons as you walk along Grand Parade. And keep your eyes peeled for the cannons firing off with smoke!

The fish and chip portions are very generous and the prices are reasonable. There is a lot of space inside, or you can sit on the benches outside the front when the sun is out.

11. Hit the beer garden at the Suncastle

Another place where you can make the most of good weather in Skegness is the Suncastle, which has a huge beer garden close to the beach. There’s usually a great programme of live music here through the afternoon and evening, as well as other events like karaoke.

It’s a great place to bring kids, as there are often live children’s entertainers on the lineup, not to mention a three-storey soft play area inside.

You can eat here as well, with a menu of pub food classics and a carvery on Sundays.

Suncastle beer garden
The beer garden at the Suncastle is great for sunny days in Skegness

12. Go for cocktails at the Ice Experience

One of the newest additions to the Skegness entertainment scene is the Ice Experience, where you can drink cocktails surrounded by ice sculptures at the -14°C ice bar, Avalanche.

You can book tickets on the Ice Experience website for a one-hour slot in the ice bar, complete with igloo seating and an ice cave. Drinks are included in the ticket price.

Things to do in Skegness when it rains

If the heavens happen to open during your visit, there are still plenty of things to do in Skegness when it rains. Here are a few of our favourite ideas.

13. Visit Skegness Aquarium

Skegness is home to Lincolnshire’s largest aquarium, which is a fun place to meet a variety marine life. You can meet different species of shark, as well as an octopus, a lion fish, moray eels, and a variety of other sea creatures.

You can even meet the sharks face-to-face on a scuba experience, the “Shark Educational Dive”, which is available for ages 10+.

Perched right next to the Boating Lake, Skegness Aquarium is a great way to spend a couple of hours whether it’s raining or not. It’s very much tailored towards kids, with a fun pirate theme and a soft play area as well.

Skegness Aquarium
Skegness is home to Lincolnshire’s biggest aquarium

14. Go bowling

Ten-pin bowling is always a popular activity on rainy days, and there are a few places you can go for a game in Skegness.

Empire Bowl, an American-themed bowling alley next to Tower Gardens, has ten full-size lanes. Another option is Skegness Bowl, which is inside Skegness Pier.

15. See a show at Embassy Theatre

If you want to catch some live entertainment in Skegness, the Embassy Theatre is the premier venue for it. There is a variety of events on the programme, not only plays but also comedy, live music, celebrities in conversation, and more.

The theatre has a modern feel, with comfy seats and plenty of leg room. It has quite an intimate setting, with a good view of the stage from anywhere in the auditorium.

Check out what’s coming up on the Embassy Theatre website.

Things to do in Skegness when it rains: Embassy Theatre
On rainy days in Skegness, catch a show at the Embassy Theatre

Map of things to do in Skegness

You can click the map below to browse the locations of the things to do in Skegness we’ve featured in this article:

Map of things to do in Skegness

How to get to Skegness

Skegness is easy to reach by road from Lincoln, directly along the A158. The journey typically takes a little more than an hour in normal traffic.

Skegness also has a train station. You can’t travel directly from Lincoln, but there are services from Grantham, Sleaford and Nottingham.

Another option is the number 56 bus, which takes about 2 hours from Lincoln Central station to Skegness. It runs roughly once an hour from Monday to Saturday, and a few times each day on Sundays.

Skegness Interchange
Skegness has a rail station with services from Grantham, Sleaford and Nottingham

FAQs about visiting Skegness

What is Skegness famous for?

Skegness is most famous for its seaside attractions like the beach, pier, amusement park and boating lakes. The town also has some celebrity connections; for example, legendary England and Liverpool football goalkeeper Ray Clemence was born in Skegness.

Is Skegness safe?

Skegness is generally a very safe place to visit. The town does have the highest crime rate in Lincolnshire, but that’s often the case for a tourist hotspot, and Lincolnshire overall is one of the UK’s safest counties. Most crime that occurs in Skegness is petty crime, like theft, so be careful with your belongings.

Is Skegness sea ok to swim in?

Yes, you can swim in the sea in Skegness. Skegness Beach has lifeguard cover throughout the summer months.

Have you visited Skegness before? Please feel free to share your own recommendations on things to do in Skegness in the comments below.

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Planning a day out in Skegness and need ideas? We compile the best things to do in Skegness for a fun-filled time on the Lincolnshire seaside. #Skegness #visitlincolnshire

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