Chapel St Leonards (Inns On The Edge) Walk
Chapel St Leonards
Chapel St Leonards lies on the coast at the southern edge of the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park
The walk will take in the village, surrounding countryside and the coast.
The Coastal Country Park stretches along the coast from Sandilands to Chapel St Leonards, and inland to Hogsthorpe, Mumby, Anderby and Huttoft. There are miles of stunning sandy beaches, wildlife packed nature reserves and varied attractions including the North Sea Observatory, Cloud Bar, Round and Round House and Sound Tower.
Partner organisations are working together to provide high quality facilities for people, better protection for wildlife and landscape and increased opportunities for people to experience and enjoy this part of the Lincolnshire coast.
The Inns on the Edge project is funded by Historic England to look at the significance of rural pubs along the Lincolnshire coast. As well as researching the history of these valued historic pubs the project will also look at the pressures on these businesses and the opportunities for them to thrive and innovate.
Starting point: The Green, Chapel St Leonards
Grid reference: TF 561 722
This walk will take you past a number of pubs including The Vine, The Ship Inn and the Trafalga Inn.
The first Vine Hotel was built in the 19th century. Chapel St Leonards was a small agricultural village with tourism in its infancy. A 1926 advert posted in the Nottingham Journal tells us that The Vine was ‘ideal for restful holidays, splendid sands and natural sea hills.’ In 1928 the Skegness Standard reported the sea air at Chapel St Leonards provided a ‘champagne-like affect’, that left visitors with the desire to ‘walk on air’. In 1936/7 The Vine was rebuilt by Thomas Smith and Sons Ltd, based in Mansfield.
The Griffin Pub - The pub name ‘Griffin’ is synonymous with the mythological creature of the same
name and supposedly the offspring of a lion and eagle. Built during the first half of the 20th century as a modest private residence and surgery rather than a pub, The Griffin is one of the oldest buildings along this section of Sea Road. A 1960s map reveals only a few houses in the immediate area, the pub surrounded mainly by fields.
In the 16th century the village was known as Mumby Chapel and extended out into what is now the sea but in 1570 a storm destroyed almost the whole village including the church. The church you see
today was built in the 18th century with the west tower built in 1901 in the Arts & Craft style.
Originally a beerhouse, The Ship Inn is among the oldest pubs in Chapel St Leonards. Built during the early 19th century as a house or smallholding. In 1888, The Ship was sold to brewers Soulby and Son. In 1897, a full license (six days beer and wine license) was granted to Thomas Short. A 1900 OS Map revealed there was once a long rectangular building behind the pub which would have served as a workshop and garage. As tourism to the coast increased, so did business opportunities. In addition to repairing vehicles, the pub made caravans and supplied bacon and poultry. In the first half of the 20th century, a camping ground was added.
The house on the right, just after point 7, and at the bend was formerly the Hogsthorpe Workhouse. It was built in 1640 to house the local poor and converted to nine cottages in 1831.
Chapel Point Nature Area is managed by Lincolnshire County Council. The pond forms the centre piece of the reserve and is central to the wide variety of wildlife found in the area. Opposite, and sitting high on the sea wall is the North Sea Observatory. Opened in 2018 the building holds information about local history and wildlife as well as a gallery space and a café, Seascape.
The Trafalga was built during the first half of the 20th century as a domestic dwelling.
It is named after the famous British naval victory over the French and Spanish fleets in 1805, with the pub’s name Trafalgar colloquialized with the removal of the ‘r’.
The Admiral Bewbow - Advertised as a ‘small friendly bar with a nautical feel’. The building was originally a public toilet and workers’ hut before being converted in 1997 to a pub. Inside it is fitted out with wood reclaimed from old groynes from Chapel beach. While the building may not be very old, the pub takes its name from Vice Admiral John Benbow, a 17th century Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy, considered the Nelson of his times. Benbow achieved fame in the battles of Beachy Head, Barfleur and La Hogue.
- 1From The Green walk east along Sea Road, signed St Leonards church and Skegness. Walk past The Griffin and Village Hall to the crossroads.
- 2Follow the path to the right of the church to a kissing gate on the right. Follow School Lane to its junction with Keeling Street.
- 3Go through the gate and follow the path to the left to a junction of paths. Turn right, towards the houses. Follow the path straight on, through several gates to a road, next to The Ship Inn.
- 4Turn left, cross the drain, turn left and then almost immediately right along a footpath between houses. Cross the bridge and walk straight ahead across the field to a hedge corner and fingerpost. Continue straight on along the field to the corner.
- 5Cross the bridge and turn left along the path between hedges to junction with a tarmac lane. Turn left and follow the lane for approx 75m. Turn right onto a footpath and bear diagonally left across the field to the corner and fingerpost.
- 6Go through the gap in the hedge and walk straight ahead, keeping the hedge on your right, to a road.
- 7Turn right and follow the road, Workhouse Lane.
- 8At the junction with Stones Lane continue straight on.
- 9At the next junction, where the road bends to the right, continue straight ahead along the no through road, Maiden Lane. Continue straight on into Nelson Villa Caravan Park and follow the driveway to the right of the house before bearing right to a gate in the fence line.
- 10Go through the gate, turn right, and follow the path between fences and then left beside a drain to a bridge.
- 11Cross the bridge and after walking between the chalets bear diagonally left across the grass to the road. Turn left and at the T-junction turn right and leave Eastfields Park.
- 12Turn left and at the T-junction cross the road with care and turn right.
- 13Turn left opposite The Trafalga, onto Ancaster Avenue, and almost immediately turn left along the footpath to the sea wall.
- 14Turn right and follow the promenade for approx. 800m (0.5 mile) to Chapel Pullover.
- 15Turn right to return to The Green and the start point. To visit the Admiral Benbow beach bar continue along the promenade for approx 100m.
The walk uses field paths, quiet lanes, roadside pavements and may be muddy in places.
There are no stiles on this walk, but you may encounter livestock.