Full marks to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust for the splendid new visitor centre at Gibraltar Point which opened earlier this summer. The spectacular new £1m building replaces the former centre, which suffered extensive flood damage during the storm surge in December 2013. The trust is taking no chances this time – the building is raised on stilts to protect it from any future flooding.
Spectacular is not too strong an adjective, in my opinion. The Trust’s contractors John Martin-Hoyes have managed to retain the best of the previous building – its much loved restaurant, shop and education facility – in an imaginative new design concept which reminds me a bit of a ship at sea, with its indoor and outdoor decks. It’s the same lovely wilderness view, but now you can see much more of it as you lunch at leisure, either behind floor-to-ceiling glass or al fresco. This is a great time to get out there just now, as summer gives way to autumn and wildfowl will be on the move.
By the way, the red-brick charm of the original outpost has not been entirely lost, as the old coastguard building next to the construction site is being refurbished too.
On the way there or back, you might also drop by the lovely gardens at Gunby Hall before the winter sets in. Apple day on Sunday October 9, is one of the highlights of the year – you can discover apple varieties grown in the gardens, and even bring your own apples to be identified. Craft stalls and apple-based treats in the tea-room will provide the finishing touches to a memorable day out.