Beach Bivvy – Wild Camping – Saltfleet Lincolnshire

I’m a dreamer, I’ll hold my hand up and admit that. I kill many a monotonous hour at work by day dreaming of what to do or where to go next for an adventure. One such dream that I conjured up a while ago was to Bivvy on a beach in amongst the sand dunes. The place I was picturing is a beach I visited in South Australia where I went on a Four Wheel Driving Trip over the Xmas & New Year period on 2003/2004. I had the image in my head of those yellow dunes rolling down towards a deserted beach and a crystal clear sea…. I told you I was a dreamer, Back to reality though.

My mate Ray and I decided we would head out for a quick Wild Camp somewhere this weekend, we would find a spot out of the way, cook food, drink beer and I’d get some more time lapsing recorded with the GoPro. We initially thought that we might find some moorland in the ‘glorious’ Peak District but then the wild idea of heading for the dunes entered my head. I fired up my laptop, loaded up Google Earth and zoomed in to the Lincolnshire Coastline just north of Mablethorpe. We wanted somewhere that we would be inconspicuous and wouldn’t have to dodge the crowds as it was the final week of the school holidays. Saltfleet was the first place we looked at, I zoomed in as far as possible, found a nice set of dunes and a place to park in the village via Google Street View where the car would be safe. We then chucked our Bivvy bags, sleeping bags etc in our backpacks and headed eastward.

Saltfleet Haven
Saltfleet Haven

We arrived in Saltfleet at 15:00 and found it to be a lovely quaint little village with some very nice houses. We parked on Pump Lane (sorry if we were outside your house) as it would look like the car wasn’t out of place or abandoned. We loaded up with our bags and headed for the Public footpath to the beach at Saltfleet Haven. The Haven is a very interesting little tidal port that has seen action since the 1400s, have a quick read of the sign that is pictured above for more info.

Message in a bottle?
Message in a bottle?
Crepuscular Rays
Crepuscular Rays
Saltfleet Sand Dunes
Saltfleet Sand Dunes

We walked along the footpath until we reached the start of the dunes, the place where we had chosen though was around a mile or so northward up the beach. I had checked the tide times before leaving home and low tide was at 14:00, with high tide due at 20:00, that was very convenient as I wanted to make sure we weren’t going to be swept away during the night :-).

High Tide on Saltfleet Beach? Not tonight it wasn't
High Tide point on Saltfleet Beach? Not tonight it wasn’t

Thankfully we managed to find a nice spot at about 16:00 in the area we had pin pointed on Google Earth, all that was left to do now was to relax and lap up the surroundings while we waited for the the beach to clear. There wasn’t that many people about at all which was reassuring, we were bivvying so there was no rush, it’s just a matter of chucking the Bivvy down in a flat spot and then going to sleep.

GoPro Hero 3 Time Lapsing the Sunset
GoPro Hero 3 Time Lapsing the Sunset
GoPro Hero 3 Time Lapsing the Sunset
GoPro Hero 3 Time Lapsing the Sunset

The tide was rolling in, the sun was slowly dropping and the GoPro was time lapsing. It really was a great evening, it was nice to sit in one spot for 8 hours and watch the world go by. We had the sound of birds on the marsh behind the dunes, the seagulls above and the ships going in and out of the Humber Estuary further up the coast.

Cheapo (free) Karrimor Pots and Cheapo Stove
Cheapo (free) Karrimor Pots and Cheapo Stove
The moon is rising
The moon rising
2 x Army Issue GoreTex Bivi/Bivy/Bivvy Bags
2 x Army Issue GoreTex Bivi/Bivy/Bivvy Bags
Newcaslte Brown Ale for Nigel
Newcastle Brown Ale in memory of Nigel

We eventually decided to call it a night at around midnight, I had bought the Army issue tarp with me so after chucking or Bivvy bags down I set it up above our heads using a walking pole and a few bits of wood from the beach as stakes for the paracord.

Sunrise from the Bivvy
Sunrise from the Bivvy
Sunrise on the first day of June 2014
Sunrise on the first day of June 2014

I awoke at about 04:00 to the sight of a band of red clouds on the horizon as dawn was arriving, It was still a little early so I managed to fall back to sleep for a while before sun rise. When the time came I was really glad we had pitched in that spot, I could stay in my Bivvy and enjoy the views without even moving…. It was bliss. The sound of the waves crashing on the beach, the skylarks and also the odd Cuckoo from the trees beyond the marshes.

2 x Army Issue Goretex Bivvy Bags and an Issue Tarp
2 x Army Issue Goretex Bivvy Bags and an Issue Tarp
Early Morning on Saltfleet Sand Dunes
Early Morning on Saltfleet Sand Dunes

I lay watching the proceedings for around an hour before I eventually got up to make a coffee… A very strong coffee indeed as I knew I would perhaps be tired later due to the lack of sleep. We packed everything away in about 5 minutes flat, that’s what I love about bivvying, roll everything up, chuck it in your backpack and you’re away.

Making our way back to the car over Saltfleet Beach towards Saltfleet Haven
Making our way back to the car over Saltfleet Beach towards Saltfleet Haven
High Tide at Saltfleet Haven
High Tide at Saltfleet Haven

We walked back along the beach, over the dunes and up to Saltfleet Haven where the boats were floating due to the tide being high. In no time at all we were back at the car again, it had been one of those wild camps that I will remember for a long while. It was my first beach Bivvy and I’ve no doubt I’ll be finding sand in my kit for years to come 🙂

5 thoughts on “Beach Bivvy – Wild Camping – Saltfleet Lincolnshire

  1. Why bivy, just cowboy camp under the stars. Cracking stuff Dean.

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    1. There was rain forecast that night or we would have, did that many a time when bushcrafting in the local forest… i’m still finding sand in all my kit after this trip, got it in my camera and everything 🙂

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  2. I’ve never been attracted to bivvy bags, when you can get single skin tents the same weight or even lighter. You get all that room to sleep, stretch, cook, read and relax, fully protected. I can however see the point of them on a beach, as here, which looks a lot of fun.

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    1. I love bivvying, being able to open my eyes and enjoy a view without having to open a tent door is bliss. not a fan of bivvying in bad weather though, or when there are lots of midges about. When I camped up on Bamford Edge last year my face got bitten during the night by the swines 🙂

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