I didn’t know how much I was missing the walk until I saw the sea this morning at Mablethorpe. I had a horribly early start (5am to catch three trains and a bus and had been wondering why I wasn’t tucked up in my nice warm bed) but when I saw the huge expanse of golden sand and heard the sound of the waves I felt a surge of delight. The day was very straightforward, fortunately, as I have lost all my fitness, and am really feeling the 15 miles I have done. The first couple of hours were along the flat, firmly packed sands north of Mablethrope. The weather was hazy, but dry, and eventually the sun came out. I don’t think I saw more than three people the whole day – it is probably the most remote the walk has been so far. Perhaps the fact that it was a working day in February added to the solitude. Looking behind me, I could see my lone prints in the sand – I felt like Lawrence of Arabia – especially as I was wearing my attractive snood headgear. On checking my map, I saw that I was approaching a red flag zone – I wasn’t sure if it were an MOD driving range or some other danger (quick sand danced across my mind for a fleeting, unpleasant moment). I decided to skirt around the zone by moving inland. At this point there was some salt marsh, but nothing too difficult to cross. There were quite a few birds and I am sure I saw a hen-harrier – I shall have to consult the expert, Tom, when he joins me tomorrow. He’ll probably tell me it was just a gull when he sees the picture. The Humber Estuary is designated as one of the top ten locations for estuary life n the whole of Europe. There are many species of both plants and birds here that are endangered elsewhere. I saw quite a few egrets, but they seem positively old hat now. Apparently there are over 100,000 water fowl here in the winter, and there is also a flourishing population of both river and sea lampreys. It turned out that the danger was an MOD firing range, there were threatening signs around and lots of ugly concrete buildings and barbed wire, with no one and nothing to be seen apart from bits of old metal. At Donna Nook, I turned inland towards North Somercotes. There was a very dull 2 mile stretch down a flat straight road into the village, and it started to rain, so I was glad to each my very cosy B &B (see review). I am now in the highly recommended pub.