Reviewed by Janine Rumble
If you are on holiday in Skegness, or if you live nearby and are looking for something to keep everyone entertained then a visit to the new look Skegness Pier is an absolute must. Whatever the weather, Skegness Pier on Grand Parade in Skegness, has something for everyone and will keep everyone entertained for either a few hours or an entire day, all year round.
We arrived as the pier opened at 11am and we were still there at 6pm having enjoyed many of the new and the existing attractions. Since Skegness Pier was recently taken over by the Mellors Group, they have invested £1 million pounds to cement Skegness as this year’s ultimate staycation location. There have been many changes to the attractions on offer and having visited Skegness Pier many times previously, I was very intrigued to see the changes. I was not disappointed in the new attractions and knowing that this is a work in progress, I am looking forward to returning in the future when more of the updates have been completed.
The brand-new attractions for 2021 include ‘Clip ‘n Climb’, which includes 14 different climbing walls suitable for all ages and abilities and is classed as ‘an exhilarating climbing centre, that caters for all the family’ and is the ‘only one of its kind on the East coast. Although we did not partake of the climbing wall, we were able to watch children and adults alike climb a multitude of walls and posts before flinging themselves backwards and coming back to earth. The highest of safety measures were undertaken and each person using the climbing walls was given a 30-minute introduction, which included harness fitting and a safety briefing, then you have a full 55 minutes climbing in the arena. All participants were monitored and supported by pier staff. I watched as one small child climbed a series of green pipes and flung himself off, with the mechanism above him, bringing him back down to the ground slowly and carefully. I also watched a father and son duo climbing separate walls to the top, hitting a red button before abseiling back down. All were far braver than I, but they all looked like they had a great time. For the very brave, there is the ‘Leap of Faith’ where you climb up a pole onto a jumping platform and then you leap out to see if you can catch the trapeze in front of you. Prices are adults and children: £12.95, family (2 adults and 2 children): £40.00 and the leap of faith is £2.50. See their website www.skegnesspier.co.uk for clips of ‘Clip ‘n Climb’.
Another new part for 2021 is ‘Playa at the Pier’, a new venue that is situated on the pier deck and consists of a fabulous bar area that sells a wide range of the usual alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including cocktails and stylish pool pods. This new part of the pier looks amazing and so inviting with seating both inside and outside of the venue. There are now so many more places to sit outside on the pier deck. The actual bar is somewhere I would like to sit and while away an hour or two with friends and family whilst looking out to sea. The prices were all very reasonable. It was nice to see so many different places to sit and admire the coast. According to their website, they will be having live entertainment there too so I will have to return another evening when there is entertainment.
The actual pier deck remains the same as before, but now has the addition of lights strung from post to post, which gives it a nice effect. Music is played throughout the pier and was quite loud on the pier deck, which detracted from the nice views and quiet contemplation of people sat on the benches at the other end of the pier. I think it might have been better for there to be quieter music at the bottom of the pier where people are sat looking quietly out to sea.
Also, on the pier deck were 3 stands, one serving hot chocolate and doughnuts, one serving ice creams and one serving hot food, including hot dogs, pizzas and chips. All were very reasonably priced and were incredibly popular based on the queues outside them.
Below the pier on the south side is another bar, the Beach Bar with a large variety of draughts, bottled drinks, soft drinks, mixers, shots, spirits, wine and cocktails. It is a great sun trap and lovely to sit outside and enjoy the suns rays.
The pier is very much a work in progress with old and new attractions sitting side by side with a new attraction still being built as an addition to the Captain Kids World, called Hero Zone, which according to their website, will offer a fully immersive play arena like no other. According to their website, once you enter the Hero Zone arena, you load up your ball blaster, choose your team and shoot foam balls into an array of targets to help your team achieve the highest score and win the game. The little ones will not only discover new ways to have fun, but they will also master key skills such as co-ordination and relationship building. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times and the cost for the child under 12 is £4.00.
The Captain Kids World is a large indoor adventure play area that consists of different obstacles, slides and ball pools. It was full of children excitedly playing whilst their parents/carers sat on the tables in the middle enjoying food and drink from the nearby Coffee Lounge. The price for children under 3 is £2.95 and children under 12 £4.95.
Upstairs, part of the inside pier is being used as storage for arcade machines as they continue to update the pier, with a walkway from inside to outside the pier, along here there is a lovely little restaurant called the Seaside View Café with great seats overlooking the sea front. Here we chose to sit and have a drink. The staff were all lovely and the views were amazing. Lots to see from the large windows. They also have a large range of food from breakfast meals, paninis, toasties, jacket potatoes to main meals and they were all very reasonably priced.
Throughout the pier, both upstairs and downstairs are the usual arcades, with all the usual machines you would expect to see in an arcade. The machine we really enjoyed was the Hologate Virtual Reality system, which is exclusive to Skegness Pier. With the help of one of the pier team (sorry I didn’t get his name) we put on virtual reality headsets and headphones and were soon completely immersed in a game on a planet where you had to shoot zombies and collect weaponry and work as a team, having never done this type of thing before, we felt it would have been good to have had some further instruction on what to expect and what to do once we were immersed in the game. It was great fun and a truly unique experience, sadly we did not fare too well, but really enjoyed the experience. The cost of this is £5.00 for 5 minutes.
Downstairs, under the pier is another arcade, a 10-pin bowling arcade, the Hollywood Bar and Diner, Laser Quest and the Escape Rooms. It was much quieter down there with lots of seating to resemble a traditional American diner. We went bowling and besides us there was only ever a couple of people there as well. The Hollywood Bar and Diner serves delicious gourmet burgers and a wide variety of drinks.
Laser Quest was brilliant! According to the website, it is ‘the ultimate laser tag adventure game. The game is played in a vast glow in the dark maze, with loads of bends and barrels to hide behind. Every game includes a safety briefing, kit up and each game lasts approximately 15 minutes.’
We had never done Laser Quest before and we were not quite sure what to do or what to expect, but B went through everything with us and explained everything and answered all of our questions. We had a safety talk, put on our packs, grabbed our guns and off we went. I honestly can say, it was a great fun experience, running around in the dark, hiding behind walls and shooting at each other. We laughed so much. We all really enjoyed Laser Quest and would all highly recommend it. Pricing is 1 game is £5.95 and last for 15 minutes or 2 games are £8.95 and 3 games are £10.50. You can also purchase 1 family game (2 adults and 2 children) for £21.00 or 2 family games for £30.00. These are purchased on site.
Next, we did the Witchcraft & Wizardry Escape Room. There are 4 different escape rooms to choose from, each with its own level of difficulty and these must be booked online on their website. The 4 rooms are Witchcraft & Wizardry (which we chose being Harry Potter fans), Carnival of Curiosities, Escape the Seven Seas and Prison Breakout. Having never done an escape room before, again B went through everything with us, explaining the rules and what to expect and answered all of our questions. So as not to ruin it for anyone else, I will not tell you anymore about the escape room, apart from to say that we had a great time, if a little frustrating and no, we did not escape, but we will definitely be back to attempt the other rooms. Pricing is £17.95 for adults and £12.95 for children.
Lastly, we went bowling, we had 2 games and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. You are able to wear your own shoes, but can borrow the bowling shoes if you wish. Pricing is £6.00 adults (12+), £4.50 children (12 under) and £18 for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children).
All in all, we had a brilliant day out. To be honest, I thought, having been to the pier numerous times before, that we would look at the attractions and go, but instead we spent all day there, enjoying all of the attractions. Although each attraction has its own price, you can buy a wristband, which are new for 2021 and which makes things cheaper as there are a number of different offers and family packages to suit all budgets and all the attractions you would use, which we think is great. The pricings can be found on their website www.skegnesspier.co.uk. You can buy a 1, 2 or 7 day junior wristband with access to the softplay areas, a 1, 2 or 7 day activity wristband, where you can have one experience in the Hero Zone, 10-Pin Bowling, Laser Quest and Clip ‘N Climb or a 1, 2 or 7 day unlimited activity wristband, so you can access any of the attractions as often as you would like all day. We were given unlimited access wristbands for the day and could have repeated certain attractions throughout the day, but there was so much to keep us entertained that we really did not have the time to.
Their website states ‘Great family entertainment all year round! Located in sunny Skegness with beautiful sea views, this famous landmark is a one stop destination for all the family’ and this is certainly true. I highly recommend a visit to Skegness Pier. All the staff we met were polite, smiley and helpful, especially B. The facilities, although dated were clean. There were numerous hand sanitising stations dotted around and almost everyone wore masks so we felt safe at all times. The pier in places, is a little old and dated, but with all the new upgrades taking place, I am sure it will be looking its best in the near future. It was lovely to see so many people on the pier enjoying themselves and highly recommend you take a visit. So, next time you are in the area, pop in and have a great day out too.
Rating: I give Skegness Pier 5/5.
For more information please visit the Skegness Pier website here.