Staying at East Bank Lighthouse (Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse)
How to describe an experience with so many different facets?
What people have said:
‘Incredibly peaceful and relaxing. ‘Enfolds you like a friendly glove’.
‘Unbeatable sunrises and sunsets’. ‘Walking for miles and miles in the wild’
'Amazing wildlife’. ‘Wrapped in history’.
'views of over 20 miles in most directions'
The landscape surrounding the lighthouse is one of history, adventure and legend.
Views stretch for miles in most directions with the elevated lighthouse looking across areas that were once the bed of the sea and then marshland and now agricultural fields. This is a land of big sky's and open landscape, were the full sunrise and sunset can be observed from within the cosy luxury of the lighthouse.
This is a very special place for history, views, open air, walking and landscape. Although in a remote location, the Main towns of King's Lynn, Wisbech, Holbeach and Spalding all lie within half an hour journey. Being on the main A17, the lighthouse also makes an ideal jumping off point for exploring not only Lincolnshire but also Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, with many fascinating historic buildings, wildlife reserve's and seaside entertainments.
The lighthouse is a warm and cosy stay, with brand new thermostatic electric radiators (not storage radiators) in every room and a new high efficiency log burner with a basket of logs for your use.
All beds are new and have modern 13.5 tog duvets. the showers are electric with shaver points in each bathroom.
For those evenings when not out looking at the landscape, local wildlife or the goose collection, there is the games room with a multi game table of snooker or table tennis, together with a separate table football set. there are also many books to read including the Snow Goose book based on the lighthouse and Peter Scott, as well as his own books of ‘Happy The Man’.
Those with a historical bent will be fascinated by King's Lynn; once more important than London for trading under the Hanseatic League that took care on international trading including armed protection routes. This ran during the 13th and 15th centuries.
Others will be fascinated by the story of King John having lost his treasure in the marshes of the wash and became overwhelmed by the incoming tide. Interestingly, most believe that this was very close to the lighthouse, by the Cross Keys bridge and many attempts have been made to find it and still are - so who knows - you might get lucky! One thing though and that is that it is likely to be about 6 metres under the present ground level as the silt has built up over the years. Click here to find out more.
Lighthouse private nature reserve: Beside the lighthouse is our private nature reserve for breeding rare geese. We have some of the rarest geese in the world here, including Hawaiian and Red Breasted Geese. They are for your pleasure to look at but there is no access to this area. They are visited and fed once a day.
Seals: For wildlife spotting, what could be better than seal spotting in the river right outside the lighthouse itself. They sometimes come up the river with the tide and on a still day, if you look up and down the river, you might see a small black cone shape on the water and that is their head sticking out but they are very shy and will dive away if you approach or call out. The best way to see them is to look at the mud flats by the river entry on the opposite side of the river at low tide, through a spotting scope or binoculars. There are normally 10-20 of them pulled up on the mud, and looking like grey lumps more than anything else.
Binoculars: Don’t forget to bring your binoculars and birding scopes. Barn owls and Kestrels commonly hunt the sea wall right outside the windows, together with gulls, oystercatchers and many other coastal and inland birds.
Migratory Birds: Winter months from around November to the end of February are the time to see the famous big skeins of Pinkfoot and Brent geese flying overhead to overwinter from colder countries and from field to field. Colourful shellduck are also plentiful winter visitors. Although skeins of geese are often be seen from the lighthouse, they do move around from year to year depending on what crops are growing inland. Snettisham RSPB Click here reserve makes for particularly good viewing as does the WWT Welney washes reserve Click here. Norfolk Wildlife Ttrust Click here
Gulls: A twice daily spectacular morning and evening are black headed gulls as they fly following the river from their inland feeding grounds to Doughnut island that lies just a mile offshore and is the only island above high water in the whole of the vast Wash sea embayment.
Doughnut Island: Just a mile offshore is Doughnut Island, although its official name is the outer trial bank. A completely madcap scheme of the 1970’s that cost a huge amount of taxpayers money before being abandoned and now home to thousands of gulls. Read about it here.
Walking: The walks are primarily sea wall walks. The ten mile Sir Peter Scott Walk starts from just outside the main gate to the lighthouse but most people just follow it out to the main head of the river and back. The full ten mile walk ends at West Lynn and you can take a ferry ride across the Great Ouse river into King’s Lynn for dinner and a taxi or bus ride back. Please check the times the ferry is running before committing to this journey. Alternatively, you could drive one car (if you have two cars, just take one and park it and go back later for it with the other) or take a taxi to the ferry area and walk back to the lighthouse, which is our favorite method. For a description of the walk, please Click here for the ‘wimps guide’.
Please never go onto the mud at any stage of the tide for your safety
Fishing: The river is tidal but you can fish from the river bank beside the lighthouse for sea type fish including flounders and bass. The river sides are rock reinforced, so long casting rods and sea tackle are necessary. For baits, use mackerel from the supermarket or frozen black lug etc that can be had from Shipshape in King’s Lynn 01553 764058 This is a useful link to a fishing blog
Bugs and sea plants: Around the lighthouse, the coastal environment is rich in different forms of habitat, for the raised sea walls to the brackish rivers and salt wat of the Wash itself. Bug hunters will have a great time if they know what to look for and where, dependent on the time of year and there are many different coastal types of sea plants including Samphire (best in July and August), which is still collected today for sale in restaurants and local use. Click here
Paintings: There are many prints by Sir Peter Scott on the walls of the lighthouse for your pleasure and also some original paintings by Commander David Joel that originally restored the lighthouse from a ruin in 1985 and now therefore form part of the lighthouse history in themselves. There are also original paintings by lighthouse owner, artist and environmentalist Susan Hilton and these are for sale.
Susan is passionate about the environment and art, with much of her inspiration being drawn from nature and the dynamic that arises when buildings, landscape profiles and wildlife blend together.
She trained at the Sir John Cass and Wimbledon Schools of Art and has held many successful one woman exhibitions in London and around the country.
Painting in a wide range of medium’s Susan uses gouache for classic designs, chalk pastels for blending colour and atmospheric scenes and teaches silk painting from her studio in beautiful Wales.