Lincolnshire’s popular North Sea coast is not always blessed with sunshine from horizon to horizon, despite evidence to the contrary dominating local tourist literature. The sand may be golden, but the broad skies in this low-lying region are frequently a whole-hemisphere masterpiece in glorious grayscale.
Perched on a sand dune with a 360-degree panorama of the turbid North Sea and modest Lincolnshire Wold hills, this unexpectedly educational gem is ideal for taking time out to appreciate and identify the fluffy protagonists of Britain’s often dramatic skies.
The Cloud Bar was installed in 2009, and designated an “official cloud spotting area” by the Cloud Appreciation Society, a United Kingdom-based organization averse to the perceived monotony and dreariness of the clear blue skies that blight many global resorts.
The “bar” is not a bar in the conventional sense, as there is nowhere to buy a drink. This said, there’s nothing to stop you enjoying a beverage you’ve brought yourself while you drink in the ever-changing vistas.
The brainchild of artist and cloud appreciator, Michael Trainor, the bar consists of a raised platform that somewhat mimics the hides used by birdwatchers and is decorated with a trio of concrete cumuli.
As an aid to atmospheric observations, the platform is equipped with five rotatable convex mirrors pointing skyward, and a handy “cloud menu,” a Cloud Appreciation Society-produced identification guide to the various types of cloud you may be fortunate enough to spot during your visit. The guide is complemented by an educational range of cloudy facts to discourage you from ever looking at a cloudy sky again without a due sense of wonder and fascination.
Should the clouds take exception to being watched and decide, as they frequently do, to rain on you, then there is a sheltered spot and a bench provided beneath the platform to take refuge from the elements battering the broad beach beyond.