Anderby Creek Cloud Bar, Lincolnshire
Anderby Creek is not somewhere you arrive at by accident. In fact, I went looking for it and still struggled to find it after driving through deepest and darkest Lincolnshire. Part of the problem is due to the fact that it doesn't consist of a great deal bar a large number of caravans and a wide expanse of (very pleasant) sandy beach. However since 1 April 2009 it has also been the location of the world's first 'Official Cloudspotting Area'. As member number 14364 of the Cloud Appreciation Society it was a personal must-see.
The Anderby Creek Cloud Bar, to give its official title, came into being after a disused beach shelter was given a new lease of life as part of the Bathing Beauties project. Designed by Michael Trainor, it's a simple wooden (larch I believe), building featuring a number of cloud spotting menus, some cloud viewing seating, (which admittedly is better to look at than to sit on), and some slightly Heath Robinson styled self-operating parabolic cloud-mirrors - to aid in the viewing of clouds across the wide East coast skies.
I arrived as the sun was coming up and if nothing else, the view of the North Sea from the Cloud Bar’s viewing platform was worth the journey alone. When it opened earlier in the year the weather wasn’t very kind at all, in fact the day was marred by, well, by clear blue skies. I had no such problem during my visit, in fact quite the opposite in so much that almost as soon as the sun appeared it disappeared behind a thick unrelenting band of Altostratus. Not the most attractive of clouds I suppose, but cloud all the same.
It may seem a little perverse to travel any kind of distance to view something that’s available to you outside your front door but the Cloud Bar is worth a visit nevertheless. As Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of The Cloud Appreciation Society, said: "The Cloud Bar is an inspired way to remind the public that some of nature's most varied and beautiful displays take place daily above our heads". Something we could all do with being reminded of, eh?