‘Travelling Veteran’ visits Cleethorpes to find out if its ‘worst seaside resort in the UK’ label is justified

Dean Griffin, aka Travelling Veteran, on his visit to Cleethorpes
-Credit: (Image: travellingveteran)


A former soldier who prefers to “see for myself” what a place is like decided to make his first ever visit to Cleethorpes after hearing it described as “one of the UK’s worst seaside towns”.

Dean Griffin, who goes by the name Travelling Veteran on his social media platforms, said: “Cleethorpes is reported to be one of the worst seaside resorts. I had to visit recently for the first time to see whether or not it deserved the title.”

Dean was a lorry driver with the Royal Logistic Corps for six-and-a-half years and saw service in Bosnia and Iraq. He was medically discharged with PTSD and has since been making travel videos as a way to reach out to others with the condition or suffering other difficulties.

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“I can get to them through YouTube and try to give them experiences through my eyes,” said Dean. The former Londoner, who has been based in Northampton for the past 23 years, booked for Cleethorpes last weekend, mistakenly believing it to be Armed Forces Weekend.

“When I was there, I realised it was by no means one of the worst resorts in the UK. I enjoyed my time and the people are really nice and friendly and engaging – the locals love it and the visitors love it.

“It was far and away better than I thought it was going to be. There are other seaside resorts that are really bad and some that are really good, and Cleethorpes is by no means one of the bad ones.”

In Dean’s video review of the resort, he says he thinks Cleethorpes would be an ideal location for a couple of days or a short midweek break, believing families might find it hard to keep their kids occupied once they had tired of the amusements and the beach. He stayed at the Dovedale Hotel for bed and breakfast and had mostly favourable things to say about his stopover.

He also “highly recommends” going to Valentino’s Italian restaurant – “the food in there is amazing and the owner is a real character” – but the resort’s concrete donkey sculpture, in Pier Gardens, in tribute to Gladys Nuttall and her donkey rides, “wasn’t quite what I was expecting”.

Dean Griffin, aka Travelling Veteran, finds the Cleethorpes pelican sculpture underwhelming
Dean Griffin, aka Travelling Veteran, finds the Cleethorpes pelican sculpture underwhelming -Credit:travellingveteran

Dean was underwhelmed by the pelican sculpture at Pelican Waterfalls and similarly unimpressed by the Suggitts Lane railway bridge, listed on Tripadvisor as one of the places to visit. However, he did enjoy visiting the “smallest pub on the planet” – the Signal Box Inn.

The Travelling Veteran said in his video he was “surprised” when he tried to pop into the RAFA Club to “chat to some of the guys and see what they think about Cleethorpes” and was refused entry because he was not a member. He said afterwards: “That was disappointing; some do have strict membership codes. They wouldn’t let me in but hopefully they will reach out after the video and invite me in.”

Dean, who has recorded his travels to Thailand and Gibraltar - the latter by banger in a rally that involved 33 cars and covered 3,500 miles in a week - will be returning to this area for the Armed Forces Day commemorations. For him, what is the best thing he has discovered about Cleethorpes?

The Signal Box Inn is a hit with Travelling Veteran Dean
The Signal Box Inn is a hit with Travelling Veteran Dean -Credit:travellingveteran

“The best thing is the people. Even in the pizza place, it was the person running it who made it. I really like Cleethorpes, the people are so nice.”

Find more about the Travelling Veteran on YouTube on Instagram and on Facebook.