East Yorkshire – Holderness and Spurn Point

18th July 2022 was predicted to be the hottest day ever, EVER, in the UK and we were setting off for a four night caravan break in East Yorkshire.  I generally associate caravans with rain and cold, not unbearable heat waves.  Luckily we have an electric fan so we packed that first.

We were heading to the Holderness Coast which stretches from Flamborough Head near Bridlington in the north to Spurn Head in the extreme south east of the County.  

As we listened to the radio it seemed as though the whole country was in heat panic, trains cancelled, airports shut, schools closed, people advised not to travel, drawer the curtains and retreat Gollum like into the shelter of a basement.    The sort of heat that melts steel, fries people’s brains and turns pigs into  bacon crisps.  It all seemed like a massive and ridiculous overreaction to me.  There have been hot spells before and everyone knows that in the UK these temperature blips are only ever temporary and rarely last more than a day or two.  For some reason the Government declared a National Emergency.

And what are people complaining about?  Many Brits spend a fortune every year to go to Southern Europe for exactly the sort of temperatures that they were moaning about today, We shouldn’t have to go to work in temperatures like this they complained in TV news interviews but they would be a bit miffed if Spanish waiters said the same.

We left early to stay ahead of the predicted ‘danger’ temperatures and the risk of melting road surfaces and crossed the Humber Bridge, negotiated the traffic queues through the city of Hull and eventually found ourselves in the south Yorkshire countryside, quite unlike anything in the North or the West.

Holderness is an area of the East Riding of Yorkshire, an area of rich agricultural land that was once marshland until it was drained for agriculture in the Middle Ages and as we journeyed East we  drove through miles and miles of wheat and barley fields all shining proudly gold and standing erect in the unexpected July sunshine.

Arriving at Yorkshire Wildlife Spurn Head visitor centre we paid the £5 parking fee and set off on the three mile walk to Yorkshire’s Land’s End.  I immediately wished I hadn’t been so foolish to pay the fee because there was free parking all along the side of the road.  It used to be possible to drive all the way to the end but a mighty Winter storm in 2013 washed away the road and created an island which is now cut off by high tides.

At the point that the road ended we found ourselves walking on a beach flanked by sand dunes and periodic derelict buildings also victims of the storm.  Out in the North Sea just a few miles away we could see the seventy-three off-shore wind turbines of the Humber Gateway Windfarm gleaming in the sunshine  like an army of Viking invaders in shining armour waiting to come ashore.

If temperatures were approaching 40 degrees inland that wasn’t the case here on the sand spit and a pleasant sea breeze kept things down around a very manageable 30 or so.  At the end of the walk we came to the Spurn lighthouse, redundant now for several years, the remains of the demolished lighthouse keepers cottage, a military parade ground and what was once an army gun emplacement protecting the entrance to the Humber Estuary. 

A short way out to sea is  a sea fort, one of two built during the First World War, one here and one on the South side near Cleethorpes near Grimsby.  Construction began in 1914 but they were not completed until 1919 after the war had ended,  Luckily the Germans didn’t attempt to invade via the Humber.  In the Second World War a chain net was strung between the two to  prevent enemy submarines entering the estuary.  A distance of about five miles.  

I found it a rather wild and eerie sort of place, voices of the old sea, abandoned history in every grain of sand and ghostly whispers in the breeze.    We were now at the most easterly point of Yorkshire and we stared out into the vast expanse of the North Sea and Scandinavia beyond.

Not the most easterly place in the UK because that is Lowestoft in East Anglia,

There is nothing to stay for once we had reached the end so we turned around and set off on the three mile trek back to the visitor centre and hoped that the tide hadn’t come in and cut us off from the mainland.

Geography Quiz

1  What is the most northerly capital city in the World?

2  What is the most southerly capital city in the World?

3  Which country is regarded as the centre of the Earth?

4  What is the Highest capital city in the World?

5  What is the Lowest capital city in the World?

6  Which country is closest to the South Pole?

7  Which country is closest to the Moon?

8  Which is the most easterly US state?

Click on an image to scroll through the gallery…

 

 

36 responses to “East Yorkshire – Holderness and Spurn Point

  1. I love this. I went to google maps and walked all the way to the end and could see the old searchlight bunker. It looks just like some hidden piece of Victorian coastline.

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  2. I absolutely couldn’t agree more about the recent “Nice Couple Of Days National Emergency”, watching it unfold whilst in California/Arizona’s 46 degree temperatures where life just goes on and no one bats an eyelid. No tarmac melts, no trains get cancelled, no whingeing idiot finds yet another reason to avoid work….from this distance it was utterly laughable. Well, laughable if it wasn’t such a damning indication of the pathetic place our once great nation has ended up in. Oh, I’ve just seen lightning. I better go and hide under the bed until autumn. Bye for now.

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  3. Well written! A lovely account of a much under-rated area of the country. I used to birdwatch at Spurn in the late 1980s and 1990s, and a good deal of the landscape that I knew then has now been washed away, including at least fifty yards of a road past what was the visitor centre (I think) at the time.

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  4. So you can walk in a loop round the Spurn and back along the other shoreline? There’s a wierd attraction to this kind of remoteness. I have to say that the puffin is a little wierd too.

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  5. Fascinating walk. I have to admit I’d be scared of becoming cut off completely.

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  6. I liked the gallery. No time today for the quiz

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  7. That’s one hard quiz! There is something bleak and other-worldly about parts of East Yorkshire, which may be why I like it. As an aside, when my daughter fetched up here from her home in Spain last Tuesday, she found it HOT hot hot!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the image of the remains of the Spurn Head sea defences, Andrew

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  9. It sounds like you just described the summer in South Africa… with the exception that nothing gets cancelled here when it’s that hot 😉. But then, we are used to these kind of temperatures. Your quiz looks very interesting (and I’m quite curious), but I’m too lazy now to google the answers and will rather wait for you to reveal the answers!

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  10. I like this kind of coastline, but how on earth did you get that fabulous aerial view? I’m glad it wasn’t 40 degrees though, that would have been a tough walk.

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  11. Avoided the heatwave by being in the Outer Hebrides at the time! It might have reached 20 for a few minutes one day.

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  12. Looks like a beautiful place. Thanks for posting!

    Like

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