A few weeks ago we visited the Holderness coast in the East Riding of Yorkshire. This stretch of coast holds the unfortunate accolade of being the most eroding coastline in Britain.
If you’re unsure where the Holderness coast is, it runs from Spurn Point at the mouth of the Humber Estuary and Flamborough Head.
Because of the distance, we broke our east coast road trip into three days.
Day one took us to Spurn Bay just outside Kilnsea, and finished in Bridlington, we then doubled back to Hull for the night before setting off for day two which took us to Flamborough and Whitby. Day 3 started in Berwick upon Tweed in the North and finished in Amble.
After a brief comfort break on the banks of the Humber, we set off for Spurn Head, it’s a leisurely drive passing through countryside dominated by fields of wheat and small villages, the drive from memory took about half an hour.
Kilnsea – Spurn Head
Planning the trip, it looked like we’d be able to drive to the head of Spurn Point, but when we got there, the furthest we could go was Blue Bell car park. Upon investigation, the road leading to the point washed away in 2013, so access is now only possible on foot, no good for us then!
Our visit was confined to the car park, but I did take a few photos of the erosion.
If you would like to visit Spurn, here are some resources you may find useful:
We bimbled along the coast towards Withernsea. I was struck by the sheer amount of wheat growing in the area. Now, I have no interest in farming, but you can’t help asking yourself – why the area is so good for growing wheat?
Bridget and I had a long and in-depth conversation about growing wheat, in the end, we agreed we haven’t got a clue what we’re talking about.
Arriving in Withernsea, we parked up on the promenade, from a wheelchair users perspective, it’s fully accessible.
Withernsea is a small seaside town, with an enticing beach. We didn’t venture down to the beach in the wheelchair. The area was busy, which is nice to see, there are plenty of holiday lets and caravan parks in and around the town, but it’s not over commercialised.
Driving into Withernsea, you can see a lighthouse (so far so good) but then it sort of disappears. I know this sounds silly, but I honestly couldn’t find it. To make matters worse, on the drive out, there’s a sign saying “ did you visit the lighthouse”, it sort of torments you!
On our way to Hornsea, I spotted a brown sign, I see them, I have to follow them – so I followed it!
We ended up on the headland at Mappleton viewing point. Sitting in the car park, I could see a group of people congregating, they were clearly interested in something important, being the inquisitive type I went to investigate – I couldn’t believe what I found.
The coastal erosion here is staggering, the crack in the photos below was a few feet deep and easily eighteen inches wide, more to the point, in my opinion, it was dangerous!
At any point, it looked like a massive chunk of headland could simply fall off.
After much inspection, I decided it was time to make our getaway before we fell into the sea.
We bimbled into Hornsea late in the afternoon, Bridget was understandably tired, so we headed for the seafront for a rest. I’m not sure if it’s an age thing, but I find gazing out to sea recharges the batteries.
We decided to venture no further than the seafront because we still had Bridlington to bimble. The promenade runs alongside the blue flag beach and it’s completely accessible in a wheelchair. So far, excluding Spurn Head, the whole coast had been wheelchair friendly and there were plenty of disabled toilets en route.
When we eventually landed in Bridlington, it was tea time, or if you’re from the south – dinner time!
We entered Bridlington at the northern end of the promenade and parked at the apt named north beach! I was expecting to see a quaint harbour, but we were met with these stunning views instead:
Bridlington is the starting point or finish, depending on which way you’re going, of the Way of the Roses. It’s a 170-mile coast to coast bike ride running from Bridlington to Morecambe on the north-west coast.
I wanted to see the historic harbour and it didn’t disappoint. Parking on the harbour is a bit confusing, from what I can gather there are two car parks with different rules for each – my point is; read the sign!
As you can see, the harbour is – well, gorgeous!
It’s exactly as I wanted it to look, colourful boats moored alongside the harbour wall, set against a backdrop of blue sky and seagulls stalking visitors waiting for an opportune moment to pinch their food.
The Holderness Coast
Three things surprised me about the east coast, one – it’s very pretty, two- it’s very accessible and three – it’s getting battered by the North Sea. Something needs to be done soon to stop the erosion.
If you would like to know more about wheelchair friendly Yorkshire, take a look at Accessible Yorkshire
We did this journey in one afternoon and evening. We could have easily spent more time in each place, more time exploring and soaking up the atmosphere, but this trip was a fact-finding mission.
We’re travelling the coast to find places we want to revisit and we certainly found a few on the Holderness coast.