Monday 11 May 2015
Withernsea to Flamborough
Beacon House Caravan Site
Holderness is so called after the Nordic noble families (holders) who owned the nose-shaped land (ness) of the area around Spurn. From the beaches this coast looks just like Norfolk with its crumbling and eroding soft clay cliffs (housing lots of sand martins). In fact I think the scale of the erosion is worse here, there are certainly more documented lost villages and today I saw part of a road that’s marked on my map but no longer present.
As a result of the significant recent erosion there are no longer cliff top paths along much of this coast, hence in order to get to Hornsea I had 3 choices: a) walk on the beach (tide dependent so I would need to start at approximately 3am to make it today), b) walk along the minor roads facing the oncoming traffic, or c) get the bus along the same minor roads. Option c won the day and I’m considering starting every week with a bus ride as they’re great. I was ready in plenty of time to walk back into Withernsea, past the lighthouse, to catch the bus, and it was a double decker; the front seat at the top had my name on it. It was a nice ride through the farmland and a different view of the coastline.
I stopped for a quick coffee and breakfast in Hornsea, which seemed to still be sleeping even though it was 10am. From here there was a cliff path most of the way to Bridlington, with some diversions through the inevitable caravan parks in places where the erosion had claimed the path. In fact there were many dead end roads heading off the cliffs and lots of spaces where caravans had once been.
In Ulrome the workmen were out demolishing the damaged sea wall, so the caravan site there now has a death sentence. It was quite sad really.
Eventually I reached a point where grumpy landowners had fixed fences to the cliff edge, along with no entry signs, so I was consigned to the beach. Fortunately the tide was heading out and there was enough beach for me to walk on. Fraisthorpe sands, just South of Bridlington, is a lovely beach and it was perfect sunny weather to enjoy it. I stopped short of a swim as the water is still an uninviting muddy brown colour until about 50m offshore, where it turns greeny-blue. It was here that I saw my first nudist of my walk; I wish I hadn’t!
I liked Bridlington. At one point I thought maybe it was the Brighton of the North?
Approaching from the South I reached the lovely big houses first, then the South promenade (done up in the late 1990s) and the town centre. Time to stop at a cafe and also to enjoy an ice cream in the sunshine.
I exited Bridlington up a hill onto my first real, and very beautiful, cliffs of this walk. I was heading past Sewerby and on to Flamborough.
My walk finished with a lovely trek up a wooded valley following Danes Dyke, which bisects Flamborough Head. A great day.