Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Withernsea → Hornsea

to-the-pole.png Distance: 19.53 miles
Ascent: 164 metres
Duration: 6 hours 23 minutes

Next stop: North Pole
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The glorious weather of recent days was never going to last. The rain broke as we headed north from Withernsea.

pab-gps-sand-le-mere.pngA few hundred metres south of the Sand le Mere caravan park near the village of Tunstall, we met our old friend the Greenwich Meridian for the final time. In fact, this anonymous cliff is the most northerly point that the meridian touches land; from here on up it's water and ice all the way to the North Pole.

road-end.pngSadly there was no monument or marker to celebrate this fact. Then again, given the erosion that we saw during the day, perhaps any marker doesn't stay long before it follows the invisible line off the cliff, along the beach and into the sea. (One cottage perhaps a kilometre from the end of Seaside Road in Aldbrough was prophetically named "Cliff Top Cottage To-Be".)

One advantage of "off-piste" walking was the wildlife we saw. At Bracken Hill a young deer bounded for the hedgerow just before us, although Emma was more fascinated by the hedgehog rapidly making his way across the next field.

keep-out.pngThe second half of the walk was rather disappointing. We scouted the route out yesterday and seeing that the old RAF range at Cowden Parva is still marked with "danger keep out" signs, and on its northern boundary farms are built right up to the clifftop, we walked the rest of the way into Hornsea on the main road.

It might have been possible to walk this stretch on the beach, but the fact that the concrete slipway at Mappleton was built to provide access for the bomb disposal squad, and the knowledge that just last year hundreds of unexploded ordnance were found on the beach confirmed that we made the right decision.

trans-pennine.pngIn Hornsea a monument on the prom marks the eastern end of the Trans-Pennine Trail. We last met this in Hull; we'll hopefully meet its western end later in the year in Southport.

Hornsea itself seems pleasant, but has an unusually large number of mobility scooters. This is something we've come to expect from East Yorkshire coastal towns.

After a long walk by the sea there's only one thing left to do, and the same taxi driver who tipped us off to the correct pronunciation of "Withernsea" came good with a recommendation of Whitehead's chippy. It's tucked away on an estate very close to where we began our descent to the prom. If I did this walk again I'd buy a bag of chips en route for that final mile.

Notes for future walkers:

  • North of Withernsea there's no trouble sticking to the clifftop path as far as the caravan site at Sand Le Mere.
  • Beyond the caravan site we continued along the cliff tops on the public bridleway, then the remains of the road that joined Pastures Lane to Hogsea Lane (TA 302 331).
  • From Hogsea Lane (TA 300 333) we continued on the cliff top past Tunstall Pastures to the edge of the Grimston Garth estate.
  • At TA 289 349 we followed the fence curving left to join the public footpath at TA 284 343..
  • At Moat Farm we took the road inland, the bridleway north from TA 272 354 to Grange Farm.
  • We followed the road towards Aldbrough, then at TA 259 386 took Old Dale Road to rejoin the clifftops which we followed to the end of Seaside Road at TA 256 395.
  • Not ones to mess with MoD land, we followed Seaside Road into the village, following a bridle way to TA 244 390, then another (Mill Lane) west to the B1242.
  • mappleton-beach.pngI would not recommend dropping to the beach at Mappleton unless the tide is low enough to allow walking the rest of the section below the cliffs.
  • In Hornsea, we took the third road on the right (Ranby Drive) off the B1242 at TA 203 466, then third right again onto Ebor Avenue (TA 205 467), right onto The Crescent (TA 206 468), and right again onto Hornsea Burton Road (TA 205 470) which we followed to the seafront.

Posted by pab at 17:33 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!