06. Yorkshire Coast

51. Hornsea to Withernsea

Saturday 6th August 2005

Got up early and drove to Withernsea arriving about 8.30am and caught a bus up to Hornsea, arriving about 10am. The weather is good, sunny, clear skies with just a few clouds and not much wind. Fairly warm rather than hot – about 16/17 degrees.

Started from centre of Hornsea on the front and headed  of south from the leisure centre. Soon pass the marker for the end of the Trans-Pennine Trail.

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Marker for start/end of Trans-Pennine Trail (hornsea.gov.uk)

Walked along the road and past the boatyard to the caravan site. At the caravan site joined a short section of narrow promenade which soon drops down some stone steps to go on the beach and up ahead can be seen the spire of the church at Mappleton. Now walking along the beach with low clay cliffs to the right with the caravan site on top of them. The beach is fairly firm sand with some pebbles and dotted about with lumps of the cliffs that have dropped away. The erosion is very clear here. After more than two miles of walking along the beach with completely unchanging views reach Mappleton which is marked by the outflow pipes that can be seen from some way off. Went up the access ramp to the village (GR228439) and left into the car park where there are toilets but no evidence of a cliff top path so returned to the beach.

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Mappleton (aboutmyarea.co.uk)

The cliffs are now a bit lower and the sand a bit easier to walk on. The caravans at Grange Farm (GR234429) soon come into view on the cliff top some of them looking as though they have been abandoned to await their fate by dropping off the cliff into the sea. No easy way up the cliffs to Garthends Lane so continued on the beach now called Cowden Beach with RAF Cowden being an abandoned firing range on top of the cliffs. The beach is just about completely deserted but happened across just about the only person who was a male nudist. Round a tiny headland (GR251404) and Withernsea can be seen a long way ahead. The tower out to sea has been visible for a long while but is now becoming much clearer.

Beach walking is OK here but still no way up onto the cliff tops. Half a mile further on the rooftop of a house at North Cliff/Mount Pleasant can be seen but the steps leading up the cliff have been washed away (there is some civilisation up here). A few hundred metres on and the beach becomes rocky rather than sandy and then within another few hundred metres reached some very crude steps hewn into the cliff face and climbed to the cliff top (GR261390). (This turned out to be a big mistake and it would have been better to keep to the beach).

Turn left on the cliff top path. This is a good grassy path that leads gently up an incline at the top of which can be seen the buildings of Hill Top and Low Farms ahead. Reach a pillbox and the path swings away from the sea heading towards Hill Top Farm. At the end of Hill Top Farm turn left down the field edge to go past a house and reach a road. Turn left back in front of Hill Top Farm. The tower out at sea must be a marker buoy for the North Sea Gas pipeline that comes ashore here (workings inland can also be seen here). Go past a caravan site for the construction workers and then past Glebe House to eventually reach Cliff Farm. Pass some old farm buildings on the right and the metalled road ends at a house although it continues on as a gravely track. Turn left here on a track down towards the coast. Reach the cliff top and turn right towards the ruined buildings of Ringborough ahead.

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Ringborough Farm – eventually lost to erosion in 2011 (urbanrim.org.uk)

Just before the buildings (GR273373) turn away from the sea along the left-hand edge of a field running up by the side of the farm buildings to eventually reach a road at the gas terminal. Turn left and pass between the terminal and the farm building to track leading to the cliff edge. Turn right across some rough ground to follow a very thin path that initially goes uncomfortably close to the cliff edge in the first field. Climb a slight rise to Beacon Hill to reach yet another pillbox and continue along an uncomfortable ploughed field. Moat Farm can be seen up ahead. Encountered a very deep ditch between two fields which blocks progress along the cliff top (GR280363). No alternative but to turn inland along the field edge which after a considerable distance reached a road. Turned left towards Moat Farm which has indeed got a moat around it.

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South of Ringborough (urbanrim.org.uk)

The ‘No-through road’ signs outside the farm encouraged me to turn back and find some inland route. Went back on the road to where emerged from the field and continued on this road heading for the B1242 which is the main Withernsea-Hornsea road. After about a mile reach the B1242 and turn left past Grimston church over the fields – nice looking church with a square tower. The main road here is rather bendy but fortunately does not carry too much traffic. Nothing much along the road but halfway along pass Turmar Farm. Take the first turning off to the left towards Hilston (GR280336). The road is actually a narrow lane that passes some very expensive looking houses to eventually arrive at Hilston Church (GR289336). At T-junction 400 metres after church turn left down Hogsea Lane (GR291332) which unfortunately is shown as a no-through road closed presumably because of sea erosion. The road climbs up a little and the square tower of Tunstall church can be seen to the right across the fields. The sea comes into view again.

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Grimston Church (britainexpress.co.uk)

At the sea turn right on Pasture Lane (the road is still there but barriers unsuccessfully try to prevent its use by cars). About 100 metres after second set of bollards closing off the road turn left down a public bridleway heading towards the cliffs. At the cliffs turn right and head towards the single building and caravan site ahead. Reach the road by the house and continue straight ahead. The road leads into Sand le Mere Caravan Park which has a shop and a pub. Had a quick beer in the Mermaid Inn and then carried on (past the Greenwich Meridian marked by a scrapyard of old tractors etc). Take the gravely track to the left of the caravan site which leads to Red House Farm where it swings left to head towards the sea again. Take a left turn a T-junction of tracks and then turn right at the sea towards some houses and Cliff Farm. Just before Cliff Farm (GR328299) the lighthouse at Withernsea comes into view. Half a mile after Cliff Farm reach houses on the outskirts of Withernsea. A high wire fence encloses a caravan site – go to the seaward side. At the end of the caravan site reach a wide grassy top to the cliffs for the last half mile or so into Withernsea. Eventually arrive at a small promenade by some new looking houses.

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Withernsea (geography.learnontheinternet.co.uk)

Days from Chepstow   51

Miles today   19.2

Miles from Chepstow   715.8

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