06. Yorkshire Coast

52. Withernsea to Spurn

Wednesday 17th August 2005

Headed south from Castle Gate in Withernsea past a club called The Sands. A broad promenade passes the boating club. The weather is really good with clear blue skies, about 19 degrees with a little bit of a sea breeze and the sea very calm. At the end of the promenade a wind farm a few miles to the south comes into view. Continue along the promenade past the life boat station and a caravan park. Despite the fact that this is really nice weather and the very height of the summer season there is absolutely no-one on the beach.

The promenade ends at some modern housing just before the caravan site so need to drop down onto the beach as it is the only way ahead. Fortunately it is low tide so can walk the beach beneath the familiar 25-30 foot high crumbling clay cliffs. Some of the caravans and chalets on top of the cliffs look perilously close to the edge. The sewage works are marked by buildings crumbling on the clifftop and an outlet marker buoy out at sea. Two miles south of Withernsea the cliffs become much lower, about 15 feet, and a few hundred metres further on opposite some concrete blocks exposed at low tide (GR367247) a stream comes down to a gap in the cliffs. Turn up this at The Runnel.

Head away from the coast and reach the inevitable upturned pillbox – looking back the lighthouse can be seen at Withernsea. At the field by the pillbox turn left and head back towards the coast and take a clifftop path towards some houses and the windfarm. The clifftop path leads past a strange brick-built building with no obvious use. A couple of hundred metres past this building a ditch leads up to another pillbox. Cross the ditch and keep to the cliff edge. At the end of a long field reach a road which becomes a track along the cliff. After a couple of hundred metres over rough ground reach a track off to the right. Cliff House (GR373239) should be here and there are some signs of walls but it has either been demolished or fallen into the sea.

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Cliff erosion near Cliff House, Holmpton (theguardian.com)

Carry straight on here on a clifftop path towards the windfarm again. Cliffs are a lot higher now, and at the end of the large field meet a deep ditch that forces the path inland towards a small group of trees. Before the trees turn left, cross the ditch and head back towards the coast again. The ditch is actually Old Hive Dyke (GR 381229). A path leads up to Cliff Farm. Keep to the seaward side of the farm. A short climb leads up to what must be the highest cliff since Flamborough Head and to the wind farm with its seven turbines. After a few hundred metres the gas installation and transmission lines at Easington come into view. A few hundred metres after the wind farm pass a brick building and use a track to the left of it to reach the road outside the gas terminal at Dimlington (GR397206). Turn left on the road with the gas terminal on the right heading towards Easington. Pass in front of the main BP building and enter the outskirts of Easington with the church at the end of the road. Easington is a pleasant village – stopped for lunch at the Neptune, one of three pubs in the village.

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Dimlington Beach (geograph.org.uk)
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Neptune Inn, Easington (pubutopia.com)

Left the pub and turned right along the main road past the Methodist church. One of the last houses of the village has an unusual square tower attached to it. Where the main road turns right to Spurn and Kilnsea keep straight ahead. Pass the Easington Beach Caravan Park to reach the sea again. Turn right and go to the seaward side of a small boat compound heading towards a pillbox on the clifftop. Several routes along the coast here, could go on the dunes which become difficult, on the beach either side of  the lagoons, along the sea wall or a field path behind the sea wall. At the end of the last lagoon leave the flood bank by turning left down some wooden steps and across a little wooden bridge over a dried-up gully. Go through a kissing gate and head out towards the sea. Walk along a field edge behind a lower flood bank towards some wooden fencing in the distance. Go through a kissing gate in the wooden fence and enter Lagoon Nature Reserve. Continue up towards the sand dunes and beach. Turn right on a sandy track that leads between some windblown Hawthorn hedges and brambles. Pass through a wooden kissing gate to reach a metalled road outside Sandy Beach Caravan Park. Reach the tea rooms and visitor centre and continue forward on the road to reach Spurn Nature Reserve.

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Spurn Nature Reserve (geograph.org.uk)

Days from Chepstow   52

Miles today   10.3

Miles from Chepstow   726.1

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