TRAVEL NORTH - 22: [All together now]"OH, I DO LIKE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE!" - Hornsea Circular Walk

'Lakeland by the Sea' in the East Riding, a welcome to the seaside

Period poster printed in the days of the North Eastern Railway (before 1922)
Period poster printed in the days of the North Eastern Railway (before 1922) | Source

A town for all seasons

Sea front at Hornsea - can be wild, wet and windy with a sea-borne wind. Alternately it can almost be like a millpond or a lake...
Sea front at Hornsea - can be wild, wet and windy with a sea-borne wind. Alternately it can almost be like a millpond or a lake...
Hornsea Mere in the sunset, a haven for wild birds sheltering from the sea's excesses
Hornsea Mere in the sunset, a haven for wild birds sheltering from the sea's excesses
Bird-life on Hornsea Mere varies with the seasons and migrations. Bring a good pair of binoculars if you're serious about watching
Bird-life on Hornsea Mere varies with the seasons and migrations. Bring a good pair of binoculars if you're serious about watching
Hornsea's restored former station - a grand GT Adams structure - services ended in the early 60s with Cravens' diesel units taking over from steam passenger duties.
Hornsea's restored former station - a grand GT Adams structure - services ended in the early 60s with Cravens' diesel units taking over from steam passenger duties.
Period map of Hornsea with the mere inland behind the town on one side, the sea on the other - not ideal in bad weather!
Period map of Hornsea with the mere inland behind the town on one side, the sea on the other - not ideal in bad weather!
The road network in East Yorkshire, showing links with Bridlington, Hull, Scarborough and York . Good connections east and west, north and south.
The road network in East Yorkshire, showing links with Bridlington, Hull, Scarborough and York . Good connections east and west, north and south.
'Groins' take the rough weather, but this coast is on the move inland
'Groins' take the rough weather, but this coast is on the move inland
Clay cliffs on the coast near Hornsea - the sea 'chews' through these like we would munch biscuits or chocolate
Clay cliffs on the coast near Hornsea - the sea 'chews' through these like we would munch biscuits or chocolate
Topographical of the Hornsea area - note the Mere in the centre of the map, close to the sea
Topographical of the Hornsea area - note the Mere in the centre of the map, close to the sea
The Trans-Pennine Trail at Hornsea, based on the railway trackbed from Hull
The Trans-Pennine Trail at Hornsea, based on the railway trackbed from Hull
Wassand Hall, prime example of Italianate Regency architecture in its heyday, fine living until WWI. After that the upper classes found it hard to engage staff. The War changed people's perspectives, few wanted to 'serve' any more
Wassand Hall, prime example of Italianate Regency architecture in its heyday, fine living until WWI. After that the upper classes found it hard to engage staff. The War changed people's perspectives, few wanted to 'serve' any more

A fairly short walk, ten miles (16kms) all told. Take this walk, next time you come some of the scenery is likely to have been chewed up by the sea.

Take in Hornsea's great beach, fast-eroding clay cliffs behind and an easy pastoral landscape with Yorkshire's largest natural lake hidden away in a flat landscape.

Start off at the 215 mile Trans-Pennine Trail next to Hornsea's erstwhile railway station, and take the old trackbed walk. There is a road here, Marlborough Avenue. Go down it and at its end turn right, signposted to the Trans-Pennine Trail but carry on through allotments where the trail turns left through a gate. There is a road next where you take a left turn. After about 300 yards/270m cross and turn right through another gate marked 'Hornsea Mere Walk'. The mere was formed at the end of the Ice Age, a Site of special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a reserve of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Watch out for over-wintering gadwalls, goldeneyes and tudted ducks as well as many, many others. Of course, what you see depends on what time of the year your walk brings you here.

Turn left and take the path through two gateways, and following on where a track joins the path. Another two gates further take the way a little to the right to another pair of gates with a footbridge between them. Turn right at the end of a wood and follow through two more gates at right-angles to one another in the field corner. Carry on along a track and take a right turn at the entrance to Wassand Hall, an elegant early-19th Century house set in pleasant lndscaped grounds near the mere.

At two and three-quarter miles, before a lodge turn left on a track an straight away right (signposted) to a gate. Go on through the field to a crossing track. Bear right through two more gates to a road. Right turn and then left up a lane signposted to Bewholme. Stay on this path and about 70m/100 yards on pass an electricity sub-station. Turn right, then left near Buttercup Farm (doesn't this sound cosy?). At the next left forge ahead, left of the hedgerow. This is marked as well. Take a left at the next waymarker and at the field top take a right with the hedge to your left. On, past another waymarker and turn right where the track leads left, to the road and turn left along a footpath.

This is your four-and-half mile stage. At the next road left, where you see a signboard for 'Honeysuckle Farm', follow the lane over a mile and a half and as it bends left take a right through a signposted gate. On seeing the next waymarker turn left and skirt trees around Little Atwick. Turn right along a track that bends left. Pass through a 'kissing gate' and turn right for Atwick.

Now you are at the seven-and-half mile stage. At the village 'T'-junction turn left, then right again by the cross. Follow Cliff Road as it curves toward the coast. The road - once stretching further - ends sharply. This is Mother Nature showing you she can take what she gave. Studies have shown that the shoreline is being worn by several metres annually.

Just before the end of the road turn right through the caravan park. Here is a reminder of WWII, a concrete 'pillbox' to stop the Germans over-running Blighty. Bear left for the cliff edge and follow the path to a gulley. Turn left to the beach and then right along it for a mile and a half. Take a long, lingering look at the cliffs as you walk. Another graphic reminder - as if it's needed - of the erosion that has taken towns along the coast for over a millennium. As you approach Hornsea head along the promenade and make your way back to the start.

Fancy doing that again?

The land is criss-crossed by railway trackbeds, cycle paths and farmland tracks. Easy walking in all directions

By car: Hornsea is located on the B1242, twelve miles to the south of Bridlington, seventeen and a half miles north-east from Hull;

By public transport: Buses only, route 220 from Hull; route 130 Bridlington-Hornsea (both East Yorkshire Motor Services);

Refreshments: The Med, 142 Newbiggin, Hornsea, HU18 1PB, ph. 01964 536999,

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust www.ywt.org.uk

Yorkshire Tourist Board www.yorkshire.com

Ordnance Survey www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/mapshop

East Yorkshire Coastal Observatory www.hull.ac.uk/coastalobs/hornsea

The Yorkshire Coast, area of outstanding national beauty apart, you'll find a warm welcome and hospitality to match. Further north, between the southern edge of Teesside near Skinningrove and Scarborough the moors literally end at the clifftops. Discover neat little villages and farms nestling amongst the moorland heaths, not far from traditional fishing villages like Staithes, Robin Hood's Bay, Bridlington and Hornsea that cluster around the inlets or sit back on low-lying sand bars that have been built up with esplanades and boat ramps down to the foreshore. Even if you don't actually go there, take this route through Amazon...

If you enjoyed this walk

There's another on a walk further north along the coast at Flamborough Head near Bridlington and Filey, titled 'KEEP YOUR HEAD ON THE HEAD', lots of info on the seabird colony on the nearby cliffs.

Enjoy the read.

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Comments 2 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi alan, I love your walks! lol! I feel as if I have been there with you, do you go on these regularly? I love the coast and haven't got down there this year yet, but I want to next week, if only for a day trip, I need the ocean! lol! great hub as always, nell


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 4 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) Author

I hear about them and try some of them out; if I think they're worth following up, they get a write-up eventually. I'll rate the more energetic, upland ones and if I don't think they're too easy I won't rate them for families. I can do them all myself, and I'm in my mid-60's. There are some of the TRAVEL NORTH pages that come under the 'Drive' heading, but they're pretty obvious by the distances covered.

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