TRAVEL NORTH - 22: [All together now]"OH, I DO LIKE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE!" - Hornsea Coastal Circular Walk
'Lakeland by the Sea' in the East Riding, a welcome to the seaside. Begin at the old station and take the Pennine Cycle/Walk path
A town for all seasons
A fairly short walk, ten miles (16kms) all told. Take this walk, it's fairly level and suitable for wheelchair users
At low tide take in Hornsea's great beach. You'll see fast-eroding clay cliffs behind and inland easy pastoral landscape with Yorkshire's largest natural lake - a nature reserve for wildfowl - 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 tufted duck, depending on the 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.