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Travel North - 22: [All Together Now]"oh, I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside!" - Hornsea Circular Walk

Updated on January 10, 2018

'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

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 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?

Hornsea - A town for all seasons

Hornsea beach at dawn, with one of the 'groins' that prevents the sands from shifting along the coast with the strong shore currents
Hornsea beach at dawn, with one of the 'groins' that prevents the sands from shifting along the coast with the strong shore currents | Source
Hornsea Mere, a short way inland  with wildfowl. Migrants pass through annually, 'residents' such as the swans live here protected
Hornsea Mere, a short way inland with wildfowl. Migrants pass through annually, 'residents' such as the swans live here protected | Source
Now privately owned, the G T Andrews designed Hornsea Station is no longer a railway terminus since the early 1960s. Nevertheless it is a handome Italianate late Georgian building
Now privately owned, the G T Andrews designed Hornsea Station is no longer a railway terminus since the early 1960s. Nevertheless it is a handome Italianate late Georgian building | Source
Hornsea and its location with transport links north-east of Hull in the 'resurrected' East Riding
Hornsea and its location with transport links north-east of Hull in the 'resurrected' East Riding | Source
A topographic map of the coast shows erosion on the low, soft clay cliffs - annually the coast recedes by several feet
A topographic map of the coast shows erosion on the low, soft clay cliffs - annually the coast recedes by several feet | Source
One of the road over-bridges on what was the railway and now forms part of the Trans-Pennine cycle route
One of the road over-bridges on what was the railway and now forms part of the Trans-Pennine cycle route | Source
Another prime example of Italianate Georgian architecture - Wassand Hall near Hornsea, open to the public as are many fine buildings in Yorkshire and owned by various preservation societies. This an independently-owned edifice
Another prime example of Italianate Georgian architecture - Wassand Hall near Hornsea, open to the public as are many fine buildings in Yorkshire and owned by various preservation societies. This an independently-owned edifice | Source

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

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...

Yorkshire's Coast

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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    • alancaster149 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan R Lancaster 

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

      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.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 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

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