I’ve had a short break, just a few days back ‘up north’ to my home county of Yorkshire, specifically the East Riding of Yorkshire. To clarify, Yorkshire is split into 3 Ridings (thirds) – West, North and East. There was a misbegotten attempt by the government that spanned from 1974 to 1996 (when they gave up) to form an administrative area of Humberside, which was made up of East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, i.e. both sides of the River Humber. Great idea but no-one in my neck of the woods (East Yorkshire) would have anything to do with it. Oh and the Greenwich Meridian passes through the Eastern end of the East Riding.
Anyway, we had 3 days of actual days out. The first day saw us visit in order, Withernsea, Hornsea and Bridlington. All very common places in my childhood for holidays – not too far from ‘Ull (or Kingston Upon Hull to give it its Sunday name). The coast runs in a long, low sweeping bay from the cliffs of Flamborough Head in the North all the way to Spurn Point in the South.
Withernsea is the southernmost resort. A small, cosy place, typical small town east coast resort. A couple of quirks – the lighthouse (which sadly no longer works, but IS a museum) which is about ¼ mile from the actual coast and the 2 ‘lost’ churches of St Mary the Virgin and St Peters Owthorne, both of which have been claimed by the sea due to coastal erosion. St Mary’s is believed to be about a mile offshore, with St Peters about 800 Yards off the coast. There are a couple of plaques.
Hornsea is just up the coast, a little bigger and very similar. Hornsea Mere is a large freshwater lake that I rowed upon on many occasions. I even rode to Hornsea from Anlaby (where I lived the longest before moving south in 1978) on an old bone-shaker – I still have the bruises!
Bridlington is the largest of the three resorts, with the very impressive Flamborough Head to the North and a small working harbour and an old town well worth spending the time exploring. Again, a very similar mix – nice beaches and plenty to keep families interested.
On the second day, we ventured further afield, heading up to Scarborough and Whitby. Scarborough was our first port of call. Its spread across two bays (North and South) – separated by a headland on which sits Scarborough castle. The north being sandy, the south less so. At the north end of the North Bay is a small SeaLife centre, which was the focus of our visit. It IS small, but there Is quite a lot to see.
We then headed up to Whitby – famous for its links with Bram Stokers Dracula. The town is split in 2 by the River Esk connected by a swing bridge. A very popular resort – like Scarborough, some of the streets can be hilly. I would strongly recommend using the ‘Park and Ride’ service. Many of the Towns and Cities in the UK now have these, which are basically large car parks outside the town/city where you leave your car and use the provided bus service to travel into the town/city and back again. They are usually very reasonably priced and save all the hassle of trying to find somewhere to park (always a challenge when visiting) and also avoiding a parking fine!
We spent a couple of hours in Whitby then headed back to our base in ‘Ull via the North Yorkshire Moors, coming back over the Moors (the scenery is fantastic and is the place I do the Lyke Wake Walk – one of my earlier posts describes this) to Pickering, home of the North Yorkshire Moors railway, then down through Malton and Driffield. The route brought us back along the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds.
Day 3 – ‘Ull
Day 3 was a family catchup day, visiting relatives, plus some shopping at the Princes Quay shopping centre, which was built over one of the old docks (Princes Dock not surprisingly). Their has been a lot of work rejuvenating the riverside, with the addition of a hotel, a marina and of course The Deep – which is unusual in that you actually view the displays from the top down, i.e. you take the lift to the top of the building and work your way down.
Each of ridings definitely has its own character, The East is the coast and fertile farming, rolling hills. The North has the Moors and the coastal plain, the West the Dales and the city of Leeds. All worth a visit. Thanks for reading.
To find out more visit http://www.yorkshire.com/