The Yorkshire Coast: Exploring Route YC
How well do you know Yorkshire? If you’re like me, you can name a number of hotspots and landmarks, and also tell everybody how lucky we are to have an abundance of green hills around us. That’s the Yorkshire cliché, isn’t it?
But then, there are the other bits. The bits you don’t know about. The hidden gems of the region, and the bits that may surprise you too. Yorkshire is awash with them, and sometimes we don’t realise just how lucky we are.
My fiancee and I checked out what Route YC has to offer people who like to explore and travel along the Yorkshire coastline, and lets you create your own adventure. They’ve devised routes and advice for hikers, cyclists, walkers, dog owners and other tourists who want to see what Yorkshire has under its surface.
So, one late Friday afternoon we packed up the car and headed to lovely Hornsea from our Halifax home, ready for a long weekend of finding out what the corridor between Withernsea and Bridlington has to offer. It’s a good three hour jaunt over there, but once you’re into your journey, those Yorkshire views become a sight to behold. And they warm you up nicely for a weekend of Yorkshireness.
For us? Plenty of walking, plenty of culture, plenty of changeable weather, and a bit of indulgence in some of the luxury the county has to offer…
“Fresh sea-air feel”
We had a fantastic weekend itinerary all planned out. But it was a Friday night chill at our starting point, the Hornsea Lakeside Lodges complex, that kicked things off. And we arrived just as darkness had set in.
Although it was dark when we arrived, we were welcomed into a well-maintained and tidy site. All private and secure, and our lodge was buried deep into the complex. What we couldn’t see at that time was the view we’d been given… more of that soon, but when you arrive it’s worth making sure you get here in the daylight to savour the surroundings.
We did get that fresh sea-air feel when we stepped out of the car though. A lovely signal that we’d arrived by the seaside.
More loveliness was to follow as we wandered in to our lodge. What a stunning place to begin our weekend. The lodge was large. Very spacious, but comfy all the same. Clean, tidy, modern, and had a nice feeling about it. It was accommodation fit for eight people, and although it was a large space we didn’t feel like it was too big for just the two of us. And after a quick nosy around, we really felt at home.
We had a huge fridge, and all the pots and pans we could think of. TVs in the front room and the bedrooms. A large, comfy leather corner sofa and a dining table in the open plan main living space. We had towels, robes… you name it. All we needed to bring were our clothes, food, and some drink and we were at home.
“A bit of relaxation”
We were peckish when we arrived, and food wise we’d ordered a small hamper from nearby Redcliffe Farm Shop. It was waiting for us in our lodge, and included Lasagne for dinner, some lovely biscuits (which we promptly began to munch on) and breakfast items for the morning. And much more.
But, first things first… a bit of relaxation was needed. We’d spent a fun few hours in the car, but needed to unwind. So, after a quick cuppa and a sit down we headed out for the hot-tub and enjoyed a couple of hours of indulgence, gazing up at the stars whilst sipping on a glass of wine. And the hot tub was super. It was a perfect way to settle in to Hornsea, before grabbing hold of our weekend on the Yorkshire Coast with both hands the following day.
Now, remember I mentioned arriving in the daylight? Well, after an incredibly comfy nights sleep, we opened our curtains on Saturday morning to a gorgeous view of the gardens in-front of us. It was bright, crisp and dressed in our gowns we enjoyed a coffee on the veranda. In front of us was luscious green grass, a gorgeous lake (with fish to catch, I believe!), and a few geese who came up to us to say good morning.
It’s one of those settings that you just absorb and feel appreciative for. Setting you up for the day. And we made the most of it, but we had a trip to be getting on with and, unfortunately, only had a couple of waking hours to enjoy daylight at Hornsea Lakeside Lodges.
Because there was a museum visit waiting for us…
After checking out and thanking our hosts for a lovely stay at the lodge, our next stop and first adventure was just a very short drive away on Newbegin in the town centre. A visit to the Hornsea Museum.
The Hornsea Museum is within Burns Farm, which doesn’t look like a farm from the main road. In fact, it slots quite nicely into the traditional looking street. And if you like retro, nostalgia and modern history, the window displays will invite you right in.
Before looking around the museum, we’d arranged to view the Hornsea Pottery, where there’s a vast collection of 2000 pieces housed within the museum. Curator Carol, someone with very close links links to Hornsea Pottery welcomed us and gave us a rundown of the history of the pottery, its evolution and talked us through various periods and styles.
Carol’s knowledge on this subject is absolutely priceless. Her passion for the collection and its heritage was something else, and despite being with her for an hour, we could have listened to her stories about Hornsea Pottery for much longer. If she’s around when you visit, it’s worth saying hello and asking her to guide you round the exhibits.
“A wonderful surprise”
One thing I loved was seeing the ‘Bronte’ collection of tea, coffee and sugar pots. Something we had in our kitchen when I was a very young kid, and not only did looking at it bring back lovely memories, the feel of it was recognisable too. It was amazing how much seeing that struck a chord with me, and it isn’t even the nicest looking example of pottery!
Whatever type of trip you’re planning on down the East Yorkshire coast, I can recommend the Hornsea Museum. Not only is the pottery exhibition fantastic, but the rest of the museum is great too. It looks quite small from the outside, but its very deceptive, and a wonderful surprise!
We also looked around the outside of the museum. At the back, there’s an artisan garden is surrounded by an old school room, a war chamber, a model railway and more. It’s a really lovely spot, and one that all the family could go to if you were travelling the Yorkshire coast with the kids. The people of Hornsea have an exceptional museum here, and the staff in the shop, all volunteers, are lovely too. We bought a few bits and pieces from them before saying our goodbyes and spending an hour taking part in the Hornsey Pottery Trail. The trail is a small but fun circuit of the town, with bits and pieces of Hornsea pottery and symbols dotted around. It’s a brilliant activity to do, and we found it was quite a nice way to begin the more energetic side of our jaunt.
And that set us up nicely for our next destination: A trip to Mappleton Beach.
“A peaceful paradise”
Now, Mappleton Beach is somewhere that I’ve never been. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of it until we were planning our route down the East Yorkshire coast. So if there’s anybody else who’s like me and enjoys being on the seaside, Mappleton Beach is definitely one for you to checkout. It’s unspoiled. It’s a mixture of sand and shingle, goes on for miles and it’s a peaceful paradise.
We were there on a bright, but very windy day. We had waves gently crashing. There was a sea mist. And it was very picturesque, making for a lovely walk. We wandered for about an hour down one side of the beach and about half an hour down the other side, just enjoying the sounds of the sea, and these lovely views out across the water.
Arriving there late afternoon, I was thankful that my other half had her wits about her when she noticed the tide coming in quite quickly. We certainly had to walk a lot closer to the cliff erosion on the way back than we did when we first arrived. We had to do it at a rapid pace too! And as we got back to the car, there was much less beach left than there was a couple of hours earlier.
“A lovely part of Yorkshire”
We loved Mappleton Beach. Parking is at a premium here, and perhaps that feeds in to why it’s so quiet. We encountered a few dog walkers, perhaps locals, and maybe a couple of tourists. But we just managed to get a parking spot on the road. With the double yellow lines around Mappleton these are hard to come by. The small car park was completely full when we got there, so if you’re arriving by car be prepared to drive around a little bit to find a space.
To round off our visit down here, we went to the Old Post Office Tea Rooms for a cup of tea and some scones. It’s a quiet area, and there isn’t much around but we liked that. And the tea room is a gorgeous, quaint spot that gives service with a smile. As well as an abundance of sweet treats!
We spent over an hour there, before our visit to Mappleton Beach was done. And so was the Hornsea leg of our trip. What a lovely part of Yorkshire, and a place to return to in the future. Now we had a 15 minute drive to our accommodation for the evening, in Patrington.
For the Saturday evening we were booked into a house adjacent to the Dunedin Country Hotel, five miles from Withernsea.
“Culture, walking and driving”
We’d been spoiled the night before in our Lakeside lodge, and we were close to being spoiled again with this eight bedroomed house, that sleeps up to 16 people. As we checked in we were nicely taken care of by the staff in the hotel next door, and left to our own devices for the evening. And our first impressions of the house were great.
Lots of stylish luxuries, and plenty of sofas. There was a full kitchen with everything you need and there was a semi-boutique feel to the place. There’s private parking, and a hot-tub just outside too. We immediately said that this place would be perfect for a larger group who are exploring with Route YC – perhaps ramblers or cyclists, but for the two of us, it was just too big. As nice as the house is, the cosy factor was a little absent for a couple, and when we were inside it, it was screaming out for more people to be there. A large group will really appreciate a stay in this place though.
We had a nice freshen up before taking a walk down the road for dinner. It was The Station Hotel, a large local pub and restaurant that serves up very nice pub grub where we’d decided to eat that evening. It had a good number of people in there at around 7pm, and we were nicely taken care of by the staff. I plumped for Fish n Chips with mushy peas, with Alex deciding on the Steak and Ale pie. It was gorgeous food, and a lovely, substantial meal to boot. And it was our first opportunity to relax a little bit and wind-down after a busy day of culture, walking and driving.
“A clear contrast in what Yorkshire was offering us”
After a couple of drinks we headed back to our base. And when we got home, we decided that because the previous nights hot tub shenanigans had worked out so well, we had to do the same again. This time we had a the semi-distant celebrations of a wedding going on at the hotel next door, the atmosphere of which was very uplifting.
There was a clear contrast in what Yorkshire was offering us as our Route YC trip was progressing. We had the rural, active side of the region, and we had the luxury chilled side of it too. What a nice balance…we could get used to breaks like this.
With another good nights sleep behind us, the hotel brought round the nicest breakfast I’d had in a long time at 9am on the Sunday. We both had a cooked breakfast, as well as a range of continental options too. And, because the staff at Dunedin Hotel are so great, they also packed us a go-bag, with snacks and juice to keep us fuelled through the day. They knew that we had quite a busy few hours scheduled in, and that was a really nice touch.
Back in the car, and back on the road, Spurn Point was our Sunday morning destination. A very unique spot, and a very unique activity…
“Raring to go”
Route YC promises some surprises in the activities it recommends, and on the Sunday morning we were booked in for a Jeep safari at 11am at Spurn Point. I’d been to Spurn Point before, at the height of the Covid summer of 2020, after we were allowed out again. I remembered it as a stunning place; a sandy beach which, on a sunny day, is reminiscent of something a bit more Mediterranean. Now, Spurn Point is very much in nature reserve too. And it’s a lovely spot for walkers, bird watchers, and obviously nature lovers.
A bit like the previous day, it wasn’t that warm and the winds were up a little bit too. Thankfully we’d wrapped up well. We arrived outside the Unimog that was parked up for 11, and us, along with 16 others we raring to go.
The safari lets you take the 3 mile trip along the coast line to the actual point. Rob was our driver, and our guide, and a very nice chap into the bargain as well. As we strapped ourselves in to the vehicle, his commentary before and during the ride was informative and very well delivered. As we bumped and grinded along the sand dunes and the rocks, we received a fascinating education on the local nature, as well as the maritime and military history connected with Spurn Point.
And as you’re travelling along, you get some stunning views across the North Sea. Keen photographers will get plenty of lovely shots along the way.
“One of my favourite days out this year”
The Spurn Point Safari tour has been one of my favourite days out of the year. Unfortunately, and probably because of the weather, we didn’t see any wildlife other than Brent Geese. But that didn’t matter, the experience was a memorable one. And the highlight of the day was going up the lighthouse, which is part and parcel of the tour. If you brave the steps all the way up to the top, the lighthouse lets you take some fascinating photographs of some amazing views. It’s pretty impressive inside as well.
We concluded our activity by learning a little bit about the RNLI base that’s situated there, as well as getting a quick 45 minute walk in the cut paths of the point before heading back to our start point. If you’ve never been to Spurn Point, it’s worth a visit. And if you can get on one of the tours, it’s something I’d recommend anybody do. We will be booking again at the height of next summer, in the hope of seeing more of the nature that lives in the area.
What a great few hours in a great part of Yorkshire.
By now it was pushing 2.30pm, and we headed back up the coast to spend a bit of time in Withernsea, just 10 miles away.
“Huge, brightly coloured and fun”
Our snacks that we had packed for us in the morning had been nicely munched away at Spurn Point, so we went for a lovely carvery lunch at the Alexandra Hotel to refuel. The Alexandra is a couple of minutes away from the central pier at Withernsea, which let us explore that section of coastline.
And during out leisurely wander round, we liked what we saw.
Withernsea beach and its surrounding area is quite reminiscent of those British picture postcard scenes. An old seaside town. Clean, traditional, and with a row of huge houses overlooking the sea-front. It was here we saw our first giant puffin, part of a Puffin Trail dotted all over the coastline. They’re huge, brightly coloured and fun. They put a smile on your face, and we ended up seeing quite a few more during the last 24 hours of our trip.
It was a nice spot to potter around in. And it tied the day up nicely before getting back in the car to make our way up to our next and final destination: Bridlington.
After completing Withernsea, we had one final night on our Yorkshire Coast tour. And that was to be spent at the Manor Court Hotel in Bridlington. As with much of our driving during our weekend, we were listening some good tunes and taking in some lovely sights during our hour on the road.
We’d noticed that there was this pattern forming along Route YC. Sights. I really like the drive up to Scotland as you pass through the Lakes. If you’ve done that drive, you’ll know how those views hit you. Well, you get the same sort of effect driving up and down the Yorkshire coast. I can only imagine how nice it must be to cycle the same routes with the added value of the breeze in your face.
Manor Court Hotel had allocated us one of the seaside style chalets in the grounds for our evening with them. From the outside these look lovely. And when we walked into our chalet, we found ourselves in a lovely, cosy room which had more space than you initially think. It was fairly luxurious too, and very, very comfy. We had a Tassimo coffee machine, a TV, a bath and shower and a fridge…a mini home from home.
For this evening we were just happy to have a nice, chilled night. We ate in the hotel restaurant, where we had sumptuous pizza, Belgian waffles and cheesecake. And, of course, a gin and a lager to wind down from a fun-filled day. The meal was lovely, as was the service. And we stayed for another drink in the bar, before heading back to our room.
By the time we returned to our chalet, the garden was lit up with festoon lighting and it looked so nice. They’ve really got a nice feel in this section of the hotel, and we couldn’t help but take a few photos before that king sized bed came calling.
“A chilled experience”
After another very good sleep, we packed our bags and loaded the car before popping back into the Manor Court Hotel restaurant for breakfast. Once again, I took a full English which was cooked to perfection (great bacon), and from there we were to do our final bit of Route YC by having a potter around Bridlington beach.
Now, despite us getting mainly crisp and cool weather, we’d stayed dry whilst we were on our visit to the Yorkshire coast. However, we weren’t as lucky on this Monday morning because when we arrived at Bridlington beach the heavens opened. And not just a little bit – we’re talking torrential! Not to be deterred, we got our waterproofs out of the car and headed off for a walk along the sand.
It’s 24 years since I last visited Bridlington, and I don’t remember being particularly impressed with the place then. But times change, and I couldn’t believe how nice the beach was now, even in the pouring rain. It wasn’t holiday season, so the town wasn’t busy. And that let us take in the area as we walked for about an hour. We really enjoyed just being there, and finishing our trip the way it started – inhaling that fresh Yorkshire sea air.
Bridlington let us meet more puffins, wander around the harbour, and pop in to an arcade to play the 2p slot machines. It’s very much got that family fun element to the area, with plenty of fish n’ chip shops, rides, and hotels. It provides you with a section of coastline that you can savour, and gives you plenty of things to do.
Come early afternoon we were soaked, but smiling. And our adventure down the Yorkshire Coast had come to a very fulfilled end. We’d had a very insightful and enjoyable weekend on the Yorkshire coast. And now it was back to the car, ready for a drive back to Halifax.
“A region of never ending surprises”
I have to say the leg of the Yorkshire coast that we planned in thanks to Route YC was tremendous. We’d had a lovely few days, and it passed by in a flash. On reflection, we’d perhaps packed slightly too much in for such a short space of time. We did find we were always on the go, with not much time to take a breath. So those chilled out moments were essential. That said, we were very active, and felt very fulfilled. We enjoyed our whole weekend, and we’ll be up for doing more of what Route YC recommends in the future.
Our trip showed us one thing. That we live in a region of never ending surprises. There’s a lot of Yorkshire that many of us haven’t found out about yet. And we all need to get out and experience it.
To find out more about Route YC, visit: www.RouteYC.co.uk