Today’s walk is difficult to get to, it involves the 5 am bus to Manchester, a train to Hull, a bus to Patrington, then a Taxi to the top of Spurn head, and then a 3 mile walk to the end of Spurn point so I can start walking back.
Spurn is a narrow tidal island lies at the end of the Humber estuary, at 3 miles long it is half the width of the estuary at that point, but at points it is only 45 yards wide. It has been tempting me for a while, the narrow line at the end of nowhere.
Surprisingly it didn’t have a fin de terre atmosphere, as places like Sunderland Point at the head of the Lune, The sunny day and tourist traffic at the top made it feel like a beach resort , albeit a little windswept, and desolate, but once on the point proper, it was like walking an English country lane.
It is a nature reserve, so access to parts of it is restricted. I set off down the path to the head, at one side the North Sea raging, and at the other the calm waters of the estuary. The tide was almost in, so I had to walk there on the soft sand which made going a little tough for the half mile of exposed beach.
But after that, there is a path, which follows the route of an old railway that was used for tourist day trips. This railway was unique in that it had sail bogies to propel it as this old picture shows:
Sail bogie on Spurn Point, c 1933 (Trevlynn Hildred)
There is still evidence of the old railway scattered around the headland, reminding us of older days:
Once past the beach it was a easier walk along the path and the vegetation sheltered me from the wind. Infact in the sunshine it was positively pleasant, and the for the first time this year I was able to walk in shirtsleeves only.
From time to time, you could get glimpses of the sea, and of its wartime past with tank traps and ditches popping up:
But mostly it was calm and peaceful:
At the end of the point (three miles out, and the technical start of my walk) is a lighthouse, lifeboat station and old military fort. The lightboat station is only one of two full time paid posts in the UK (the other being on the Thames) and it was a surprise to see a small community at the end of the headland.
Coincidentally, I had seen the top of Spurn a few days ago on a ferry from Zeebrugge to Hull, and that had provided the last enticement to do the walk, as it looked exactly as I had imagined it as we passed the rounded headland point, with a beach and the waves lapping the sand, you can’t get to there by foot, as it is a nature reserve, so I just had to make do with climbing a small hill and savouring the views from there across the bracken:
It was then a march back towards the mainland, passing the old WWII fort (there has been a military presence on Spurn since Napoleonic times, in WWII this was a strategic protection for the Humber estuary)
From the evidence of heavy iron gates on the concrete, this was a well defended building.
Not many people walk to the end of the point, it is after all a six mile round trip (probably nearer eight when you factor in the trek from the car park) but for the semi intrepid there is a sort of bus service, As I neared the beach I was passed by a lorry carrying tourists down to the end.
Then one more look towards the lighthouse, a quick selfie and onwards to Easington
Walking through Kilnsea, which is the nearest village to Spurn, I passed a prefab that still looked like it was lived in:
Then it was a three mile trek down a narrow lane through more fields of rape seed, with their pungent musty aroma to Easington:
I arrived at Easington with 2 minutes to spare for the bus, and the trip back was one of those you just love for the efficiency of connection, the Easington bus arrived in Patrington just as the bus there was pulling up, so I jumped on that and got to Hull, where the Sheffield train was arriving, I had a quarter hour wait at Sheffield, but arrived in Stockport and left the station to jump straight onto a 192.
Oh and I managed to get a snap of this ancient rusted petrol pump on the first bus:
A shortish walk today, but immensely enjoyable and varied for such a small area of the country, ten miles covered.
Copyright, except where noted, Allan Russell 2019.