The hidden gem of Yorkshire - The SPURN

rimicane @rimicane
· December 2018 · 6 min read · United Kingdom

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Get ready for meeting the mother nature in an extraordinary and retouched state!

LOCATION

Brace yourselves! You would need to drive through a remote rural area , witnessing some special historical moments along the way! SPURN sits on the coast of the Yorkshire in Kilnsea, facing the mighty waters of the North Sea. Hello to the Netherlands! Driving or riding, you won’t regret! @mrprofessor, this should be on your list conquering the UK Velo route!

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HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The SPURN is an excellent example of global warming. It is a bit sad, but hear the story….

Once upon a time SPURN used to be home to the families wishing to live on the stretch of land and military personnel during the wartime. There used to be houses and proper road and the rail. The first human inhabitants on the record came to build their lives here in the year 1819[1] and sadly, in 2012[1] only the workforce remained on the peninsula. The reason for this hard decision was the battle of nature vs humans where people lost to the wash-overs.

Two times the stormy weather has transformed the peninsula. The first time it had happened in the mid 19th century[1] when a hole appeared in the peninsula due to the washed away shingles. At that time it has been filled with the chalk to preserve the SPURN. The transportation link has been renewed.

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The second wash-over happened in 2013[1]. Locals said that authorities decided not to fight the natural processes and let the nature to take its course. Since then there is no roadway to the peninsula and access is only on foot, bicycle or a safari truck organised by the SPURN Discovery Centre.

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DESCRIPTION

The endpoint of the SPURN heritage coast the SPURN Point is connected to the land via a sandy shore. During the high tides, the sandy banks submerge into the water and are not safe for crossing. The tide times are shown, and warning signs are placed along the peninsula. So be aware of it and avoid being cut off by the water. It is very dangerous!

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SPURN peninsula is an excellent place for bird watchers, wildlife, photography, heritage lovers, hikers and fauna enthusiasts. You are constantly reminded about the presence of the nesting birds and preservation on the tidal island. At the entrance to the peninsula, there is a board with the seasonal changes to keep an eye on, from wildflowers to wildlife. Also, there is an information board at the chalk bank explaining the significance of the Eelgrass and its protection.

Be prepared for a long walk and pack accordingly! The time you spend admiring the surroundings and watching the wildlife might take longer than you expect!

Once you reach the heart of the peninsula, there is a lighthouse to visit, cafe and toilets to get ready for a way back.

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IMPRESSION

The day we came to SPURN was wettish at times and a bit windy. The first impression, WOW, that is a long way to the SPURN Point, and my other half suggest that I am crazy for bringing us here. He is a big potato coach and loves nothing more than sitting in front of a telly.

Having weather in mind and checking the tidal times, we set ourselves off to a great adventure! Our first unique wildlife moment came a few minutes later when a couple of deer were peacefully grazing the grass and peaking at humans from time to time.

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The sandy bank was a loooong stretch to walk before reaching the chalk bank with a proper walkway. Because let's be honest, walking on the beach is not a very easy task.

Here you could find plenty of evidence of the old walkway which has been washed away in 2013 and other debries. In the far distance, we have noticed a row of wind turbines.

It was the first time near the North Sea in the UK, and the contrast in water between West and East is massive. In the West it is a beautiful blue-greenish colour, but here in the East, it was brownish and a little muddy. Could it have been due to the stormy weather, who knows?

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Once you cross the sandbank, dunes and fauna of the island hide you from the open winds. The walk gets more comfortable and much more interesting. There are plenty of billboards with information to read and things like parts of the brick walls and the railway to witness and wonder about the past times. You notice how quiet it gets being away from the civilisation. You see birds everywhere!

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Reaching the lighthouse is a highlight of the hike because you feel a sense of achievement. After walking for so long here is the reward!

The other side of the lighthouse has a concrete wall which opens a great view once you are on it! I particularly enjoyed the former low light, which looked somewhat abandoned. Pretty much like everything else on the island that once served a great cause!

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One could have gone further to the Spurn point and see the military structures, and I wished we could, but we decided to turn around and go back. It was a sensible thing to do, having a kid to walk the distance. And in fairness, your body seems to give up when you reach something great. It certainly knows when to relax and demand to stop.

And so feeling the toll, we slowly began our way back. We were catching everything else we missed and were greeted with a full rainbow and a bright sky walking back to the entrance.

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The return was not as cheerful and exciting. Our bodies were exhausted and needed a rest. Our son was happily riding on daddy's shoulders and telling mommy off for bringing us here. Maybe one day he will be like me, enjoying nothing more than a great hike and nature!

I would highly recommend visiting the SPURN if you are in the area spending a day witnessing the heritage which might soon disappear from the radar.

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USEFUL INFO

  • Paid Parking is available opposite the SPURN Discovery Centre
  • Toilets and a cafe located in the SPURN Discovery Centre
  • No dogs are allowed on the peninsula
  • No drones are allowed either
  • Restrooms and a cafe situated on the Island at the end of your walk
  • Check the tide times to avoid being trapped on the peninsula
  • Guided tours on a safari truck can be booked at the SPURN Discovery Centre if walking long distances is a bit of a struggle for you
  • Get a bicycle!

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  1. YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE TRUST. Spurn National Nature Reserve [Online] Available: https://www.ywt.org.uk/nature-reserves/spurn-national-nature-reserve Accessed 01 December 2018.


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