Day 27: HORNSEA to WITHERNSEA
Friday 26th April 2019
Today’s walk: 26.1 Total miles: 398.0
A better sleep then the previous night. I was still packed up and back walking before 8am, my first priority was to find something substantial to eat. I passed through several caravan sites on the Northern end of Hornsea and shortly before 9am I arrived on Hornsea promenade. I saw there were plenty of places to eat on the coast but unfortunately all of them were still closed. I ambled around aimlessly for about 10 minutes until I noticed two women putting out some tables and chairs at one of the beachside cafes. I asked if they were opening soon and she told me to have a seat and they would serve me soon. Soon was only a few minutes and not long after ordering I had a bacon sandwich and a cup of coffee on my table. That one order soon became two, with another order for the same again. The sun was now blazing down on my face and I was very comfortable sitting in my plastic chair with a full stomach. So comfortable that I almost dropped off to sleep. I had to shake myself and force my body to move from the comfort of its chair. It didn’t take long to reach even more caravan parks on the Southern end of Hornsea.
The cliffs along this area of the English coast are prone to high levels of sea erosion and it didn’t take long for me too see plenty of examples of the effects of the waves. Walking along near Hornsea South Cliffs I could see the hardstandings that would once have occupied caravans, unfortunately the majority of the concrete base was now lying at the bottom of the cliffs. During my planning for today I became aware of an area near Cowden Sands which is a now defunct RAF bombing range. The two mile stretch of coastline is littered with unexplored ordance and although the area is open to the public there are warnings signs aplenty as I approach the area. I thought this area at Cowden Sands would be the most dangerous section of walking for today.
However, I didn’t account for the angry farmer at Great Cowden. I can’t pretend that I didn’t see the sign telling me not to trespass and I’m not making any excuses but I did choose to ignore the sign and jump over the wooden fence. As I walked along the edge of the cliffs I made sure to stay well away from the crops which were probably 5mts away to my right. On my approach to the far side of the field I noticed an old car driving down the lane and then somebody get out of the car, they then stood there staring at me. I knew then that I was in for a confrontation. He wasn’t a happy chap and through gritted teeth I apologised. After a few minutes I managed to calm him down. It turned out that he was contacted by the neighbouring farmer who saw me crossing the field and grassed me up to the owner. I really wanted to argue the toss with him about access but this wasn’t the time or place. I thought it even more petty when he confirmed that I’m only the second person this year to cross his land, hardly an invasion is it.
I was begrudgingly directed to the road and this resulted in me walking around the danger area of Cowden Sands. After an hour of walking along the road I reached Aldbrough and popped into a small shop for a can of fizzy pop and a chocolate bar. There was a seat a little further along the street which I decided to make use of. I rejoined the coast near Grimston and the next few miles were nice walking along the now higher cliffs . There were 2-3 occasions when the path/minor road disappeared over the cliffs and I was forced to go inland slightly. I really wanted to go onto the beach but wasn’t sure I’d be able to get back onto the cliffs if the tide came in. I continued along the edge of the cliffs until just before Withernsea where I was finally able to take to the beach.
I walked into Withernsea and found something to eat and a pint in a local pub. I hadn’t intend going much further but I wasn’t able to find somewhere suitable to pitch my tent. Not much further ended up as 4 more miles until I found a sheltered spot near Holmpton. I asked at the nearest house if I was OK to camp nearby and I was met by a friendly ‘no problem’. It was getting dark so was happy to find somewhere suitable.