Hiking Around

Leave only footprints, take only pictures and memories!

Spurn Head & Spurn National Nature Reserve from Kilnsea.

Distance: 7frac34; miles / 12frac12; kilometers

Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Grade: difficulty: Easy

Map: OS Explorer 292 - Withernsea & Spurn Head

Walk Summary

Spurn Point sometimes referred to as Spurn Head is a narrow strip of land which is probably the most striking geographical feature of East Yorkshire coast as it hooks round in to the Humber Estuary. This 7frac34; mile linear walk can be a truly fascinating walk at any time of the year.

WARNING: Due to a tidal surge in December 2013 made the road unsafe, access to Spurn Head is only accessible on foot - It is critically IMPORTANT that no attempt is made to access the point during high tides. Check the Spurn Head tidal information before venturing out!
Ensure there is enough time to make the return journey before high tide! Leave the dog at home, they are not even allowed in cars.

There is a free car park with public toilets next to the Blue Bell Cafe.  The walk starts from this car park, walk to the end of the car park, pass through a gate and turn right along east coast to follow the North Sea shoreline. The path is very clearly defined by a series of way markers. There is a second car park is about 3 miles along the road. From this point no vehicle access is allowed.

The walk is flat over the sand and shingle bank that makes up the Spurn's fragile environment. The area is protected and any disturbance of the land is strictly forbidden. The area is managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The site is very exposed, it is wise to carry a windproof jacket as the wind from the sea can be a bit nippy, even in summer.

The Spurn Discovery Centre opened on the 05/04/2011 providing an informative insight into the peninsula's history and why it is important today. Offering a cafe, toilets and information to help make the most out of any visit to the peninsula.

Tower of former low lighthouse a grade 2 listed building built in 1852 on the Humber foreshore side of the spit of land. It ceased operation in 1895, it had been used to store explosives, before being topped by a water storage tank.
The lighthouses at Spurn Head had been built in pairs since 1674, a high tower and a low tower.
The current high tower replaced the earlier tower built in 1767 by John Smeaton. This high lighthouse stands 128 feet tall and was designed by Thomas Matthews in 1895, initially using oil to power the illumination, it was converted to electric in 1941 and gas in 1957. It remained in operation until 1985 when modern technology meant that it became redundant.

The groynes at Spurn Head form part of the coastal erosion management. These groynes are very old and the beatings by the sea and the weather have given them their character.        .

Due to its stretegic position at the mouth of the Humber Estuary, Spurn Point has been used as part of Briatain's defence system since 1805. Some of the fortification structures from both WW1 and WW2 can still be found around the Spurn Point peninsula. The rail line which ran from Kilnsea closed in 1951 as a post-war time economy. The peninsula was fully demiliterised in 1959.
An acoustic sound mirror from the First World War can still be seen in a field near the village of Kilnsea. This enabled the military to audibly detect enemy aircraft before they could be seen.

In December 2013, a violent storm worked its way southeast from the Scottish Orkney Islands, the storm surge reeked havoc on Spurn Point peninsula, the old WWI military road and rail track giving vehicle and train access to the tip of the point, was destroyed.

The Spurn  Head or Point peninsula is managed by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, it is a nature reserve. The flora has deep rooted plants that can withstand the harsh weather and sea environent their deep roots help bind and stabalise the sand dunes. The various forna include migrating birds, lizards and roe deer.

The lifeboat station was established in 1810. Due to the remote location, restricted access and dangerous waters around this part of the coast. In 1819 cottages (upgraded in 1975) were built adjacent to the life boat house for the families of the crews up until 2012. The all weather RNLI crew are on site full time and it remains the only full time paid RNLI station in the United Kingdom, with two crews rotating six days on, six days off. If your down this way, have a thought and make a donation to support the life saving work that they perform in all weathers.