Search This Blog

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Spurn Head- 8mile walk

Spurn Point had been recommended to us as a good place to walk, and after having a look at the great website - - I had downloaded a map of the headland and we were ready to go. It was a late start for us, as we stopped off for some fresh supplies in the form of apples and some handmade scones on the way in driffield, and then we drove down to the point, parking in the Kilnsea car park at the top of the spur, furthest away from the lighthouse. Please note, that the drive down to the lighthouse is on an un level, sandy and twisty road so if you aren't keen on that sort of thing, or like us drive a lowered sports car, then best to park at the car park at the top and walk down rather than vice versa. Also check the tides too, they do wash over the road and the estuary side path when they come in.

The temperature today was hotter than yesterday, maybe 30 degrees. You can see the lighthouse in the far distance as you set off, so if walking towards your goal does it for you, this would be a great walk, for me, seeing the end point all the time from the beginning, if somewhat smaller and far away, was a little bit galling as you're wandering along but was an incentive to keep going in the heat. The head is a National Nature reserve, and house an RNLI lifeboat station at the far end, close to the current lighthouse, and the remains of the original lighthouse.

Again after we changed into our shoes (i had put shorts on today), packed up our ruck sac and used the toilets, we set off through a gate and along the path marked spurn footpath. You start by walking on a grassy footpath along the edge of the beach, and you couldn't fail to see the butterflies and moths flying around and by you. We saw copious amounts of these red and green ones, but haven't researched what type they are yet.

Walk along the grassy path, until the path curls around some white bungalows, you may see birdwatchers here, you walk past the bungalows and here you can choose to walk the estuary side of the path, or the beach side, we choose the estuary side. The water was out a little, exposing rich grass verges to the water, and the mudflats the other side. There were many waders, and birds foraging around in the mud. we tried walking along the mud side, but the path was through long grass and on a soft uneven mud/sand mix we decided to scramble back up to the road and walk along that for a little while.
The worst thing about walking down the road was that on either side of you there is a bank, meaning no wind, no whispers of relief from the sun pounding down on you and it was hot and sweaty. At around the 3 mile mark, we moved across the path and onto the beach side. You can see a lot of man made debris, concrete slabs, iron work and sea defences at the edge of the water side and there are lines of groins just laid out on the way to the waters edge.

At one point, as the the falling rocks had blocked the beach and the bank up to the coast path was too soft to climb up, and so we took the road path instead, though we had to scramble through prickly bushes to get there, so if you are walking with kids be aware of this.

There were 2 hides along the estuary side too, both well located and easy to walk down too, and both empty when we passed by. Dotted along the road we also saw this blue tinged thistle too.
As you approach the end of the spurn, you reach the lighthouse, unfortunately now its closed to the public, but is still an impressive structure. The paint is peeling but that's not surprising considering how isolated and windswept this part of the world is.
As you pass the lighthouse, you come to the RNLI houses. When we were here the RNLI information hut was closed, and make a note there are no facilities down here, no toilets, no cafe, not even a vending machine. You can see the remains of the previous lighthouse, due to the constantly shifting nature of the head, there are a couple of other remains of previous lighthouses too, though we didnt see them, they may be buried.
We did have a look around, and wandered over and across the WWI ruined buildings just past the Pier and we watched the swallows fly across and down the Pier wall, if you're light of foot and like the history of the war, its well worth a scramble around down here, you can imagine the atmosphere and each building tells a story if your mind is open. We walked back to the RNLI hut, and on the grassy bank, sat down to eat lunch. The apples and scones purchased earlier on in the day hungrily eaten and washed down by a cold coffee for me and water for the hubby.

It seemed even hotter than when we left as we turned around for the walk back to the car. Again we walked some on the road, and some on the beach path, you cant go much wrong here you can see the way back, and you may even get like us and count down the pylons towards the end, less than 10 a welcomed thought by this time.

On the beach there were families and couples enjoying the weather, but make sure you suncream up on your walk as we were both caught out by the sun and caught the sun a little too much, i forgot to apply cream to my calves and these were red and hot by the time we got back to the carpark. As we came back to the first set of houses, and crossed back onto the grassy path we were nearly home, just before the path ends at the carpark there is a small pond of water to the left, and as we passed a group of starlings flew out of the water and around, just posing for pictures and brought a final smile for the day from us both.

I would recommend this walk for any birdwatcher, and would carry an extra bottle of water if i come back.

Date: 4h July 2011
Total walk: 8.10 miles / 13.03km
Descent: 34 ft
Ascent: 67 ft
Average pace:  26.57 mins a mile
Accompanied: Gary Bygrave

No comments:

Post a Comment