Cowboy On The Peninsula Trail.

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide,
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

~ John Masefield

A Road to Nowhere.

Spurn Point and the 3 mile peninsula has intrigued me for years. One of the places that I’ve been determined to visit some time but have never managed to actually get around to go there. A place of a never ending cycle of creation and destruction as the North Sea hits the Yorkshire coastline; eroding the coast northward between Spurn and Flamborough Head. As the beach marches southwards by longshore drift the mouth of the Humber Estuary results in the creation of this most unusual place. A ribbon of land, only 40-50 yards wide in places that separates the North Sea from the Humber Estuary marshlands. A Nature Reserve, Designated Special Protection and historically of strategic significance all the way back to the fourteenth century and the time of Richard II.

A road to nowhere.©Charimage 2013

Around a Peninsula in Ten Hours!

It was about time to resolve the never got around to so a trip was planned and a date picked for the last day of October 2012.  Most people who visit go by car, pay a small toll to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at the entrance gateway then drive to Spurn Point; get out, quick walk and done. That will certainly impress and stay in the memory but if you want to really get a feel for it best go by foot. Tides were checked and the date was set; full moon giving a high tide early morning and evening so the day was clear to walk right round the peninsula.

Low Tide©Charimage 2013

A Place of Contrasts.

Planned was the coastal side outward bound and the estuary for the return. Because of the narrowness you can’t resist climbing the low dune divide and checking the opposite side on the other side of the roadway. Road is used loosely… it makes little pretence that it is hanging on to dear life by a thread. The length and narrowness of the place makes you realise how vulnerable you are and how big the sea. You get the impression that you are there by invitation only and that invite could be withdrawn at any moment by mere whim.  By contrast the length of beach gives the impression of endless. It changes around every corner with the marks of history everywhere. There are relics from the war years and a time when the peninsula was maintained by the military (including a railway line;)  forlorn as they are reclaimed by the ever shifting sea and sand. The total area is about 300 acres; when you consider this is only half a square mile you realise how narrow it really is. There are no trees. Telegraph poles mark the line. On a really high tide only they will remain above sea level. It’s quiet and uncrowded but you are surrounded by wildlife. There are birds everywhere; waders on the estuary mudflats and sea birds on the coastal side. Many uncommon breeds that are rarely seen elsewhere in the British Isles stop off at Spurn on the journey between their breeding and wintering grounds.

Quiet and deserted Yorkshire coast©Charimage 2013

Spurn Point.

In time the peninsula will probably be breached and Spurn Point will, for a short time, become an island. It is a never ending fight to keep it connected by its umbilical of sand and Marram grass. The island will then be swept and a new spit will be formed to the south. Until then the greater mass that forms the point is home to the only permanently manned RNLI lifeboat station in the UK. There’s a pier, disused lighthouses and a cluster of houses for the crew. Until recently the crew’s families lived there too but have now moved back inland. 1.5 miles further out in the estuary stands Bull Sand Fort; built as a defense in WWI which is now being renovated by the Streetwise Charitable Trust. Standing watching the busy shipping lanes served as stark reminder of the modern world outside. Spurn had its own detached quality even being so close to the modern world.


The selected day had been kind to us. Even on such a calm and pleasant autumnal day there was sharp warning to the sea wind. I felt pleased in the knowledge that, at last, I’d been and walked the perimeter. But another must do fixed in the mind on the journey home and it refuses to leave. To witness it in all its wrath and fury; in storm and tempest. It is something that is now a get around to for the future.


I must go down to the sea again,
To the lonely sea and the sky;
I left my shoes and socks there: -
I wonder if they’re dry?

~ Spike Milligan


©Lifecruiser Cowboy Trails


Other Cowboy Trails Posts at Lifecruiser:
God’s own Country
Rivers of Life
I Want to be Alone
Why Do We Travel?

1 Comment on “Sea Fever”


    Very intresting post! Loved de pics!

Leave a Comment