The East

Ever so the romantic, to celebrate our third wedding anniversary, I took my dear wife zoefruitcake to the East Coast this weekend. The British seaside has a magnetic appeal no matter what time of year you visit. Bleak, grey sands lapped by a cold grey sea set against the crumbling facade of decaying Victoriana. 

Perfect. 

However, while the golden heyday of the British Seaside is still in living memory and some areas having received European regeneration money, the decay of neglect has been spreading deeper because of cash strapped council cuts. It is sad, like the passing or deterioration of an old friend, the end of a cultural pillar, but still there is a fondness for the seaside. Indeed,  while some places like Scarborough, Brighton and Blackpool still remain popular, others like Bridlington, Cleethorpes, Margate and Weston-Super-Mare show the cracks and devastation of a lack of investment. I've visited most of the British coast now I'm in adulthood, enjoying all that the little towns and villages have to offer while observing with an educated eye, the places once popular with the masses, the places once money making engines, now clinging on with Damoclean effort. 

Of course it's not just the big towns that appeal to me, the smaller lesser known towns that started to form their own resorts only for them to falter with the arrival of mass international transport also appeal. As it is, I've always wanted to visit the Humber Coast, so with places still left to visit running out and the cost of getting to the Isle of Wight more expensive than staying two nights there, I thought a trip to the Bridlington area was in order.

A Map for reference as I know not everyone has good Geographical knowledge

Our journey began with a trip to Hornsea. Despite the cold, it was quite busy for a half-term and the promenade was quite busy. Even the fish and chip restaurant we stopped at for lunch appeared to have been busy with grandparents treating their visiting grandchildren to a half-term treat. 

Hornsea is a nice quiet little town. Some of the once proud guest houses have been converted into old peoples homes but there are also lots of lovely houses there and well maintained public areas too.   I was further overjoyed to see a Cooplands still functioning in the town too, indeed, I was able to convince the wife to treat me to a post-lunch Yorkshire delicacy, a Curd Tart, from there. 


Hornsea is where the TransPennine Route starts
Millennium Waste Paper Baskets are still in existence in this forgotten corner of the UK
Fish and Chips for Lunch (with buttered BREADCAKE) . A proper seaside tradition
A curd tart for afters. Perfect

After lunch and a walk around Hornsea, we scooted up the coast towards Bridlington. Bridlington is kind of like a mini-Scarborough. It consists of two bays, North and South separated by the old port with an even older town slightly out of the main centre. The north side of the harbour town towards the Pavillion peters out into amusement arcades and fairgrounds, most of which, being out of season, were closed. Meanwhile, the southside, toward the former spa, beholds guesthouses (former and existing), fish and chip shops and the main residential areas.

There had been some regeneration of the south side. Lots of glass and concrete with shared spaces for vehicles and pedestrians. I couldn't help thinking that whoever on the council agreed to the "Glass and Concrete" mix obviously hadn't thought of vandals and the longevity of such materials. I can't see this lasting as long as the structures they replaced.

Some of the seafront beach huts
Padding pools on the seafront looking cold and blue in the cold and grey
A modern take on the traditional solarium. Similar to the one in Scarborough, only functional.
A happy wife in a happy place.
Bridlngton: Twinned with Eastern Europe but with well kept gardens
Makes a change from massive cocks
The Gansey Girl - https://opherworld.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/the-gansey-girl-bridlington-sculpture/
The former Pavillion on the North side
Walking towards the fairground (closed for winter)
There are some interesting buildings in the Old town too. This pub for example
And this butchers shop
Even older is the gatehouse to the old priory which was demolished by Britains own Donald Trump, Henry VIII
The priory church of Bridlington. Closed for refurbishment.

The next day, we headed up the coast to Filey. Filey is a lot smaller than Bridlington but more grand. Georgian terraces atop the steep terraced cliff gardens leading down to the promenade where hotels, both newly refurbished and in the process of refurbishment, indicate a prospective gentrification of the area. Again, the front seems to have received a large sum of European grant money and no doubt a great deal of the residents that live there were so thankful for this they voted to leave the EU. 

Still, that money brought lovely gardens and statues.

Terraced Filey
More of the same
Bronze man just back from fishing
More fishermen, this time enjoying the well tended gardens
A lido and a view towards the north cliffs

Further into the excursion, we headed south again, this time for Flamborough Head for lunch. Such a beautiful place. 

This light house is actually very heavy, you'd do your back in trying to lift it.
Holey cliffsides!

We stopped briefly at Sewerby Hall for a post lunch exploration, then headed further south again, past Hornsea towards Withernsea and Spurn Head. 

Withernsea is a lot more run down than Hornsea and it looks like it is getting the last of the European regeneration money as work still appeared to be going on. A once grand pier head is all that remains of Withernsea pier and this stands proud like an erection at a nudist camp. There was an amusement arcade, sadly closed for the winter season, and a lighthouse in the town centre which made for distinctive landmarks. 

Take your deckchairs through this time portal
I see you Clem Lighthouse
Withernsea: Synonymous with municipal construction

Hoardings decorated with old pictures of the area  hid municipal works from the general public and showed what Withernsea once looked like. If Bridlington was a budget Scarborough, Withernsea was once a kind of budget Bridlington. However, it looks like a stray Hull bound bomb during World War II took out a fair bit of the grand livery and the town never really recovered.

Finally we ended our day trip at Spurn Head by driving through the Quatermass II like gas interchange at Easington. "Police" cars disguised as security guards buzzed our little car as it travelled along the PUBLIC highway through the interchange. No doubt high powered antenna and listening devices were pointed at us hoping to determine whether we were a threat to the public and several sinister government databases were also searched to ensure we were not ne'er-do-wells. But the reward was a lovely sunset at Spurn though sadly not to right to the end as that involved a three mile walk and we needed to be back in Bridlington for dinner.

Sunset over Spurn Head


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