Yorkshire is justifiably proud of its many and varied splendours: the delights of York, the Dales and the Moors, Whitby and Scarborough.
But there is one part of Yorkshire’s God’s Own that he likes to keep to himself; here you can stroll the quiet streets of England’s most beautiful Georgian town, peacefully admire some of our most beautiful churches, explore quiet villages and wander alone like a cloud. Along 50 miles of gorgeous, unspoiled coastline.
There are no highways that take the masses to the East Riding, just the slender Humber Bridge, which was the world’s longest suspension bridge when it opened in 1981, from where you descend to Kingston-upon-Hull.
It has a breezy sea air, and despite heavy war bombardment, the core of the Old Town is still standing, centered around the Hull Minster from 1285, claimed to be England’s largest parish church, and the first major brick building in England since 1920. remained. Romans.
Nearby is a narrow, winding cobbled main street lined with red-brick merchants’ houses in front of warehouses, swept away by the sea breezes and flowing back into the Hull River. This is the birthplace of Hull’s most cherished son, William Wilberforce, who devoted his life to abolishing slavery. His beautiful Georgian house is now a museum in his memory.
The world’s only submarine Deep, located in a futuristic structure on the seashore, is an underground aquarium where thousands of sea creatures observed from Europe’s deepest observation tunnel are exhibited.
Six miles north of Hull is Beverley, the county town of the East Riding, described by John Betjemen as “one of the most beautiful towns in England”. Its old streets, lined with gabled black-and-white buildings and beautiful Georgia-style homes, follow old river paths once inhabited by beavers – Beverley means ‘beaver meadows’.
The present Beverley Minster was built over the course of 200 years, from 1221 to 1425, and brought together three phases of English gothic architecture, Early English, Decorated and Vertical, resulting in arguably the most beautiful gothic building in Britain. Inside, Percy’s Tomb is considered the best surviving example of ornate stone carving in the country, while next to the High Altar stands a rare frith stool, or sacred chair, given to the original minister by the Saxon King Athelstan in 937.
The construction of which was started by the merchants of the town in 1120, St. Wonderland
The Yorkshire Wolds to the north and west of Beverley, England’s northernmost chalk hills, dotted with small market towns and home to the world’s oldest horse race, the Kiplingcotes Derby, is a pleasant, undulating landscape, first introduced in 1519 as a landmark for local gentry. was run as a road. to train their horses after winter.
Located in the heart of the Wolds in a parkland designed by Capability Brown, Sledmere House is the home of the Sykes family. Remodeled in Edwardian style after a fire in 1911, the splendors of this eccentric late Georgian house include the Library on the top floor, with an ornate ceiling based on the vaulted baths of Rome, and a Turkish Room covered in dazzling blue tiles from Damascus.
To the east, the Wolds ends dramatically at Flamborough Head, where chalk cliffs plunge 120 meters into the sea. Bempton Cliffs, on the north side of the promontory, is the largest bird breeding ground in mainland England and is a great place to watch for gulls.
On the promontory are two lighthouses, one dating from 1806, and a 25-metre-high chalk tower built in 1674 and the oldest complete lighthouse still standing in England.
In the Norman church of St Oswald in the village of Flamborough, you can find the gruesome tomb of Sir Marmaduke Constable, who fought at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 and died at age 70, so the story continues after he swallowed a frog while drinking a glass. of water. The frog is said to have gnawed its way out, eating the heart of Sir Marmaduke, a cautionary tale graphically pictured above the tomb.
North of Flamborough Head, six miles of golden sands lead to the Victorian resort town of Filey; To the south lies Bridlington, Old and New. Old Bridlington, two miles in, VIII. All that has survived is the nave and the Norman gatehouse, which is now a museum. The busier seaside resort of New Bridlington centers around the harbor and is known as Europe’s largest lobster port.
Inside from Bridlington is Boynton Hall, the former home of William Strickland, who introduced the turkey to England after a trip to the New World. A little further west, in the churchyard at Rudston, is the tallest obelisk in Britain: 27 feet high and still the same length below the surface, to the south is the Elizabethan Burton Agnes Hall, many people’s idea of the perfect cottage. Highlights include the Jacobean oak staircase, the ornate Great Hall, and the barrel-vaulted Long Gallery.
South of Bridlington is Holderness, a flat area of marshland that was dried in the Middle Ages to form rich farmland dotted with small villages. Another beautiful Elizabethan home rising from the open spaces is Burton Constable Hall. It houses the skeleton of a whale that washed up on shore in 1830 and is described by Herman Melville in his book Moby Dick.
The most rapidly eroding coastline in England, the Holderness coastline consists mostly of low cliffs and miles of wide beaches punctuated by the small resorts of Withernsea and Hornsea. To the south is Spurn Head, a spit of fine gravel and sand that stretches three and a half miles into the mouth of the Humber.
You can reach the lighthouse at Spurn Point on foot or by riding a specially adapted military vehicle, the Spurn Safari. It now serves as a visitor center for the surrounding nature reserve, operated by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The view of ships entering and leaving the estuary from the top of the lighthouse is as spectacular as the East Riding itself.
Where to stay
White Lodge Hotel, Filey: Elegant family-run hotel on the cliff-top Victorian Crescent in Filey, with stunning sea views from most rooms. Doubles starting from £159.
King’s Head, Beverley: Georgian-style pub with stylish accommodation overlooking Beverley’s historic Saturday market square, couples from £80.