Hornsea is a small seaside town in East Yorkshire. It grew slowly in the 20th century as a resort, and commuter town for Hull - then the railway closed in 1964. And Hornsea has remained largely frozen in time since then.
Hornsea has a population of about 8,500.
By road the usual approach from points west and south is along A1035 / B1244.
East Yorkshire Bus 240 runs M-Sa hourly from Hull via A165 Skirlaugh to Hornsea, 70 min, only three buses on Sunday.
Bus 246 runs M-Sa hourly from Hull via Beverley to Hornsea, 80 min.
Bus 130 runs twice daily from Bridlington to Hornsea, 70 min.
- Hornsea is a quiet seaside town with a rebuilt seafront promenade. The seafront area has just a pub/restaurant and two cafes.
- 1 [dead link] Hornsea Museum, Burns Farm, 11-17 Newbegin Hornsea HU18 1AB. Apr-Oct M-Sa 10:00-16:00, Su 13:00-16:00. Old farmstead displays Victorian rural life and local history, as well as items of Hornsea Pottery. Adult £3.50, child & conc £2.50.
- 2 Bettison's Folly, The Willows, off Newbegin. Bettison was a 19th-century brewer who built this knobbly tower in his back garden so that his servant could see when he was coming home from work, and get dinner served. It's now surrounded by a modern housing estate. You can't tour inside.
- Stroll on the beach. It's sandy, sort of, with shingle and mud.
- 1 Hornsea Mere (half a mile inland from town). This is the largest freshwater lake in Yorkshire, about 2 miles long by one mile wide, the last survivor of the post-glacial swamps in this area. Activities are bird-watching, rowing, sailing, boat trips and fishing. The usual viewing point and car park is at its east end, off Southgate in town, looking onto Swan Island. There's another pleasant wooded area at the west end near Wassand Hall, the property owners. Walking the complete circuit is about 3 miles: the south-side path crosses farmland near the lost village of Southorpe, but the north follows the main road into town.
- Explore the toffee cliffs along the coast. The 20 miles south from Hornsea to Withernsea is being steadily lost to the sea: some medieval village sites are now three miles offshore. The land ends in 15- to 30-foot-high cliffs, where the underlying clay is being eroded into strange towers that look like toffee, and that succumb like toffee to wave action. Everywhere there are farm buildings, caravan pitches, stretches of road, pipes and cables, and wartime pillar-boxes, cracking and tilting at jaunty angles as they slither down the slope. There are also lots of spent shells and mortars from washed-away artillery ranges. The main limitation is access - the sea is washing away steps and ramps faster than new ones are provided. Don't descend onto the beach unless you've checked the tides (which will come right up to the cliffs) and thought about how you'll get back up.
- Hornsea Freeport is a shopping Outlet Village on the southern edge of the town.
- Tesco is close to the Mere.
There's half a dozen fish & chips shops, couple of Italians and an Indian restaurant.
Most visitors are on day trips, or stay on the caravan sites nearby along the coast. There are no hotels.
- 1 Beachside B&B, 3 Victoria Ave HU18 1NH, ☏ . Two large doubles, the rest are twin. B&B double from £65.
The clay cliffs resume south of Withernsea, then turn to sand hills, culminating in the three-mile spit of Spurn Head.
The coast to the north is more attractive, with Bridlington, Flamborough Head, Scarborough and the rugged coast up to Whitby.