Things to do in Withernsea, East Yorkshire
Withernsea is a typical Yorkshire seaside resort town, proud of its newly built promenade and European Blue Flag beach, awarded for exceptionally clean waters.
Peeping above the seafront terraced houses is the famous whitewashed lighthouse, now the home of the Lighthouse Museum.
Withernsea's landmark lighthouse is one of just a few that were built inland. It stands slap-bang in the middle of the town and rises 127 feet (38m) high over the rooftops. No longer in active service, it houses a collection of exhibits from the RNLI Lifeboat and HM Coastguard history.
Old photographs and models of how Withernsea used to look make an interesting browse or visitors can labour up the 144 steps for some breathtaking views as far as the Humber Bridge, some 23 miles further inland.
Just yards from the lighthouse in Hull Road is the birthplace of local filmstar, Kay Kendall, who won a Golden Globe award before her untimely death at the age of just 33.
Visitors to Withernsea are drawn to the miles of sandy beaches, small-town friendliness and family entertainment. Offering long walks along the promenade, children's playgrounds and an open-air theatre, it makes the ideal location for a quiet family vacation.
A walk to the south of the town brings visitors to the Spurn Peninsula, now just 50 metres wide due to the continuing erosion of the sea. The Spurn National Nature Reserve stretches along this 3-mile spit of shingle with unique plants, butterflies, seals and many migrating birds.
The area is a delight for bird-watchers (and boat-lovers!) on the banks of the River Humber. It is also the location of the only constantly manned lifeboat station which watches over the busy Humber Estuary.
Shopping and Entertainment
Withernsea is a delightful community full of Yorkshire charm. The shops on Queen Street are busy with residents exchanging local gossip and the market has an excellent array of produce.
Although the 19th century pier is just a memory, its location is marked by the two tower-like entrance structures. After several wintry storms and countless collisions by fishing vessels, the 364-metre long pier became shorter and shorter until the last 15 metres were demolished completely. The amusements now occupy the modern seafront arcades.
Pubs, restaurants, cafes and the obligatory fish and chip shops ensure that no-one goes hungry.
Historic Picture Boards
Don't miss the Historic Picture Boards on the promenade, showing fascinating images from Withernsea's past:
Installed on the security fencing surrounding the site of a nightclub that had to be knocked down after a fire, the picture boards have transformed an eyesore into an attraction!
There are 27 Picture Boards in total, featuring photographs taken between 1880 and the 1950s. Look out for photos of Withernsea Pier and the magnificent Bandstand, both of which have sadly since been demolished.
Things to do in the Area
Beyond Withernsea's provincial boundaries the open countryside of the East Riding of Yorkshire provides excellent walking on the moorland and open countryside. The historic towns of Hedon and Hornsea make an interesting day out.
On the outskirts of the town is RAF Holmpton, a massive nuclear bunker, built in the 1950s, which now offers award-winning guided tours.
Perhaps the last thing visitors to Withernsea would expect is a Napoleonic fortress on the doorstep, but at nearby Fort Paull, an excellent 500-year old fort on a 10-acre site can be toured, just outside Kingston upon Hull.
The port of Hull offers many cultural activities and entertainment including a theatre, nine free museums and art galleries and many more parks and gardens. The Hull and East Riding Museum is well worth spending time at, with its Iron Age Village and Roman bathhouse.