Long a subject of our fascination, there’s something about Spurn Point that has a magical air to it. Maybe it’s the abandoned nature of the place. Or maybe it’s the fact that it simply washes away from the mainland, ceasing to form part of our island when the tide grows stronger.
Located just East of Hull and marking the end point of East Yorkshire, Spurn Point has long been the punching bag of the Holderness coastline – battling with a semi-permanent connection to the mainland and a constantly evolving landscape as the coastline continues to erode.
Becoming completely abandoned by permanent inhabitants by 2012 – when the last lifeboat family moved inland – Spurn Point was once a thriving community, back before villages such as Ravenser Odd and Ravenspurn sunk below the seas of Yorkshire.
Today, only few echos of its former glory remain, including a chalk ‘football crowd’ drawn onto a wall where children used to play, derelict buildings and structures, the famous lighthouse, a WWI railway track, tunnels and barracks, and, of course, the wild habitats of many of Spurn’s creatures and animals.
Things only get curiouser during high tide. Cutting itself off from the mainland and retreating to the North Sea, Spurn Point becomes Yorkshire’s very own island – inaccessible by foot thanks to waters flooding the end of the peninsula.
Not only does its connection to the UK change, but the wildlife, too – in winter, attracting Harbour seals aplenty, and in the summer, providing temporary refuge in its surrounding waters to Harbour Porpouise, who play and swim safely around the stunning nature reserve.
Designated a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve, today, the island only sees humanity when the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are on shift or when curious visitors come to visit – left abandoned due to the adverse weather conditions it has attracted over the years, worsened by climate change.
Worsening conditions include the highly publicised 2013 event that saw the point completely cut off by a huge tidal surge, flooding large areas of the peninsula and completely destroying the only road that lead to the point.
While Spurn Point certainly has its angry days where visiting may be unsafe, the inquisitive among us can visit all year round March-November recommended), with more information on access here.