This is my last walking article because I am leaving to concentrate on my passion for writing books. I find there is just not time to do both. I hope you have enjoyed my monthly walks as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

This month, we start the final part of our journey along the Yorkshire coast from the River Tees to the River Humber. There are footpaths along this part of the journey, but they are seriously eroded in places, so let us relax and complete our journey by car, after all it is 48 miles.

Standing on the harbour wall in Bridlington, take a look out to sea and try to imagine what would have been happening out there in the middle of the 19th century. You would have seen boats full of pleasure seekers who, having arrived from Hull and Whitby paid the sum of 15 shillings (75p) to sail to Flamborough Head.

Some were happy just to look in awe at the towering cliffs above them, some to search out the caves at Flamborough, while others sailed to the “Head” for sport and were allowed to shoot as many seabirds that took their fancy. After all that excitement they would get drunk on Porter provided by the boatmen.

Let us now go back 200 years to a different scene, this time it is not pleasure seekers you see, but Dutch raiders who stormed the town of Bridlington with seven fighting ships causing fear and death to the inhabitants.

But much worse was to come, in 1779 a messenger arrived from Scarborough to warn of enemy ships approaching, captained by the notorious John Paul Jones, the American privateer whose fleet was bearing down on Flamborough Head and Bridlington Bay.

Panic-stricken inhabitants fled the town taking their valuables with them. However, help was on its way as British warships, escorting a merchant convoy were nearby and engaged in battle with Jones.

Alas, the British warship Serapis, after inflicting great damage to the enemy was captured after a fierce battle which set on fire the American flagship of Jones. The captain of the Serapis surrendered, and Jones managed to sail the heavily-damaged British ship to Holland for repairs.

Let us explore further south now along the A165 coast road and take a look at some of the worst coastal erosion in the country, eating metre after metre of land every year.

Leave the A165 at Lissett turning left to Skipsea, famous for its castle built by the Lord of Holderness Drogo de la Beauvriere in the 11th century and destroyed by William de Forz in the 13th century.

The road continues along to Hornsea. The Manor of Hornsea was also owned by Drogo and after his death Hornsea was given to the Benedictine Monks at St Mary’s Abbey in York. By the 14th century Hornsea was the fifth largest town in East Yorkshire.

It was an agricultural town, having two weekly markets and two fairs a year.

Being on the coast, some people resorted to the temptation of smuggling to bring goods into the town, the contraband being hidden in the church crypt. In later years, Hornsea took advantage of the demand for seaside resorts and provided spa waters to cure all ills, sea bathing, horse racing on the beach and promenades. One famous person who visited Hornsea to take the waters was Charlotte Bronte, who resided there in 1853 for several weeks.

With the advent of the arrival of the railway at Hornsea many large houses were built because Hull was now in commuter reach of the town. A pier was completed in 1881 and later promenade gardens, shelters and a bandstand were built.

Hornsea as a seaside resort survived through two wars, but later there was resistance to expand the facilities and leave Hornsea as a quiet, peaceful resort. Hornsea’s days of a popular seaside resort declined when the railway was closed and it also suffered from the popularity of seaside holidays in favour of package tours to find the summer sun.

Continue our journey now along to witness the awful devastation and destruction of the coast all the way to Spurn.

Take the B1242 to the village of Mappleton where the boulder clay cliffs having eroded the cliffs, recently the erosion was slowed down by a coastal management scheme. This has given a short reprieve to Mappleton but shifted the erosion further along the coast to Aldbrough where they lost many houses, a pub and two hotels to the ravages of the sea.

It is time for us to leave now as we have a long journey to complete on our way to the Humber past the sites of many ‘lost villages’ that are now a long way out to sea under the waves. The coast, in Roman times was about 5km due east from today’s shoreline.

Monkswell, Ringbrough, Dimlington and many more are out there under the sea and as we approach Spurn we have Old Kilnsea, Ravenser and Ravenser Odd. These are but a few of the lost villages, there are many more and will be more as the years go by. Just think what was lost as the sea came thundering in raping our coast taking churches, farms, houses. Mills and good, fertile farmland and sometimes the people who lived there.

Further along the coast you would have found the village of Ravenser Odd, which was supported by the Abbey of Meaux near Beverly, it was a busy port situated at the head of spurn. It started life as a sandbank in the early 13th century, became inhabited and grew to have over a hundred houses built there.

Its position in the centre of the Humber channel gave the men a chance to prosper and to attract, by persuasion or force, merchant ships to land there goods there. Some say they committed acts of piracy but it could not be proven.

As it flourished it grew in importance and even provided ships for the King. But in the end what the sea gave it took away, in 1362 a great storm blew from the East and as the sea surged it took the town, firstly by surrounding it with water then total annihilation with people looting and panicking in their efforts to escape the waves. Even the dead left as the sea washed their bodies out of the graves to be reinterred at Easington. There was no trace of Ravenser Odd anymore – but for how long?

On our way to the Humber with the fate of Ravenser Odd still fresh in our minds let us call in on one town which still remains, Withernsea. Although they might be expecting a high tide or two as they built the lighthouse in the town centre. So what are the attributes of Withernsea?

As I have already stated they a have lighthouse but it doesn’t work anymore! It was built in 1892 and decommissioned in1976 and is now open for tours. The used to have a pier but it was smashed into by shipping a few times ending with an almighty crash in the central section by a coal barge. The rest of the pier was demolished for safety reasons although the entrance to the pier, a look-alike Conwy castle still remains.

That’s about it for Withernsea, but what is that I hear? Absolutely nothing, nothing but peace and quiet and that ‘get away from it all’ feeling that life isn’t too bad after all. So Withernsea, at last you have something we all want!

Let’s take to the road again, this time along the yellow road to Holmpton where RAF Holmpton was a radar station during the cold war and has miles of underground tunnels which are open to the public for tours.

Continuing along to Easington village where along the way you will pass the natural gas terminal, a huge complex. From the village take the road to Kilnsea which is where we meet the River Humber, the end of our journey.

Before you leave have a look at the ‘new’ church at Kilnsea, the first one succumbed to the sea. It is hidden away behind a large hedge but access is available for the time being as I believe the building has been sold to be converted to a house. Bear left at the Crown and Anchor and the church is on the left.

Here you can access both the Humber and the sea quite easily and if you venture on past the church you can keep straight on to the toilets, car park and the sea or go right towards spurn where the bird sanctuary is where you can leave your car and walk along spurn, but not at high tide as the spurn peninsula is now breached, the road swept away by storms.

Spurn is suffering the same fate as Ravenser Odd, and I am sure that as the sea that made the spurn peninsular what it is today, one day it will take it away altering our coastline for ever – until the sea decides to give it back of course!

The Facts

Distance - 48miles/77km
Terrain - Easy Best
Map - OS Landranger 101/107 & 113
Start/grid Ref.- Bridlington Harbour, GR186666
Refreshments – First refreshments are in Bridlington and along the way to almost the end of the road at Kilnsea
Public Toilets - Kilnsea at end of road car park
Guide Book - If you enjoy cycling I have just published an e-book in the Kindle bookstore called Cycling through History across Yorkshire by J.Brian Beadle. It contains 40 great cycle rides across the county