Back to the English Counties Page

Yorkshire, as a whole, is divided into four parts, north, south, east and west. This is not, by size, an equal division as North Yorkshire is about one and a half times bigger than the other three put together. Of all other English counties, only Sussex is also divided, this time into west and east.





East Yorkshire is the 23rd largest county or metropolitan borough in England.
East Yorkshire has the 37th highest population in England.
East Yorkshire is in 36th place for density of population.

  1. The Royal Connection
  2. Harold Godwinson became King of England in early January 1066. He was killed, and lost the throne, on 14th October 1066 when he was defeated by William of Normandy, later known as William the Conqueror. Harold lost at the Battle of Hastings which ended Anglo-Saxon rule and brought in the Norman times. However it may well be that a different battle, which took place less than a month before, helped in the defeat of Harold at Hastings.

    You can read the ins and outs of that year, here; a year in which we had three kings. The year started with Edward the Confessor as King but Harold Godwinson, luckily being the son of Harold Godwin, was the most powerful noble in the land. One of Godwin's other sons was called Tostig and in 1055 he had become Earl of Northumbria. However Tostig was not a popular ruler and in 1065 the nobles in Yorkshire, which was part of Northumbria, rebelled. Harold Godwinson, who was now King Edward's right-hand man, was sent to negotiate and he persuaded Edward that the rebels were right and Tostig was exiled.

    He fled to Scotland and made contact with King Hardrada of Norway who himself fancied the English throne. Hardrada and Tostig soon invaded York and Harold Godwinson, now King, raced north with his army and met Hardrada and Tostig at Stamford Bridge, now in East Yorkshire, on 25th September 1066. Hardrada, Tostig and many of their men were killed.

    However, three days later on 28th September, William and his Norman army landed on the south coast at Pevensey. Harold then turned his already tired army and marched the 240 or so miles to meet William. At Hastings, on 14 October 1066, the superiority of the Norman cavalry against the Anglo-Saxon infantry and tiredness of the Saxons ensured a victory for the invaders. Had the Battle of Stamford Bridge not taken place, Harold and his army might, might, have defeated William and history would have been totally different.

  3. East Yorkshire Eats
  4. Being a coastal county, fish has always been easy to get in East Yorkshire. Indeed Bridlington fish and chips shops have won many awards over the years. But Bridlington has another claim to fame. It is said to be the lobster capital of Europe. More lobsters are landed at Bridlington than anywhere else on the continent.

    However, much of the catch is sold abroad. The French, well-known sea food lovers, are big fans. Spain, Italy and Belgium are also a large market for Bridlington lobster. There is a question about all this following our departure from the European Union but this could make lobster more popular in England.

    Have I tried lobster you ask? Yes. I also once ate crayfish, a bit like lobster but found in fresh water not salt water like lobster, in a place called Kaikoura in New Zealand. In Maori, the native language in New Zealand, Kaikoura means eat crayfish. Perhaps someone should find out Bridlington means eat lobster in old Norse.

    Bridlington is hoping to copy the Canadian town of Shediac which has made its lobster industry a massive tourist attraction, calling itself the lobster capital of the world although they don't actually land any lobster there. They just have an enormous processing industry and attract over 300,000 visitors a year. Go Bridlington.

  5. East Yorkshire VIPs
  6. Seven random people who were born in East Yorkshire in the last 100 years:-
    Amy Johnson (Aviator - First Woman to Fly Solo to Australia), Liam Mower (Actor/Dancer), Maureen Lipman (Actor), Calum Scott (Singer/Songwriter), Isy Suttie (Comedian/Actor/Writer), Brian Rix (Actor, Producer) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Actor).

  7. Now That's Weird
  8. An example of how much can change in 35 years. Imagine if you will, and as you will find out later you have no choice, that you have decided to visit a place called Spurn Head in East Yorkshire, as I did on my first coastal trip in 1985. You are staying a few miles up the coast in Ulrome and head down south, noticing on the way that some roads down to the coast are closed and parts of them have fallen into the sea. You arrive at Kilnsea and set out to drive along the road to the Head.

    Suddenly you have an amazing and weird experience as you drive along an incredibly narrow road and less than 50 metres away on your left is the North Sea, tidally splashing at the shore. Meanwhile, less than 50 metres away on your right is the River Humber. You drive on like this for almost 5 kms (over 3 miles). It feels strange. A bit like walking the plank as seen in all good pirate movies. At the far end, when you get there, are some cottages, a lifeboat station and a lighthouse. The bit we drove down isknown as a spit.

    The reason I said that you had no choice but to imagine this scene is that in December 2013 there was a tidal surge and the road became unsafe and now you can only get to Spurn Head on foot. At high tide part of the road we drove down is flooded and so Spurn Head is no longer a spit but is now a tidal island.

    There was also a connection to the spit or tidal island from those notices we saw as we drove along the coast. The spit is made up from sand, shingle and clay eroded from the coast to the north. It's all because of longshore drift and you can go away and look that up. It is an important area for both wildlife and wild plants.

    Another thing you won't be able to see is the working lighthouse. There had been one at the end of the spit since 1427 but in 1985, just after my visit, it was closed. I understand it has now been re-opened as a visitor centre by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Not only was it weird to drive along that road, it is also pretty strange, for me, to realise something I did cannot be done again. Nature always has control.

  9. It Happened Here
  10. Hornsea Mere, a mere is simply a lake or pond, is the largest freshwater lake in Yorkshire. It is 2 miles long (3.2 kms), three quarters of a mile wide (1.2 kms) at its widest point and 12 feet (3.7 metres) deep at its deepest. The mere is fed by several streams and there is a sluice gate at the eastern end to control the outflow of water. The water then travels a mere (the wonders of the English language) 0.68 miles (1.1 kms) to the North Sea. Today the mere is a centre for bird-watching, fishing and messing about on boats or even sailing and rowing properly.

    But, in September 1917, during WWI, a Royal Naval Air Service seaplane base was opened on the mere. Various flights flew from the mere as part of coastal protection and submarine attack operations. There have now been a set of 3 information boards installed on Kirkholme Point on the mere where the naval base was. The use of the Mere by seaplanes actually continued after WWI until December 1944.

    The first ever flight of a seaplane from Hornsea Mere happened on June 12th 1913 when Waterhen (the first successful hydroplane) flew from the Mere as the star attraction at the Hornsea Horse show of that year. The biplane, meaning it had double wings each side, with its large central float had been built by the Lakes Flying Company at Lake Windermere and was brought down to Hornsea, towed behind a steam traction engine. It was launched onto the Mere and the pilot, Herbert Stanley Adams, gave a flying display and later took up a few members of the public in the two-seater aircraft. A crowd of 5,000 attended the event.

  11. Richard Remembers
  12. For most of the remainder of our virtual journey we will be travelling through counties that I have visited on all 3 of my previous coastal journeys. Memories will be many. This week my memory starts with crossing the Humber Bridge out of Lincolnshire and into Yorkshire. The bridge was only 4 years old and I was amused by the fact that on the Lincolnshire side we came across a viewing site. You could park and look at the bridge. Despite it being, when it was opened, the longest single-span suspension road bridge in the world, it did not hold me in suspense. For those interested, it is now the 11th longest. I assume this is because 10 longer ones have been built and not that it has shrunk otherwise it might be worth watching.

    I've already told you about my wonder when driving to Spurn Head and of seeing roads suddenly come to a stop at places like Withernsea and Easington because..........there was no more road. It had been eroded away and fallen into the sea and probably ended up as part of Spurn Head. In fact this coastline, from Spurn Head to Bridlington is the fastest eroding in all England. They are losing about 2 metres each year. There are many reasons for this, some natural, some man-made. The cliffs are made of boulder clay which is less resistant to water, the beaches are narrow meaning the waves hit the cliffs quicker and the waves have a long fetch, meaning they travel a long way before reaching the beaches and therefore have more energy. This is all nature but man built groynes to try to stop longshore drift (did you look it up) and this actually had the effect of channelling the waves into the cliffs.

    But, just north of Bridlington, are far more dramatic chalk cliffs full of fantastic photo opportunities and thousands of birds. I loved the area around Flamborough Head, Bempton Cliffs, Thornwick Bay and North Landing, to the north of Flamborough Head, and, luckily, South Landing, to the south. I would happily have stayed a week visiting the area rather than the one day we had. This area around Flamborough Head is the ninth of my 10 memorable, wow-giving views in England.

  13. Owlbut's Birdwatch
  14. Puffins are very easy to spot with their black backs, white under bodies, black heads with white cheeks, orange legs and brightly coloured, chunky beaks. There are about half a million breeding pairs, half of which are only at a few sites. Richard says the first puffins he ever saw were at Bempton Cliffs on his first coastal journey. They usually arrive back in England during March and April and leave again in mid-August.

    Puffins are between 26 and 29 cms in length, have a wingspan of between 47 and 63 cms and can weigh from 320 to 480 grams. They eat fish which is why you will only find them on coasts or cliffs.

We have asked the local Tourist Board(s) for a small contribution (50 pounds) to the cost of running this project and, in anticipation of their agreement, we are providing a link to their site(s) for the next five years. I can assure you we won't see anywhere near everything when we are there, so, if you fancy taking a trip into eastorkshire check it (them) out for some great information. Apart from anything else it will get you out in the fresh air, walking around and one day you might be over 70 and still enthusiastically mobile.

All figures the latest available as at July 2020