Other places to visit

Information on which are the best beaches, what open access land is, where are disused rail trails, where are picnic sites and what is registered common land.

Which are the best beaches to visit in the East Riding?

The East Riding coastline is hugely varied from the towering chalk cliffs at Bempton through to Holderness and the drama of Spurn Point pushing out into the River Humber. You can access remote beaches with complete isolation, except for the noise of waves and seabirds. Alternatively if you like a little more company, then our bathing beaches at our seaside towns are also recommended.

Our guide to the best beaches is available and contains some useful advice for coastal explorers about leisure and recreation on the beach and coastal environment. This guide contains all the information you need to know to have a safe and enjoyable visit to the coast.

Explore the East Riding Coast (pdf 3.2mb opens in new window)

What is open access land?

This historic new right of open access started in the East Riding in 2005.

Open access means that you can walk through land mapped by Natural England as 'access land' without having to stick to formal paths. Most of the land that is available lies in the wolds, as dry chalk valleys snake their way through the landscape.

Most of the land in the East Riding is not 'access land' and you should stick to existing public rights of way, unless the open country symbol is clearly evident.

We have a useful guide for those who wish to explore these beautiful places and this answers frequently asked questions about closures and restrictions, safety for walkers, dogs and other rules when using this new right.

Open access walks (PDF 1.2mb)

The Natural England website contains much more information on 'open countryside' and registered common land and this can be used by land managers and the public. In particular the site has a mapping system that enables you to find out which pieces of land have been mapped as 'access land'.

Natural England (external website)

Where are the disused rail trails in the East Riding?

The four rail trails, Hull to Hornsea, Hull to Withernsea, Beverley to Market Weighton and Market Weighton to Bubwith are ideal routes to use either for a short stroll, family walk or as part of a long distance route. They are criss-crossed by public paths and you can use the routes to make up some excellent short circular walks.

The rail trails can be used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders, but motorbikes are not permitted. We are working towards making the rail trails public bridleways, which will legitimise the rights that exist for cyclists and horse riders. In order to ensure that everyone has a safe visit, cyclists are asked to give way to walkers and horse riders and ride at an appropriate speed for the terrain.

Dog walkers are welcome to use the rail trails, but please pick up after your dog. Bylaws are in place and apply to all our rail trails and open space within the East Riding. You may be requested to put your dog on a lead, or be requested to clean up after your dog if it fouls the land, by an authorised officer.

The vast majority of the railway lines are accessible by wheelchairs, although some routes have ramps that may be difficult for some users. In the winter months, unsurfaced sections can be muddy.

The rail trails are managed for access and wildlife and several sections of the lines are very important for wildlife. We are working towards producing management plans for our disused railway lines, and leaflets that will enable to the public to enjoy and learn from them as heritage and wildlife assets.

Please visit the Walking the Riding website for more information.

Walking the Riding (external website)

Hornsea Rail Trail

Hull to Hornsea

The trail starts in the North Hull estates and crosses into the East Riding south of Swine, it then follows the line of the old Hull Hornsea railway line for ten miles to Hornsea. The route is a permissive bridleway and offers a hard surface for walkers and riders. Two areas along the trail have been recognised for their conservation value and both the South and Sigglesthorne Station local nature reserves can be discovered on the trail. These reserves are managed in partnership with Hornsea and North Holderness Countryside Society, who always welcome new members wanting to lend a helping hand.

Roadside parking is available near Swine and a car park and picnic area is situated at the Skirlaugh crossing.

Hull to Hornsea Rail Trail (map) (PDF 17.7mb)

Howdenshire Rail Trail

Holme-on-Spalding-Moor to Bubwith

The trail starts to the West of Market Weighton on the A164 at Gallymore and runs for 9 miles to Bubwith. Passing through the agricultural landscape of Howdenshire it is virtually straight and flat. Some of the sections are wide open while the majority is made up of woody scrub which is in itself a valuable green corridor for wildlife, so help keep it this way and clean up after your dogs. It is full of interest and like the other trails is full of all manner of wild flowers, shrubs and trees.

Car parking is available at Bubwith Highfields, Lincoln Flatts and Harswell Station. This trail can be wet and muddy in winter months so be prepared.

Howdenshire Rail Trail (map) (PDF 19.6mb)

Beverley to Market Weighton Rail Trail (Hudson Way)

The Hudson Way runs from Beverley to Market Weighton 10 miles through the heart of the Yorkshire Wolds. The route is a permissive bridleway for walkers and riders however, this route can become muddy in the winter months. The trail supports a wealth of flora and fauna along its length with the Hudson Local Nature Reserve running for over three miles from the Kiplingcotes car park. The route is joined for the last few miles into Market Weighton by the Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail.

Car parking is available at Pighill in Molescroft, Kiplingcotes, Goodmanham Dale and in Market Weighton.

Beverley to Market Weighton Rail Trail (Hudson Way)(map) (PDF 9.9mb)

South Holderness Rail Trail

Hull to Patrington

The trail starts in East Hull and runs for 12 miles to Patrington. Leaving the urban, industrialised start it passes through Hedon on its way East and the open countryside of Holderness. The trail is like a green ribbon through the agricultural landscape, giving access to the countryside. The trails later sections are managed for their environmental value and can be difficult to use on a cycle especially in early summer when the track beds are full of wild flowers.

Car parking is available in the station yard at Hedon.

South Holderness Rail Trail (map) (PDF 9.3mb)

If you have an enquiry about any of these rail trails please email countryside.access@eastriding.gov.uk.

Where are the picnic sites in the East Riding?

There are four main sites (listed below) on the strategic road network.

These are looked after by the countryside access team, and are ideal places to stop for a short break, plus give you access to some excellent walks. Each of these sites has a map to show you what facilities exist and some of the walks that can be started from the site.

Bracey Bridge (pdf 96kb)

Fimber (pdf 72kb)

Wayrham (pdf 79kb)

Towthorpe (pdf 65kb)

Fimber has a café open in summer and toilets that are open all year round. There is also an adventure playground.

Bracey Bridge has a mobile kiosk which is open most days.

Towthorpe has a café located nearby.

There are no facilities at Wayrham.

Plenty of other picnic sites exist in the East Riding and if you want a quieter place to enjoy the countryside with no noise from vehicles then why not visit a local nature reserve.

Alternatively, for a more informal picnic location, bring a blanket and try one of our walking the riding routes.

Walking the Riding (external East Riding website)

If you have an enquiry about any of these picnic sites please email countryside.access@eastriding.gov.uk.

What is registered common land, and what can you do on it?

Registered common land (RCL) is mostly privately owned, but others have rights to use the land. For example to graze livestock and these people are called ‘commoners’. Following the passing of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 the public can walk freely across all land registered. Additional rights to ride horses also exist on urban commons.

You may take a dog on RCL unless there is a formal closure or restriction. Please note that between the 1 March and 31 July you should keep your dog on a short lead to protect ground nesting birds.

The three largest areas are around Beverley, but many other smaller areas exist that you can enjoy. The most important piece of registered common land is Beverley Westwood and this is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.

To view the register please contact us on (01482) 393170 to make an appointment.

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