Hull to Hornsea Bike Ride

19th March 2022

Seafront at Hornsea
Hornsea

Stage 19 of the Sustrans Slow Tour of Yorkshire is from Hull to Hornsea. It's on a traffic-free path called the Hornsea Rail Trail, which uses the trackbed of a disused railway.

Unfortunately it's in an abysmal state of repair, with tree roots pushing through the asphalt in Hull, bone-jarring limestone chips further along, and a very muddy bridleway-style path towards Hornsea. I would say it's only suitable for mountain bikes.

The ride takes you to the seaside at Hornsea, a small but pleasant beach resort.

Distance: 13 miles each way, so 26 miles there and back
Time: 1h30 each way, so 3h in total


Hull to Hornsea Bike Ride: Map

Hull to Hornsea overview map
Hull to Hornsea overview map

The map above gives an overview of the Hull to Hornsea route.

This is the ride on Plotaroute; you can download a navigation file from there.

Hull to Hornsea Bike Ride: Sustrans Leaflet

This is the Sustrans leaflet for the Hull to Hornsea ride.

Hull to Hornsea Bike Ride: Route Notes

Hull to Hornsea

Trans Pennine Trail, Hull
Leaving Hull on the Hornsea Rail Trail

In Hull, the Hornsea Rail Trail starts from a triangle of grass immediately north of the modern railway line, between the Stoneferry Park and Garden Village areas of the city. I believe this is Stoneferry Junction, which was the start of the Hull and Hornsea Railway.

The path has a sealed surface and it runs between housing estates. It crosses Chamberlain Road.

Hornsea Rail Trail crosses Chamberlain Road
Hornsea Rail Trail crosses Chamberlain Road, Hull

On the way out of Hull there is a severe problem with tree roots pushing up through the tarmac, making for an uncomfortable ride. There are also a lot of awkward barriers to negotiate.

At the B1237 Robson Way there's an underpass.

Underpass at the B1237 in Hull
Underpass at B1237 New Road

Soon after the underpass, you leave Hull, cross the Holderness Drain, and head out across open farmland. This is the best part of the ride, with a sealed surface of a decent width.

Hornsea Rail Trail crosses Holderness Plain
Hornsea Rail Trail crosses Holderness Plain

There was a buzzard perched in a tree here, and other birds of prey (distant/make and model unknown) in the sky.

The first road you cross is a country lane leading to Swine in the west and Coniston in the east. Swine had a station.

A couple of miles further on you cross the A165; there's a small car park and picnic area. You can see the platform of the old Skirlaugh railway station. (The village of Skirlaugh is a couple of miles away).

Old Skirlaugh Station
Old Skirlaugh Station

From here, the surface is generally very poor. There's a lot of mud and puddles, some very narrow sections, and stretches of uncomfortable limestone chips.

The next point of interest is New Ellerby. It's a tiny hamlet but it has a pub, the Railway Inn. This is also the turn for a diversion to Burton Constable Hall.

NCN 65 signs on the Hornsea Rail Trail
Blue cycling signs on the Hornsea Rail Trail

Continue to cross the next little road, at what was Whitedale Station. The station building still stands, and you can see the station clock on the side as you ride past.

Old Whitedale Station
Old Whitedale Station

The next road crossing is at Great Hatfield. There's a pub at Great Hatfield, the Wrygarth Inn. The station here was called Sigglesthorne, although the village of Sigglesthorne is about 4 miles distant.

You cross two minor roads near the hamlet of Goxhill. A barn owl was hunting here in the early morning sunshine.

Barn owl
Barn owl

The path surface improves as you near Hornsea.

You pass Edenfield Cemetery then join a residential road, Marlborough Avenue. At a roundabout junction with the B1242, go straight on, back on a path now. It leads to the end of the line, Hornsea terminus station, which is an elegant brick building now turned into dwellings.

Old Hornsea Station
Old Hornsea Station

At the far end of the station, a squat aluminium pillar marks the finish/start of the Hornsea Rail Trail and TPT.

Hornsea end of TPT/Rail Trail
Hornsea end of TPT and Rail Trail

Continue straight on, with Hornsea Hub to your left or to your right; either way you reach the seafront.

Public Shelter on Hornsea Promenade
Public shelter on Hornsea Promenade

Return Route

Return by the same route.

Hull to Hornsea Ride: Comments and Suggestions

1) The path surface quality is far below the minimum that should be expected on a National Cycle Route. Mountain biking has its place, but a railway path like this should be suitable for all ages, any type of bike, and all weather all your round.

Mud and puddles on Hull-Hornsea Rail Trail
Mud and puddles on Hull-Hornsea Rail Trail

A sealed surface should be put down, and it ought to be wide enough for sociable cycling with (at least) two people able to ride next to each other.

2) Resurface the section in Hull which has been ruined by tree roots.

3) Signpost New Ellerby and Great Hatfield.

Have you done this bike ride? What did you think of it?

OS Explorer Map Driffield Bridlington

OS Explorer Map Bridlington

Hornsea is on the 1:25,000 OS Explorer map number 295. Kingston-upon-Hull is on map 293.

Map 295 is available from Amazon.

Bike Rides In and Around York

Bike Rides In and Around York front cover
Bike Rides In and Around York

Bike Rides In and Around York features a historical city tour, plus family rides, road rides, and mountain bike rides.

"This book is simply a treasure trove not only of great rides but also as a travel guide to the area."

Read more about Bike Rides In and Around York.

Trans Pennine Trail

Trans Pennine Trail overview map

The Trans Pennine Trail is a good idea, but the quality of much of it is so poor, I'm not sure it's ready to be promoted to the public.

Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale

Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale

Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale is a book of family, mountain and road bike rides.

"This guide is a wonderful companion whether you ride alone, with family or friends. Don't set out without it."

Read more about Bike Rides in Harrogate and Nidderdale.



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