It guards the entrance to The Humber Estuary and through the shifting of tides, the battering of storms and natural cycles of erosion and deposition, Spurn Point has seen many changes through the centuries.
In the summer of 1972, there was a complete concrete roadway that led visitors to the very end of the peninsula where there are two lighthouses, a major coastguard station, lifeboat men's dwelling houses and several wartime bunkers hidden in the dunes. But yesterday afternoon, there was no way that Shirley and I could have driven to the end because Spurn was breached by the sea in December 2013 and a large chunk of the old roadway was simply washed away.
Where grassy dunes once supported concrete roadway slabs there's now a shingle bank. Consequently, the way that most visitors now reach the end of Spurn Head is by walking - three miles there and three miles back. The breached section is about three hundred yards in length and when tides are particularly high, the sea washes across it. Being aware of tide information is essential.
Yesterday's afternoon was beautiful and summery with hardly a breath of wind. We had sandwiches in my rucksack, a sausage roll, an orange and a curd tart as well as bottles of water. Shirley had never been to Spurn before but she loved it - especially beach-combing. She even spotted the rotted carcass of what I believe was a dolphin but my camera battery had run out by that point..
Spurn is a very atmospheric place with unusual plants and birdlife. It has witnessed so much marine activity - from Viking longboats to modern oil tankers. The North Sea laps on one side and the muddy Humber Estuary's brown waters on the other. Interesting flotsam and jetsam washes up on both sides of the spit. Magically, we had it all to ourselves and even found a bench in the dunes at the very end of the peninsula where we enjoyed our picnic before heading back.
It was a grand excursion but without a hat or suncream protection, I was feeling very woozy when we finally got back to the car. Naturally, we had to stop off at "The White Horse" in Easington for cooling drinks before carrying on to our Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Holmpton. It had all been so lovely, so uplifting. Yet I realise that with a forty five year gap between my two visits to Spurn I shall probably never go back there again and that makes me feel a little sad. It is a special place. A sparkling teardrop that hangs from the very end of Yorkshire - fragile, sweet and ever-changing.