East Riding of Yorkshire

Withernsea is a seaside town in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Queen Street, WithernseaSt Nicholas Church and Pavilion Leisure CentreWithernsea is a resort at the heart of the Holderness area of the East Riding of Yorkshire with a sandy beach with an international Blue Flag award, a promenade, amusement arcades and other holiday activities and an unusual lighthouse built inland in the centre of the town.

Today the lighthouse is a museum (see below) of local history, about the RNLI and award-winning actress Kay Kendall.

The pier towers on the seafront are a reminder of a former heyday of Withernsea when Victorians, then able to travel from Hull by train, were able to visit its pier, once 1,196ft (365m) long. The pier was damaged by a series of collisions by boats in gales from the date of its construction in 1877 through its 16-year life before a final devastating blow by a storm-damaged vessel in 1893 which saw it reduced to just 50ft (15m). That final short section was removed during construction of the promenade and sea wall in 1903, leaving only the castle-like towers of its entrance.

Today long golden beaches are an attraction for many who spend holidays in caravans and holiday homes along this section of the coast.

Withernsea, lying just east of the Greenwich Meridian, is Yorkshire's only town in the eastern hemisphere.

 Town features

Withernsea has a sandy beach.
The town has a historic lighthouse and pier head.
The town has a range of shops and supermarkets. Withernsea offers gifts.
Withernsea holds regular car boot sales - at the Memorial car park, Pier Road, on some Sundays between March and September.
The town has a Post Office.
Withernsea has a bank.
The town has a pharmacy.
Withernsea has a choice of pubs.
A choice of cafes can be found in Withernsea.
Takeaway food outlets in the town include fish and chips, chinese, curries, pizzas, burgers, kebabs.
The town has a library.
Withernsea has a museum.
Withernsea has a community centre.
The town has a community cinema.
The town has a leisure centre with swimming pool.
There are public toilets in the town.
Withernsea has tourist information.
Places to stay in Withernsea include holiday home, caravan accommodation.
Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, United Reformed.


Bus travel

The town has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.

Places to visit

Withernsea Lighthouse Museum

Hull Road, Withernsea
The 127-foot high inland lighthouse in the centre of Withernsea is now a museum of local history, about the RNLI and about award-winning actress Kay Kendall, who was born close by and died of leukaemia in 1959, aged 32. The lighthouse can be climbed by 144 steps to the top for a view across the town. The museum, which also has a cafe, opens at weekends from Easter to October and also on weekdays in the summer season.
Details can be found on the  Withernsea Lighthouse Museum website.

Underground Bunker

Rysome Lane, Holmpton
An underground nuclear bungalow hidden beneath a bungalow is now a relic of cold war radar defences of the 1950s. The former RAF Holmpton site is now open to the public to descend steps into its fascinating underground corridors and rooms.
More information can be found on the  Visit the Bunker website.

Spurn Heritage Coast

At the south-east tip of Yorkshire about 10 miles south of Withernsea is the Spurn Heritage Coast. A three-and-a-half mile long spit of sand, shingle and boulder clay washed from the shores of the Holderness coast stretches into the Humber estuary. The headland includes the Spurn National Nature Reserve, run by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Spurn can offer a spectacle of migrating birdlife in the spring and autumn and deer and grey seals can also be spotted. While a century ago there was a railway along the headland and more recently a road, there is now no vehicle access to the public. Victorian sea defences have crumbled and tidal surges have washed over the headland at times to temporarily form Yorkshire's only sea island. It is still possible to walk to  Spurn Head though, where there have been a succession of former lighthouses. For around 200 years it has also been home to lifeboatmen and their familes. The point is the location of the Humber lifeboat station, the RNLI's only lifeboat station with a full-time crew. From its strategic position stretching way into the estuary, crews have been able to save more than 1,500 lives since the first station opened in 1810.

Burton Constable

Burton Constable, Skirlaugh
Burton ConstableBurton Constable is an Elizabethan mansion situated about 9 miles by road south of Hornsea and a similar distance north-east of Hull. Most of the house dates from 1560, although it includes part of a 12th century tower and remains of an earlier brick manor house from the late 15th century. Tours of the house explore up to 30 rooms fitted with original collections and interiors surviving from days as a much-loved family home. The house also has an 18th century orangery, gift shop, play area, gardens and parkland landscaped between 1772 and 1782 by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. The stable block has been restored and its Great Barn exhibits the remains of a whale skeleton brought to Burton Constable after being washed up on the shore at Tunstall on the Holderness coast in 1825. A variety of feature events are held at the hall including musical events, sculpture, a classic car show and demonstrations of country house brewing and crafts. The house, the home of the Constable family for more than 700 years and still partly occupied, is now a museum owned by the Burton Constable Foundation.
For more information see the  Burton Constable website.
Locate on map:  Burton Constable

Beverley Minster

Minster Yard, Beverley
Beverley Minster is built on the site of a monastery founded in the 8th century by John, Bishop of York, who died in Beverley in 721. He is credited with founding Beverley. He became St John of Beverley after he was canonised more than 300 years after his death and the church is built around his tomb which was a place of pilgrimage. Work started on the present church after the collapse of the tower of the Norman church on the site in 1214. Saved by wealthy businessmen from destruction in the 16th century, the Minster saw restorations in the 18th and 19th century. Around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries more than 100 statues were placed on the west towers and other statuettes inside the minster. New stained glass windows were also added. The first of the staues, in 1897, was of Queen Victoria, to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee.
More information at the  Beverley Minster website.

Arctic Corsair

CLOSED since August 2019 for relocation & restoration.
Reopening at North End Shipyard now expected early 2025.

The Arctic Corsair, a sidewinder trawler, was built at Beverley Shipyard in 1960 and spent its days going to sea from Hull, where it now remains as a museum exhibit. Tours can be booked at the Museums Quarter reception at High Street in Hull on certain days. The trawler was involved in the 'Cod Wars' with Iceland in the 1970s and retired from fishing in 1987.
Find out more at this  Hull City Council - Arctic Corsair webpage.

Emergency services

Humberside Police  Humberside Police website.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service  Humberside Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

HM Coastguard  Coastguard - Coastal safety webpage.

Local government

Civil parish council

Withernsea Town Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website:  Withernsea Town Council

Unitary authority

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council is now a unitary district rather than a county authority but the least changed of any of the historic Ridings of Yorkshire.

It does now cover a small part of the former West Riding, while it has lost portions of the historic East Riding to North Yorkshire and York.

County Hall, BeverleyBeverley is the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire and the location of its County Hall.

Other towns in the East Riding include Bridlington Driffield Goole Market Weighton Hedon Hornsea Howden Pocklington Snaith and Withernsea.

The authority covers a near full range of council services, except the limited services handled by the various civil parish/town councils which exist throughout its area.

The 26 wards in the authority each elect one, two or three councillors to make up a 67 member council. An election for the entire council is held every four years with the most recent election in 2019.

Link to  East Riding of Yorkshire Council website .

Political composition after May 2023 election:

2922943 YP
67 members YP = Yorkshire Party

Police and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside
Oversees Humberside Police covering an area made up of the unitary authority councils of East Riding of Yorkshire, City of Hull and, south of The Humber, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.
Elected P&CC: Jonathan Evison Conservative
 Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside website.

Fire Authority

Humberside Fire Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the four unitary authorities served by the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service - East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire.
 Humberside Fire Authority website.

Pre-election parliamentary constituency

Beverley and Holderness
Elected MP: Graham Stuart Conservative

New parliamentary constituency

Beverley and Holderness
Boundaries of this constituency have been changed since the last General Election.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

East Riding of Yorkshire


-1889 East Riding of Yorkshire (historic admistrative division)
1889-1974 East Riding of Yorkshire (county authority)
1974-1996 Part of a borough within the artificially-created county of Humberside

Also in Yorkshire.guide

 Places in East Riding    Yorkshire attractions   

Yorkshire.guide - a dotguide.co.uk website. Made in Yorkshire UK   |  Terms of use  |  Privacy policy  with  No cookies  |  Contact  |