Just like Mike Parker, the author of <a href=”http://amzn.to/q2ytNj”>Map Addict</a>, for years I’ve been mesmerised by the enigmatic Spurn Point, that strangely shaped strip of almost-land that stretches from the tip of the East Riding of Yorkshire and awkwardly attempts to reach back downstream towards the sands of the Humber estuary.
Spurn Point (or Spurn Head for many) is a sand bar that has been precariously edging its way westwards over the last millennium of geological time, as the sea plays out its role of destroyer and replenisher in equal measure. (Spurn currently aims its point towards the revellers of Cleethorpes and the fishing boats of Grimsby, but has had 5 different versions of itself in the last 1000 years as the tides have breached it and rebuilt it time after time).
Brooding skies and dull-tinted flora reflect the eeriness of this surreal spur set perpetually to a state of precarious balance. It is a place demanding reflection; a landscape that screams silently, in the same way as Munch’s famous frozen moment of fear. It is a place that silently screams of solitude.
It’s not a place you’d expect to find myriad good pubs, but then this windy and forgotten corner of Yorkshire is exactly the type of place where a haven from the North Sea weather is required.
There’s nowt close to a gale blowing as we dive through the doors of the Crown & Anchor, but even from the chilly grasp of the sea air the warmth and homeliness of the pub is a welcome respite.
The patrons are smiling. Chatting. Eating and drinking. It’s a Bank Holiday Sunday and roast dinners decorate most tables. The bar has a bar: the table legs are old Singers; the mahogany chairs are carved in a village pub style that suggests the beer will arrive in dimpled glasses. (It doesn’t, strangely).
The brick open fireplace is laden with 70s chick lit (£1 per book to help the local hospital cancer ward), and the tableclothless tables are reminiscent of a small English tea shop – but here beer mats replace carefully folded serviette swans, and everyone looks out across the polished stone window ledges towards the murky force of the Humber, urgently pushing east to meet the sea.
£5 guarantees a glass of rosé and a perfect half pint of Timothy Taylors Landlord, the latter laced with perfect marmalade bitterness to lose ten minutes in.
The views aren’t sublime, but they are captivating; the pub isn’t extravagant but it’s satisfying. Waves and wind batter the coastal road, but inside the pub calm and contentment thrive.
Nature will no doubt win the war at Spurn Point, but for now the local pub is putting up a pretty good fight against the whims and tantrums of the elements.