Life Hill Farm is centrally located for you to explore the East Coast, many fine historic houses and The Deep. Also York, Hull and the North Yorkshire Moors are within 30 minutes drive.
The East Coast lies only a 30 minutes drive away with its long stretches of sandy beaches, linking the great chalk cliff outcrop of the Yorkshire Wolds at Flamborough Head with the unique peninsular of Spurn Point at the mouth of the Humber Estuary.
Although the British fishing industry has all but disappeared did you know that the largest catch of shellfish in the UK is brought in to Bridlington Harbour? If you eat Lobster in France or Spain it was probably sent from Bridlington!
This stretch of coast is one of the best places to see breeding seabirds, amongst them puffins and gannets and a wide variety of migrating birds. Bempton Cliffs RSPB Reserve is the best place in England to see, hear and smell seabirds with more than 200,000 in residence from April to August. There are four lighthouses along the East Yorkshire coast with an unusual one sited inland in the middle of the town of Withernsea.
The Yorkshire Wolds are the northernmost outcrop of the band of chalk that stretches from Dorset. The Wolds sweep round in an arc from the Humber to Flamborough Head, reaching their highest point near Garrowby Hill at 808ft. This arc was created during the Tertiary Period, 65-2 million years ago, when the chalk bedrock was uplifted, folded and tilted. At the end of the last Ice Age, 18,000 years ago the network of dry valleys, known locally as ‘dales’ or ‘slacks’, were created by the action of periodic streams flowing over frozen ground. These deep and steep sided dales give character to this spectacular landscape with panoramic views stretching for miles. The sparsely populated area gives the avid walker a great sense of solitude and peace with nothing more intrusive than the sound of nature.
The area is one of the richest archaeological areas in Britain, with a great concentration of prehistoric earthworks, including many burial mounds. Of the many sites around two stand out. The Rudston Monolith is the largest standing stone in Britain, 25ft high and 6 ft wide. It must have been dragged some 10 miles from the nearest outcrop of gritstone at Cayton Bay; some task 3200 – 2500 BC. The second is Wharram Percy, the English Heritage Site of a deserted Village. There is a good display of finds and reconstruction from across the region at the Hull and East Riding Museum in Hull.
The distinctive character of the Wolds landscape owes much to the actions of man in farming the land over thousands of years. Until the 18th Century it was bleak and open with virtually no trees or buildings outside settlements. The Parliamentary Enclosure Act transformed the area with the main landowners planting the woods and hedgerows which we can see today.
The new farmsteads were built away from the villages and corn and sheep have dominated Wolds farming ever since. There are still many Estate Villages which developed at this time to serve their Country House. Sledmere is our nearest and dearest as our farm is still part of The Estate. Sledmere House is still privately owned by The Sykes Family, it is open to the public and well worth a visit. Past generations of the Sykes also created, rebuilt or restored a group of 17 magnificent churches in the area. Each is unique and of significant heritage value. St Micheals at Garton on the Wolds, for example, has the most amazing painted interior.