- Spot local wildlife on a nature trail at the Country Park.
- Marvel at the chalky cliffs, where trees and plants cling to the cliff-side.
- Keep an eye out for the 22 species of butterfly at the Park.
- Wander down to Hessle Foreshore for some fantastic river views.
- Learn about the ancient history of this quarry area.
If you're on the lookout for things to do in Hull for the kids, taking a trip a few miles west to the small town of Hessle is the perfect way to spend some time learning about the local area at Humber Bridge Country Park.
Situated next to Hessle, close to Kingston upon Hull, Humber Bridge Country Park is the perfect spot to take in some fresh air, discover local wildlife and get the kids interested in nature. Whether you're looking for somewhere for a picnic and to stretch your legs, or are keen to hunker down and spot some unusual birds, Humber Bridge Country Park is a great spot for a family day out. Easily accessible from the surrounding areas of Hull and the rest of the East Riding of Yorkshire, this special park is known to the locals as 'Little Switzerland' due to its picturesque nature, and chalk cliff terraces that were said to resemble the Alps.
Established in 2002 as a Local Nature Reserve, Humber Bridge Country Park has actually been around for much longer. This area has been used as a quarry site since the 1200's, as it was a popular site to find chalk. This can be seen from the chalk cliffs as you walk around the reserve itself. As you enter the Park at the Country Park entrance, you'll find the Information Centre and picnic area, great to stop off for a spot of lunch and gather your bearings. Then, once you enter, you have 48 acres of parkland to explore! One of our favourite things about the Park is that it encourages families to get involved, and aims to encourage people to cultivate an interest in nature. Plus, dogs are more than welcome, which is always a bonus in our books.
There are a variety of amazing things to do at the Park, not least exploring the multiple nature trail options on offer. For butterfly spotting, make sure to check out the Meadow Trail, which takes you on a loop through the centre of the Park. Here, kids can keep their eyes peeled for some of the 22 species of butterfly that have been recorded as living at the Park. If you're lucky and happen to be visiting in July, keep your eyes peeled on the elm trees, where the elusive and rare White-letter Hairstreak butterfly likes to lay its eggs. At just 1.25km, this is an ideal shorter walk if you have young kids or limited time. If you have a little more time and are keen to explore the woods, however, head over to the Tree Trail with markers across the reserve. You can download trail leaflets online, and kids will have a great time completing the code challenge on the leaflet as they walk around.
If the historic chalk cliffs have inspired your imagination, the Cliff Trail is another fantastic option to get the full impact of 'Little Switzerland' on your trip. This slightly longer walk is about 3km long, and will take you around both of the wildlife ponds, and most importantly to see the miniature 'Alps' that inspired the name 'Little Switzerland'. Lastly, the Pond Trail is a perfect middle ground, at 2.5km and is a slightly shortened version of the Cliff Trail. On this trail, you'll be able to visit the ponds and spot the amphibians who call this area home. The great crested newts that live in the ponds are significant in the area, as their population has severely declined in recent years. While you can start these walks at any point around the Park, they all have starting and ending points at the Hessle Foreshore entrance. Here, you can also find the children's playground, complete with swings and a rope climbing frame.
For those who like to spend time by the water, the southernmost exit of Humber Bridge Country Park follows on to Hessle Foreshore. A fantastic place to take energetic dogs or kids who love to paddle, this is also a brilliant spot for a picnic or to watch the beautiful sunset. You'll also find the starting point for the Yorkshire Wolds Way here, a 79 mile hiking trail that covers the stunning landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds. From Hessle, you can also see the famous Humber Bridge close up, which provides crossing over the River Humber. If you fancy an adventure you can even walk across this bridge, although be warned- this was once one of the longest bridges in the world at over a mile long and takes about 40 minutes to walk over!
If you're looking for something to eat or drink on your visit, you will find the Humber Bridge Country Park Inn to the south of the Park, near the Hessle Foreshore entrance. Here you can find a variety of local favourites, including fish and chips, steak pie and scampi. There is also a dedicated children's menu, as well as dog treats on offer for any four-legged diners. There are also numerous places to eat in Hull, which is just a short drive away. Here you can also find a variety of hotels and Airbnb's if you are planning a longer trip.
If you had a great time at Humber Bridge Country Park and are looking for more top places to visit in Yorkshire, why not try Burnby Hall Gardens and Museum in Pocklington, to learn some more local history? Or, for more fun by the water, head to the village of Fraisthorpe, where you'll find the beautiful Fraisthorpe beach.
What to know before you go
- Humber Bridge Country Park is open every day of the year, all day.
- The Park itself is wheelchair and buggy friendly. The Hessle Foreshore is step-free.
- Toilets are located at the Hessle Foreshore entrance, as well as the Country Park entrance near the Information Centre. There is both baby changing facilities and accessible toilets available.
- Please note that the ponds are not for fishing and do not contain fish. Any amphibians or wildlife you find in the park should not be handled.
- Humber Bridge Park is easy to get to by car via the A164 and is just a five mile drive west of Kingston upon Hull via the A63.
- There are two car parks, Humber Bridge car park at the top of the park, and Hessle Foreshore car park. Both are free.
- You can also take the bus to Ferriby Road or Hessle Square, near the Park.
- The nearest Train Station is Hessle, a short walk away.
- There are cycle racks available at the car park, as the Park is part of the National Cycle Network. The park is also a fantastic place to wander around on foot from Hessle, or if you are starting the Yorkshire Wolds Way walk.