Staying in Driffield, Hornsea or Beverley? Holderness offers up a couple of wildlife gems - and you're never far away from the Headland Coast or the Humber Estuary either!

About Holderness

Bordered by the Yorkshire Wolds and the North Sea, this low lying region boasts some of England's finest chalk streams along the River Hull Headwaters. Tophill Low Nature Reserve is the premier reserve to visit, lying adjacent to the River Hull. Don't miss Yorkshire's largest freshwater lake at Hornsea Mere, another fantastic location particularly for bird life.

Best places to go

  • Tophill Low nature reserve, near Driffield, has a huge array of wildlife on offer. Otters, barn owls, watervole and kingfishers reside all year round, alongside an impressive gull roost and huge numbers of overwintering waterfowl. Take a look at the Warden's blog for up to date sightings
  • Hornsea Mere is worth exploring - you can get day tickets for a bird hide deep within the grounds of the Wassand Estate which overlooks the Mere and its bird life. Take a look at the Merebirder's website for up to date sightings

Staying in Holderness? Try these nearby wildlife hotspots

  • RSPB Bempton Cliffs, famous for its puffins, is a 50 minute drive away from Tophill Low and 30 minute drive from Driffield.
  • YWT North Cave Wetlands, west of Hull, is just a 40 minute drive from Tophill Low. Visit for avocets, mega flocks of ducks and dragonflies and damselflies.
  • Hornsea Mere is just over an hour's drive from YWT Spurn at the mouth of the Humber Estuary. Visit for bird migration spring and autumn, mega flocks of waders in winter and an all year round feeling of wildnerness.
  • Or take a look at the interactive map below - use the white 'list' icon in the left hand corner of the map to select what you are interested in. To view this map full screen click here.

Travelling times (by car):

From Hull: 50 minutes to Tophill Low;  40 minutes to Hornsea Mere

From York: 1 hour 10 minutes to Tophill Low; 1 hour 20 minutes to Hornsea Mere

From Beverley: 30 minutes to Tophill Low; 30 minutes to Hornsea Mere

From Bridlington: 45 minutes to Tophill Low; 30 minutes to Hornsea Mere

Otter © Elliott Neep

Kingfisher © Jonathan Proud

Southern hawker © Janet Packham