Holderness, Yorkshire's Viking Coast, has long been one of northern England's most popular tourist destinations. From the stunning Bempton Cliffs to Bridlington Harbour, and Hornsea Mere to Kingston-upon-Hull and Spurn Point, the Viking Coast includes Victorian and Edwardian seaside resorts, and the wild sweep of Bridlington Bay. Evidence of early settlements includes prehistoric sites around Flamborough and Danes Dyke, and the remarkable Rudston Monolith. Romano-British sites reflect important safe harbours, coastal trade and links to Europe. The Saxons raided, then Vikings displaced them, culminating in the failed invasion by Harald Hardrada. Medieval Holderness was a significant monastic landholding, the remains of the once magnificent Bridlington priory a testimony to that age. Skipsea Castle and other ruins represent the turmoil of national politics and conflicts. Then, as a peaceful, rural landscape, the great estates at Sewerby and Burton Agnes, for example, are a remarkable legacy of parks, gardens and splendid houses. Loved by many, the Viking Coast deserves to be discovered by more.
Professor Ian D. Rotherham, an international authority on cultural and historical aspects of landscapes, is Reader in Tourism & Environmental Change at Sheffield Hallam University. He works with the BBC Radio 4 History Programme, and has appeared in and advised on many documentaries and news programmes such as Panorama and Horizon.