203. Scarborough to Flamborough

I was a bit sore after yesterdays exertions, but my knees and legs felt good. I knew that todays distance may or may not be achievable, as it was quite a distance to get back to Bridlington station where I had parked my car rom Scarborough.

I caught the 7:41 train to Scarborough which  was a delight in the early morning spring sunshine. First port of call in Scarborough was a coffee and bacon butty from Greggs. I strolled out from Scarborough along the promenade, munching my butty and enjoying my coffee. It was indeed a beautiful sunny morning with blue skies and not a breath of wind. As I approached Wheatcroft Cliffs the path left the promenade, it was time to scale the steep rise to the top of the cliffs. I was afforded a brilliant view looking back at Scarborough and  was hoping that today would be better underfoot. In fact it was not much better, but I did not mind so much because in 7 more miles the Cleveland Way will have ended. At Cayton Bay, the trail was signposted for a very steep and slippy descent down Tenants Cliff and an equally boggy and slippy meander through some woods, then a steep and slippy climb back up the slope to rejoin a public footpath that I had only just left. The route planning of some of the people who plan these trails defy logic.

Looking towards Scarborough Castle
Looking back at Scarborough from Wheatcroft Cliffs
Approaching Filey Brigg

I saw that the route ahead looked very grassy and even, which was a relief. The final two miles along the cliff top to Filey Brigg was enjoyable and relatively dry. The town of Filey cames into view, as I finally reached the end of the Cleveland Way and Wolds Way. I headed the short distance into Filey itself. As I passed the RNLI station I enquired about the tides. I told one of the crew that I wanted to get all the way along the beach to Speeton Cliffs and asked about access off the beach there. The crew member advised that I could not get off the beach there as the tide did not go out far enough. I checked my map for the various options and it seemed that the best route was an inland detour. I should have checked beforehand, because when I did arrive at Speeton Cliffs, the tide was well out and I could have scrambled up a path from the beach.

The detour inland involved a number of additional extra miles and initially following a muddy track, where I finally slipped over on a steep bank. I arrived at a main road, with a footpath alongside  and continued walking south. I soon left the main road and continued on minor roads through the villages of Reighton and Speeton.  As I passed by the small church of Speeton, I joined what was called The Headland Way. Immediately,  I saw an improvement in the underfoot conditions and  I knew the geology had  changed. A quick glance at the cliff faces confirmed this as I could see I was walking on Chalk now. These cliffs were quite marvelous and would be with me all the way to Flamborough Head. The footpath gently dropped and fell and I could see a considerable distance ahead. Speeton Cliffs passed into Bempton Cliffs, at 400ft they are some of the highest sea cliffs in England. I left North Yorkshire behind me and passed into the East Riding of Yorkshire. I also passed onto the RSPB site at Bempton. It had many visitors today and some were making use of the wooden viewing platforms that overhung the cliff face to give excellent views of the birds (particularly Gannets) and the cliff face itself. The whole reserve stretched for something like 6 miles and it was certainly an impressive sight.  I pass a couple of bird watchers near Dane’s Dyke, they are seeking a small flock of Lapland Buntings who have been spotted close-by.

Start / End of Cleveland & Wolds Way at Filey Brigg

It began to dawn on me that I probably would not make Bridlington today on foot; so I remembered checking that there was a bus service that ran to Flamborough North Landing. I did not have bus timetables, so I did not know how long I would have to wait. I found a bus stop close to North Landing with a bench, but no timetable. I sat down and waited. After 20 minutes a bus came into view. The bus whisked me back into nearby Bridlington. It had been a much better day weather wise, although with the slip I was even more muddier than yesterday.

Looking towards Filey from Filey Brigg
Filey Brigg
Looking back towards Filey from Speeton Cliffs
Easy walking along the top of Speeton Cliffs
Bempton Cliffs
RSPB Bempton Cliffs
Heading towards Flamborough North Landing

Distance today = 23 miles
Total distance = 3,626 miles



4 thoughts on “203. Scarborough to Flamborough”

  1. Hi Alan, I’m about to start my own clockwise UK coastal walk within the next few weeks. I too have lots of walking experience, particularly in Scotland. I also agree that the Scottish East coast will be a major challenge for lots of different reasons including the remoteness, lack of public transport etc. Anyway that’s a long way away for me as I’m starting in Edinburgh next week. Good luck with your adventures and hope we meet up one day to share stories.


    1. Hi Jonesj66, sorry cannot find your first name. Have you started yet? I think you meant to say Scottish West coast? If you are starting clockwise then you might well catch me up on my east coast section (its what I call my second front). It might be a good idea to get your About Me section written up – well it might just stop me asking silly questions. Looking forward to haering of your plans and if there is any questions or advice you need then please ask. Cheers for now Alan Palin


      1. Sorry Alan, yes of course I meant the West coast, doh. First name James. I completed a LEJOG trip last year over 9 weeks and loved every minute (retrospectively, of course) I’ve been looking for a new challenge and this is it. I’m still gainfully employed, with a youngish family so have limited time but try to get out as much as possible rain or shine. Thanks for your reply.


  2. Hi James, great to have you on board. Looking forward to your first trip reports. Its certainly a challenge and one that will probably take you years to complete given the demands of work and family. But it brings great rewards in terms places and sights visited and the sense of achievement. Personally I thought long and hard about doing this, as once I decide to do something I want to see it through to completion. Not much walking here at the moment with Shropshire under 6 inches of snow at the mo. Cheers


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