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Visitor centre at Bempton RSPB sancuary
Visitor centre at Bempton RSPB sancuary

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Route No 6 - Saturday 8 September 2001
Bempton to Filey
via cliff path and beach - 13km
(travel out by train)
Yorkshire Coast . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 301 Scarborough, Bridlington & Flamborough Head at 1:25000


Entering the car park at the Bempton RSPB reserve
Entering the car park at the Bempton RSPB reserve

Filey Station
Filey Station

We stopped at the centre for a cup of tea and the ranger there told us to look out for porpoises that had been seen in the last few days, probably moving closer in shore due to the poor weather conditions (we kept a sharp lookout but we didn't see any). We followed the cliff top path heading northwards towards Speighton and stopped for lunch beside a trig point on the cliffs just before we reached Speighton. There was a low bank to shelter from the wind and we were quite comfortable in the sunshine. At this point the land is part of Flamborough head and we were sitting with our backs to the sea off Filey looking across the base of Flamborough head to the sea in front of us off Bridlington. It was very clear and we could see cooling towers on the Humber and North Sea gas rigs off the Humber estuary in front of us and behind we could look across to Filey and the brigg with Scarborough castle beyond and the headlands below Ravenscar in the background.

This morning a group of five of us met at Filey station to catch the 10.03am train two stops down the line to Bempton (the fare is ?2.80) and the journey takes about 12 minutes. The weather was bright and quite windy, but very pleasant for walking. We walked from Bempton station through the village to the RSPB sanctuary on the cliff top. There is a visitor centre there and it's well worth several visits through the spring and summer to see the huge colonies of sea bird breeding on the limestone cliffs which are around 300 feet high. At this time of year all the breeding birds have left except for a few gannets and fulmars.

Limestone cliffs at Bempton
Limestone cliffs at Bempton

Bempton Cliffs
Bempton Cliffs

There was row after row of white surf rolling across the beach. Where the sand had dried out a little the wind was picking up a layer of fine sand to blow at high speed along the surface in criss crossing patterns. It was a very pleasant walk along the 3 miles of beach back to Filey past Reighton Gap, Hunmanby Gap and Primrose Valley. We found a tea shop on the sea front where we sat outside to look at the view across the bay. The route is about 8 miles and took us about 4 hours plus a long sit at the teashop on the sea front

A half grown frog hopped into our group as we ate our lunch but realised its mistake and made its escape as fast as it could go in the long grass. A few hundred yards beyond the trig point we took the signposted path down the area of old land slips onto the beach below Speighton. Behind us in the bright sunshine were the limestone cliffs with the wind picking up spray from the surf as it rolled in. Ahead was the sweep of Filey Bay with ever widening sands as the tide retreated.

Reighton Sands
Reighton Sands

Filey Bay
Filey Bay

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