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Scarborough South Bay seen from the Cleveland Way
Scarborough South Bay seen from the Cleveland Way

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Route No. 364 - Tuesday 31 August 2010
Cayton Bay, Cleveland Way, Scarborough,
Low Water Shore circuit - 9km
Yorkshire Coast. . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area at 1:25000


Sign post where we joined the Cleveland Way
Sign post where we joined the Cleveland Way

Looking Southeast along Cayton Bay
Looking Southeast along Cayton Bay

Looking back along Cayton Bay
Looking back along Cayton Bay

It had been high water at about 7.45am and now at 10.15am the wide sands of Cayton Bay were starting to emerge. At the cliff top we turned left to follow the Cleveland Way path towards Scarborough. After a few hundred metres we crossed a little valley with an access track down to the beach. We climbed up the far side to a pedestrian gate and after another 150m we came out on the road (the old A165). The road was closed to traffic because of a land slip but was still open to pedestrians.

This morning my neighbour, Jim, drove us to a car park (£2 for the day) above Cayton Bay at map ref. TA069841. It's a bit awkward to get to because the access is off a service road that used to be the A165 before the new improved A165 was built a few years ago. The weather was perfect with blue sky, sunshine and a light cool breeze. We set off from the car park to walk towards the cliff top where there was a good view over Cayton Bay.

Looking Northwest along Cayton Bay
Looking Northwest along Cayton Bay

Crossing a path down to the beach
Crossing a path down to the beach

Looking across the bay to Osgodby Point
Looking across the bay to Osgodby Point

Turning off the road in Osgodby
Turning off the road in Osgodby

Path down to the beach from Osgodby
Path down to the beach from Osgodby

The footpath led us down a steep bank for about 250m to the beach at the northern end of Cayton Bay. We walked along the beach for about 150m. past an old wartime concrete pillbox.

We walked along the road to the edge of Osgodby where we turned right off the road at map ref. TA060850, on to a footpath into a wooded area.

Path down to the beach from Osgodby
Path down to the beach from Osgodby

The beach near Osgodby Point
The beach near Osgodby Point

The beach with a war time pillbox near Osgodby Point
The beach with a war time pillbox near Osgodby Point

Path through dense undergrowth
Path through dense undergrowth

A tiny frog by the woodland path
A tiny frog by the woodland path

Soon we came to a wide well walked path which we followed up to the top of the wooded bank.

Just beyond the pillbox we turned left off the beach to climb back up the hillside through dense undergrowth.

Path through dense undergrowth
Path through dense undergrowth

One of scores of ladybirds in the woods
One of scores of ladybirds in the woods

Woodland path up Cayton Cliff
Woodland path up Cayton Cliff

Woodland path up Cayton Cliff
Woodland path up Cayton Cliff

We investigated the land slip and found that an awkward little path had been formed for about 150m across it to rejoin the Cleveland Way on the cliff top beyond the houses. It seems that probably we should not have turned into the woods in Osgodby, but kept on the road to the path at map ref. TA058852. Oh well! We got through along with the couple who had joined us, so all's well that ends well so they say.

Here the path came to the boundary fences of some private gardens. The Cleveland Way path used to go around the edge of these gardens at the top of the bank but the path has been carried away by a land slip leaving the gardens at the top of a precarious slope. Whilst we were considering our next move a couple came up the path and joined us. They were on holiday in the area until the end of the week.

A land slip had swept away the path
A land slip had swept away the path

The Cleveland Way path on the cliff top above Frank Cliff
The Cleveland Way path on the cliff top above Frank Cliff at Cornelian Bay


The Cleveland Way path on the cliff top

Climbing up from the path into Cornelian Bay
Climbing up from the path into Cornelian Bay

The golf course on the edge of Scarborough
The golf course at Wheatcroft

We continued to the view point at map ref. TA050867, where we stopped on a bench with a view over Scarborough South Bay for our lunch.

We continued along the cliff top path and crossed the little valley with a path leading down to Cornelian Bay.

Crossing the path down to Cornelian Bay
Crossing the path down to Cornelian Bay

Approaching Scarborough South Bay
Approaching Scarborough South Bay

Looking back along Cornelian Bay after  from the cliff top above White Nab
Looking back along Cornelian Bay from the cliff top above White Nab

A speckled wood butterfly we saw by the path
A speckled wood butterfly we saw by the path

Looking across Black Rocks to White Nab
Looking across Black Rocks to White Nab

That should be plenty of time before the tide came in even if we encountered some difficulty along the way. We picked our way carefully across the rocks and around the many rock pools left by the tide. As we rounded White Nab an inshore fishing boat with orange buoys stowed on deck, passed us heading north.

From there we followed the gravel track down to the sea front. Here we turned right to walk down a concrete ramp on to the rocks, marked as "Black Rocks" on the map. It was about 12.30pm now and the tide was well out. Low water was not until about 2.15pm. We had a good four hours to get back to Cayton Bay to complete our walk.

The path down onto the rocky shore after our lunch
The path down onto the rocky shore after our lunch

Approaching White Nab
Approaching White Nab


Walking across Black Rocks to White Nab
Rocky shore at the northern end of Cornelian Bay
Rocky shore at the northern end of Cornelian Bay

War time pillbox in Cornelian Bay
War time pillbox in Cornelian Bay

Heading for Osgodby Point along Cornelian Bay
Heading for Osgodby Point along Cornelian Bay

Path across Osgodby Point
Path across Osgodby Point to Cayton Bay

Just inland from the point there was a land slip and a feint path up one side of it which we followed to climb over the headland.

As we walked around Cornelian Bay the shore became more sandy. The rocks at the foot of Osgodby Point consisted of large rectangular blocks in a jumble. Not suitable to even try to walk over.

Remnants of the eroded cliff
Remnants of the eroded cliff in Cornelian Bay

Looking north along Cornelian Bay from the foot of Osgodby Point
Cornelian Bay from the foot of Osgodby Point

Looking towards Scarborough from Osgodby Point
Looking towards Scarborough from Osgodby Point

Osgodby Point showing our route over the headland
Osgodby Point showing our route over the headland

The sands of Cayton Bay
The sands of Cayton Bay

It was a lovely place to be with the whole sandy beach now exposed at low water and a view up the coast to Scarborough Castle on its headland. After a while we decide to continue up the path to the cliff top and the car park where we had started. The whole walk had been about 9km and it had taken us around four hours to walk including our stops, land slip scrambles and just general view gazing. A very pleasant day at the seaside.

There was a reasonable path down from the headland on to the sands of Cayton Bay. We made our way around the almost deserted sands towards the Southeastern part of the bay where some holiday makers were gathered. We sat on a grassy bank where the footpath leaves the beach at map ref. TA070843.

Looking back down to Cayton Bay
Looking back down to Cayton Bay

Cayton Bay with Scarborough Castle just visible in the distance
Cayton Bay with Scarborough Castle just visible in the distance