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Looking out along North Cliff towards Filey Brig

 

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Route No. 379 - Wednesday 3 November 2010
Cayton Bay to Filey
via the Cleveland Way - 10km,
Yorkshire Coast. . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

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


Heading for the underpass to cross the A165
Heading for the underpass to cross the A165

At the service road we turned right and walked along the road for about 150m. Here we turned left along an access road. We passed the Surf Shop and car park to reach the Cleveland Way coastal path at map ref. TA070842. We turned right to walk along the Cleveland Way on the coast side on a few houses and continued climbing up to a high headland at the Southeastern end of Cayton Bay. Even on the drab November day there were several people in wetsuits standing in the water with their surf boards, forlornly waiting for a wave in the calm sea. It was approaching high tide and the wind was offshore so they could still be waiting for a wave.

The weather forecast for today was generally poor with lots of heavy rain about, but at least on the East coast it would remain cloudy but fine until late in the afternoon. We, that's Jim and I, drove to Filey to get the 10.35am no.121 bus to Cayton Bay. The bus was about 15 minutes late and was very busy so we had to stand. It was only a short ride and we were soon getting off at the "Haven Holiday Park" bus stop near the A165 at Cayton Bay (map ref. TA065840). We walked up the road towards the roundabout on the A165 and went through the pedestrian and cycleway underpass to a service road on the far side of the A165.

Cayton Bay from the cliff top path
Cayton Bay from the cliff top path

Walking along the Cleveland Way to Lebberston Cliff at the Southern end of Cayton Bay
Walking along the Cleveland Way to Lebberston Cliff at the Southern end of Cayton Bay

Looking Northwest to Scarborough South Bay from Lebberston Cliff
Looking Northwest to Scarborough South Bay from Lebberston Cliff

Heading towards Gristhorpe Cliff
Heading towards Gristhorpe Cliff

Looking along the coast to Gristhorpe Cliff
Looking along the coast to Gristhorpe Cliff

As we continued the path followed the cliff top down and then began to climb up again towards a huge caravan site. We followed the path along the edge of the caravan site.

Despite the overcast sky there was still a good view Northwest along the coast to Scarborough as we continued along the top of Lebberston Cliff.

Rocky pinnacle near Lebberston Cliff
Rocky pinnacle near Lebberston Cliff

Caravan site above Gristhorpe Cliff
Caravan site above Gristhorpe Cliff

Climbing up to a Caravan site above Gristhorpe Cliff
Climbing up to a caravan site above Gristhorpe Cliff

Looking along North Cliff towards Filey Brigg
Looking along North Cliff towards Filey Brigg

Inshore fishing boat at work
Inshore fishing boat at work

After all the caravan sites the path followed the cliff top round to the right and we could see the long stratified face of the North Cliff stretching away towards Filey Brigg about 3km away.

There was a good view out to see but even with the binoculars we could not see any shipping. There were only a couple of small inshore fishing boats working their way around their crab pots.

One of many signs on the cliff top
One of many signs along the cliff top

Looking back to Cunstone Nab
Looking back to Cunstone Nab

Start of the Cleveland Way on Filey Brigg
Start of the Cleveland Way on Filey Brigg . . .

We followed the Cleveland Way path to the start of Filey Brigg itself where there is a stone marker sculpture where the Cleveland way starts and heads Northwest along the coast. At the same point and the same marker, the Wolds Way starts and heads into Filey.

As we continued along the top of North Cliff we could see the little town of Filey getting closer over to our right. Beyond the town, across Filey Bay, the line of Bempton Cliffs leading out towards Flamborough Head was also becoming visible.

Start of the Wold Way on Filey Brigg
. . . also the start of the Wold Way on Filey Brigg

Looking across the bay to Filey
Looking across the bay to Filey from Filey Brigg

Filey Brigg almost submerged at high tide
Filey Brigg almost submerged at high tide

Looking over Filey Sailing Clubhouse to Filey Brigg
Looking over Filey Sailing Clubhouse to Filey Brigg

The path led us along the edge of the North Cliff Country Park to cross a steep little ravine where the Filey Sailing Club house is situated.

We walked out along Filey Brigg until we could see the sea breaking over the rocks. Then we made our way back to the marker and this time we followed the Wolds Way back into Filey.

Descending into the ravine at Filey sailing Club
Descending into the ravine at Filey Sailing Club

Filey Bay from the path above Cobble Landing
Filey Bay from the path above Cobble Landing

Cobble Landing at Filey
High tide on Cobble Landing at Filey

Descending in to the ravine next to Cobble Landing
Descending in to the ravine next to Cobble Landing

Then we turned right to climb a few steps off the promenade and walk up the slope to the main street at map ref. TA118806. We continued back along the main street to pass the bus station where we had caught the bus this morning, and back to our car. We drove back to the roundabout where the A1039 meets the A64 and stopped for a late fish and chip lunch at a cafe there. Very nice they were too. The walk had been 10km and it had taken us around three hours to walk.

We climbed up the other side of the ravine and walked along the cliff top above Cobble Landing where the inshore fishing boats we hauled up on the slipway. We came to a church on our right and then the path dropped down another steep sided little valley to a road on the edge of Filey town. We turned left to walk down the road to the sea front at map ref. TA120809. We walked along the promenade for about 200m.

Church on the edge of Filey
Church on the edge of Filey

The promenade at Filey
The promenade at Filey

The main street in Filey on a very quiet off season day in November
The main street in Filey on a very quiet off season day in November

Background Notes:
This week is a linear walk of 10km or 6 miles along the coast, rather than the usual circular route. My suggestion is to park your car in Filey and get the no. 121 bus from the central bus station, northwards along the coast. The bus ride is only a few minutes and you get off at the "Haven Holiday Park" bus stop near the A165 at Cayton Bay. The walk crosses the A165 coast road and joins the Cleveland Way route on the cliff top above Cayton Bay. From there looking north you can see Scarborough Castle on its headland almost 6km away. Looking down into the bay you're quite likely to see some serious surfers waiting for the right wave. Cayton Bay has quite a good reputation amongst surfers for the quality of the waves in the right conditions. At the extemity of low water the Oxford clays are exposed in Cayton Bay and these are rich in many kinds of small fossils including amonites and molluscs. Our route takes us southeast along the cliff tops following the Cleveland Way route. The cliffs are high and sheer along this part of the coast and much of it is unfenced so some care is needed. It's a popular part of the coast and there are a series of large caravan parks along the cliff top. It's a spectacular part of the coast and there are excellent views in both directions along the coast. The route passes first Lebberston Cliff and later Gristhorpe Cliff both with interesting rock formations on the cliffs. Inshore fishing boats work along this part of the coast and you should be able to see the coloured flags on their buoys marking their crab pots. As the route nears the start of the Filey Brigg headland you can see across the headland into Filey Bay and the white cliffs from Reighton, past Bempton and out to Flamborough. On this part of the walk the route passes the "Filey Rocket Pole". The white pole, about 6m high with climbing rungs up each side, was restored shortly after the millennium. The original pole was erected by the Filey Volunteer Life Saving Rocket Company, formed in the 1870's. One man climbed to the top of the pole and other members of the volunteers fired a rocket carrying a line towards him to practise firing a line onto a vessel at sea. This rescue system was apparently in use until as recently as the 1960's. It all sounds a bit risky for the man up the pole to me. A little way beyond the rocket pole is a monumental sculpture at the beginning of the Filey Brigg headland, marking the ends of the Cleveland Way route and the Yorkshire Wolds Way route. The Cleveland way goes northwards along the coast beyond Whitby to encircle to North York Moors to Helmsley. The Wolds Way heads inland to the west and winds its way through the Yorkshire Wolds to Hessel and ends by the Humber Bridge. From Filey Brigg our route follows the coastal path into Filey crossing a couple of deep steep sided gulleys on the edge of the town before reaching the promenade along the sea front at Cobble Landing. This is a slipway onto the beach where inshore fishing boats are launched with the help of tractors.The lifeboat station is located here too. We walk along the sea front into Filey and the end of our walk.

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