Living in York has its perks. One of its biggest is certainly the close proximity to the North York Moors and the great Yorkshire Coast. I’ve been to a few beaches and seaside towns along the east coast, but this was my first visit to Flamborough.
We arrived just before lunch. Picnic and camera in hand, to a good-sized car park (Google Maps) at the New Flamborough Light House. Being greeted by blue sky and the towering lighthouse, you can’t ask for a much better first impression to somewhere.
Parking up was pretty easy. I imagine during the height of summer we’d have to get there a bit earlier, but we didn’t have an issue. The reasonably priced £2.90 for the full day was another pleasant surprise. Mostly because we only had about £3.50 change in the car. No matter how many times we put change in the car, we never seem to have any in car parks.
The Route – Flamborough Head to North Landing
As you leave the car park, you kind of have 3 options:
- You can head straight down some steps and end up at a little beach
- You can head south along the cliff edge
- Or the option we took and head north along the cliff edge
We were heading towards North Landing. The approximately 1.5 – 2-mile walk is pretty easy, but has some stunning views of the Flamborough Cliffs. What would have been a 30-minute walk took us around 1-hour, simply because I had to stop and take pictures at nearly every bend.
Anyway, to get onto this route, come out of the car park and instead of following the marked route down some steps, take a left out of the car park and follow the road up. After a very short walk, you’ll see some benches on the right-hand side. Come off the road here and you’ll see a small path. This leads you down to the edge of the cliff and cuts out a few of the steep stairs.
You’ll come out onto a grassy plain that gradually brings you closer to the cliffs. You’ll get some stunning views of blue-green water, white cliffs dotted sea birds with the occasional kayaker as well. From here, just continue to enjoy the views as you follow the well-worn track along the tops of the cliffs.
After around 25 to 30-minutes, you’ll be able to see Flamborough’s North Landing (Google Maps) as you come around the final bend. We stopped just at the top of here and had a picnic looking over the bay. The beach below is only small, so we wanted to enjoy our food in the peace and quiet with one heck of a view.
Once we were full, you continued our journey and headed down the steep steps to the beach. The sandy beach itself is very small. With not very much space for sitting and relaxing, but we knew that’s not what we came for. After the short section of sand, you get to a rocky share that you can hop, skip and jump across and follow a selection of small sea caves. Be very careful around here, as the rocks get very slippy and you are going out to the sea. Check tide times before you go out to make sure it’s at low tide or the tide is going out.
We only followed the rocks to about halfway, but you can keep going around the corner from the beach. We saw a group of people taking what looked like a picnic out. That would be a pretty awesome spot for a picnic, so if we come back, we might try that.
Back on land, we’d worked up quite the sweat. So after climbing the steps back up to the top of the cliffs, we popped in for a refreshing drink at the North Landing Cafe/Caravel Bar. The cafe smelt amazing, but as we’d already eaten, we opted to just go and sit in the Caravel Bar, which offered stunning panoramic views of the bay from large windows.
The walk back to the car park was much quicker with me not taking a photo every two minutes. Back at the car we rehydrated, ready to drive back to York, satisfied that we’d seen amazing views, burnt some of those pesky calories and enjoyed the fresh sea air.
What kind of shoes to wear
Most of the route is on a well-worn, grassy path along the top of the cliffs. It may get a bit slippy and muddy in places during very wet weather, so if it’s been raining, don’t go in your new white trainers.
If you’re planning on going on to the rocks, then I highly recommend you take some shoes with a really good grip and some that you don’t mind getting a little bit wet.