Bempton Cliffs

Bempton Cliffs

Route: Bempton Cliffs

Area: East Yorkshire

Date of walk: 21st May 2019

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 6.8 miles

Ascent: 500 feet

Weather: Mostly sunny 

Bempton Cliffs is home to one of the UK’s most spectacular wildlife displays. Around half a million seabirds gather here between March and October to breed on the tall chalk cliffs which overlook the North Sea. A long distance coastal footpath runs along the cliff tops, making this an ideal destination for walkers like me who are also interested in birdlife. 

I parked as usual at the RSPB Visitor Centre at Bempton (where binoculars may be hired if you forget to bring them) and on reaching the cliff edge headed north, visiting the viewing stations on the way. The sight (and smell) of countless puffins, gannets and razorbills – to name but a few – was incredible 

I hadn’t yet decided on a route, but the light was looking better north so I headed along the cliff top path and out of the main reserve. Beyond the reserve there was plenty of bird activity, but another special feature of this section of the walk was a carpet of red campion – a glorious sight against the azure blue sea and sky. I continued for another couple of miles until I reached an OS trig point on Buckton Cliffs, the highest point of the walk. From here there were views along the sands to Filey and Scarborough in the distance

From here there’s little choice other than to return the same way, which is no hardship when the scenery is as good as this, and when there’s so much birdlife to see

On reaching the Visitor Centre again I continued along the cliffs in the direction of Flamborough, visiting the remaining viewing platforms, which are ideally placed at the heart of the action. From here there are close up views of all the visitors, and RSPB volunteers on hand to help with identification and useful information

Just beyond Scale Nab, and having spent 5 hours here, it was time to retrace my steps back to the start. It had been another wonderful visit to this special place

Bempton Cliffs appear several times on this site, and for other permutations on today’s walk visit the Search Walks page and enter ‘Bempton’ in the search box. It’s also possible to visit the cliffs from the sea, aboard the Yorkshire Belle, and for a link to this highly recommended trip, click here

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

Scroll down – or click on any photo to enlarge it and you can then view as a slideshow

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