Places of Interest
Nearby Towns, Beaches and Coves (from north to south)
Flamborough Head has a small beach at Selwick’s Bay, but it really is exposed to the elements, especially when the wind is coming off the sea. If you are going to visit the lighthouse (open every day except Friday between 23rd March and 29th September, 12-4pm), you could take in a quick walk down to the beach to make a day of it, but the trip down there is scarcely less strenuous than the 119 steps to the top of the ‘new’ lighthouse.
They are two rocky beaches on the north side of Flamborough head, accessed through Flamborough village. They afford good protection from the wind if it’s coming from the south or west, but the sandy part of the beach is only available when the tide is out. There is fantastic climbing for the young explorer, and also caves that were once used for smuggling, but do keep an eye on the tide times, as the local news often has reports of tourists who have got stuck and sometimes much worse. It’s a great place and one of our family favourites. Right next door is North Landing, a smaller beach but with better access, meaning that a few cobles (the distinctive local fishing boat) still push off from the beach and are often available for trips to the cliffs and caves in the summer holidays.
Filey is a remarkable little town, perfect for recapturing the nostalgic idyll of an old-fashioned seaside holiday. Because the town is on top of a large bank and some way from the sea, the beach area is free of the hustle and bustle of Bridlington and Scarborough.
The Brig (a large outcrop of rock that sticks out into the sea) adds a little adventure to your day, and the most incredible views of the Yorkshire Coast, all the way from Ravenscar to Spurn Point on a clear day. Parking is an issue, but you can get the train straight from Bempton to the centre of Filey.
Hunmanby Gap is particularly popular with dog-walkers as there is a big car park at the top of the hill and there are no restrictions on animals even in the high season. It’s just along from Filey, so half an hour’s walk should see you to the town and all its amenities. But keep an eye out for the tide, as the beach all but disappears when it’s in.
Speeton Beach is for the adventurous – you could walk there from Hunmanby Gap, but the best route is cross-country from the car park of the beautiful parish church in Speeton village – surely one of the smallest churches in the country! This part of the coastline is made of clay and subject to constant erosion, which means that finding your way down to the beach can be very tricky, but when you do get there (and the tide is out), you are treated to a very quiet beach right next to the base of the impressive Bempton cliffs. The clay is world-renowned for its fossils, so spring is a good time to join the amateur palaeontologists in rooting around in the fallen clay from the previous winter.
Dane’s Dyke is a remarkable man-made valley dug deep into the chalk of the Flamborough Head. Originally credited to the Vikings (hence the name), it turns out to be a stone-age earthwork that cuts across the whole of the headland to create and almost impenetrable defence. Now the dyke is a wooded wonderland with a nature trail that meanders down to the beach with a great view of Bridlington, famous (in our family at least) for its chalk stones made ‘holey’ by the action of water and sand. It’s a south-facing beach too, so great on sunny days and when the tide is out the beach is great. Parking is not cheap, but once bought, a day ticket can be used in a number of other car parks around Bridlington. It’s fairly simple to walk to Bridlington from here, either along the beach or on the cliff-top path that goes round the whole headland. Just to the east is South Landing, which is a great little walk, again either on the cliff-top or beach. There is a tiny lifeboat station, but little else. If Dane’s Dyke is too busy, escape here for some peace and quiet.
Expect amusement arcades, ice cream parlours and beautiful beaches. The north beach is less popular, perhaps because it sits in the shadow of the town; it’s the south beach that is the jewel in the crown, 40 miles of unbroken golden sand. There is a park & ride at the far end of the beach and the train station is a 10 minute walk. Dogs are banned during holiday season, but the Spa, lifeboat HQ and more oldy-worldy amusements make it a necessary stop for any holiday. Get the ‘land train’ south out of the town to reach less crowded beaches on sunny days, or park south of the town and ride in on it.
Fraisthorpe is the first distinct location south of Brid, once famed as a naturist beach but nudity is now officially banned after things got out of hand with revellers from the town! Drive to the village of Fraisthorpe and follow the signs down a narrow track to the car park near Auburn Farm. This is a similar place to Hunmanby Gay (including the freedom to walk dogs all year round), but here the beach is HUGE, so huge that you will find people riding horses, driving kite-powered karts and generally enjoying the kind of wide-open spaces that are hard to find in this country. It’s quiet even on the busiest days, and is a great place to explore the old WW2 defences that were built to protect Britain from invasion.
Skipsea has a lovely beach, but it’s further away than all the others and is included for one reason alone: Mr Moo’s. While Tophams is our favourite Ice Cream Parlour in Brid, Mr Moo’s is a cut above, making their ice cream on the farm (you can visit the cows) and serving it direct to the customer in portions that can only be described as American in size. The ‘Megamoo’ requires at least two people to eat it! The beach itself is lovely, with a nice walk from the Mr Moo car park to get there. On the way there is more evidence of WW2, and then a tramp through fields to another quiet stretch of flawless beach which is quiet even in peak season.