Walk No 3: Headland Circle
Distance: 7.6 Miles
Time: 4 hours
For this walk you will need to drive/cycle/catch a bus to Flamborough, a couple of miles east of Bempton. Here you will find a number of amenities, including a decent chip shop. There is ample parking around the centre of the village.
The main road is called Chapel Street, but it’s busy so we will try to keep off it for as long as possible. The old High Street is immediately behind, so sneak up Victoria Row and turn left to walk north out of the village. High street turns into North End and then joins the main road at North Marine Road. Keep walking until the houses start to peter out: after the last house on the left, you will see a sign for a public footpath.
The path wiggles for about a mile past a large caravan park until it reaches a fork, where you should take the right of the two paths. This will lead you out to the open space above Thornwick Bay.
If you have time, take an adventurous trip down to one of the beaches, but otherwise follow the drive from the cafe until it joins another drive off to the left. Turn up this drive and take the second path on your left (the first goes down to the beach), which will bring you round in front of some holiday homes to your ultimate destination for the day: the cliffs.
From here you are following the Headland Way all the way round Flamborough Head, which is very well signposted. Look out for North Landing (there are public toilets here)…
… and the great lighthouse (which is open to visitors in the holiday season, although it’s always best to check in advance). Walking around the Lighthouse one day during nesting season, we came across about a dozen nesting puffins no more than twelve feet away from us, something we’ve never come close to at the much busier Bempton Cliffs.
As you can see from your map, you are always about a mile from Flamborough, so if you’ve seen enough cliffs and sea for one day you can always head back to the village down the main road. However, there are still more wonders to see, so we are going to carry on along the headland way past the famous High Stacks towards the final highlight of the day, South Landing.
This beautiful little beach is less visited than its near neighbour Dane’s Dyke, and long may that continue. There is a lovely sculpture trail and the path will take you right onto the beach where you may well want to enjoy the beauty for moment or two. I have an aversion for walking on roads, so rather than return to Flamborough directly, we will climb back onto the cliffs on the other side of the beach and continue just a little while longer. Follow the top of the cliff until you come to a major path junction – here you should say a final farewell to the sea and turn inland.
Wind your way through fields and past another caravan park and eventually you will pass through a farm and arrive at the edge of the village. The easiest way to get back to the village centre is to follow West Street as far as it goes and then turn right onto Church Street. You are then on the main road through the village, but it is not too far. Buy something nice from the Post Office or Co-op, or see if the chip shop is open – you’ve earned it!