It is the hottest day so far this year, thankfully on the East Coast it is just very warm, and there is a nice cool breeze coming in from the North Sea, so setting off from Bempton Station it is a straight one and a half mile walk back to the coast. Bempton itself is still a pretty little village, though admittedly not one I would choose, although playing at the White Horse are Ukes Of Hazard, who I think I would see for the name alone. Still the cottages are picturesque
After a mile of walking the sea comes into view, and the path then leads oddly through the RSPB gift shop (they obviously want me to buy something) then out onto the cliffs, which are still busy with birdwatchers, it is obviously a popular destination, the extent of the car park shows that, it has a massive overflow facility, presumably for when a rare bird shows up.
Even though I have walked the majority of the Head, there are still spectacular cliff views here.
How the birds manage to keep on their precarious ledges without being blown away is a wonder. Here are some cute little chicks for you.
Just a bit inland are the remains of RAF Bempton, which was the second Chain Home Low radar station to be built. Chain Home Low gave the capability to detect low flying aircraft invisible to the existing Chain Home Network, the first station on Flamborough Head was found to be too low, so this station was built. It was finally closed in the 1980s but apparently has been used by Satanic Cults, so is now sealed off. A teenager went missing there in 2010 and has never been found, that would explain the memorial I saw on the cliff side whilst walking.
As I leave the vicinity of the RSPB sanctuary people fade away and I am left to walk in solitude. Filey is now faintly visible in the distance, at 42 times zoom…
The path follows the cliffs for around four miles, then veers up to a summit before dropping away , and the countryside becomes more gentle with fields to my left and lower cliffs to my right.
A sign tells me that I am now in North Yorkshire, and the scenery now changes dramatically, with a white bay ahead, which looks almost Carribean, although knowing the North Sea, I guess it won’t be as inviting in the water. I can see many holidaymakers on the beach, and it seems to be populated as far as Whitby four miles away.
The path descends quite steeply, and even though there are steps, it is tricky to navigate and quite hairy at times as it hugs the clifftop, behind me I can see the last of the Flamborough cliffs
I reach the beach and it is rocky, although my initial concerns that it would be difficult to walk are soon allayed as the sand is firm and it is easy to negotiate a way between the trickier rocks.
The sea has worn away the wartime coastal defences here.
and the cliffs have changed from rock to clay, making them more susceptible to erosion.
After my peaceful walk I am confronted with holidaymakers
and Filey is getting closer.
After the quiet of the Head, it is nice to walk amongst crowds, there are even more people here than at Bridlington, however, that walk was before the summer holiday break. I pass an Art Deco house perched on the cliffside.
Some houses further down seem to be in danger of falling over the cliffs. I feel sorry for the owners, who must fear each storm and the damage it does. There was one particularly vulnerable spot where some of the concrete ruins had been piled up to protect the soft clay, but it didn’t make for a particularly picturesque part of the beach, although it did provide a comfy spot to rest and have some water.
It was a glorious summer afternoon when I reached Filey, and the beach there was heaving
Again, I was surprised at the elegance of the Yorkshire resorts, they have retained the Victorian charm without succumbing to the tack. Not that I don’t love a tacky resort, however Filey shows itself well.
Filey also contributed to aviation history, the very first airplanes built in England were tested on this beach by Robert Blackburn who built the aircraft in Leeds. Mr J W F Tramner obtained permission from Filey UDC in 1911 to use to fly his planes.
The beach at Filey extends four miles, and when the tide is out there is nearly a quarter of a mile in width. The sands are generally smooth and hard. On my J.A.P. motorcycle I have done 46 m.p.h. per Cowey speedometer, and with my 20-h.p. Vulcan car have done 35 m.p.h. with six men up.
This will show you what Filey sands are like. A splendid site is being prepared for sheds, a proper slipway from the sands, 12 yds wide, is being made, and an approach road from the land side half a mile long for motor cars is being constructed. I intend to put up two large sheds at present, and am prepared to let one of them for short periods to other experimenters like myself.
From Flight 18-6-1910
A twelve foot high Fisherman sculpture stands proudly in the centre of the Promenade.
and at the end of the Promenade, Filey Brigg, my next stage awaited me.
However, that’s for another time, and I turned inland through Church Ravine (named because it is a ravine leading to a church) and to the railway station, which was a cool haven in the hot weather, the tunnel providing a cool breeze
It’s just as well, as I had 50 minutes to wait, having just missed the pvreious train, and that was made worse as the next train arrived 20 minutes late. However, I got to Scarborough in enough time to have a quick look up and down the high street in anticipation of my next walk up this coast.
It did have some fine buildings.
And then it was the journey back home. The train was busy, infact full because of the sunny weather, but I had reserved a seat and was thankful for it. It became even fuller at York, because the East Coast Line to London was closed, and people were diverted to Manchester. Changing at Huddersfield, I caught the next train, and the aircon had failed, together with having to stand, it was stiflingly hot. Still I returned home on time, and happy to have covered ten miles today.
Copyright 2019 Allan Russell.