Last Sunday a rare event happened in Yorkshire. It was the weekend and the weather was fairly decent. Now we weren’t breaking any mercury records, or hotter than Lanzarote, but at 18 degrees it was still pleasantly warm.
A quick look at a weather app from a well known broadcaster revealed a big “sun” over the East coast of Yorkshire. Places like Filey, Scarborough and Bridlington were, according to the app said going to be bathed in sunshine…apparently..
Now, living in West Yorkshire, getting to the coast can be somewhat of a military operation. Do I risk taking the A64, or do I take the “alternative” nobody would think of going THAT way route option, down the M62 to Selby, then up through Market Weighton onto the Brid Road… Hmm..
My fiance’ and I had decided on Filey as our final destination. “Somewhere nice and relaxing after a busy week.” was the general feeling from my better half.
So off we trotted.
I opted for the slightly risky A64 option, but only as far as Grimston Bar. Then, I would take the Brid road, safe in the knowledge that if the Missus suddenly had an urge for the brighter lights of Scarborough I can still reach there, thanks to the cunning B1249 which meanders north towards the resort. Taking the A166 to Brid meant that I could avoid the bottleneck that is the A64 between York and Scarborough on a sunny day.
So, we arrived in Filey. The sun was still shining thank goodness (nothing worse than spots of rain on the windscreen approaching Wetwang)..
Parking in Filey is a case of haves and have-nots. The haves are the ones who got there early enough to take advantage of the free parking in front of Glen Gardens and along West Avenue. The have-nots are the ones who are lumbered with the £1 per hour parking charge in West Avenue Pay and Display car park…Still at least its nowhere near York parking charges and its free after 6pm, which is good news.
It had been a long time since I’d been to Filey, as before now, Brid or Scarborough, or occasionally Whitby (when petrol prices were a bit cheaper) were the resorts of choice.
The last time had been to see my fiance’s steel band play in Glen Gardens, but that was back in 2010; before then, just hazy childhood memories.
The sun was out as we strolled through Glen Gardens and then passed a band concert playing at the far end which overlooks the sea. Down the steps we went and lo- the beauty of Filey Bay stretched out before us.
To the left lay the sprawling rocky Filey Brigg, famed for it birds and country park, plus being at the end of just about every long distance footpath in Yorkshire..
To the right were Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head jutting out into the sea. There is a slower pace of life in Filey, which suits those who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of Scarborough. This was felt most on the beach, which the sea had kindly left us, well for at least one hour before high tide set in.
After some nice fish and chips we wandered hand-in hand down the prom, still admiring the view. We came across the other beach, near Martins Ravine road and stopped there awhile both eating an icecream. In the distance we could see the Gannets from Bempton Cliffs divebombing into the water to feed on the fish. All the while the cloud was breaking away, revealing a beautiful deep blue sky above Filey Bay and a perfect summer’s evening.
With a bit of time left in the day we decided to visit the RSPB reserve at Bempton to get a closer view of the Gannets and Puffins which live there.
Parking is free there after 6pm, so you can park up and access the cliffs through a gate at the side of the now closed for the day Visitors Centre, occupied only by a few nesting Tree Sparrows.
Bempton Cliffs in the summertime provides one of British nature’s greatest spectacles. Thousands of seabirds come here to build nests on the cliff face and breed. Once the eggs are hatched it is a constant job to feed their chicks, so they are big enough to fledge and fly with their parent to the middle of the sea where they spend the winter. The cliffs are filled with Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins, Gannets and Kittiwakes amongst others. The views from the reserves are spectacular as you can witness nature before your very eyes. Once it started getting a bit chilly on the clifftops it was time to start the long journey home and end a beautiful Yorkshire day out. Below is a video taken on top of Bempton Cliffs.
Amongst nature at Bempton Cliffs. Video credit: Samantha Bass.