D25: English Coastal Path

 

  SCARBOROUGH  –  BEMPTON

Wednesday 24th April 2019

Today miles:  19.0      Total miles:  350.0

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I’ve taken more time off from work so that I can get some walking done along the English coastline. I plan on leaving Scarborough today (Wednesday) and hope to arrive somewhere near Hull on Sunday afternoon to catch the train back home. That’s 5 days and approx 110 miles. It’s April, the days are long so it doesn’t get dark until after 8.30pm. There should be plenty of time to cover the 20 miles per day. It’s been a while since I did this sort of distance over several days with a full 13kg backpack, hopefully I’ll be OK. It’ll also help to build up my fitness for some serious hill climbing this Summer.

I booked the train tickets a few weeks ago and duly arrived at Alnmouth train station for the 2 1/2 hour journey to Scarborough. I don’t like trains. I find them boring and this one dragged. The sun today wasn’t shining as intensely as it has been for the last few days, according to the weather man it’s been the hottest Easter weekend on record, temperatures in the mid 20’s. It’s a little cooler today, thankfully. After the usual trek out of the town centre I duly arrived at the coastline and soon after I had left the tarmac roads behind for the sun baked and cracked Cleveland Way. The way is fairly flat once on the cliff top and the going is easy.

Filey Brigg

On arrival in Cayton Bay I had intended on heading to the beach however the way down looked steep and overgrown so I never bothered, instead sticking to the cliffs across Cayton Sands. After an hour I reached the edge of the Blue Dolphin caravan Park. We came here as a family when Ben and Ruth were small. I just remembered spending most of my time either in the swimming pool, the amusement arcades and/or the pub. On this occasion I just walked straight by. I’d seen lots of others walking along the path, in both directions. I had my first proper break in Filey visiting a local beachside pub for a pint of shandy. I was hoping to find a shop to pick up some provisions and a bottle of water but the beach only seems to serve fish and chips and ice cream and I didn’t fancy either of these. I left Filey empty handed and a little concerned about my lack of water intake.

Shortly after Filey I said goodbye to the Cleveland Way which now heads inland. For the next 5 miles around Filey Bay I switched between the sandy beach and the cliffs. I was now desperate for a drink so headed to the small shop at Reighton Sands caravan park. I managed to grab a couple of bottles of water and something to eat, there’s little in the way of facilities along this stretch of coast so made sure I grabbed plenly of snacks. Shortly after there’s a steep descent at the Black Cliff ravine.

Bridlington Bay beach
Headland Way signpost

The path was overgrown, uneven and difficult to navigate. At Speeton cliffs I managed to find a signpost for the Headland Way and used this to help find my way. Further along the Headland Way on Bempton Cliffs I enter the RSPB nature reserve. The cliffs are full of breeding seabirds including gannets, puffins, guillemots and kittiwakes. There’s several nice viewing galleries along the coast as you approach the RSPB visitors centre. I had hoped to pitch my tent near to the visitors centre however despite it being close to 8pm there were still dozens of people in the area and I decided to carry on walking. Thirty minutes and a further mile later the sun was going down and I managed to find a nice secluded spot on the edge of the Dykes End plantation. After brewing a coffee and eating some of my snacks I settled down, hoping for a peaceful night.

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