D26: English Coastal Path

BEMPTON   –   ATWICK

Thursday 25th April 2019

Today miles:  21.9      Total miles:  371.9

 

The Headlands cafe at Flamborough Head opens at 9am, I know this because I rang them last week to check. It’s only about 4 miles away so I was hoping that I’d sleep in a little later then usual this morning and then set off walking about 8am. No such luck I’m awake, dressed and ready to set off before 6.30am. I took my time as I strolled through the nature reserve following The Headland Way. There’s very little difficulty and I enjoyed the slow walk which meanders closely along the edge of the cliffs. I had several short breaks, not due to any fatigue but I’m just trying to waste some time.

Headlands Cafe

It wasn’t long after 8am when I eventually arrived at Flamborough Head and the Headlands Cafe. It clearly wasn’t open and there’s already a couple of other people waiting outside. I dumped myself onto a seat overlooking Selwicks Bay and settled down for a long wait. The couple only waited a further 15 minutes before losing patience, jumping into their vehicle and driving away. It was unfortunate for them, less then a minute later a women appeared from inside the Flamborough lighthouse and immediately opened the doors to the cafe. I promptly order myself a hot coffee and settled into another seat whilst they warmed up the oven and cooked my breakfast. I spent over an hour in the cafe, enjoyed a delicious breakfast which should keep me going for the rest of today. It was raining steadily when I started walking again The path on the South side of Flamborough Head is nice and level and with a belly full of food I was moving along much more quickly then earlier. I’d spent a day and a half walking along the cliffs with sea birds for company and was looking forwards to a change of scenery when reaching the sand of Bridlington Bay. I initially stuck to the promenade before then heading into Bridlington town centre to find somewhere to rest. As usual I hunted out the nearest Wetherspoons. I found the ‘Prior John’ one street away from the coast and I had another extended break and several cups of coffee.

Another road wash’s away

I later wandered around the shopping area of Bridlington to pick up some food for later and also grabbed some items from Sports Direct. Just after passing South Pier I took to the beach with hundreds of other people for company. As I moved along the beach the numbers of people encountered steadily dropped until only the occasional dog walker was met. After about 3 miles the sandy beach turned to rocks and became more difficult to walk across. I could also see dark clouds developing so I took to the path along the dunes. Minutes later it began to rain fairly heavily, I could see an old WW2 pill box ahead so sped towards this hoping to hide inside whilst the rain passed me by. The Pill box provided the necessary shelter to keep me dry for the next 20 minutes. I then carried on walking and an hour later I arrived at Cliff House caravan park. I had been a little concerned about drying my wet tent but luckily found a launderette and paid my £2.50 for the 45 minutes of spin drying.

Scary clouds overhead.

The next hour would be one of the scariest encountered during any of my past walks. Leaving the caravan park, I was nice and dry, the weather had cleared and the sky was blue, excellent. I cleared the older caravans that are dotted along this part of the coast and headed into the solitude. Ten minutes later I looked over to my right, inland and saw the darkest band of cloud I’d ever seen and it was heading towards me. Minutes later the sound of thunder and the occasional crack of lightening appeared in the sky. The rain initially started very lightly but knowing that it was probably going to get heavier I began to look for somewhere to shelter. I could see a couple of caravans on the coast in the distance so I literally ran towards them. Just before reaching the caravans the heavens opened and I was instantly soaked.

Pill Box shelter

I leapt over the fence and stood up against the side of the caravan as close as I could get, hoping nobody was inside. For 20 minutes I watched as the clouds moved overhead and eventually the rain stopped, I was pleased that the isolated caravan hadn’t been hit by the lightening. For the next 4 miles I trudged along on the now wet ground. I was fortunate enough to find a shop at Grange Park caravan park and grabbed some sandwiched and more fizzy pop. A little further South I found another caravan park and noticed a few small tents. I knocked on the owners front door, paid my £12 and had a beautiful hot shower before finally settling down in my tent with my cold sandwiches and carbonated drink.

 

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