Exploring Flamborough Head Lighthouse

It’s not every day that you get to visit a working lighthouse. But, at Flamborough Head on the Yorkshire coast, you’ll have just the chance. Flamborough Head Lighthouse is a must when visiting the North Yorkshire Coast.

Flamborough Head Lighthouse stands tall on the cliff tops of the East Yorkshire coastline. It acts as a famous waypoint for coastal traffic heading between Scarborough, Bridlington – and out into the deep North Sea.

A trip to Flamborough Lighthouse offers visitors one of the more unique and memorable things to do on the Yorkshire coast. Surrounding it, you’ll also find stunning walks, a fantastic cafe, and a variety of cracking beaches.

Whether it’s for an autumn stroll or a school holidays action-packed day out, Flamborough is a great day out year-round. It’s an excellent activity in Bridlington if that’s where you’re based – in fact, it’s well worth the drive from anywhere in Yorkshire.

Let’s learn a little more about Flamborough Head Lighthouse …

Flamborough Head Lighthouse

Flamborough Lighthouse

The first important fact to learn is that there are actually two lighthouses at Flamborough Head. The old lighthouse was built in 1674 by Sir John Clayton. It’s long retired now, but the building is one of the oldest living examples of a lighthouse in the United Kingdom.

Unfortunately, the old lighthouse never actually performed its function: it has never been lit. The Grade II listed building is well worth a visit, though – the chalk building makes for a fantastic photo and has many stories to tell.

The New Lighthouse

The new – and currently working – Flamborough lighthouse was built in the early 19th century. It was designed and built by Samuel Wyatt as an upgrade on the old lighthouse and was immediately put to work guiding sea vessels safely around Flamborough headland.

The original signal from Flamborough Lighthouse was purposefully unique: it flashed two white lights, then one red. Designers planned this to help sailors tell Flamborough lighthouse from the one around the coast at Cromer.

Flamborough Lighthouse was inhabited for almost two hundred years. In 1996, automation meant that the lighthouse keepers were no longer needed. However, the light is still active, guiding sea traffic to this very day. Currently, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Trinity House maintains the lighthouse and arrange tours.

Flamborough Fog Signal Station

A short walk from the current lighthouse is the Flamborough fog signal station. If you take the stroll over, be careful – in low visibility, the station emits an almighty siren.

Over the years, guns, rockets and trumpets have all been used to warn seafarers in foggy conditions. Nowadays, an electric fog signal is kept by Trinity House, combined with the lighthouse, to keep the Yorkshire Heritage Coast safe.

Flamborough Lighthouse Cafe

Many visitors to the Flamborough Head Lighthouse make a refreshing pitstop at the Headlands restaurants and cafe. Located next to the new lighthouse, the Flamborough Lighthouse cafe welcomes all visitors year-round.

Inside, you’ll find a bar, hot homecooked meals, and plenty of quick bites if you’re in a rush. Outside, the ice cream and fish & chips add to the British coastal vibe. There is plenty of outdoor seating, and benches dot the cliff tops offering spectacular views out to sea. Make sure to pop by!

Flamborough Lighthouse Postcode and Parking

Flamborough Cliffs

To drive to Flamborough Head Lighthouse, head along the mile-long B1259 Lighthouse Road out of Flamborough village. Use the postcode YO15 1AR for satnavs. You’ll likely pass lots of walkers heading up to the lighthouses, so take care on the way. You’ll also pass the old lighthouse on your left.

At the top, head past the cafe towards the lighthouse. At the gates, turn right into the car park. There’s plenty of pay and display parking available on the gravel area – while many cars use the surrounding grassy areas in busy months.

Next to the car park, you’ll find the cafe, visitor centre, gift shop, and public toilets. From here, you can enter the lighthouse gates or head off on many of the well-trodden walking paths around the Flamborough headland.

Admission Prices

The Corporation of Trinity House arranges the admission and tour prices for the lighthouse. Currently, prices are:

  • Adults: £5
  • Children: £4
  • Two-adult and two-children family ticket: £17 (with each additional child £1)
  • Group tours from £75

On the tour, visitors will climb the 119 steps up to the top, seeing the living and working quarters on the way. The stairs may be tricky for some guests, so please plan in advance, and you’ll need sturdy shoes to climb the stairs safely. The ascent is worth it – 360-degree views of the North Sea, Bridlington Bay and the Yorkshire countryside await you at the top.

Flamborough Lighthouse Opening Times

Flamborough Lighthouse at Sunset

Visitors will find it easier to plan a trip to Flamborough Lighthouse in the summer months. Opening times can vary – especially if maintenance is needed. Please check the official opening times page for up-to-date information.

During the summer, the lighthouse is typically open four or five days per week – usually between 12-4pm. On these days, you should arrive before 3:30pm to ensure entry.

Nearby Walks

The great thing about visiting the lighthouse is that you can combine it with many other attractions. Some take the coastal path to nearby Bridlington and Filey. Others remain local. So, if you’re staying in the Flamborough area, here are some more walks you might consider.

Explore the Headland

The cliff-top walks around the lighthouse are open year-round. The cliffs extend hundreds of feet up from the sea, with views of beaches and pools, wildlife and plants.

Flamborough Beaches

You can climb down the paths to North Landing, South Landing or Danes Dyke beaches from the headland. You’ll find a range of wildlife and sea life, with cliffsides and rock pools to explore.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs

A few miles up the coast is RSPB Bempton Cliffs. It’s one of England’s biggest and best nature reserves, with over a million seabirds calling it home at times. Visit between April and July to catch the puffins in action!

Sewerby Hall and Gardens

A few miles towards Bridlington is Sewerby Hall and Gardens – a fantastic family day at a cliffside manor. Explore the house, its extensive gardens, and even its zoo.

Tempted by a trip to Flamborough Lighthouse? Don’t miss out. Check our selection of Bridlington holiday cottages and start planning your next Yorkshire coastal holiday today.