Flamborough Head Short Circular Walk

White chalk cliffs, caves and coves all await along the much-loved Flamborough Head short circular walk. What will you discover along the way?

Flamborough Head Short Circular Walk

Based near the seaside town of Bridlington, the Flamborough Head short circular walk is ideal for intermediate walkers who don’t mind a few steep inclines. The views are more than worth it, though – particularly with the sights over the bays and the thriving wildlife.

There’s no danger of getting lost on this 7-mile route, as you’ll make your way right back to where you started. But be warned – there may be some treacherous slopes along the way!

Discover more details about this much-loved route in our Flamborough Head short circular walk guide…

Flamborough Head Walk

An elevated view down Flamborough Head and the sea beyond

The Flamborough Head short circular walk forms part of the larger East Riding Heritage Way, just one of many walks in North Yorkshire. If you want to continue along this path, you can also make your way up to RSPB Bempton Cliffs to take in the soaring seabirds, or join the trails at Danes Dyke.

If you’re short on time though, the main walk is 7 miles and can take up to 4 hours. You’ll start in Flamborough Village near Chapel Street.

Start: Flamborough Village
Finish: Flamborough Village (circular walk)
Distance: 7 miles (11 km)
Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate (some steep sections but well-defined paths)

Flamborough Head Walk Route Details

Make your way to Chapel Street (the B1255). There is car parking here, or you can head into town on the number 510 bus from Bridlington. Begin your walk by heading north along this street towards Woodcock Road. This soon turns into North Marine Road, where you’ll lay eyes on your first taste of nature: a vast expanse of fields.

The Route To Thornwick Bay

After making your way through the fields, make a note of the Flaneburg Hotel. A footpath lies left of a signpost here, taking you up to Thornwick Bay and Thornwick Farm. The bay offers unforgettable sights of jutting chalk cliffs, as well as the Thornwick Nab rock formation. If you go off track here, you could hit Bempton Cliffs, where you’ll catch puffins, gannets and razorbills, depending on the time of year.

Back on track, make time to stop off at the Thornwick Bay Café. You’ll need to keep your strength up before you head down to the coastline walk by the Flamborough Cliffs Nature Reserve.

An elevated view down Bempton Cliffs to the sea beyond

Flamborough Cliffs Nature Reserve

One of the more treacherous areas of the Flamborough Head Walk, the nature reserve section hugs the coastline, so there are steep drops. Keep your eye on any little ones and put your dog on a lead.

The best time to visit this part of the walk is during the summer, when you’ll see a huge range of seabird colonies. Look out for auks, gannets, gulls and puffins, as well as other wildlife such as butterflies and moths.

When you’re done, head down to the North Landing beach. This is dog friendly and there’s also a café if you’re feeling ready for a refreshment.

Flamborough Lighthouse

The pièce de résistance of the Flamborough Head walk, Flamborough Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the UK, dating back to 1674. There is a visitor centre at the lighthouse, bookable through Sewerby Hall and Gardens. You can also partake in seal watching here – but listen to the rules. This wildlife should not be disturbed, so it’s best to be as quiet as possible.

You can get to the lighthouse by joining the B1259 Lighthouse Road. Once you’re done, take the track back down to the Fog Signal Station before you head along the clifftops.

South Landing

Follow the clifftops for another 2 miles before taking the steps down to South Landing. These are quite steep, and you’ll need to climb them again to get back up to the top of the cliffs. You’ll find a footpath which takes you back towards Flamborough Village.

Pass by Beacon Farm and make your way to West Street. Here, you’ll begin to see signs of Flamborough Castle.

South Landing beach in Flamborough

Flamborough Castle

While there’s no public access to Flamborough Castle, you can still see it from the roadside and learn more about these historic ruins. Dating back to the 14th Century, it is known for its rectangular stone tower and is featured on the National Heritage list. Be sure to read the public information board and learn more about Viking settlements.

The Final Leg

Once you’ve taken in your history for the day, it’s time to head down to Tower Street. Here, you’ll see the local monument and village green, taking you back to where you started. This medium-length route is great for those looking for a slow amble around the Yorkshire coastline, with plenty of pitstops along the way.

Attractions near the Flamborough Head short circular walk

If you’re making a trip of it, be sure to stop by these incredible tourist attractions near Flamborough.

Sewerby Hall

At Sewerby Hall, you can buy tickets to enter the Flamborough Lighthouse, as well as explore acres of parkland and beautiful gardens. It’s perfect for the little ones, too – with the chance to dress up as an Edwardian era servant for the day, or indulge in a little pitch and putt. There’s even an on-site zoo!

The gated enterance to Sewerby Hall

Living Seas Centre

Keen to feast your eyes on even more wildlife? Go from land animals to sea animals at the Living Seas Centre, just a short distance from the Lighthouse Sculpture.

Here you can get up close with exotic sea animals and learn more about Yorkshire’s hidden landscapes. As part of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, it’s a fun and educational day out for both adults and little ones.

Local walks

Other walks along the Yorkshire coast include the Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay walk. Head north of Flamborough for just over an hour’s drive to experience these beautiful sights.

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