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Flamborough Head and Filey

Sunday was the day we'd all been looking forward to. A day to camp out at the beach. The weatherman had promised us sunny outbreaks and light winds at the coast but as we left Leeds the sky was a dark grey, the clouds were gathering and there was some drizzle in the air. Undeterred, we made our way up the long and winding A64 to reach our first destination, Flamborough Head. 

Located in between the seaside towns of Filey and Bridlington, Flamborough Head has been designated a Special Area of Conservation and is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest for geology and biology. It is the only Northern chalk sea cliff, with strata dating back to the upper Jurassic period.

We headed to the village of Flamborough and parked the car at South Landing. Wandering onto the pebble beach, we were stunned not only at the scenery but how amazing the rocks were. So many had strange perfectly round holes in them and the smooth simple shapes reminded me of Barbara Hepworth's sculptures. Steep stairs up to the cliff top were worth the pain in the back of my legs for the breathtaking panoramic views of the bay.

We meandered along the wild coastal path, enjoying the sound of birdsong and the crashing of the waves below us. The wildflowers were providing lots of nourishment for the bees and the butterflies and we were intrigued by erratic planting of broad beans stretching back as far as the eyes could see. I'm not sure if these were actually being farmed or if they were for the wildlife. We enjoyed following the sculpture trail too and loved the giant nest of eggs tucked away in the woodland. And as we headed back to the car we watched the lifeboat head out to sea on a training exercise, the noise echoing around the bay as it slapped down hard over the bigger waves. 

We got back in the car and headed off to Flamborough Head to visit the lighthouse. Dating back to 1806, it's still in use and marks the headland for vessels heading to Scarborough and Bridlington. It's really striking and it must be amazing to see it at night in action. Walking to the edge of the cliff you can see the astonishing arches and rock stacks below you. At low tides, these coves can be accessed to go rock pooling and see inside the smugglers' caves. Sadly, we didn't get to do this but we'll definitely be going back to explore here more in the summer holidays. 

At this point it started to rain a little. So we headed off on the final part of our journey. We were planning to spend the rest of the day on the long, award winning sandy beach at Filey. It's one of the seaside towns I'd never been to in North Yorkshire. My husband used to holiday there regularly as a child, but hadn't been back for many years.

It's a quaint little resort, with lots of nooks and crannies to explore. There are of course the usual kiosks of fish and chips, buckets and spades and ice creams. But it has less of the amusement arcades and hustle and bustle of the larger coastal towns like Scarborough and Whitby. Filey is more genteel. Some of the well maintained Edwardian buildings would not have looked out of place in an Agatha Christie mystery. We headed to the beach with our picnic and blanket. It was warm yet breezy and we were happy to sit with our backs against the sea wall and enjoy all that the seaside had to offer. Harry was desperate to get in the water and stayed in it for hours happily jumping and running through the waves. He also built a dam in one of the tidal pools. The beach was so clean and the water was crystal clear. I had a little paddle, but bloomin' heck it was cold for me! I don't know how he stayed in so long.

The North Yorkshire coastline is something amazing to behold. I've seen so many wonderful places and it's definitely a special place to visit. I'm delighted to support the campaign 

Blueprint for Yorkshire

 from Yorkshire Water, which promises

to

 improve water quality, the environment, create better beaches, cleaner

rivers and save water too. It's a twenty-five year strategy to shape the future of Yorkshire for generations to come. That can only be a good thing. 

We returned home to Leeds tired but happy. And a little sunburnt! The coastline is forever in our hearts, a place of wonder, adventure and beauty. x