Distance: 11.5 miles; 18.5 km
Estimated Time: 5 hours
Map: OS Explorer Map 301 Scarborough, Bridlington and Flamborough Head
Route: View in Google Maps
GPX File: Download GPX file (desktop only) – What is a GPX file?
The Bempton Cliffs to Flamborough Head Walk was voted one of Britain’s top 100 walks by ITV. The coastal walk takes in views of the North Sea and the thousands of nesting sea birds on the cliffs. The most popular attraction is the puffins that typically visit Bempton Cliffs between May and July.
This circular walk starts at the RSBP car park. Once you reach Flamborough Lighthouse, you can either return along the coast, or take a circular route through Flamborough. This guide returns through Flamborough as per ITV’s route.
The address for the RSPB car park.
RSPB Bempton Cliffs
There is no cost for parking. The car park is for visitors of the RSBP.
|Children||£3 (first child free)|
|Children Under 5||Free|
Visit the RSBP’s Bempton Cliffs website for up-to-date prices and opening times.
RSPB Car Park and Public Right of Way
The admission price does not grant you any additional access to Bempton Cliffs. The cliffs and footpaths are a public right of way and are accessible from other car parks, such as North Landing (£1.80 for over 2 hours) and Flamborough Head Car Park (£2.90 all day). The RSPB is a charity and their entrance fee funds the RSPB facilities, such as the car park, viewing platforms, toilets and visitor centre. The fees also supports their conservation work, public education and advocacy.
Viewing the Birds
Image credit: Andrew Walks
You will see thousands of birds along the walking route. You will easily identify larger birds such as gannets. It is difficult to spot the smaller birds without binoculars. The photographs of the birds at Bempton Cliffs are taken with specialised cameras and it’s extremely unlikely you’ll see any up close.
The RSPB provide information on how to spot particular birds near each of their viewing platforms. At the start of the walk, they have provided a collection of life-size images of common birds at Bempton Cliffs.
View route in Google Maps
Image credit: Kevin Groocock/Bridlington Echo
Not only do you have thousands of birds to occupy your attention along Bempton Cliffs, there’s also the North Sea. If you’re observant and lucky during your coastal walk, you may see whales, seals, dolphins or porpoise. Between May and October minke whales and white-beaked dolphins move inshore, whilst harbour porpoise and grey seals can been seen all year round.
Start of Bempton Cliffs Walk
From the RSPB Centre, head to the cliffs. The start of the walk from Bempton Cliffs to Flamborough Head is a right turn; however, the Grandstand platform is just to the left. It’s worth visiting the viewing platform before starting your walk.
After visiting the viewing platform, follow the signpost for “Public Footpath Flamborough 3.25 miles”. The North Sea will be on your left-hand side.
There are a few viewing platforms available along the start of the Bempton Cliffs walk. After the Grandstand viewing platform, you will reach the New Roll-up platform.
The Staple Newk viewpoint is a popular gathering spot for the birds due to a protruding section of the cliff.
Not long after the Staple Newk viewpoint, the cliff edge is no longer protected by a fence.
Along the route, you will see Flamborough Lighthouse in the distance.
The Thornwick Bay Cafe is located along the Bempton Cliffs walk.
At North Landing, there are places to eat and drink. They also have public toilets available.
Flamborough Head has places to eat and drink and also have public toilets available.
The Flamborough Lighthouse signifies the end of the Bempton Cliffs coastal walk. To return to the RSPB car park, you can either follow the cliff walk the way you came or venture inland through Flamborough. This guide continues through Flamborough.
From Flamborough Lighthouse, follow the main road leading away from the lighthouse.
Turn right through the wooden gate, coming away from the road.
The route will take you into a housing estate. Keep heading straight.
At the top of the street, turn right.
Cross the road and continue down the one-way School Lane.
At the end of School Lane, turn left onto High Street.
Take the next right turn onto Post Office Street.
At the roundabout, go straight up following the signpost for Bempton/Scarborough.
Turn right onto Bempton Lane (B1229).
Stay on Bempton Lane. There is no footpath on Bempton Lane but there is small amount of room to walk alongside the road.
Turn right onto Stonepit Lane.
Turn left from the road.
There is a random trig along the path…
At the end of the path, turn right onto Cliff Lane.
Cliff Lane leads back to the RSBP car park.