Flamborough Cliffs (c) David Nichols
Don’t miss: 400ft-high chalk cliffs, seabirds, wildflowers, rock-pooling
North Landing, North Marine Road, Flamborough, Bridlington, YO15 1BJ
OS Landranger 101 Grid reference TA 239719
At a glance...
Look down upon huge colonies of guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and puffins too on these imposing cliffs which are higher than the famous white cliffs of Dover. All easily seen from clifftop vantage points, take in the unforgettable sights, sounds – and smells, of these ‘seabird cities’. Superb rock pools and sea caves are revealed at low tide at North Landing and Thornwick Bay so bring a bucket and net too.
Regular summer boat trips – in partnership with local fisherman* - take visitors to view wildlife in close-up and discover more about the 400ft high cliffs, smugglers’ caves and underwater reefs. The cliff tops host a huge variety of chalkland plants including orchids and sea thrift or ‘pink’ and the grasslands are a good spot for barn owl too. Keep an eye out for cheeky weasels along the clifftop footpath.
Thousands of seabirds nest on the chalk cliffs, including puffin, kittiwake, guillemot, razorbill and fulmar. Gannets can always be seen passing by, sometimes plunge diving spectacularly for fish from 50 feet up, with the help of built-in airbags!
Cliff top grasslands come alive with salt loving species, such as thrift and sea plantain, growing alongside limestone grassland species such as the bright pink pyramid orchid and blue harebell. Breeding yellowhammer and linnet can be found in hedgerows and scrub, and butterflies are regularly seen.
Large numbers of migrant birds including rarer species such as yellow-browed warbler, wryneck and great grey shrike take refuge in the hedgerows and scrub, with ‘falls’ of species like goldcrests sometimes being measured in the dozens. Offshore, Manx shearwater and airborne pirates, the skuas may be joined by little auks in stormy weather.
Arctic visitors fieldfare and redwing use the scrub in Holmes Gut for food and shelter. Barn owl, stoat and weasel can often be seen hunting in daylight. Gannet and fulmar return from January and dramatic waves are always guaranteed!