Flamborough Head is a spectacular coastline in Yorkshire. There are many amazing things to do and see at Flamborough Head. From discovering secret sea caves and sea arches to spotting seals and puffins, there are so many wonderful things to do at Flamborough! Pick a sunny day, pack a picnic and your camera and head one of the most spectacular parts of the Yorkshire Coast.
- Where is Flamborough Head
- Things to do at Flamborough Head:
- Best Time of Year to visit Flamborough Head
- Where to stay at Flamborough Head
- Things to do near Flamborough Head
Where is Flamborough Head?
Flamborough Head is an 8-mile-long promontory on the Yorkshire Coast. Located between Filey and Bridlington, this chalk headland stands proudly around 400 feet above the North Sea. Flamborough Head is around 1 hour from Hull, 1 hour and 20 minutes from York and 1 hour and 40 minutes from Leeds.
Things to do at Flamborough Head
Did you know that there are puffins in Yorkshire? Well, not year-round but between the months of April and July, puffins nest on the cliffs at Flamborough Head. The first few months the colourful seabirds spend most of their time in burrows looking after their one chick. Yet in late May and June they emerge making this a great time to spot puffins at Flamborough Head! Puffins stand on the cliffs, chatting, pruning, eating and then dive into the air with their bright orange feet behind them.
Finding a puffin is one of the best things to do at Flamborough Head in early summer.
Walk to Thornwick Bay
Flamborough Head is popular for its beaches. Families flock to North Landing during sunny days making it hard to find a spot! If you fancy a slightly quieter beach experience walk from North Landing along the cliffs to Thornwick Bay.
Thornwick Bay is a very picturesque bay on Flamborough Head. It is said that Thornwick Bay derives it’s name from Thor, the god of thunder. On a stormy day, the waves crashing on the beach do indeed sound like thunder! There are quite a few shipwrecks close to Thornwick Bay.
Yet on a sunny spring, summer or autumn day Thornwick Bay is quite calm. Walkers can enjoy the clifftop walk from North Landing to Thornwick Bay. The walk is just 1 mile from the North Landing car park. The easy walk offers wonderful views of the white cliffs before reaching Thornwick Bay.
Thornwick Bay has a pretty natural sea arch and chalky rocks to admire from one of the benches on the cliff. You can walk down or just sit at Thornwick Bay Café and enjoy the view.
Admire Coastal Plants
Depending on the time of year you visit Flamborough Head you may be lucky enough to spot some beautiful coastal plants.
One of my favourite things to do at Flamborough Head is to watch the coastal plants sway in the wind. Wild flowers are so beautiful.
You might be able to spot little clusters of pale pink sea thrift by the cliffs. This perennial appears in late spring and summer on Flamborough Head. Another wild coastal flower you can see at Flamborough Head is red campion. While this wild flower tends to grow in woodland areas, huge swaths of red campion can be found on Bempton cliffs. This bright pink flowers look beautiful against the sapphire sea on a sunny day.
Scramble over rocks at North Landing
Scambling over the rocks at North Landing beach is one of the best things to do at Flamborough head for families. The slimy rocks lead to hidden coves, through impressive sea arches and secret caves. Families all clamber over the rocks together and are careful not to slip on the seaweed!
Just be aware of the tide times so you do not get cut off from the beach. Also, you may see people walking from North Landing to Thornwick Bay over the rocks. While this is possible it can take a while to scramble over there and by the time you get to Thornwick Bay the sea may already be above the rocks! We saw a few people swimming the last section as they had misjudged how long it would take them.
Be aware and you will have fun on the rocks at North Landing.
Another great thing to do at Flamborough Head is to look for seals!
You might be able to spot harbour seals, also known as common seals playing at the bottom of the cliff. We spotted about 5 near the New Flamborough Head lighthouse during our visit in June. In autumn bull grey seals also appear amongst the chalk stacks of Flamborough cliffs. In November and December, they give birth to their pubs on the Yorkshire coast.
Be careful never to approach seals and always watch them from a distance. If you see a seal you believe is in distress call the Sea Life Centre on 01723 373414, extension 8.
Visit the RSPB Bempton Cliffs
Visting RSPB Bempton Cliffs must be on your list of things to do at Flamborough Head.
Bempton Cliffs are home to the biggest mainland seabird colony in England. In the summer months almost half a million birds visit the cliffs.
Visitors will love seeing the razorbills, garnets, shags and even puffins! The spectacle of birds is wonderful to watch from several viewing points. Just walking along the cliffs is enjoyable as you see the birds as well as the gorgeous coastal landscape.
Bempton cliffs is very accessible with wonderful flat paths making this a great place for all ages and all fitness types. It is of course a favourite for bird watchers and nature photographers. You might want to bring your binoculars and good camera with you too!
Another reason visiting Bempton Cliffs is a great thing to do at Flamborough Head is that you are supporting a worthy cause. The Bempton Cliffs is a reserve that protects over 5km of sea cliffs. The small entrance fee means you are contributing to protecting wildlife in Yorkshire.
See the Lighthouses at Flamborough Head
There are two lighthouses at Flamborough Head. You cannot visit Flamborough Head without spotting them on the horizon.
The first lighthouse was built in 1674. This makes it one of the oldest lighthouses in England! It was built from chalk.
The new Flamborough Head lighthouse was finished in 1806. You can still see it revolving today.
Find a Natural Sea Arch
A wonderful feature of chalk coastlines are natural sea arches! Make sure you add spotting one to your list of things to do at Flamborough Head.
A sea arch is a natural arch eroded out of a cliff face by marine processes. You can spot a sea arch from Bempton Cliffs, there is one by the fog station at Flamborough Head and a huge one to walk through at North Landing beach. There are plenty of others as well as sea stacks. Flamborough Head is a dream for geographers!
Walk the 7-mile Flamborough Head Hike
If you like walking you will love this 7-mile walk around Flamborough Head.
You can start from the centre of Flamborough or park at Dane Dyke. The path follows the Flamborough Headland starting from Sotuh Landing to North Landing. This is an incredibly picturesque walk along the coast past the cliffs, sea arches and beaches. You might even spot some seals or puffins from the walk!
Click here for a detailed description of the Flamborough Head hike.
Watch the Sunset from Selwicks Bay
If you manage to visit Flamborough Head on a sunny day make sure you stay to watch the sunset at Selwicks Bay.
Selwicks Bay lies on the Flamborough headland. There are sandy and pebble beaches as well as rock pools to explore! Yet in the evening you probably want to stay on the cliffs above the beach.
The 400 feet chalk cliffs around Selwicks bay are beautiful anytime of day but in the evening they take on a golden glow.
Enjoy a bag of chips by the Flamborough head lighthouse above Selwicks Bay on a bench. Alternatively, if you don’t mind a short walk, head over to the fog station for an epic place to watch to watch the sunset. The view is one of the prettiest spots in Yorkshire.
Best Time of Year to visit Flamborough Head
Flamborough Head is amazing year-round.
The best time to visit Flamborough Head to spot puffins is late May and June. Spring and summer is perfect for seeing wild flowers, as well as for paddling in the North Sea. In autumn and winter, Flamborough Head is wilder. You can see huge waves as well as spot seals!
If you happen to visit Flamborough Head on New Year’s Eve you can catch the Flamborough Fire Festival. This festival celebrates the Viking heritage of the Yorkshire coast. You can watch the Viking parade, see the Flamborough fireballs, as well as the grand burning of the Viking long ship!
Where to stay at Flamborough Head
If you want to stay overnight on Flamborough Head there are a few places you can stay on Flamborough Head. The villages of Flamborough and Bempton are excellent bases to be close to the cliffs. Alternatively, Bridlington is a larger town with more choice. You can use the booking.com tool below to find accommodation on Flamborough Head.
Things to do near Flamborough Head
If you have more time to explore the area around Flamborough Head there are plenty more things to see and do on the Yorkshire coast! Head further north to the wonderful seaside resorts of Filey and Scarborough for glorious sandy beaches. The little coastal villages of Whitby and Staithes are well worth visiting too.
If you like wild moorland the North Yorkshire moors national park is full of epic Yorkshire waterfalls and hikes such as Roseberry Topping. A couple of hours away you will find another national park. You will find several spectacular places in the Yorkshire Dales.
There are many things to do in Yorkshire!
What would you like to do at Flamborough Head?
Thanks for reading! What would you like to do at Flamborough Head? Have we missed your favourite thing to do at Flamborough Head? Let us know in the comments below!