Country lanes and cliffs

Bempton Cliffs
Bempton Cliffs

by Maureen Robinson

Bempton, with the nearby hamlet of Buckton, are four miles north of Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast. Bempton cliffs are just one mile north of the village, making it well worth while doing a slight diversion to include the ever-popular RSPB Centre in your day out.

This lovely level walk or drive explores the country lanes south of these villages, passing a couple of windmills without sails, a couple of pretty ponds, and village greens where one may enjoy a picnic.

Added attractions are an antique shop, and art and craft centre en route which also contains a popular tea room.

Access to the starting point is along the A165 Scarborough to Bridlington road. Reaching a traffic island displaying a shepherd with sheep near The Dotterel Inn, take the road as signed to Flamborough and Bempton. Pass the Honey Pot Inn to your right, and continue until bold signs indicate the 30mph limit as you enter Buckton. Park in the vicinity of Hoddy Cows Lane near the duck pond, which has seating.

From the pond, walk just into Buckton to take the first turning right. This leads past Whitehouse Farm and gently rises up Buckton Gate to Lindell campsite. Just beyond, cross the railway line into Bempton Lane. You may discern two windmills’ ‘stumps’ on the skyline, which are later passed en route.

Ahead, on the corner of Bolam Lane stands an old windmill. Newsham Field lies to the left.

Passing a sign warning of ‘bends’, there’s Norlands Park site to the right surrounded by fields. Until the 1960s the main occupation was farming. Nowadays most of the small farms have gone. As you’ll see later, any available spare land has been used for housing 
development.

Shortly, leave Bempton Lane and turn left along Short Lane, as signed to Flamborough and Bempton. Can you see Bridlington Priory south of this point?

Strolling along Short Street, pass High Ridings and Sea View to shortly meet a road junction with Jewison Lane. Here turn left up Newsham Hill Lane, as signed to Bempton and Buckton.

Passing a small wood to the left, wide grassed verges lead to the Old Mill Caravan Park and a second old windmill. Beyond is AKO’s Bed and Breakfast. Cross the railway line and enter Newsham Hill Lane.

The station on this Hull to Scarborough line is actually on the site of the last hamlet of Newsham, though little trace remains.

Beyond the 30mph limit sign, you reach the picturesque village green with its 
attractive pond, picnic benches and pump, with white railings to the left. It’s well worth loitering here before bearing right up Church Lane, and possibly visiting St Michael’s Church.

It has an early 19th century chancel, 13th century font and wooden screen. Then, if you love browsing around 
antiques, near the top of Church Lane on your left, is a collection of items to ponder! The antiques shop is open Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm.

Your return route is made by turning left to the village store and post office. Then veer right, passing a garage and Ringley Meadows to your left, and a chapel to the right.

Beyond a children’s play area on the left, enter Buckton and follow Main Street past Buckton House and terraced cottages to reach the Richard Burton Art and Crafts Gallery, and tea room.

You can be sure of a warm welcome from Richard as you browse his delightful displays of art, along with changing art exhibitions, sculptures, pottery and Wolds Whisky marmalades and chutneys etc.

It’s an excellent stopping place for refreshment, and is obviously a popular tea room. Don’t forget to purchase local eggs before leaving!

Although closed Monday and Tuesday, apart from bank holidays, it’s open daily from 11am-4.30pm. Richard also runs art classes, so you may wish to enquire about those too.

Bempton’s RSPB Reserve (opens at 10am): Depending on your available time, energy levels, and mode of transport, I’m sure you’d enjoy visiting Bempton’s amazing sea bird colonies. You’ll never be any nearer than this!

After leaving the antiques shop, instead of turning left along the B1229, take Cliff Lane, adjacent to the White Horse Inn, which stands on the corner. Just follow this narrow lane (with passing bays for vehicles), or walk on the excellent chalk path on the right verge which leads to the car park and RSPB Centre just beyond. Look out for kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, gannets and fulmars. Between April and July it’s possible to see puffins too, as they usually hang around until mid-July. The gannets are there right up until October.

Gannets fly away on October to warmer areas. Even in autumn and winter there’s plenty to see and do. Look out for brown hares, stoats and weasels; take a longer walk to see farmland birds or pop into the RSPB visitor centre for a chat over a cuppa.

Following a spectacular cliff top walk to blow away the cobwebs, you’ll feel really energised! Ready for the walk back down Cliff Lane? Then you just turn right at the White Horse Inn and your return to Buckton and your starting point.

Distance: Buckton circular via old mills is approximately 4 miles; optional diversion to Bempton Cliffs RSPB Reserve is 2 miles return from the White Horse Inn. Total 6 miles approximately.

Refreshment: Richard Burton’s Tea Room, Main Street, Buckton; The RSPB Centre at Bempton Cliffs; The White Horse Inn (corner of Cliff Lane with the B1229); A picnic is great!

NB Free parking at RSPB Centre. Save yourself £5 for a parking ticket. Just take a Bempton Cliffs nature reserve leaflet from Scarborough’s Information Centre and cut out the £5 voucher to hand in.