Surf’s up at Cayton

Cayton Bay 142043a
Cayton Bay 142043a

Written by Maureen Robinson

You could describe this walk as a self-inflicted challenge, especially if tackled at high tide in gale-force winds! Hundreds of steps reward you, creating views and variety. A great walk, but do check the tide situation. Ensure a low tide or one ebbing towards low tide or you’ll have not only a scramble over huge boulders and unstable rocks, but a climb up the base of the pumping station!

This five mile walk starts from Cornelian Drive off the old A165 Scarborough to Filey road. A number 7 bus will stop close by.

Start. Leaving Filey Road, enter Cornelian Drive and follow it about half way round, with the golf course to your left. A narrow lane leads off towards the sea. Follow it to a car park, and maybe leave your transport here. Pass through a handgate to find Wheatcroft Waste Water Pumping Station to your right. A Cleveland Way sign bearing an acorn directs you right along the cliff on a narrow footpath. Cross a section of duck boarding, and keep alongside woodland to your left. Across the field to your right, you’ll view Filey Road towards Osgodby.

Leaving woodland, keep to the obvious path beside a field. Reaching a bungalow at Knipe Point, turn right as arrowed, between fencing and brambles. (No left turn due to cliff erosion.) Meeting Filey Road, turn left along the attractive verge, with floral features and seat opposite Osgodby Lane.

Shortly you meet a barrier across the road. Immediately beyond you’ll find a bold Cleveland Way sign indicating your turning left into The National Trust, Cayton Bay. Descend about 88 railed steps plus more ahead, keeping straight forward through woodland, across duck boarding and up and down about 200 steps in all to access the beach at Johnny Flinton’s Harbour. You’ll long to linger here on a sunny summer’s day. If the tide is high you’ll have a long stretch of boulders to negotiate as you turn right to head south towards Cayton Sands. Much easier as sands are revealed! You pass a pill box on the beach. I well recall when it stood on the cliff top as a means of defence during the war!

Arriving at the pumping station, you may wish to ascend steps from the beach to call at Lucy’s Beach Shack for refreshment. It opens daily at 9.30am until October, and through autumn and winter weekends only, and there
are public conveniences nearby.

Return to the beach to explore Cayton Bay. The Yorkshire coast has earned a fantastic reputation with surfers around the world. Beginners can receive help from local surf schools in North Bay, South Bay and Cayton Bay, with qualified instructors to teach children and adults.

For the best break waves, surfers head here, to Cayton Bay. The waves can be surfed at both high and low tides. The cream of the UK professional surfers will descend on Scarborough in October to contest a stage of the UK Pro Surf Tour. As you stroll the sands towards Red Cliff, marvel at the huge swells and maybe be tempted to try surfing!

Please turn back as you approach rocks at Red Cliff. It is very dangerous to go further. Return to Lucy’s Beach Shack and Lifeguard’s Cabin. Should you be a naturist, please note that naturism is forbidden here!

Continue up the cobbled way several paces only to a point crossed by the Cleveland Way. Here, turn right as signed, to enter a kissing gate. Ascend the grassy cliff near wire fencing, as arrowed. You pass above the pumping station to reach a kissing gate. Enter and find a three-fingered post. The footpath indicating the Cleveland Way should be taken, leading down a stony path to railed wooden steps. A lovely, sheltered ‘valley’ walk continues past a pond off right. This is Tenant’s Cliff. Enter a kissing gate and climb steps between bushes to access the cliff top. Magnificent views to Knipe Point and Johnnie Flinton’s Harbour! Bushes and brambles feature, and more steps ascend to an arrowed post. Wind through the woodland and where the path forks, go left to retrace steps taken on your previous descending route. Keep climbing to rejoin Filey Road.

Turn right down Filey Road, passing Osgodby Lane and returning to Knipe Point. Turn right down Knipe Point to the bungalow near the end, and retrace your steps along the Cleveland Way above Frank Cliff. At the pumping station go through the gate into the car park, and return along Cornelian Drive to re-join Filey Road.

Distance: Entire route 5 miles approximately, may easily be reduced.

Refreshment: Lucy’s Beach Shack at Cayton Bay, open daily 9.30am until October, through autumn and winter weekends only.

l Fossils and imprints may be discovered on rocks. Don’t forget to check the state of tides.

Binoculars may be useful to observe seals on the 
rocks.