Bays and cliffs feature on low-tide walk

Here is a truly varied walk through a couple of bays along the beach at low tide, returning by way of fields, Osgodby Hill, the notorious Knipe Point development, or The Cleveland Way.

To access the starting point from Scarborough, take the A165 Filey Road by bus or private transport via Ramshill and Wheatcroft to Cornelian Drive off left.

Go part way round Cornelian Drive and seek a lane off leading to a small car park, if you haven’t already chosen to park on Cornelian Drive itself.

Follow the Tarmac lane with broad grassed verges, fields to the right and the edge of South Cliff Golf course which ends near White Nab to your left.

Passing a small park, bear left away from the pumping station and shortly cross a small stream by stepping stones. Keep the stream to your right and your way is a wild floral path towards Cornelian Bay.

Drop down the clay-covered cliffs with care to access the beach and ensure a good low tide, turn right heading south along Cornelian Bay towards Knipe Point (or Osgodby Point).

The cliffs within Cornelian Bay are covered with thick boulder clay which frequently slips to form a marshy undercliff.

Search the shingle and small pebbles and you may find the dull red, semi-precious Cornelian stones if you’re lucky!

Cornelian Bay is so named on account of the stones. (Don’t wander over rocks at low tide. Many have become marooned on an island as the in-coming tide quickly floods the inner lake. Perilous rocks are well named).

Ahead lies Knipe Point, easily recognised by its peculiar hump-backed shape, somewhat resembling a prostrate camel. At low tide you may be able to walk round this point, or cross it to enter Johnny Flintons Harbour, an area which rivals many continental scenes. Then follows a glorious stretch of sandy beach as Cayton Bay extends South to the High Red Cliff, Lebberston

Just beyond the pumping station is your exit from the beach, but I do recommend you wander further if tide permits, to admire High Red Cliff and its structure.

The golden-coloured band of vertical rock near the top of this cliff is Calcareaus Grit. Below it is a much thicker layer of Oxford Clay, this shaly clay has crumbled to give a steep grey slope which is partly colourised by grass.

All that rests on a base of Hackness and Kelloway Rocks. Admire the variety of seaweed at the foot of the cliff, you’ll find plenty of Bladder Wrack, This is your turnabout point to return to the exit from the beach near the pumping station (not the first exit observed to the surfing centre).

Ascend the steps to a little kiosk selling ice creams and drinks etc, and walk up the cobbled way only a short distance to Knipe Point where the Cleveland Way crosses the walkway. Here, turn right over a stile into a field and follow the right boundary, with the pumping station beyond.

A short walk uphill leads to Osgodby Hill where you join the A165 and turn right. Just a short walk above Cayton Cliff brings you to Knipe Point Drive. Your exit from the A165 is opposite Reservoir Lane, turning right down a narrow public footpath just beyond Knipe Point Drive.

Follow this path alongside attractive Knipe Point bungalows to meet the Cleveland Way. Here, turn left and the path along Frank Cliff above Cornelian Bay gives unusual views in both directions, down the canopy of the wood. All too soon the Cleveland Way unites you with your original route from the pumping station. Retrace your steps to the little car park and into Cornelian Drive to complete your route.

DISTANCE: 5 miles if extended to High Red Cliff as requested.

REFRESHMENT: Cayton sands kiosk (near pumping station) in season.


(Fucus vesiculosus)

Wracks are abundant near Red Cliff. Bladder Wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) is perhaps the best known being the one we popped as children. It’s olive brown, growing on rocks from a disc-shaped holdfast.

It grows amongst Saw Wrack the weed with saw-like edges. The pronds are flat leathery and thickened centres or mid-ribs, the pronds are repeatedly forked and bear air bladders on either side the mid – rib, these act as floats to buoy up the seaweed as the tide comes in.

In parts of Scotland it’s often fed to pigs raw, or boiled mixed with meal. In the past it was one of the main sources of the production of iodine.

Try it boiled, or stewed with meat, fish or vegeatables. Dried it can be made into an excellent healthy herbal tea.

Simply place one or two teaspoonfuls of dried weed into a cup, pour on boiling water allow to stand for five minutes and you have a herbal tea with a difference!