Disappearing coast

Fraisthorpe Beach
Fraisthorpe Beach

Written by Maureen Robinson

This six-and-a-half mile walk, with all its added attractions, will provide a great day out, but go shortly before it’s too late!

Since Roman times, it’s 
estimated that over two and a half miles of land have been lost to the sea! We certainly saw a great change over the last decade.

Fraisthorpe, from where this delightfully varied country and coastal walk begins, is about four miles south of Bridlington. Travelling from Bridlington, take the A165 and seek, after Wilsthorpe roundabout, a sign on a bend directing you left to Fraisthorpe. Prepare to park in the vicinity of The Lodge, and church 

First, return briefly to the ‘bend’ to see the tall village pump near lovely cobbled walling to the left, and a wall clock. Find close by a millennium stone which reads: “On 1-1-2000AD This Millennium Stone was 1,650 metres (ie 1,800 yards) from the sea”.

Do visit the small Anglican church, built of seaside sand and cobbles, which dates from 1693. It replaced the original church which was washed out to sea. Peep inside to find simple seating for just 40 people.

Leaving the church, Lodge Farm is to your left as you follow the bends along the lane for one mile. Open, level agricultural land surrounds you, and being exposed to strong winds, this section can be cold and bleak in winter. The magnificent coastline from Bridlington to Flamborough Head is viewed as you approach Auburn Farm. The village itself is now in the sea! Just past the farm buildings, an out-house painted white serves as toilets. Follow the lane over the dike and continue past a car park to reach the beach. Wind-surfing is a very popular pursuit on Fraisthorpe Sands. Turn right to head southwards. Your route is about two miles of beautiful beach towards 
Barmston. There is a cliff-top path but it’s constantly eroding, and the beach reveals dramatic cliff-falls. A naturist beach was one and a half miles south, for anyone so inclined to use the area. However, it is no longer clearly designated for this purpose, and we feel the option has been withdrawn!

The cliffs are very shallow, and the coastline had to be heavily fortified 
during the war to prevent 
invasion. You’ll observe pill-boxes and tank defences strewn along the beach.

For the naturalist, shells abound, eg mussels, scallops, razors and common whelks etc.

You cross a drainage channel or two before Earl’s Dike itself is reached, which can prove to be a torrent of water! Sometimes a case of wellies or a paddle! A lovely long stretch of beach follows, and soon the cliffs are so low you can alternate your route and straddle the cliff. Ahead, the huge artificial barricade used to stabilise the cliff at the end of Barmston’s Sands Lane has vanished. So, when a holiday camp features, leave the beach near a sign-board on the ‘cliff’, and keep to the footpath beside post and wire fencing. A ravine features to your left, and nesting holes of sand martin colonies are viewed. Enter a kissing gate and continue in front of the caravan site, keeping any dogs on a leash as 
requested please.

At Barmston Beach veer left by Nisa Local and a launderette to meet Sands Lane. A car park is to the left as Sands Lane leads to a tea room, caravan site, shop, small aviary and old joiner’s on a gravelled site. Southview Cottages, ie six luxury self-catering holiday cottages with hot tub, sauna and facilities mentioned, are available and even welcome dogs! Barmston Barnets Unisex Hair Salon and telephone kiosk provide added facilities.

Beyond Bloomfield Way features the Black Bull, with a fenced pond and information board creating interest. Just ahead you’ll discover Red Roof Cottage painted white, and previously numbered 27 Sands Lane. A wall plaque reads: “This Hospital was founded by Griffith Boynton Bart etc”.

Halt here, unless you wish to view All Saints Church a little distance further up the road. Your actual route for walking back to Fraisthorpe departs from this point.

Seek a public footpath, concealed between a barn and Red Roof Cottage. A rough, narrow path is followed to the far end to meet a stile.

Keep to the cross-country paths beside fields, and over stiles and planked bridges etc to eventually pass a farm to your right. Electricity posts are in alignment to your 
route. Meeting a rutted farm track an arrow directs you straight across a field.

At the far end you emerge on a lane, at a public footpath sign. Turn right along the lane to a sharp bend, and remain on this lane as it veers left and takes you over the bridge spanning Earl’s Dike. Passing Rose Cottage to your right, you re-enter the small, pretty 
village of Fraisthorpe. It was part of Boynton estate, purchased in 1549 by William Strickland upon his return from the New World. It was sold off to private enterprise in 1968.

Take time to admire 
cottages and walling of sand and cobbles as you return to your starting point.

Distance: 6.5 miles.

Refreshment: All in Barm-ston – The Black Bull, Southview Cottages and Tea Room.

Christmas stocking filler

A new volume of Rural Rambles by Maureen Robinson is now available from sole agents Crag and Moor Outdoor Shop, 38 Victoria Road, Scarborough.

Seventeen walks and maps for only £3 per copy. All profits donated to Scarborough’s RNLI.