Lighthouse to North Landing

A local walk around the area providing lovely scenery and gentle exercise.

 
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Lighthouse to North Landing

This walk is a pleasant cliff top walk full of interest and history. You may return along the cliff top, or walk into Flamborough and back to the lighthouse along roads, or catch the bus back to the lighthouse.

Start/finish: Lighthouse or North Landing
Grade: Moderate
Length type: Medium
Length miles (kilometres): 1 (2)
OS Explorer map: 301
Car Parking: Lighthouse and North Landing
Toilets: Flamborough, North Landing.
Refreshments: Cafe near lighthouse. Caravelle complex at North Landing

Flamborough LighthouseWhich is furthest from Flamborough Head, Lands End or John-o-Groats? Have a guess, and then look for an answer on the toposcope on the cliff top.

The toposcope was erected in 1959 to commemorate the battle off Flamborough head in 1779 between the Royal Navy and the Americans. Two English ships, the H.M.S. "Serapis', a 44-gun frigate, and H.M.S. "Countess' of Scarborough", a 20 gun sloop, were escorting a convoy of 40 merchant ships sailing northwards. They were attacked by four American vessels under the command of John Paul Jones, the American privateer.

Beyond the toposcope is one of the many beacons in the country erected in 1988 to commemorate the beacons lit to give warning of the Spanish Armada some 400 years before.

The walk runs along the cliff top and many bays and inlets can be seen. Many have names that reflect Viking influence. Stottle is Icelandic for station and bink is a shelf of rocks. Sticks reflects the Danish word for Stakkr meaning column of rock.

This section of the headland has many of the features of a chalk coastline and typifies the fight of the sea with the land. The sea has eroded the land at its weakest points, forming headland, bays and inlets. Caves have been gouged out and when the cave collapses, arches have been left. When the arch collapses all that is left is a stick, or pillar of chalk, which in turn is also eroded. Unrelentingly the chalk and boulders are finally reduced to grains of sand. The power of the sea is forever there, respect it at all times.

The first headland is Kindle Scar and the bay is Molk Hole. Stottle Bink is passed to the inlet of Swimhaw Hole and Cradle Head beyond. Breil Head with the arch in the rocks is the next headland and then Breil Nook is reached. There was a Coastguard look-out here not many years ago and a searchlight which was lit by the Coastguard. The 1ight would shine on the clouds and their height calculated. This information, along with wind speeds was passed to the Bracknell Weather Centre for use in calculations for the weather forecast. Did they have a bit of seaweed on the door just to make sure!

Also at Breil Nook is a ditch and bank, believed to be the defence works when the tiny headland was a "fort" of some kind. For who, and why, remains one of the headland's mysteries.

All the cliffs are alive with the sights and sounds of nesting seabirds in Spring and early summer and, as always, stop when and where you want. South Breil is the large bay and the large rock is Queens Rock. There used to be a King rock, but like the Adam rock at Selwicks Bay, it has withered away. Why is that only the rocks with male names have eroded?

Two small bays alive with bird-life in spring and summer are passed before North Landing is reached and on the opposite side of the bay, several caves can clearly be seen, as can the massive cliff Bempton beyond.

At North Landing, you may use for refreshment at the "Caravette" complex before walking back, or use the regular bus service between the two points.

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