South Landing Trail

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

 
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South Landing Trail

The trail runs to the east of a deep natural gully which provides shelter from the strong, salty sea winds and cover and feeding areas for migrating birds.

Start/finish: South Landing car park
Grade: Easy
Length type: Medium
Length miles (kilometres): 1 (2)
OS Explorer map: 301
Car Parking: South Landing
Toilets: Flamborough, North Landing.
Refreshments: None

The bird feeding area near the picnic/parking site is designed to cater for the area's resident winter birds and is regularly stocked with food.

Cross the bridge and follow the track between the woodland and meadow, a good place for watching butterflies as the 'edges' between different habitats are often the best for wildlife.

At the cliff top, there is a magnificent view over Bridlington Bay. How far can you see along the coast?

Many years ago from the early 14th to later 16th Century, you'd be looking down at the port of Flamborough, a port of some significance. There was a wooden pier mentioned in 1400 when Robert Constable left £40 for its maintenance but the last mention of it was in 1569. Its most famous visitor was in August 1561 when two ships anchored close to the pier. They flew two flags; one was blue with the Arms of France and the other silver white. On board was Mary Stuart sailing from France to claim the crown of Scotland.

In later years many coal carrying ships unloaded at South Landing to avoid paying the port tax at Bridlington.

Flamborough fishermen had boats at North and South landing and depending on the tides and winds, would sail from the more sheltered one. Both landings had a lifeboat, and the first one to South Landing came in 1871. The various boats saved over 108 lives before it closed in 1938. The original building still exists but at low tide, can you imagine how difficult it must have been to launch it? Thankfully launching the new boat is a little easier. Seaplanes were also launched from here during the First World War and the concrete base can still be seen.

Like many places round the headland, South Landing has had an interesting and varied past. The return to the car park is along a winding track past what used to be the 'Timoneer Hotel'. It was once Cliff House Farm, built in 1865 by the Duke of Norfolk for a son who died before it was completed. What does Timoneer mean?

To the right of the entrance is a whale 's jawbone, one of a pair that once formed an arch to the garden and a reminder that large whales are still spotted off this coast. In fact in February 1992, a 70 foot Fin Whale was washed up on the beach at nearby Sewerby. All large whales are uncommon but it's quite common to see porpoises, a type of small whale, and seals around the headland.

It is interesting to note that under Anglo-Saxon law, any place where a whale was washed ashore entitled that place to be called a port. The port of Sewerby?

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