If you are just walking this section of the Cleveland Way, you can park all day at the Park and Ride in Scarborough and get off the bus at The Spa ready to start your walk. It’s possible to catch the bus back from Filey, as it is on the EYMS 13 bus route. This runs every 30 minutes or so during the summer. If you get the bus back from Filey, get off at the Railway Station in Scarborough and catch the Park and Ride bus in the town centre, 5 minutes walk away.
The route follows a clifftop path all the way to Filey Brigg. It’s possible to divert down to Cornelian Bay and Cayton Bay if you fancy some time on the beach. For much of the route, the path is very close to the edge of the cliffs. So if you have children, take extra care and if you have a dog make sure it is on a lead.
This is the final (or first) section of the Cleveland Way and is a relatively easy walk with some beautiful coastal scenery.
The whole of the coastal section of the Cleveland Way is covered on the Ordnance Survey explorer map OL27, the North York Moors – Eastern area. With this map, you also get a code for use on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. The explorer map is available in both the standard paper version and weatherproof ‘Active’ version.
Scarborough to Cayton Bay
From The Spa, head south and walk along the seafront path. Walk past the Sun Court Cafe and then on past the Star Disk. Just past here and before a slipway the path climbs up to Wheatcroft Cliff. Have a look back there are some great views of Scarborough from here. The path then weaves through a golf course and continues along Frank Cliff overlooking Cornelian Bay. The route is then diverted up onto Osgodby Hill (this is clearly signposted) and then descends Tenants Cliff towards Cayton Bay. The path then follows the top of the cliff at Cayton Bay.
Lebberston Cliff and Gristhorpe Cliff
The walk now climbs up to its highest point, the headland at the southern end of Cayton Bay – Lebberston Cliff. Note the path here is not fenced on the seaward side and is quite close to the edge and some steep drops. There are stunning views from here back down to Cayton Bay, and beyond to Scarborough.
Rounding the headland the path descends slightly before rising again to Gristhorpe Cliff and passing the Blue Dolphin Caravan site. Obviously, this was built close to the cliff edge so that guests staying at the site could enjoy the splendid sea views, but it does “intrude” on the walk a little bit. Fortunately, you’re soon past the site and back to open countryside.
I have never seen anybody down on the beach here. Apparently, it is possible to descend to sea level at Castle Rocks and Yons Nab just past Lebberston Cliff. I have never tried this – there doesn’t seem to be an obvious path or route down. Certainly, there is no route down to the beach below the Blue Dolphin, as Gristhorpe Cliff is quite steep and perilous. Maybe you can walk around the foot of Lebberston Cliff at low tide from Cayton Bay. If you do know of a route down to the beach, perhaps you’d be good enough to leave me a message.
Newbiggin Cliff and North Cliff
Leaving the caravan site behind, the path follows the cliff top around to the right and the imposing faces of Newbiggin Cliff and North Cliff come into view. These stretch all the way to Filey Brigg, still a couple of miles away. It is then an easy walk along the clifftop path to Filey Brigg where there is a stone monument indicating the start/end of the Cleveland Way. The Yorkshire Wolds Way starts/ends at the same point.
Before returning to Scarborough a walk along Filey Brigg is well worth the effort. Filey Brigg is a long, narrow peninsula with steep cliffs. About halfway along the top of the Brigg lookout for a path on the right-hand side which descends to Old Quay Rocks, where there are excellent views of Filey seafront. If it’s low tide you can walk to the end of the Brigg on the walkway. Note that the end of the Brigg disappears two hours on either side of high tide, so check the Tide Times. Don’t be tempted to go down the path at the end of the Brigg. This is closed off as the descent here is very worn and dangerous. Only use the path described to descend to sea level.
Whilst I take every care to ensure the accuracy of the route descriptions, I cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. The route described may be pleasant for walking in fine weather but can become slippery, boggy and dangerous in wintry or wet weather. On days when visibility is impaired by fog, rain, cloud or mist, some landmarks used as direction aids in the route descriptions may not be visible.
If you are not walking the return to Scarborough, the bus station in the centre of Filey can be reached via the beach and cobble landing. Alternatively, return back to the stone monument you passed earlier at the top of the cliff. From there walk towards St Oswald’s church and cross the bridge over the Ravine Road. The town centre is then a short walk away.
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