Things to Do in Bempton, Yorkshire

things to do in Bempton

The RSPB Bempton Cliffs nature reserve is one of the UK’s top wildlife spectacles. Half a million seabirds flock here each year to raise their family on towering chalk cliffs overlooking the North Sea.

Located near the Bempton Cliffs, the beach at Filey is popular for a stroll or swim (if it’s warm enough). You can also visit nearby Selwicks Bay where epic white cliffs and rocks are scattered along the coast.

1. Visit Bempton Cliffs

Bempton Cliffs is one of the UK’s top wildlife spectacles where you can watch around half a million seabirds swooping, soaring and screeching around towering chalk cliffs overlooking the stunning Yorkshire coast. There are safe viewpoints dotted along the coast so you can get great views of puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes as well as the huge gannet colony (the largest in the UK).

Puffins can be tricky to spot as they hide in crevices so focus on looking for small gaps on the cliff face. You’ll also see gannets flying around which are easy to identify due to their enormous wing span.

You can visit the cliffs year round although the best time to see the seabirds is from April to September. There is a visitor centre where you can learn more about the reserve as well as a cafe and gift shop. The RSPB also offer discovery backpacks which are available to hire throughout the year and include binoculars, bird book and bug pot.

2. Take a walk on the beach

As well as the epic white cliffs, Bempton Beach has something for everyone to enjoy. There are miles of sandy beaches, a fine promenade and the harbour area bustles with activity in summer. The beach is also the setting for a scene in the 2016 Dad’s Army film.

There is a lovely coastal walk to follow which passes through the village of Buckton and is known as Hoddy Cows Lane because of its gorse bushes that attract migratory birds. The track passes the site of a medieval village and you will see remains of old cottages, tracks and a pond.

The RSPB reserve has a visitor centre with a cafe and outdoor seating. It offers self-guided trails (including a Puffin Trail and Gannet Trail), Discovery Backpacks with binoculars, spotter sheets, a bird book and magnifying bug pot to hire throughout the year. It also runs seabird cruises from nearby Bridlington Harbour from May to September.

3. Visit Flamborough Head

A picture postcard stretch of coast – and one of the most fascinating coastal areas in England. From awe-inspiring white cliffs to the diversity of seabirds, there’s a lot here for everyone.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs is home to one of the UK’s most famous seabird spectacles. Each year, hundreds of thousands of seabirds gather here to breed. This is one of the most accessible mainland colonies of gannet, and it’s also a great place for puffin, razorbill, and kittiwake spotting.

The coastline here is dotted with sculptural rock formations, including the stunning Drinking Dinosaur. It’s not located on the typical walk route, as depicted by online trail descriptions, but it only takes a short detour to discover this remarkable natural attraction. You’ll also find a pair of lighthouses here, with the original lighthouse dating back to 1669 and the newer lighthouse built in 1806. Both are open for tours. You can also clamber up to the top of the older lighthouse for glorious panoramas.

4. Visit Filey

With a lovely beach, seaside walks and some great attractions, Filey is the perfect spot for a family day out. It’s a quieter and less busy than Scarborough and Bridlington, but it still has plenty of things to do and see for all ages.

Filey Bay stretches from the rocky peninsula known as Filey Brigg to Flamborough Head and is home to a range of wildlife. The sandy beach won 2018’s Sunday Times ‘Beach of the Year’ award and is a great place to fly a kite, explore rock pools or go sailing.

Grade I listed St Oswald’s Church is the oldest building in the town and features ancient ruins dating back 400 years plus stained glass, medieval stonework and a huge graveyard. It was restored by Arts and Crafts architect William Swinden Barber at the turn of the 20th century.

The Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park on the town’s western outskirts is home to parakeets, greenhouses, and animal habitats. Visitors can also enjoy a stroll around three gardens and spaces for wildlife including a palm grove, forest, seed bed, and wetland.

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