The video below is pertaining to Scarborough’s Forgotten Shores on the Cleveland Way where Phill James takes a walk from Scarborough through to Cloughton discovering some sandy and rocky beaches along the way.
For more episodes in this series click here
Useful Links for Scarborough’s Forgotten Shores (Cleveland Way)
Coastliner Bus Service 843 (bus services between Leeds, York, Malton and Scarborough)
East Yorkshire Bus Services (bus service from Scarborough and Helmsley, Filey, Bridlington and Hull)
Where is Scarborough to Cloughton Cleveland Way Walk?
Scarborough’s Forgotten Shores Cleveland Way Blog and Vlog
And it all starts here on the Cleveland Way! Now the Cleveland Way is a 109 miler walk from Filey up the coast to Saltburn By The Sea and then u-turns back down to Helmsley. However, on this section we find some super-stunning cliffs, private beaches and more!
North Bay Railway
Scarborough’s Forgotten Shores Cleveland Way
Before we get started on our walk today, I found myself at Scarborough’s North Bay Railway. This clip is from Scalby Mills where I alight the miniature train and watch this large blue engine spin around to form its journey back. There’s method in the madness because Scalby Mills is where we start our walk. I’m calling this blue engine Gordon because he looks like a certain engine from Thomas the Tank. This railway was established in 1931 and isn’t expensive to travel on.
As this turntable takes a while, I’ll give you a brief introduction to what’s ahead in this video. Firstly, we take the train from Peasholm to Scalby Mills. We then walk to the seafront but then climb back up to cliff height where we take the Cleveland Way, or at least a section of it, to Burniston and Cloughton. This walk is extremely easy to follow and believe me, the views from here are stunning.
This steam engine isn’t actually as steam engine as it runs on petrol. So to say it is a steam engine is little bit of a misnomer. Still, it feels like a steam engine even if it doesn’t sound like one.
Anyway, would you like to see a speeded up version of my journey between Peasholm and Scalby Mills stations?
Scarborough’s Forgotten Shores Cleveland Way
We are going to discover these forgotten shores at Scalby Mills where you will see a public house with a footbridge and of course, a woman meticulously bathing her dog. I’m taking the path over the footbridge here to access the cliff tops. From the railway station you can go down hill through the car park for the Sea Life Centre indicated by the large white pyramids you see, and turning left at the path.
In the distance behind you is the Scarborough Castle from the 1100’s which gets smaller as you get closer to Cloughton, so it acts like a gauge for the walk. Still, it’s nice to turn around every now and then at get a glimpse of two.
As you walk higher up you can see the beck to your left and sea to your right hand side. This beck actually derives from the River Derwent and is called the Sea Cut or some times referred to as Scalby Beck. It’s not that difficult to ascend the cliffs but when you reach the summit it immediately gets pretty scenic. With Scarborough having a harbour and mariner it doesn’t take long to see a few boats out there too which I like.
They say you should never look back, but in this case you can’t help it because you’ve got Scarborough castle behind you and the white pyramids of the Sea Life Centre and not to mention Royal Albert Drive. You don’t see South Bay from here because it’s around the other side of the castle out of view. In fact, its the first time I’ve been to Scarborough and not been to South Bay which is a scandal!
I actually brought two cameras today, one to take photos and another to take the video you are watching now. I later put my camera back in my bag because it was difficult to operate two cameras with one pair of hands. So I only got the camera out when there was something I really wanted to shoot.
Scarborough’s Forgotten Shores Cleveland Way
As the cliff tops are pretty flat most of the time, I could see the distance I had to walk as the path follows the edge of the cliffs. On a bright sunny day like today, it was a fantastic view that made me want stop every few seconds for the views. I had to stop regularly anyhow to shoot the video, but it was brill. Today, the temperature was 30c. Well this was the temperature for inland, but at Scarborough it was around 25c.
The shores below you can get to using a path down and you see people there and you think. “How on earth did they get down there?” And you start to reason in your mind such as rope? parachute? boat?. However, it was far less creative than that as they just walked down a path.
So these beaches are kind of hidden and forgotten about because of the far larger public beaches at North and South Bay’s back in Scarborough. So if you are looking for somewhere more private to go, you could in fact come to these secret beaches. They were secret until now anyway! Someone I spoke to walking their dog told me she used to meet her boyfriend down one of these. I just hope the tide didn’t come in at an intimate moment otherwise it would have meant a kiss of life I expect.
If you are a budding landscape photographer like myself, well there are surprisingly some good photo opportunities here with some dramatic scenery. Sea and cliffs nearly always return some good photos but there is also the Sea Cut which runs through some rugged landscape even though a stones throw from Scalby.
The shore line is not totally rugged with rocks all the time, there are occasionally some sandy beach areas. You can also see the rocks underneath the surface of the sea too. Great place for crab hunting by the way. Obviously, if you have a dog or kids then you need to keep them on a lead.
This walk takes you about an hour to two hours depending on age and ability. For me it took longer because I was videoing too which adds significantly to the duration. The paths are in great condition, but this is one of the UK’s most prominent public rights of way.
Every now and then you see these magnificent rock areas that are covered by the translucent waters of the North Sea. With the sea reflecting the blue sky above, it gives the rocks a blue colour as well. Amazing!
I’m sure you are getting to understand why I entitled my first Vlog Scarborough’s Forgotten Shores, because if you took a day out to Scarborough, you wouldn’t necessarily think of coming here, or even know about its existence. In the School holidays, Scarborough as well as other seaside resorts in England can be really busy. So if you are wanting somewhere less busy, then this is a great place to come. You need to be extremely careful on the cliff’s of course, as well as keep in mind of when the tide is out. Other than that, it’s fantastic.
You shortly come to a junction in the route where the Tabular Hills Walk proceeds left. If you don’t know what the Tabular Hills are, they are a range of hills that span from Scarborough through to the hills at Black Hambleton. They actually are situated at the most south side of the North York Moors. There is a public right of way all the way along the range of hills and this is where it starts or ends depending on which way you’re looking at it. Obviously, it would take you more than a day to walk as it is very lengthy, but you could always stop over at B&B’s all the way along.
Further along these dramatic cliffs are again lots of stoney shores that have been carved by the wear and tear of the North Sea.
However, it’s not all about seascapes on this walk because you see rolling hills heading inland that is saturated with livestock and crops. There’s also plenty of animal and birdlife as well. I also encountered some farms en route with some holiday accommodation. You kind of take it for granted that you live in a very scenic part of the country and you fail to realise just how lucky you are to live here.
A lot of photographers travel to various places to get some stunning landscape scenes, which is great. But sometimes, especially in North Yorkshire, there are some really dramatic landscapes and waterscapes such as the moors, the dales and the east coast. There are some amazing cityscapes too such as York, Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon for example.
In the distance is this little white hut facing the sea, that is obviously some kind of lookout. I later found out that it was built in 1927 as a coastguard station to look out for enemy ships. This puzzled me a little because we weren’t at war in 1927? First world war finished in 1918, and second world war started in 1939. Unless the Coastguard had declared war on fisherman I’m not sure why it would be built for this purpose.
As you probably are aware by now, the month is the back end of July so much of the crops are now ready for harvesting. The tractor tramlines make great photos, giving the image depth. You can turn around to see how much smaller the castle is getting as you head closer to Cloughton. It was funny at times watching this little white hut get bigger and this massive castle complex get really titchy as I strolled on.
We might joke about pigeons being everywhere you go, and there’s always one limping with a dodgy foot in the street somewhere, but here it is seagulls that are the prominent species. Whatever you do, don’t feed them because they get a bit aggressive and will have you and your tuna sandwich.
You get to see lots of boats and yachts crossing the North Sea which is another feature to the walk. Strangely, I didn’t see many fishing boats but more leisure boats.
Some of the paths I noticed had been freshly mown so it was pretty comfortable to walk on. Admittedly, I’m wearing totally the wrong shoes for doing this walk, but as it’s warm I decided to wear some flat, cosy shoes instead. If it had been winter, I would’ve worn walking shoes or boots. I personally prefer walking shoes to boots because they are more like wearing a pair of comfortable trainers.
We can now see a titchy notch of a castle now, so we are getting closer to our destination of Cloughton. If you wanted to walk to Burniston instead, that is around a mile less. I walked to Cloughton today because I’d preplanned to and I managed to get a bus back to Scarborough for around £3.65 as of 2019. The buses were around every 20 past and 50 minutes past the hour. Weekends and bank holidays might be less frequent.
At this time of year, you’re not short of some wild meadow flowers which add a splash of colour to your views. Having said that, in the sunshine I’m turning a funny colour as well.
It’s a shame it is quite hazy today, but you can see a great distance both behind you and in front of you, almost like being on Sutton Bank top. But in any case the castle is getting further away and the white hut is now getting more substantial in size. I did mention that the castle was a gauge to this walk didn’t I?
Every now and then you stumble (don’t worry not literally) across a cove every now and then. These coves that have been forged by the sea are really cool and make brilliant photos even with a smartphone camera.
The coastguard hut obviously has some form of communications because of the telephone wire leading up to it. If it was used for a lookout for enemy ships, it may have been for morse code. The hut is really small as well so it must have been very cramped and it may be without power too.
It really hard not to look at the sea when you are walking along, REALLY hard, but this in a way is a good thing because you might see something exciting like a porpoise. I remember walking down Royal Albert Drive in Scarborough one summer when I noticed a black coloured fin like a dolphin’s occasionally coming out of the water. That was when I saw my first porpoise. As you cannot always see through the water below, you don’t realise just what marine life is down there unless they surface.
The path curved around and dipped with some fields beside me. As I mentioned, the hills kind of roll on painting this truly North Yorkshire feel. There are some seats along the route to sit down, have a drink and admire the views. There was one particular seat that looked a little antiquated, but then after this walk so did I. Mind you by this time, a sea breeze had picked up preventing me from perspiring. I was constantly getting bombarded with midges or thunder bugs and being eaten alive. I was wondering by this time if I should have been wearing a flee collar.
All of a sudden this double boat came out from behind the cliffs which had a sail but it was down. I’m guessing that this particular boat has some kind of outboard motor and not an invisible sail.
I apologise for the video becoming a little shaky at times here. The wind had got quite strong and I only have a lightweight tripod when I go walking. It clips to the bottom of my Camera Bag which is very useful and in normal conditions it is really great to use. The bridge camera I am using to record the video is a Panasonic Lumix camera that takes really good quality video which I’m using all the time on my channel. It takes 4k video as well as full HD at 50 frames a second. With a x64 zoom I can gain some really good depth of field with it too when doing close ups of wildlife.
Crossroads For Burniston and Shore
Scarborough’s Forgotten Shores Cleveland Way
Narrowly missing the seagulls I walked northwards and I discovered a really nice find, especially when we are on the theme of forgotten shores of Scarborough. I came to a junction in the path, a crossroads in fact. Turning left would take you to Burniston, heading straight on continues the Cleveland Way. However, turning right would take you to this rocky shore which was really private and amazingly fantastic. With it being summer, there was quite a lot of foliage but the path was clear enough to get down and stepped at times.
I actually got down to sea level and received a brilliant view of the cliffs below both left and right. I had to be careful with some of the rocks as they were loose when I stood on them, but if you stay on the large ones its fine. I decided to do my vlog intro here because it was such a fantastic private spot, well until two young ladies came along with a dog. For a private sandy beach, you could walk over the stoney section to get to it on the right. Amazing place it really was. I also saw the Regal Lady, a tour boat from Scarborough here. So if you want to explore these cliffs this is the boat to take. Just be sure to eh-hem give me a wave as you go by. Ssssssorry. I do try I really do.
Fortunately, as aforementioned, there was plenty of seating available to give your achy feet a rest. This seat was specifically pleasant what with rolling Yorkshire hills behind me, rolling seas in front of me, and rolling beads of sweat rolling down my face.
I eventually got to the Coastguard Hut from 1927, but as there hadn’t been another war for another twelve years, he must have got incredibly board waiting. Actually, in the first world war both Scarborough and Whitby endured bombardment.
At the point of the hut, the path and cliff swings left on a bend, and I think from this point I got to be even more impressed with the scenery. Take a look at this because I had to get my camera out of my camera bag again. Just beneath me was this crescent shaped rock formation that dipped into the North Sea. When taking landscape photos, or seascape on this occasion, it is good to look out for patterns like this as they oftentimes make good photos.
Today the sea is pretty calm and the weather is fine, but you can imagine what it must be like here when the weather isn’t that great and its stormy instead. There must be sea-spray all over the place.
You remember the gauge I told you about? Well, we can now see them both together side by side and the hut is a hundred times bigger than the castle. This combined with your smartwatch will tell you how far you’ve walked.
With the power of my zoom lens we can just make out Royal Albert Drive and the many guest houses above it. I’ve walked down that stretch so many times I’ve lost count. It’s amazing to see things from the other way around.
Eventually, I got to see further signs of life as I got closer to Cloughton in the way of farm buildings as well as being able to see some of Cloughton itself in the distance. This walk isn’t that busy, but I did see other people taking advantage of the views and the exercise. Many were walking towards Scarborough which is something I’m glad I didn’t do because it was hazy facing that direction.
By the way, if you want to do this walk, there are pubs and a tearoom in Cloughton where you can have a rest, otherwise its straight back to Scarborough where there’s plenty of outlets there, as you know. The reason I caught the bus back to Scarborough was because it was hot and I’d spent a wad of time filming so the walk took me a lot longer. So if you wanted, you could easily have walked back. Well, I say easily.
Cloughton is just a small village, and the bus route shuttles from Scarborough to Middlesbrough. The bus stop was at Cober Hill with a shelter and it was very straight forward to get too. The only problem I had was there weren’t any timetables at this stop, but there was one at the stop at the opposite side of the road further downhill.
I eventually met with an enormous amount of steps which put me off. I kept telling myself this is a doddle, but I can never convince myself. “Oh don’t worry, they’re not as bad as they look” and “I’m a mountain goat on Lucozade”. Instead it was….
When you live in the Vale of York and you have no experience with hills. Still, the views were just as spectacular and made it worth it in the end. It will probably be my end if I do any more of this!
Actually, just being by the sea and enjoying the breeze made it all worthwhile, but I think next time I will get a proper bottle of Lucozade and not the Zero calorie version. But yes, definitely the coastline was something spectacular and made it all worth the while. So if you’ve been to Scarborough billions of times like I have and you fancy doing something different, this is a worthy idea. Especially if it’s a nice day.
You’ll eventually see another cobbled shore for want of an expression. This is accessible from Cloughton by means of a narrow lane that crosses the old railway from Whitby to Scarborough now known as Cinder Path. This line was closed during the Beeching Axe in the 1960’s long before we were all born! People often park at the end of the lane and do this walk, but car parking is limited to just a few cars.
This insect by the way, I have no idea what it is. I tried searching for it on Google Images but there wasn’t anything remotely like it. So if you know anything, drop me a line by using the contact form on my website and let me know. It will be much appreciated! He doesn’t seem to be phased by the swaying grass at all.
AS you can tell, the sea breeze picked up quite a bit before I reached Cloughton, but on a hot day I wasn’t too disappointed. In fact, neither were the sailing boats either. As a relief to myself, there was a descent this time which made me sigh. That was until I looked further and noticed it came back up some steps again.
Just before Cloughton I noticed these unusual looking rocks. I’m not sure if they once served as milestones or something. The Cleveland Way is a very long public right of way, 109 miles in fact, that ventures to Saltburn-by-the-Sea and back down to Helmsley via Reivaux Abbey and even Sutton Bank. Unable to find out what these are or were.
Everyone knows a bluebell when they see one and there were certainly plenty of these around about. There’ll be bluebells over the white cliffs of Scarborough doesn’t really have the same ring but you get my drift!
The thing that amazed me about this walk was the amount of rocks beside the cliffs that were visible through the waters below, which made the terrain really interesting. I should have gone crabbing and took them to the fish market in Leeds to make a small fortune! I only I had the nerve.
I’m just wondering how much longer these fields are going to have crop in them because this is about ready in my opinion. Obviously we’ve had a much better year this year for growing as we’ve had more rain.
If you are thinking of cycling the Cleveland Way, you’d have to use a quad bike because it’s more for pedestrians than cycles of any kind. There’s too many steps for one thing. I know I climbed most of them.
This stretch of shore is accessible from the small car park I mentioned and it was actually my dad that showed me where it was on Christmas Day back in 2017 when we took Alfie the yellow Labrador there. I knew of the Cleveland Way but had no idea about this area but my dad used to come here.
Then I saw it – another steep staircase that just seemed to make my heart sink. It also raised my heart rate as well, so it was rising and sinking at the same time. Strangely enough. Fortunately, I have the British Red Cross First Aid App on my phone which is really useful in times of great emergency. Oh well, what goes down must come up.
After a brief expression of joy when receiving the Cloughton signpost, I walked further up the hill to Cloughton to drink my own body weight in fluids and also to catch a bus to Scarborough town centre for a pint in the Lord Nelson’s Pub.
See you soon for more sun, steps and thunder bugs. Until next time!
Further Series Pertaining to North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire Photography Workshop (Phovlography)