|Scarborough to Filey (18 km)|
Filey Sands and Brigg
The final day on the Cleveland Way started off overcast but soon cleared up to a fine day (with a gray sky). Scarborough is an interesting and busy place to start the day. Its early development as a military base (Roman signal station and 12th century Norman castle) and then as a typical Yorkshire fishing village has been buried under the Victorian obsession with the seaside (after a period as a spa in the early 17th century). The result is an intriguing mixture of old (castle remains and old harbour), new (the Spa and many gardens) and touristy bits (many amusement arcades, fish and chip shops, etc.).
|Ashburton Private Hotel||B&B||01723 374382|
|Falcon Hotel||Hotel||01723 500701|
|Londesborough Arms Hotel||Hotel||01723 863230|
|Mountview Private Hotel||B&B||01723 500608|
|Scarborough||YH||0870 770 6022|
The Cleveland Way starts off at North Sands and follows the shoreline road all the way around the headland, past South Sands and to the Spa. While I took this seaside stroll, on crowded summer days it may be easier to take one of the open-top buses which follow the same route. The bus is also a good option in stormy weather when spray from the sea may sweep across the road. Beyond the Spa, the route goes through gardens to emerge on the Esplanade on top of the South Cliff Gardens. This is followed for a short distance past a clock tower until the southern end of the Holbeck Gardens where the Cleveland Way path dips through a sheltered ravine and up the other side. There are good views back over South Sands to the headland and its castle remains. Straight ahead, a grass track leads onto the top of Wheatcroft Cliff where the houses are finally left behind.
The path skirts the edge of a golf course for the next 750 metres. Another ravine is traversed just after the headland of White Nab before a descent into the pleasant woods of Knipe Point (owned by the National Trust). Take the right hand turns at junctions in the woods to emerge onto a wide ledge in the cliffs overlooking Cayton Bay. Five hundred metres further, the Cleveland Way climbs steeply back onto the cliff top and follows the edge all the way to Leberston Cliff.
|End of the Cleveland Way at Newbiggin Cliff|
The edge is temporarily left for a short-cut across the nab that leads back to the cliff tops above Gristhorpe Sands. Keep your eyes on the sea as you pass a caravan park on the way to Cunstone Nab. This nab provides a great view over the last lap to Filey with Filey Brigg just along the coast and a wide sweep of coastline to the chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head.
The official end of the Cleveland Way was at a small sign halfway along Newbiggin Cliff at a stile (see the photo at the left). Here another trail (Wolds Way) used to be joined for the last few kilometres into Filey but this now starts at Filey Brigg. The reason for the isolated junction was one of political administration - this was the seaward boundary between the North Riding and East Riding of Yorkshire before 1974. There are more good views forward to Filey Brigg.
|Athol Guest House||B&B||01723 515189|
|The Cherries||B&B||01723 513299|
|Downcliffe House Hotel||Hotel||01723 513310|
|The Gables Guest House||B&B||01723 514750|
|The Mayfield||B&B||01723 514557|
|Sea Brink Hotel||Hotel||01723 513257|
|Southdown Hotel||Hotel||01723 513392|
Head straight ahead for another 2 kilometres along the cliff edge to the tip of Filey Brigg's gritstone slab and take in the sea breezes from the North Sea. There is an elegant monument at the start of the Brigg marking the end to the Cleveland Way and start of the Wolds Way. At high tide the only option is to return along the headland and follow a path in the fields above the beach. However the better option (tide permitting) is to walk down from the tip onto the rocks and then back along the headland for a sandy stroll to Filey.
Filey is another fishing village turned holiday resort and has all the facilities that you could need. It is pleasant enough to encourage an overnight stay but I headed straight for the railway station and the next train out (Scarborough, Darlington and then back to London).