Things to do in Flamborough
Just two minutes’ drive or a ten-minute walk from Haven’s Thornwick Bay Holiday Park is the East Riding village of Flamborough. Sitting to the south of the beautiful Flamborough Head, the village is home to the remains of a medieval castle and the Grade II-listed St Oswald’s church.
Let’s look at the best things to do in this attractive and historic coastal area.
Once a thriving fishing village, Flamborough still celebrates its heritage with several fish and chips shops on its narrow High Street, including the excellent Lighthouse Fisheries. The High Street also contains a traditional sweet shop, cafes, and several pubs.
It’s not a very large town, but worth it for a trip to the chippy, or a visit to the local pub. And during the summer months you may spot the quirky Flowerpot Festival, where almost every garden boasts inventive sculptures made from, you guessed it, flowerpots.
North Landing Beach
To the north of Haven’s Thornwick Bay Holiday Park is the stunning North Landing - a gravel beach enclosed by white cliffs on all sides, creating a sheltered oasis for swimming, picnicking, or walking the dog. There are rockpools and caves aplenty for the kids to explore, and you’ll sometimes see fishing skiffs beached here too, ready to head out for the daily catch.
There’s a cliffside path offering wonderful views (be careful when taking pictures) and remarkable striated chalk cliffs. It's best to time your visit towards low tide, or the beach may be inaccessible. Energetic visitors can walk southeast along the coastal path as far as South Landing (4 miles) or even Bridlington (8.5 miles).
Drive a little over a mile along Lighthouse Road from the village and you’ll soon reach Flamborough Lighthouse - the 1806 structure that once marked the Flamborough headland for vessels heading to Scarborough or Bridlington.
This dramatic whitewashed lighthouse contains a small museum and tours are available so you can learn about the history and operation of this important feature. You may see seals basking on the rocky shores below the lighthouse (so do keep dogs on leads).
St Oswald’s Church and Flamborough Castle
On the B1255, just west of the junction with Lighthouse Road, you’ll find a Norman church dating back to 1150, with elements added over the following 100 years. Inside, you can see the Strickland Pardon, a royal pardon that Charles II issued to the treasonous Walter Strickland who was a parliament supporter during the Civil War.
There are ornamental wood carvings to marvel at, plus the tomb of Sir Marmaduke Constable who is said to have died in 1530 by swallowing a toad! Nearby, you can see the ruin of the 16th-century fortified manor house that is Flamborough Castle.
Danes Dyke is a nature reserve and beach that makes for a peaceful and photogenic day out. Follow the B1255 west from Flamborough and look for the signpost indicating the second single-track road to your left. This takes you to the Danes Dyke car park.
Time your visit for low tide and you’ll be able to walk along the shingle under impressive chalk cliffs or chill out on the sandy beach. There’s a small kiosk at the car park and clifftop walks west to Bridlington or east to Selwicks Bay and the “drinking dinosaur,” a set of chalk stacks and ridges that resembles the prehistoric creatures.
Living Seas Centre
If you prefer to revel in the beauty of living things, rather than ancient tombs, head to South Landing and visit the Living Seas Centre. This is an educational venture from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, offering classes in sea glass crafts, seaweed pressing, and soap making, as well as being the starting point for seashore safaris and volunteer beach cleaning sessions.
Make sure you pre-book classes, as these sell out quickly. There’s a café open six days a week (not Monday) and toilet facilities too.