Page 1: Cloughton Wyke and the clifftop path

A guidebook to local walks informed me that 'wyke' is the Yorkshire dialect word for a small sheltered bay. We visited two of these bays, on the North Yorkshire coast, in May 2005.

View towards Cloughton Wyke, May 2005

The walk begins at the junction of the A171 and Ravenscar roads by the Cober Hill Guest House in Cloughton, where a narrow farm road runs through fields towards the coast. This was our first visit to the coast this year, and this was a fine way to have that important first view of the sea, with blue skies above it and a narrow road running towards it, with no one else around.

On the coast path, looking down over Cloughton Wyke

There was a bench at a suitable viewing point on the cliff, overlooking the bay, but it seemed a little lazy to sit down already when we'd only just set off on our walk. So we followed the path a little further along, passing seasonal wildflowers, including bluebells, in bloom.

Pebbled beach at Cloughton Wyke

We decided to have a rest after all, as the terrain was rather arduous. We sat on the cliff top awhile, looking down on the pebbles of the beach. Gulls flew across the bay, and boats were visible further out to sea. One or two other walkers were enjoying the afternoon sun, and the peace and quiet. Very different from busy Scarborough, not far away down the coast.

Clifftop path through wooded areas

The coastal path meanders along the top of the cliff, open to the sky to begin with, then passing through wooded sections where the light falls through the tree branches.

Clifftop trees and wildlflowers, with a glimpse of blue sea behind them

A startling image in one of the cliff path sections bordered by trees and plants – the bright pink wildflowers and the green of ferns and tree leaves, all set against the blue of the sea, glimpsed through the gaps in the tree branches.

View of coastline approaching Hayburn Wyke

I'm not generally inspired by views of the sea, but it's hard not to be, on a beautiful afternoon like this, when you're looking out at a fine piece of rugged Yorkshire coastline, and the distance looks rather misty, over the bright green springtime grasses on the clifftop. The photo shows the coastline as we approached Hayburn Wyke.