Victoria Ellis takes in the views on a walk along the coast from Scarborough.

The car park took a bit of finding, being curiously unsigned, but when I pulled up it would have been worth the drive just to sit there and enjoy the views of Scarborough Castle, the sea and the sands of South Bay.

Lots of locals obviously know of the place, there was a stream of regulars, and some holiday makers including a couple Country Walks' readers staying in Filey.

They told me about people they had met who were out looking for dinosaur footprints. But the tide was coming in so reminders of the three-toed Tridactyl and the five-toed Pentadactyl weren't on my agenda (Scalby and Burniston for these). Anyway it was a perfect bright autumn walking day, T-shirt weather and I set off along the Cleveland Way on the top of Wheatcroft Cliff.

Inland, there is a golf course but you will hardly notice it because the views over the water to Filey's promontory will demand your eyes.

The tangy sea air did the usual and I had hardly done a mile and my stomach demanded lunch. The place for this is down from a gully where you can detour towards the sea. If the tide is out, and I wished I'd checked the tide tables before I set out, it looks as if you can get close to some rock islets that have interesting shapes on the OS map, formations that enclose an Outer Lake and an Inner Lake, the latter lagoon-like. Even without this it was lovely, with a view of Cornelian Bay and though the seabird breeding season is over there were some out and about. A black shag flew low and straight over the water, probably headed for 'Seabird City' ten miles down the coast, and gulls swirled in twists of breeze.

The rest of the day's coastline is not so good for views as woods blanket the cliffs but the tops are nice and there is a Countryside Stewardship Site for the enhancement of a strip of herb rich grassland.

At Knipe Point we turn inland, skirt the village of Osgodby, pass a pub, the Poachers Pocket and, climbing a little, gain good views to the Wolds and the Vale of Pickering.

The return path climbs a little more to a few hundred feet and is pleasant despite the enlarging golf course, which seems to incorporate the burying of a stream. The territory today is really no more than a little island of green by the sea hemmed in by housing, what surprised me was how little said housing intrudes.

Fact file

Distance: Four miles.

Time: Two hours.

General location: Scarborough coast.

Start: Southern edge of Scarborough.

Right of way: The complete route is along public rights of way.

Date walked: Friday, September 14, 2001.

Road route: A64 from York.

Car parking: Free car park.

Lavatories: None.

Refreshments: Pub en route at Osgodby.

Tourist and public transport information: Scarborough TIC 01723 373333

Map: Based on OS Explorer 301, Scarborough, Bridlington and Flamborough Head.

Terrain: Cliff-edge path and good track.

Points of interest: Low tide Sunday, September 30, 2001 - 10.30am, Sunday October 7, 2001 - 1.40pm. Very low tide on Wednesday, October 17, 2001 at 11.40am. New book published by the North York Moors National Park called The Dinosaur Coast.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Dogs: Suitable, leads, steep drops.

Weather forecast: Evening Press and recorded forecast 0891 500 418


Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.

1. From car park, right to cliff-edge path and into scrub (signed Cleveland Way and Filey) then open path beside golf course.

2. At gully (can go left down to bay from here), dog-leg right and stay on Cleveland Way.

3. Right at Knipe Point (signs) by house. Cross main road to Reservoir Lane, 100 yards, left to path by edge of gardens.

4. Right to road in Osgodby. At junction, cul-de-sac on right (Manor Farm), 100 yards, lane swings left, 25 yards, right, 25 yards then pair of fieldgates on left to Tarmac farm road.

5. After 200 yards, fork right uphill to track (sign, hedge to right).

6. Right-hand bend and hedge now on left, 50 yards then leave track which swings left and go straight on to field-edge path, 100 yards, path downhill, track across golf course, right to College Lane, right to main road, first left to Wheatcroft Avenue then path back to car park.

Click here to view a map of the walk