MORE in hope than with judgement, we set off in the fog on Saturday morning to the Wolds for some valley wandering. A phone call to a publican had given some cause for optimism about the weather not being 'too bad'. With hindsight I think my phone call acted as an alarm clock and perhaps a peep through curtains had given the drowsy man a misleading impression.

We arrived to find our proposed route wreathed in a chilling dense fog and promptly decided to head for the coast to a woodland valley east of Bridlington called Danes Dyke. It's one of those places I have long intended to explore but have always forsaken for the delights of nearby Flamborough Head. It's a distinctive feature on the map and the ground as it cuts across Flamborough Head from north to south for 2 miles, and was probably defensive and dug in prehistoric times. There's public access at the southern end.

As soon as we drove into the ravine we knew the right decision had been made. The car park was bustling with local dog walkers and some tough youngsters were off to the sea with spades and fishing nets. Much as we fancied following them down, a walk around the woods was first for us.

As the info board was missing, we chanced our route - there are only a couple of short paths shown on the Ordnance Survey map.

This turned out most enjoyable, up and down the sides of the ravine on well-made paths (though the remaining patches of sheet ice were lethal in places). The slopes are dotted with clumps of luscious Harts Tongue fern, mossy stumps and branches, bulbs were pushing through, squirrels scurried about. Numbered nesting boxes are liberally provided.

Along the bottom of the ravine runs a stream in a deep bed, sometimes disappearing for a few hundred yards.

After the northern loop you find yourself by the edge of the golf course and wood. Now you can make that bid for the sea, or you can head for Bridlington.

Going across a golf course is not one of my favourite route choices, going across in fog knowing there's a handful of golfers out there was worse. But this leg is rarely exposed, passing by grown out old hedges, through scrub and a wood, and was thankfully soon over. By now we could just about make out the sea through the gloom.

Sewerby Hall looked magnificent but is closed for winter. Many people were enjoying the 50 acres of grounds, open and free. From the viewing bench, we could barely make out Bridlington, but could see the oystercatchers stalking the water's edge.

A large sign was a bit of a dampener 'Warning. This part of the foreshore is intermittently affected by polluting discharges therefore it is advisable not to swim or paddle in the sea'. Despite this many people were enjoying themselves, the tide was out, exposing rock pools.

For our cliff-edge walk back we were rewarded with a too short-lived patch of blue sky and a glimpse of sunshine which lit up the white chalky cliffs for miles. Then we arrived at a lovely bay called Dykes End, the low tide revealing a fine sandy beach.

Fact file:

Distance: Four miles.

Time: Three hours.

General location: Coast near Bridlington.

Start: Danes Dyke, about one mile east of Bridlington.

Right of way: The complete route is along public rights of way or area open to public.

Date walked: Saturday, January 5, 2002.

Road Route: From Bridlington, B1255 towards Flamborough.

Car parking: Car park 30p/hour Easter-September. Free in winter.

Lavatories: Car park and at Bridlington.

Refreshments: Nearest are the Ship Inn, Sewerby and, in season, caf in grounds of Sewerby Hall.

Tourist & public transport information: Bridlington TIC 01262 673474.

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

Terrain: Woodland and cliff-edge paths.

Points of interest: Danes Dyke, Sewerby Hall (closed till Easter) and grounds (open dawn till dusk, free, open in winter), coast. See tide times in Evening Press weather section.

Difficulty: Moderate, easy options.

Dogs: Suitable.

Weather Forecast: Evening Press and recorded forecast 0891 500 418

Please observe the Country Code and park sensibly. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers set out at their own risk.


When in doubt look at the map. Check your position at each point. Keep straight on unless otherwise directed.

1. From main Tarmac car park, edge of valley path starts to left of toilet block/shelter, beside hedge, through gap, cross field, then gravel path. Cross access road to gravel path on eastern side of valley.

2. Cross road, steps down to gravel path along western side of valley, beside then over stream.

3. Ignore left turn back to car park, 200 yards. At edge of wood, right at 'y' junction (broken sign post) to waymarked path across golf course (option to go straight on at this junction down to beach). Ignore right turn in copse at far side of golf course. Pass in front of Sewerby Hall and pass cricket pitches.

4. At viewbench by steps down to North Bay (by pollution warning sign), left to cliff-edge path (signed Headland Way and Danes Dyke).

5. Right down to beach on good path with steps. Leave beach either by Tarmac path straight back up to car park, or by steps uphill on right, left at top of cliff then path meanders through woods. Right to Tarmac path, 20 yards to car park.

Click here to view a map of the walk

Updated: 14:11 Saturday, January 12, 2002