Inspiration

Flamborough Cliffs Nature Reserve

The stunning secluded bays of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Flamborough Cliffs are a sight to behold whatever the time of year. But the summer months provide particularly spectacular views of the Yorkshire coast, with the waters in the bay turning to an array of tropical blues and greens to rival the Caribbean.

The craggy coves and network of caves make for an intriguing place to explore, whilst the clifftops themselves see carpets of orchids, a soundtrack of skylarks and an abundance of butterflies.

Although Flamborough Cliffs are shorter than their famous Bempton counterparts further north, the closer proximity to the water means visitors may come under the watchful eye of grey seals.

The cliffs also boast one of the most impressive (and important) seabird colonies in Europe, with tens of thousands of breeding auks, gannets, gulls and puffins flocking to the headland year after year.

Flamborough Cliffs Nature Reserve consists of three sections, Breil, Holmes and Thornwick, each with their own character but all important for the seabird colonies nesting on the 100-foot high sheer chalk cliffs.

Each area offers fantastic spots for wildflowers; growing in the chalk grassland is bird's-foot trefoil, pyramidal orchids, delicate pink thrift and occasionally Northern marsh orchids along the cliff edge.

The varied flora attracts butterflies including the small skipper and ringlet, with the reserve also home to the scarce burnet companion moth.

Nearby in the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Living Seas Centre, visitors can find great tips on rock pooling and the latest sightings of wildlife like whales, dolphins and porpoises.

FACTS