The sky was leaden grey and there was a fairly hefty wind blowing in to our faces. It doesn’t seem to matter what direction we walk in on this adventure, the wind always seems to be against us! However, there is also something exciting about walking in a storm: man against the elements, the physical touch of wind and rain, white horses riding wave tops and the distressed call of the gull fighting against the breeze.
The tide was in with a high water line that came right up to the edge of the cliffs at the end of the promenade, preventing us from walking on the beach. While still in the town we had some protection from the worst of the elements but we knew the conditions would deteriorate even further as we climbed to the higher ground. All the people we passed were in a hurry, hunched over, eyes down, caps pulled low. Towards the end of promenade there was an arcade of shops and I took the opportunity to shelter while oanna purchased sticks of rock for friends.
I was interested to learn that in England the local authorities do not have any statutory duties to care for the coastal regions but do have access to 'permissive' powers that they sometimes use. The Environment Agency has the primary responsibility for this area of work. Perhaps the most famous example of what can happen on these cliff concerns the 4-star Holbeck Hall Hotel in Scarborough which on 5 June 1993 slid gracefully in to the sea. On this occasion the sea was not thought to be the main culprit, with the blame being laid on a number of different factors including, drainage and the general geology of the area. Whatever the cause an area reaching about seventy metres in to the hillside disappeared.
There was also a Roman signal station on the site, the last one of five that ran down the coast. We walked out on to the Brig as far as it was safe to do so before dropping down from the cliff at Old Quay Rocks and on to the vast expanse of Filey beach. The view from the high point of the Brig across the grandeur of Filey Bay in the light of the gloaming was wonderful.
As to morrow was to be a long day, we had decided to take accommodation at the far end of the town which would slightly shortern our next walk. To reach the Royal Oak we continued along the beach to just before Hunmanby Sands from where a public right of way runs up through the woods to exit on the main A165 just across from our accommodation. There was still a light rain falling and we were wet, muddy and slightly bedraggled. It was a relief that as well as providing our bed for the night the Royal Oak would also be providing dinner so once in, we stayed in until departure time the next morning.