Monday, June 30 Flamborough Head and the Yorkshire Wolds
Started at 10.30, with a howling northwest wind pushing me along. Negotiating the crowded streets, I took the Filey road. This road is uninteresting itself, but commands fine views of the coast and cliffs, and of Filey Brigg, an outcrop of rock running for half a mile out to sea. It can be plainly seen at low tide, and besides forming a natural breakwater, a very spectacular view of the waves breaking over it in rough weather is obtained. Although the weather was boisterous during our short sojourn at Scarborough the wind was mainly west – from landward, and the sea was comparatively calm and placid. Also the tides were very poor.
I soon reached Filey, a rather quiet little resort, but I only stayed long enough to post a letter, then I joined the Bridlington road. Of all the dull, weary roads about here, surely this takes first place, and to make matters worse, it was heavily motorised. But I had only a few miles of it, however, for at the Dotterel Inn, just beyond Reighton, I took a secondary road for Flamborough. Mostly downhill with the wind dead behind made it easy going, and as there was nothing of interest to stay me, I took full advantage of it. I flew through Speeton to Buckton and Bempton, and soon reached the typical Yorkshire village of Flamborough.
After a little difficulty I ascertained the way to Selwick’s Bay, then crossed the depression that marks the line of Danes Dyke, and passing some refreshment huts and two gates, came to the lighthouse on the cliffs of the South Landing. I left the bike against some railings here, and walked downhill over some slippery turf to a rickety ladder – or a steep flight of steps – which led me down the low cliff to the beach. There are some really fine white chalk cliffs here, riddled with caves and waterholes. I spent fifteen minutes exploring as much as the incoming tide would allow me. Rain had long threatened, and ugly black clouds had been gathering for some time, and now it began to fall.
It smoked down. I sheltered in a gully for a few minutes, but got fed up with waiting so I climbed back up to the bike, donned my cape and rode off. It was hard going against the wind, but by the time I got back to Flamborough again, the rain had ceased. Whilst hunting for a lunch place, I met the three Nelson cyclists, whom we had seen near Malton. Touring! Scarborough Saturday night, Filey on Sunday night (7 miles) and they intended staying at Bridlington on Monday night (tonight) – ten miles from Filey! But that is one of the joys of touring, but I fancy that I could not be satisfied with that rate of travel. They gave me a lunch-place, and then went to Flamborough Head. I had lunch at that place…. a comfortable place… but a rather uncomfortable price! After coming out of the café I once again met the three Nelson cyclists, and joined their party. We recrossed Danes Dyke, and very soon entered Bridlington, where I broke away – they were looking for digs for the night.
Leaving the town, I took the Great Driffield road through Bessingby to Carnaby, where I joined a very doubtful path that took me through a farmyard and across several fields, uphill, to a grassy track that ran straight, along a ridge. According to the map this is Wold Gate. It gave me good views of the flat land towards Beverley and the gleaming sea to well south of Hornsea. At length it joined a road of some pretensions which I took, right, to Rudston, a Wold village. Through the village and left on to the next Wold (so to speak), across Nine Dykes road, and first right to the rather pretty village of Thwing. These Wolds are almost purely agricultural, and the whole district is very thinly populated. Here I turned left again and ran downhill along a wooded road, then undulating, to the cross roads. Here I turned for Octon Grange, but got lost and later wandered into a farmyard. The farmer put me right, and flying downhill, I came to Foxholes. I soon crossed the main road, preferring a footpath that turned the ride into a tramp for over two miles to the summit of Sherburn Wold, 539 ft. I had some food packed up, so I made a temporary meal of it.
The wind had almost entirely dropped since 3pm, and soon after remounting, I came to the edge of Sherburn Wold, and from this vantage point I got an excellent view across the broad Derwent valley, to the moors around Pickering, and along to Malton, to the west. This was the last Wold, I had crossed the whole issue by means of byways, there were about five wolds, or five ranges of wolds, I should say. Came a very steep descent, then I crossed the main road at Sherburn. About two miles further on, beyond a level crossing I turned right, and had a fine ride, by a beautiful wooded park to Wykeham, then Ayton, and uphill to Seamer Moor, where a clear view of the white cliffs of Flamborough was obtained. A long downhill run by the racecourse concluded the ride, arriving at Scarborough at 7.15 for a late tea. At Bridlington I had broken my saddle, and the resultant discomfort has made me feel a little sore about it. 70 miles