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Mar 2019

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Not the highest but the northenmost chalk cliffs in, not just England but the whole of, Britain, no less. The largest mainland seabird colony[1] in, not just England but the whole of, Britain, no less.

Fans of the stat should be knocked out by those facts but, being fans of the stat, they probably already know that?

[1] They're calling them seabird 'cities' these days, seriously, and most of them will be up the coast at Bempton, anyways.

Not just a fairly well-known headland, there's a large village here, as well, with a disproportionate amount of commemorating going on. There's a war memorial, of course, for the lives of Flamborough's sons lost during the Great War.

Another is to six local fishermen, drowned during a ferocious storm in 1909 when the crew of an incapable  coble went to the aid of another unable to cope.

  Danes Dyke Nature Reserve

There's a wooded gully that starts, naturally enough, south-west of the village and right where the sea starts. It runs north for two-and-a-half miles and cuts everything off, the village included, from the rest of East Yorkshire.

The further north it goes, it turns into a deliberate, defensive dyke and ditch and, here's the thing, nobody really knows who it was what dug it.

It's not quite up there with Offa's offering but the local nature reserve near the start is worth a diversion, they say.

Finally, commemoration-wise, a mast, commissioned in 2000, simply to the 'Maritime History of Flamborough' making it not entirely clear just exactly what is being commemorated here?

This would be monumental if it was in Derbyshire, say, but it's not, it's less than half-a-mile to the coast and it's somewhat inevitable that someone at some point would say...

'What's with all that funny-looking blue stuff on the doorstep?'

Other highlights include a traditional  blacksmith's, who didn't seem to have had a hand in the mast, and the delightfully named Dog and Duck Square.

As for the Royal Dog and Duck, it's been quenching the thirsts of salty old sea dogs since at least 1823. That means it might be even older than cricket, itself, but probably not the local club who call this place 'home'.

It can't really be called a castle, really, but some of Flamborough Castle still stands.

It was more of a manor house, mainly, but it did have a tower that toppled at some time unspecified and its last act of usefulness appears to have been as a cattle shed.

The distinctive, what's left of it, appearance is down to the local chalk, not thought to be ideal building material, and it might have lasted longer if only they'd waited for the invention of cardboard, eh?

That's enough flimflam on Flamborough, for now, and it's time to head to Flamborough Head.

Home to those northernmost chalk cliffs, remember, and they look a little not unlike the ones you've already seen, just in the other direction.

You'll find them past a  lighthouse and a coastguard observation station, probably, but what is clear is that there's no obvious way down to the shore.

Given that some form of viable fishing has gone on here since the 13th century, that commemorative mast to the maritime now looks to have been worthy of a mention.

There's not too much feathered and in flight in February, it's a few months too early until they all start getting 'matey'. The best that can be done, wildlife-wise, is the 'Drinking Dinosaur', not that it looks anything like one from the back.

You'll need to look at it side-on when the tide's oot and a sea arch provides the neck of a dabbling diplodocus, not shown and not noticed at the time, neither.

Meanwhile, back near the car park, here's a confession. Flamborough Head has been visited before but it didn't look anything like this.

Not because of any significant landslips due to the ongoing coastal erosion of England's East Coast. No, the car park was bigger and there was somewhere you could get a sandwich.

Looks like that's up at North Landing where the car park is bigger and there's somewhere you can get a sandwich.

North Landing is also where there's access to the sea, you see, and while the slipway's a little steep, that commemorative mast to the maritime now isn't nearly so worthy of a mention.

It's half-an-hour away by clifftop path but this isn't all about the chalk and the birds. The whole area is a Special Area of Conservation including both Special Site of Scientific Interest and Local Nature Reserve protections.

As should be known by now, they don't hand them awards out willy-nilly making for more designations than you can shake a stick insect at, nearly.

You thought you were being clever earlier, didn't you? Making fun of a castle made of chalk but, get this, the old lighthouse, on the way back to Flamborough, is made of similar stuff.

It no longer does blinding work, not that it ever really did, the hoisting of a cageful of flaming logs was how they did it in the day, but it has stood here since 1674 so seemingly makes for a suitable concrete substitute.

One of the other advantages, of course, was it didn't need a lick of paint every couple of years.

Somebody wants to remind them of that back at the Royal Dog and Duck.