Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough | Visitor Guide

Thornwick Bay is one of four beaches in Flamborough on the coast of East Yorkshire. It is incredibly picturesque with stunning high cliffs, nesting birds, rock pooling and more.

There are two beaches at Thornwick. There is Little Thornwick and Thornwick Bay. Little Thornwick is a much smaller version of its bigger neighbour. The caves at Thornwick Bay were once used by smugglers.

Getting to Thornwick bay can be a little confusing if you are not local. If you were to keep heading on the main road the B1255 you will come to the end of the road which is actually Flamborough north landing beach. I’ve seen a lot of people arrive here and think they are at Thornwick Bay. Thornwick bay is actually a left turn next to the Viking Pub off the B1255. If the car park is shut you will have to park on the road here. There are no signs telling you this and the road is small and not too obvious. But if you turn left just before the Viking you can’t go wrong. Don’t turn left for Haven!

Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough | Visitor Guide

There is a small charge to park your car and access to this car park by car isn’t possible all year round. Although this seems odd to me as google maps state this is a public, not a private road. If you arrive and the car park is closed you can park on the road but do be warned it’s not ideal. I would choose to visit between Spring and Summer when the car park should be open and hopefully the cafe and toilets. We paid just £1.50 for all-day parking.

Visitor Guide Thornwick Bay, Flamborough, East Yorkshire

Access down to the beach is not easy. It is not accessible for pushchairs or wheelchairs. There are a few paths down some of which you can’t see until you are stood right at the cliff’s edge. To the right of Thornwick bay, there is the ‘easier’ of the paths to walk down. It is longer so not as steep but with metal steps at the bottom, it’s still not accessible.

Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough | Visitor Guide
One of the steeper paths down

We chose a steeper but shorter path down just left of the cafe. There is a similar path just a little further on from here that takes you down to Little Thornwick bay. They are challenging so don’t attempt with really young kids. My top tip for visiting is to check the tide times. You want to be visiting as the tide is going out as then there is more beach and it’s safer to explore.

Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough | Visitor Guide

There is a Haven caravan park behind so the beach can get pretty busy in the summer. Dogs are permitted on the beach all year round and there is no lifeguard, there is also very little in the way of soft sand. The beach is mostly rocky with some really huge rocks and boulders. If you venture down from the left and want to head right (or vica versa) you will have to cross these.

Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough | Visitor Guide

It is a great beach for spotting sea birds as they nest on the right-hand cliff. We even spotted a puffin which we find hard to spot on this coastline. Also on this cliff edge, there are quite a few caves one of which is huge. They are mostly only accessible by sea so I’d only advise really confident swimmers to try and access them. It’s my dream to buy a canoe and canoe into them one day.

Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough
Can you spot the puffin?
Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough

The beach itself has no facilities. There is however a cafe serving hot and cold food and drinks next to the car park at the top of the cliff. This is also where the toilets are located so do bear this in mind when you visit especially as they are not open all year round.

Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough

When the tide is out there is a huge number of rockpools so make sure you take a net and a bucket, I can also recommend taking a small spade. There are some crabs but you have to really look hard.

Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough

When the tide is out you can also walk around the headland from Thornwick bay to Little Thornwick. The walk is very challenging with lots of rocks but it is doable. We did it! Just make sure you have plenty of time as you wouldn’t want the tide coming in on you.

Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough
Thornwick Bay & Little Thornwick Flamborough

Little Thornwick is a lot smaller compared to Thornwick Bay. It is pretty much a mini version of it though with rockpools, a shingly beach and cliffs all around. The walk down to this beach is nothing but steep and challenging.

Little Thornwick Bay Flamborough

The other three beaches in Flamborough that you can visit are Selwicks Bay, North Landing and South Landing.

Important Information about Thornwick Bay

Address: Postcode: YO15 1BD, Flamborough, East Riding

Car parking at Thornwick Bay – When open there is a large private car park which is just £1.50 for all-day parking.

Facilities at Thornwick Bay: There are no facilities on the beach but there is a cafe and toilets which are open when the car park is open.

Accessibility – The beach has no pushchair or wheelchair access.

Is Thornwick Bay Dog Friendly: Dogs are permitted on the beach all year round.

Category: Beach, suitable for confident walkes.

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