Walk Around Burniston
Distance: 1 mile (1.6km)
This is not so much a walk as an amble. Burniston Bay has a rocky
shore backed by gravel and boulder beaches and low cliffs. It is an
excellent area to search for shore life or to look for attractive
Check locally to ensure you choose a day when the tide is out
and do not venture beyond the headlands at either end of the
Start Finish: Crook Ness, Burniston (GR 026935)
OS Map: Explorer OL 27
Bus Services: Regular service between Scarborough
and Cloughton or Whitby. Alight at the Three Jolly Sailors and walk
down Rocks Lane.
Car Parking: Small informal car park at the end of
Refreshments: Two public houses in Burniston
Visit: The Sea Life Centre, Scarborough
Runswick Bay. Robin Hoods Bay. Scalby Mills, Scarborough.
From the small car park A at the end of Rocks Lane a good path
leads down to a rocky shore. This is Crook Ness in Burniston Bay.
To the north is Long Nab, B to the south, Cromer Point.C
The rocky shore is very rugged and some of the rocks may be
slippery, so take care. Formed in an ancient river delta over 170
million years ago these sandstones have since worn away to create
crevices and gullies which are a haven for wildlife.
The tide takes about six hours to fall from high water to low
water and the same time to return. Each day the time of high water
will move forward about 40 minutes and the height it reaches will
When exploring the shore, keep a sharp look out for which way
the tide is running and don’t get cut off on some higher area of
rock. The plants of the shore, seaweeds, are nearly all very
flexible and are anchored to the rocks to prevent them being washed
or broken off at high water. To reduce drying out when exposed to
the air while the tide is out, they produce a mucus which makes the
seaweeds slippery. There are many different types of seaweed which
are broadly grouped into three categories by colour. Generally
speaking the green weeds grow near the upper shore, the browns on
the middle and lower shore and the red weeds are only found in the
There are hundreds of species of animal living on a rocky shore
and literally millions of individuals. To protect themselves when
the tide is out many hide away in nooks and crannies or deeper
pools. Others, such as limpets clamp themselves firmly to the rock
while barnacles close the top of their shells so tight they appear
to be a solid shell.
Life is harsh on a rocky shore. Creatures have to be able to
withstand the pounding of the waves and the drying effects of the
sun, those in rock pools have to be able to cope with rising
temperatures and increasing salinity, nearly all species are
potential food for another. It’s a hard life don’t make it
harder by collecting creatures from the shore.
For further assistance please contact the Scarborough Tourism
Bureau on 01723 383636.