Here in Yorkshire there are some awe-inspiring landscapes to be found and no nature trail would be complete without visiting some of the wonders of the natural world. From thundering waterfalls to towering cliffs and magical views there is a host of amazing places to visit along the Adventure All Ways route. Centuries of erosion have helped to carve out these fantastic features that we can see today. From the karst weathering on the limestone in the southern Yorkshire Dales to the power of the sea forming fantastic sea cliffs there's no doubt that these spectacular views will leave you feeling ALIVE! If you want to find out more about the geology of the area and the processes that help form these places find out more about the geology of the coast, the Moors and the Dales.
The chalk cliffs of Flamborough Head are one of the most spectacular sites in Yorkshire. The chalk that forms these cliffs is made up of the bones of animals that lived thousands of years ago in the tropical sea that covered the area. The less tropical sea that we find today as been eroding the cliffs leading to the formation of caves, arches and sea stacks that exist today. The best way to view the cliffs is by boat, so be sure to check out North Landing Boat Tours. And if these jaw-dropping cliffs weren't enough of a reason to visit, Flamborough Head is also a haven for many seabirds: keep an eye out for kittiwakes, razorbills and even puffins!
Flamborough Head (Section A)
This narrow peninsula just north of Filey jutting out into the North Sea is a must-see for bird lovers and buddy geologists. The cliffs of Filey Brigg rise 15m above the sea and the views are amazing, especially on a clear day. Alternatively you can walk from the beach onto the lower rocks of the Brigg and right to the very end. Many people go fishing off Filey Brigg and it is also a great place to do a bit of seal spotting. Remember to be aware of the tides and swell to avoid being cut off or swept out to sea.
Filey (section B)
If you're into geology then a visit to the Forge Valley Woods is a great addition to an Adventure All Ways route, allowing you to walk through 165 million years in just one day! The woods have several quarries and outcrops which show the different rocks that formed in the area throughout history. It is a little of the route but doing the trail from the edge of Scarborough is around an 8 mile round trip so can be done in a day. Alternatively the East Yorkshire 128 bus from Scarborough to Helmsely stops at East Ayton which is nearer to the trail.
Forge Valley Geology Trail
East Ayton (Section B/C)
The rocks along the coast of Yorkshire are from the Jurassic period and are ideal for looking for fossils. One place where you can do this is at Saltwick Bay, just south of Whitby. The rocks here are shales, which can be slippery so take care. It is also a great spot for viewing the sea stack Saltwick Nab (find out more about the geology of the area here) and if you are interested in history there is a shipwreck of the Admiral Von Tromp and the remains of the alum quarries.
Whitby (Section C)
Sutton Bank, on the edge of the North York Moors, is a limstone escarpment that drops nearly 140m from the Moors to the vales of Mowbray and York. The view of the top is advertised as 'The Finest View in England' and it is undeniably impressive. On a good day you can see all the way across the vale and beyond to the Yorkshire Dales.
White Mare Crag
Sutton Bank (section F)
This 170m limestone cliff, which was carved out by glaciers during the last ice age, overlooks the pretty Wharfdale village of Kilnsey. With a 40m overhang the crag is a popular destination for climbers and a great spot for a photo showing off the spectacular scenery of Yorkshire. It is a little way from the Adventure All Ways route, about a four mile walk from Kettlewell or ten minutes on the bus. Check out the timetable for Monday to Saturday here or Sundays and Bank holidays here.
Kilnsey (Section K)
Malham Tarn is one of only a few natural lakes in Yorkshire and, according to the National Trust, also the highest lake in England. The lake exists as glaciers in area carved away the overlying rocks to reach the impermeable slate underneath. In a limestone environemnt where most water leaks away the tarn appears a little like an oasis. It has also been the site of a recent water vole reintroduction by the National Trust. Be aware that swimming in the tarn is not allowed.
Malham (Section K)
The hidden gorge of Gordale Scar is one of the most amazing sites in the Yorkshire Dales. The huge scar can be following the stream through Gordale campsite which turns a corner and into the scar. There is a waterfall running down the middle of the scar but there are usually dryer parts which means the scar can be climbed relatively easily through most of the year. The gorge forms due to the Mid Craven Fault and erosion from glacial meltwater acting upon the limestone.
Malham (section K)
The limestone pavement at the top of Malham cove is another geological wonder of Malhamdale. You may recognise it from Harry Potter as they came here to film one scene in the seventh installment. The pavement forms as water running over the limestone begins to dissolve it, forming this bizarre, almost alien landscape. The view from the top of the cove is spectacular but the view from the bottom of the cove, looking up at the carved amphitheatre cliffs is arguably even better!