Puffin peeking in Yorkshire

Gandalf the VW is parked up on a fabulous C&MC CL (a small 5 van that members of the Camping and Motorhome Club can stay at) called Carr House, on Lighthouse road, just outside of Flamborough Head. As the street address implies- we’re just under a mile from the beautiful Flamborough Head lighthouse. Our site is the most basic in the network- with literally just a water tap, toilet disposal and a bin.

At just £8 pn, we’ve made the decision to do more of these sites when possible to offset the increasing fuel prices and on reality- at the time of year- it’s a doddle. Our solar panel works a treat, even if it’s just cloudy rather than sunny and our tailgate awning with 12v shower and gas kettle combo is an ideal en suite.

The reason we were making this trip was to ✅ off a long standing bucket list item for me- to see a puffin (or puffins if we’re lucky) – in the wild.

Research online suggesting Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs were a fairly reliable place to aim for during the months of May, June and early July. So here we were!

Our journey up was smooth and we very much enjoyed a rest stop at my dad and step mum’s who house is conveniently just off the A1 nest Newark- an ideal half way point- and we were lucky enough to receive a fabulous breakfast which would rival any posh hotel! Thanks Jenny!

Suitably fuelled we continued North, and then east and arrived on site just after 3.30.

Somehow our set up was the swiftest we’ve ever done- and in less than 10 mins we were enjoying a beer outside.

We had a chill during the afternoon and early evening, retreating inside when the rain fell, and when it had passed we walked down to the the village of Flamborough Head to try a pint in the local.

Friday night’s dinner was a delicious Carbonara homemade back at Gandalf before a glorious silent night on site.

Saturday dawned with bright blue skies and sunshine. We had intended to have a lay in but it seemed rude not to get up and enjoy the weather.

Morning ablutions completed including lovely hot showers in our awning, and another full English cooked lovingly by Keefy on the Cadac- don’t judge us – two in a row- but we’re off to Peru on Weds where we don’t intend on eating full English’s!

Breakfast enjoyed, we donned our walking boots , loaded the cameras and binoculars and put our best foot forward towards Flamborough Head. There is a footpath all the way from the site to the lighthouse.

I think it’s fair to say the atmosphere was tense. I really wanted to see a puffin but of course they are wild and therefore you can’t guarantee that you’ll see one. We were doing a 500 mile round trip to essentially hopefully see a puffin!

Early signs were not looking hopeful- we asked everyone with a big lens- and no one had sighted one for a while here. We decided to follow a lead and take the cliff path toward North Landing. My hopes were plummeting- in my head they would be here in abundance! Turns out we were possibly a week late and the majority were back out at sea!

The coastline here is stunning and we had lovely weather so I tried to console myself. But then- we saw one! Nestled in a tiny crack half way down the cliff below us- we spotted a flash of orange. It really does stand out actually!

I had some tears, Keith took some pics on his super zoom, we watched it for some time through the binoculars. It was fab. We continued further along the path and we saw a couple with a big lense. “Have you seen a puffin” I asked. And they excited showed us one just a few feet from us (below us and opposite) what a cheeky chappy this one was. He posed for us and we enjoyed about half an hour watching him. It was incredible.

We continued on and by now the excitement of the looking for the puffins had taken hold of us! It was addictive! We found a few more towards North Landing and spent hours just on a small section of the cliff path with our eyes scanning the cliffs using binoculars looking for orange flashes. It was relaxing yet exciting and we really enjoyed ourselves! Puffins are nicknamed the “clowns of the sea” and we can see why. They oozed character- even through our binoculars! Be advised though- binoculars are a must! They were virtually impossible to see with our naked eye.

After a few hours we retraced our steps back to the campsite, happy as pigs in mud and me doing a huge tick on my bucket list.

We celebrated with a bbq, before having a game of jenga which was fun and an early night before our journey back to Norfolk the next morning. It was a short and sweet visit but we’d achieved what we set out to do which made us very happy campers indeed!

For information on the puffins in the area click here. We were astounded to learn that they can fly up to 55mph!

One thought on “Puffin peeking in Yorkshire

  1. Love puffins too. So pleased you got to see them.

    Shower looks really clever. What do you put on the ground to stop it getting muddy?

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