Cayton Bay


Cayton bay lies between Filey and Scarborough and has a good sized sandy beach protected by an outer reef of rock which can be seen at low water on bigger tides. There are also rocky patches in the bay.  It is not a resort as such but does have a large attractive sandy beach. There is a large caravan park at the top of the cliffs. There is also an old second world war pill box with a fantastic man eating fish painting near the middle of the bay. It may have faded somewhat by now. It was always a favourite spot for anglers fishing for cod on a night in winter gales. However the fishing is not so good now.

There are strong currents, rocks and deep holes in places so it is not the safest of beaches for swimming unless you know it well. Cayton is a favourite haunt of surfers in big Northerly seas. There are several good places for them. Some only suitable for expert surfers.

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Parking and routes to the beach

Parking is free on the remains of the old road at Cayton Bay but there is also a pay car park with a barrier near the surf shop. Cayton Bay is accessible at the North end near Scarborough by a path down from Knipe Point. this path goes down through woods and is a lovely walk down. The  main access is by two paths near the middle of the bay. One starts near the roundabout on the main road and goes down to the water pumping station . Here there is a temporary toilet at the bottom of the path and a small shed serving snacks and beach goods but that is all. A smaller path goes down from the pay car park near the surf shop.

Geology and fossils

There are good patches of coloured pebbles on the beach near high water. It is a good place to find carnelian. The bay has come about because of various faults in the rocks. Some of the rocks do hold good fossils but their occurrence is very dependent on conditions. The fossil holding Oxford clays can often be covered with sand or other clay slumping down the cliffs. Oxford Clay is a Jurassic marine sedimentary rock formation that stretches from The Jurassic coast in Dorset up to parts of North Yorkshire. As usual the best chance of finding interesting fossils is after a really good gale from the North during big tides. It also helps if there has been a lot of rain as this helps to erode the cliffs. At these times good fossils can be found among the pebbles near the base of the cliff.