Danes’ Dyke consists of prehistoric earthworks, possibly intended as a defence, and woodland that runs 2½ miles across Flamborough Head. Despite its name, Danes’ Dyke had nothing to do with the Danes, and was a much earlier site – probably dating back to the Bronze Age. Indeed the site was excavated by Major-General Augustus Pitt-Rivers in 1879 and Bronze Age arrowheads were found. Today, the area attracts many resident breeding and wintering birds, and is an excellent site for bird watchers at migration times.
The earthwork acts as a western boundary, isolating almost 13km2 of headland, which is otherwise defined by high, vertical chalk cliffs, except for the two small coves of North Landing and South Landing. It effectively cuts off the peninsula, turning it into a fortified area, which would have contained all the resources needed to support a sizeable population
A Unique and Special Place
Danes Dyke is a 148 acre nature reserve on Flamborough Headland. It acquires its name from the ancient ditch and bank earthwork which runs across the headland and is a scheduled ancient Monument of national importance. The reserve contains the most extensive area of woodland on the Headland, and is part of the Flamborough Headland Heritage Coast.
Danes Dyke earthwork was constructed as a defensive feature protecting five square miles of land lying to the east. Despite its name the dyke is prehistoric in origin, and Bronze Age arrowheads have been found during excavations.
The reserve car park is situated on the former site of a grand house built in 1873 for Frances Elizabeth Cottrell – Dormer lady of the Manor of Flamborough. The house was demolished in 1953 Victorian influence can still be seen on the reserve today including an exotic monkey puzzle tree.
In 2002 Danes Dyke was designated a Local Nature Reserve in recognition of its wildlife values and importance to the local community.
Danes Dyke is managed by the Countryside access team. Our goal is to balance recreational activities with conserving wildlife. Arable fields make up half of the reserve and these are managed sensitively for wildlife, working along the farmer to create wide grassy field edges and planting many new hedges.
As well as the exotic parkland trees, the woods contain trees that now grow naturally in east Yorkshire. Ash, Elm, Lime, Beech and sycamore trees flourish on the ravine edges. The linear shape of the wood makes it a valuable habitat corridor for wildlife to live and move about it. Bats search out the oldest trees using holes and cracks as roosts during the day, before feeding around the trees after dusk on warm summer evenings.
Opening Times: Open Every day of the year.
Car Park: Pay and display charges apply all year, large car park.
Public Toilets: In the car Park also Flamborough Lighthouse car park 92 Miles). Bridlington (3 Miles)
Accessibility: The tree trail through the woods follows surfaced paths. Due to the natural landscape, paths crossing the ravine have several flights of steep steps (Up to 100 Steps). Access to the Beach is down a steep road from the car park or by the steps from the tree trail. There is no vehicular access to the beach.
Refreshments: Picnic tables and café in the car park tea rooms and pubs in Flamborough and Bridlington.
Dogs: Keep your dogs under close control, and do not disturb wildlife and other visitors. Please clean up after your dog.
What to Do
- Tree Trail
- Wildlife Watching
- Sea Views and Beach
- Danes Dyke Earthwork
The Flamborough Head Storyboard Trail
The Flamborough Head Storyboard Project celebrates the riches of Flamborough Head. Nine storyboard panels located across the headland are linked by walking trails, with downloadable podcasts, video clips, photo stories and maps. Find out more Here
How to find us:
Danes Dyke is located approx. 2 miles east of Bridlington. By road from Bridlington approach on the B1255 towards Flamborough following the brown road signs to Danes Dyke. Take care on the narrow road to car park. Depart using exit Road.
The nearest Bus stop is at the reserve entrance on the B1255 Bridlington to Flamborough EYMS Route 510 Bridlington to Flamborough.
Enjoy a safe Visit
Camping and fire lighting are not permitted
Keep to the Paths and take care on steep steps
Beware of sea cliff edges and quick rising tides.
Take care when walking near steep ravines
Countryside officer (01482) 395208
Police (Non – emergencies) 101
Tourist Information (01262) 673474
East Riding of Yorkshire Council (01482) 39 39 39