Puffins at Bempton Cliffs and Bridlington Harbor

If you’ve been following my instagram, you already know how much I love exploring coastlines. The truth is, the United Kingdom coastline is so beautiful, and filled with amazing cliffs and animal life. Every time I explore a new area of England, I’m simply amazed. This country is so beautiful and has so much to offer. Most people just think of London when they think of England, but it is so much more than that! To truly experience England, you need to explore the countryside and the coast. The rocky, jagged coastline is simply stunning, with beautiful waters of the North Atlantic, and also home to a variety of wildlife. When I found out you could see puffins in ENGLAND, I was so excited! I had no clue they came this far south in the summer and just assumed they stayed closer to the Arctic! We missed seeing the puffins in Iceland because we went in winter, so I was pumped to learn I could drive about 3 hours and see them. Once I realized that Bempton Cliffs is located near York, a weekend trip was planned! This was the perfect June getaway weekend for us, and on the plus side, we were able to drive there.

Bempton Cliffs at the RSPB Nature Center

Bempton Cliffs is located in Bridlington. The Nature Reserve is an amazing place to take a walk and enjoy all the wildlife and stunning views the area has to offer. Every year between March and October, over half a million seabirds make their homes on the chalky cliffs to raise their young. The result is a spectacular scene including puffins, gannets, guillemots, and other birds. The cliffs themselves are also an attraction, along the beautiful coast. There are walking paths, as well as viewing platforms with information about the wildlife. The RSPB (Royal Society for Preservation of Birds) puts on events throughout the year and has a cafe and gift shop on site as well. Definitely check out the website to help plan your trip! Also, be sure to bring your camera and binoculars for up close views!

My main reason for going was to see the puffins. While I’m a huge animal lover, I don’t usually have any interest in birds. However, there is something about puffins that is so freaking cute! I don’t know what it is, but I find them adorable. Go ahead and google them and tell me they aren’t the cutest! My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I’m obsessed with them and I can’t explain it. Anyhow, puffins are seabirds that live on rocky cliffs and dive into the water to get their food. Their beaks are brightly colored during mating season. Atlantic Puffins are found on the coasts of Northern Europe in the British Isle, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, and Canada. In the winters they travel as far south as Morocco. The come ashore in the United Kingdom during spring and summer, their mating season. I was fortunate enough to see several of them on Bempton Cliffs!

puffins nesting at Bempton Cliffs

After exploring the cliffs and walking along to see views of the coast, we headed to Bridlington Harbour, where we had a three hour seabird cruise booked. Despite the cold, and spots of rain, the cruise was phenomenal! It left from Bridlington, and cruised along the coast up to Bempton Cliffs. We marveled at the gannets, puffins, and other seabirds, and enjoyed spectacular views of the cliffs from the water. Puffins are better swimmers than they are flyers, and they flap their wings extremely fast to stay in the air. They aren’t quite as graceful as others birds when they land, and this makes them easier to spot in the air. We also pulled in close to some rocky cliffs and little caves, allowing us to view the birds up close in their nests. If you are interested in seabirds or fascinated with the brightly colored puffins like I am, this trip is for you!

This was definitely an unforgettable experience, and I highly recommend it. Bridlington Harbor is less than an hour from the charming, Medieval city of York, so put this on your list of things to do in summer in England! You will not be disappointed.

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