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Bempton Cliffs
Bempton Cliffs RSPB nature reserve.jpg
Bempton Cliffs looking towards Flamborough Head
Map showing the location of Bempton Cliffs
Map showing the location of Bempton Cliffs
Location in East Riding of Yorkshire
Location East Riding of Yorkshire, England
OS grid TA201738
Coordinates 54°08′46″N 0°09′37″W / 54.146111°N 0.160278°W / 54.146111; -0.160278

Bempton Cliffs is a section of precipitous coast at Bempton in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is run by the RSPB as a nature reserve and is known for its breeding seabirds, including northern gannet, Atlantic puffin, razorbill, common guillemot, black-legged kittiwake and fulmar. There is a visitor centre.


The hard chalk cliffs at Bempton rise are relatively resistant to erosion and offer many sheltered headlands and crevices for nesting birds. The cliffs run about 6 miles (10 km) from Flamborough Head north towards Filey and are over 330 feet (100 m) high at points.

The cliffs at Bempton are some of the highest chalk cliffs in England, Beachy Head in East Sussex being the highest at 530 feet (160 m). The area administered by the RSPB also includes Buckton Cliffs.

There are good walkways along the top of the cliffs and several well fenced and protected observation points.


Bempton Cliffs is home to the only mainland breeding colony of gannets in England. The birds arrive at the colony from January and leave in August and September.


Numerically the most common bird, around 10% of the United Kingdom population of kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) nest here.


The Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica) at Bempton Cliffs tend to nest in rock crevices, whereas burrows are used at most UK sites. Although there are estimated to be around 958 birds (450 breeding pairs), it is relatively difficult to get a close view of them. The puffins along the Yorkshire coast are now endangered.

The Bempton puffins mostly fly 25 miles (40 km) east to the Dogger Bank to feed. Their numbers may however be adversely affected by a reduction in local sand eel numbers caused by global warming, in turn caused by plankton being driven north by the 2 degree rise in local sea temperatures.

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