Brigging it in Filey

It was my first pre-dawn trip out to do some photography for a long time and I was looking to make the most of the opportunity. We arrived in Filey the day before and went on a quick scouting trip dodging the thunder, lightning and torrential rain. There was three access routes to the end of the brigg – along the path at the top which lead to a steep muddy slope, a collapsed path half way along from the top path and a road down to the beach from the local campsite. I wasn’t sure if the first option was an option due to how steep and muddy it was. The second option was a lot more navigable but still pretty hairy in places. The third option seemed like the most sensible of routes to take in the dark.

Filey BriggI was rudely awoken just after 4am by my more than eager alarm. I begrudgingly got up and checked the window to see what the weather was like (I secretly hope it was pissing down so I could go back to bed). It was cloudy but clearing so I packed my stuff ready to go. Kellie hardly stirred in her sleep – she claims to not mind joining me when I go out with my camera but a pre 5am start was another thing. I got in my car and set off on the short journey to Filey Brigg.

There was a car park conveniently located at the top of the road down to the beach and being the good citizen I made sure there was no parking charge (it was free until 9am which was fine with me). The road down to the beach was steep but quick and I was walking along the beach in no time. I made my way along the bottom of the Brigg and the further I went along, the closer to its towering steep sides I was forced to go. The tide was going out but it hadn’t long been high tide and the worst part was how terrifyingly unstable the Brigg looked – it had obviously suffered in the recent bad weather and it looked like it could collapse at any moment.

I did my best to navigate through the minefield of overly slippy rocks and pebbles, all the while maintaining a stout eye one the doddery slopes. Concentrating on not falling on my arse I’d barely noticed I was only half way along the bottom of the Brigg. I took a moment to compose myself only for the true horror of my situation to present itself. Ahead was a wall of solid rock that jutted out into the, still to recede, high tide. To compound the situation there was no real photo opportunities where I was, the sun was going to rise on the opposite side of the Brigg and, worst of all, I would have to walk back under the perilous cliffs to get back to the car. I was a broken man.

In the time it took to get back to the car I pulled myself together and decided to try and salvage something from the journey. I made the decision to try the collapsed path. The light was improving and although it wasn’t the safest path down it was better than expecting to be washed away by a landslide at any moment. Once down at sea level again the walk to the end of the Brigg was surprisingly pleasant. A sewage pipe provided and excellent walkway to where I wanted to be.

When I got to the end I was surprised to see a small, what I presumed to be abandoned, hut for purposes unknown. I spent some time taking photos and trying out my new Lee Little Stopper which is something I wished I had a long time ago (the Lee Big Stopper doesn’t cut it in low light conditions). The light wasn’t great but the locations was fantastic so I took time to enjoy the peaceful spot. To my astonishment I noticed a lone figure navigating the steep muddy slope I considered inaccessible the previous day. Not only did I not expect anyone to be out there he went on to open up the hut and sort out his fishing equipment.

Thinking back it shouldn’t have surprised me to see someone else out there. The location was so peaceful and picturesque even if I didn’t quite get the photographs I was after. I’m sure I’ll be back there sometime in the future.


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