Dr Amir channels his hidden David Attenborough at Bempton cliffs

Us Yorkshire folk are lucky to be the proud custodians of some the most enigmatic and beautiful coastlines the country. As someone who grew up very working class and for whom foreign holidays were something that only other people could afford, my family and I spent many a Saturday packing up the car heading over to the east coast. Whether it was Filey, Scarborough or Whitby, we were sure to build sandcastles, have a dip in the (very) cold water and gorge ourselves on fish and chips. They were happy times.

More recently, I have become President of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and as part of my role I get to visit RSPB reserves and meet the staff. I had heard of Bempton Cliffs, but until recently never visited before. Well, it took my breath away. Located just north of Flamborough, Bempton Cliffs is officially my favourite of all the RSPB reserves I have visited. The reserve is located at the top of the huge chalky white cliffs, impressive all year round but particularly so between March and October when around half a million seabirds gather there to nest and raise their young. In fact, it is England's largest seabird colony, where iconic species such as puffins, gannets, kittiwakes and guillemots can be seen flying over the North Sea in search of food and bringing it back to the chicks who look on eagerly from nests and burrows precariously placed on the cliff edges.

The sheer number of birds, the sounds and (to be honest), the smell is overwhelming. You feel as though you have stumbled across the set of David Attenborough’s latest BBC series. I would certainly recommend taking a boat journey out onto the water, where the tour guides feed the gannets which perform aerial acrobatics for their fishy morsels. They are quite simply breathtaking.

But it is not just the seabirds that make this place so special. Seals can be seen bobbing up and down in the water and if you are lucky you may get a glimpse of a porpoise. The scrubby grasslands above the cliffs are home to kestrels who don’t seem to mind the many bird enthusiasts and go about their business of hunting rodents without so much a second glance. When I visited, I saw hares darting around the grass as well as a barn owl that silently floated past as evening set in. It is also worth listening out for the distinct call of the skylarks that reside there, too. Something we don’t get to hear very often in built up areas, but it really is a treat.

I finish the day off at the café – I genuinely think the RSPB reserves have some of the best visitor cafes of any tourist hotspots. The food is delicious, I would recommend the ciabatta pizza, I had to go back for a second portion it was so delicious. That was followed by a slice of Victoria sponge cake and a cup of tea. I know a Victoria sponge is not a particularly adventurous choice of cake but I had had quite a lot of adventures exploring the reserve that day, and you really cannot beat the classics.

And no visit to an RSPB reserve is complete without a trip to the gift shop. Sadly my partner tries to restricts what I buy from gift shops these days; apparently I never use them and they end up in a cupboard somewhere collecting dust. I, of course disagree and refuse to be shackled. I cannot resist a mug emblazoned with a puffin or (another) pair of oven gloves which picture gannets diving into the sea. If I don’t use them, we can always give them as a gift to a friend when we are next invited for dinner at their home, I tell myself.

The drive back to Leeds was filled with chat about what we had seen that day and how much we had enjoyed ourselves, much like the chatter from when I was younger and I was returning back from Whitby, my belly full and with memories made.