If you fancy a bit of exploring whilst in Whitby, Port Mulgrave is a brilliant option.
Located on the Yorkshire Coast midway between Staithes and Runswick Bay in the civil parish of Hinderwell is the quaint Port Mulgrave. Port Mulgrave was historically known as Rosedale however it had to be changed. It was changed to avoid any confusion that could be caused by the already existing ironstone mines and ironworks at Rosedale in the middle of the North York Moors it was renamed Port Mulgrave after the landowner the Earl of Mulgrave.
A brief history of Port Mulgrave
Port Mulgrave was once the home of an ironstone mine/exporting port. You can see rows of miners’ cottages still there today, you can also see the mine owner’s house. There are rows of domestic properties and individual houses sitting on the top of the cliff. The mine shaft has been closed off, but it used to go down several hundred feet.
The ironstone mine at Rosedale Wyke, in Port Mulgrave and the constructed harbour, was opened by Sir Charles Palmer 1856-57. The harbour exported ironstone to Jarrow on Tyneside to supply Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company. The mine began to run out therefore Sir Charles Palmer established a Grinkle ironstone mine 3 miles to the east. A narrow-gauge railway line was built to service the mine in 1875. Wagons from Grinkle were transported over bridges, through a tunnel and along an inclined tunnel on a ropeway, this was powered by a steam engine. These railway wagons emerged 30ft above sea level on the cliffside and had to be led onto a gantry with bunkers on the east harbour wall ready for loading the ironstone directly into ships in the harbour. You can still see the tunnel entrance today however it has been sealed up.
New railway links and cheaper foreign sources of ironstone meant that Port Mulgrave was a busy port for 40 years. By 1920 the harbour was no longer being used and was abandoned. The Grinkle Mine was abandoned in 1934 and the gantry was accidentally destroyed by a fire. The west harbour breakwater wall was deliberately destroyed by the Royal Engineers to prevent its use as part of any German invasion during World War II.
Things to do in Port Mulgrave
Port Mulgrave is one of the best locations for collecting for fossil hunting in Yorkshire. Here you can find a wide range of ammonites, dinosaur/reptile remains and much more. There is an uneven path that will take you down to the beach and it’s quite a steep walk back up! This location is not suitable for children but is acceptable for mature family groups.
As always with fossil hunting knowledge of tide times is essential as it is easy to get cut off at Port Mulgrave. The sea here always reaches the base of the cliff. Find more information here.
Stop here whilst walking along the Cleveland Way National Trail
The Cleveland Way National Trail runs along the clifftop here so it’s a perfect place to stop and explore then you can carry on walking the 2 miles North West to Staithes, or the 4 miles South East to Sandsend. Find more information here.
Try the Staithes and Port Mulgrave Circular Walk
Fancy a walk and some sea air? Start at the pretty old fishing village of Staithes with its cobbled streets and winding alleys. Leave the harbour and follow the Cleveland Way National Trail for the first half of this walk, you will then walk across high cliffs to Port Mulgrave and enjoy the most incredible coastal views. To return you will cross fields and wander through ancient woodland, then through the small hamlet of Dalehouse. Follow the route and find more information here.
Places to eat and drink in Port Mulgrave
The Badger Hounds
This dog-friendly pub is a great place to rest your legs and grab a drink or a bite to eat. Their menu meets the highest demands for both classic dishes and innovative ideas. With lots of choices, there is something here for people of all ages. A lovely atmosphere and all round a great place to visit. Find more information here.
Restaurant Number 20
Restaurant Number 20 is run by Jason and Sue who previously run the nearby Fox & Hounds. They opened this beautiful and homely restaurant in the coastal village of Port Mulgrave. Concise, daily changing menus have a seafood bias with the occasional Mediterranean element thrown in. The food here is exquisite and much like the whole feel of the restaurant. Find more information here.
Places to stay in Port Mulgrave
View Point Apartment
This wonderful apartment offers great access to the Cleveland Way and Port Mulgrave is just below. It is only 1.4 miles from Runswick Bay Beach. This beachfront property boasts access to a terrace, free private parking and free WiFi.The apartment is fitted with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a patio with sea views.
This Cottage provides its own garden, free WiFi and stunning sea views. Featuring free private parking, the holiday home is in an area where guests can engage in activities such as hiking and fishing. The holiday home comes with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a terrace with garden views.
Have you visited Port Mulgrave? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.