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Robin Hood’s Bay Beach, Sublime Natural Beauty

Robin Hood’s Bay beach is one of our absolute favourites with its powerful, natural beauty, the backdrop of craggy cliffs and sweeping views around the bay. 

At high tide, Robin Hood’s Bay beach is mostly submerged by water, but when the tide is out it reveals the most beautiful sandy beach perfect for rock pooling, exploring or just simply enjoying the incredible views. Part of the Dinosaur Coast, it is no secret that it is popular with fossil hunters. Ammonites, belemnites and footprints from the Cretaceous and Jurassic Periods are found here regulary. The best of them are housed in the museum at Whitby – which is well worth a visit! 

Sunset at Robin Hood's Bay Beach

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In 2017 Robin Hood’s Bay beach was named among the top 30 beaches in the world. Chosen for it’s a sublime natural beauty, the Bay has long been a top pick for photographers and dog walkers. The competition was fierce with the best beaches from around the world battling it out for a place in the list. Passport Magazine, an online lifestyle and travel publication conducted the report.

Robin Hood's Bay Beach

It is this natural beauty that makes Robin Hood’s Bay such a popular destination for amateur photographers. As the tide rushes out a new scene is revealed as the dedicated and quick fingers of the local nature paps capture the rock pools and tidal swell in it’s daily retreat. The sweeping arc of the bay gives the resting images a familiar and cheery backdrop.

Robin Hood’s Bay Beach breakdown

Type of beach – Sand & rock
Lifeguard service – No
Dogs friendly beach? – Dogs allowed all year round
Activities – By prior arrangement: Surfing, Horse riding. Ad Hoc: Fossil Hunting, walking etc
Facilities – Promenade
Nearest town – Robin Hood’s Bay
Postcode – YO22 4SJ
OS grid ref – NZ 9537 0495
Water quality – Three stars
Awards – Quality Coast Award – Top 30 beaches in the world (Passport Magazine)

Smuggling History

Robin Hood's Bay Seafront

Many places along the East coast of Britain have a history of smuggling. Local villages such as Staithes, Runswick Bay and Whitby have long had ties to the art. Robin Hood’s Bay is one of the many places along the Yorkshire Coast where it is rumoured that underground tunnels link cottages to the beach. Walk the winding cobbled alleyways and it’s easy to make the connection.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood's Bay Beach

There are plenty of local myths and legends about the naming of this particular bay after the Nottinghamshire hero. Our favourite link is that the smugglers of old were seen to be the local equivalent and so the name stuck. Whether you believe in such stories is another matter but the fact is that there is little evidence that the Merry Men, Maid Marion or indeed Robin himself ever visited the Bay.

Parking at Robin Hood’s Bay Beach

Robin Hood's Bay Walk

There is no parking area by the seafront, however, there are two public car parks in the village. The car park at the top of the bay has disabled facilities. Please be aware that from the car park at the top of the village there is then a steep climb down through the narrow streets of the old, picturesque village with its choice of pubs and delightful tea shops. The beach and surrounding area is very dog-friendly and there are no restrictions at any time of the year.

Take caution 

Robin Hood's Bay Beach Sunset

Always take care when visiting Robin Hood’s Bay beach and walking around the cliff and beach area as some areas of the cliffs might be prone to rock falls. Always make sure to check the tide times it is easy to get caught out here as the tide comes in very quickly.

Places to eat and drink in Robin Hood’s Bay

There are a few places to stop for refreshment of all kinds in Upper and Lower Bay. A couple of our favourites are…

Fish Box

Fish Box at Robin Hood's Bay

Fish Box Robin Hood’s Bay is perfectly located in the heart of Robin Hood’s Bay at the top of Bay Bank. Nestled on the clifftop, it has stunning panoramic views across the Bay and out to sea, yet is ideally situated just off the roundabout and car park. Stop here for the most delicious classic fish and chips.

The Bay Hotel

The Bay Hotel

The Bay Hotel has probably the best views of the bay. They serve light snacks and hearty home meals to their bar, family dining room, alfresco, and on the balcony. Recommended would be the cod in beer batter or their tasty steamed mussels. The Bay Hotel bar is also well-stocked with four regular cask ales, lagers, and a great range of wines and spirits.

Places to stay in Robin Hoods Bay

Coastguard’s Cottage

Robin Hood's Bay Coastguard's Cottage with a View

Located in Robin Hood’s Bay, the Coastguard’s Cottage is beachfront accommodation with a garden and free WiFi. Featuring free private parking, the holiday home is in an area where guests can engage in activities such as hiking and cycling. The holiday home comes with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, bed linen, towels, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, a fully equipped kitchen, and a balcony with garden views.

Check availability & book online

Victoria Hotel

Victoria Hotel at Robin Hood's Bay

This property is a 6-minute walk from Robin Hood’s Bay beach. Boasting stunning cliff-top views over Robin Hood’s Bay, this grand, Victorian hotel is on the edge of the North York Moors. It offers homemade food, rooms with Egyptian cotton bedding, and a sea view tea room. Light and elegant, the rooms all provide a flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and free tea and coffee for guests to relax. Every bedroom has a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer.

Check availability & book online

Blacksmiths Boutique B&B

Blacksmiths Boutique Bed & Breakfast

Blacksmiths Boutique B&B offers 6 individually themed rooms set in the North York Moors National Park. The property is located on the A171 main road 8.4 miles from Whitby and 11 miles from Scarborough. The rooms feature fresh milk, homemade biscuits and slippers. At Blacksmiths Boutique B&B every room is fitted with a desk, seating area and a flat-screen TV. The daily breakfast offers Full English and vegetarian options in the Blacksmiths Café.

Check availability & book online

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