We take a look at some of the best walks in and around Robin Hoods Bay.
‘Gods Own Country’ – a phrase often uttered by the proud men and women of Yorkshire, a sentiment that is hard to deny once you are faced with the natural beauty of this edenesque county. Ramble your way through the many dales, valleys and wooded foothills here, and you too will see why Yorkshire is considered to be one of the last bastions of that quintessential English countryside. Basing yourself in Robin Hoods Bay – five miles from the town of Whitby, you have endless opportunities to explore this walkers paradise. The bay itself is surrounded by the North York Moors National Park, a park which has a network of nearly one and a half thousand miles of rights-of-way pathways. Much of the moorland that covers the National Park is also open access; this alone creates a colossal area of countryside that makes for the perfect walking environment. For those who do not wish to venture too far from the village itself, Robin Hoods Bay offers a vast array of walking opportunities, from the short strolls along its north sea coastline to the famous trails know as the Cleveland Way and the Cinder Track.
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Staying Local? – Try A Village Walk
Walking in Robin Hoods Bay doesn't have to involve rambling through mud-soaked foothills, traversing dales and day-long hikes. This quaint fishing village offers its own labyrinthine network of ancient streets, picturesque cottages and a local history that is palpably felt in every step. A gentle downhill walk along New Road will take you strolling past buildings such as the old forge and old drapery, both unchanged in the villages long history. This road is the central route through the village and is peppered by many inns and pubs, perfect stopping off points along the way. As you finish your walk at the bottom of New Road, the bay opens out into beautiful views of the coast and harbour. A village walk around Robin Hoods Bay is a perfect way to spend a summers day.
Walk From Robin Hoods Bay To Whitby
One of the most accessible and rewarding walks in the local area is the walk from Robin Hoods Bay to the seaside town of Whitby. This six-mile walk stretches from the quiet streets of the bay, along breezy coastal paths and finally arriving at the historic Abbey of Whitby. To begin this charming walk, exit Robin Hoods Bay on Mount Pleasant North, a road that gradually leads you out onto the Cleveland Way. This walk is only a small section of a much larger Cleveland Way which stretches from Scarborough and loops the entirety of North York Moors National Park. This being said, this section of the Cleveland Way is now a well-trodden path and is clearly signposted, making it accessible to all. Making your way south, leaving the Bay behind, you are greeted with rolling pastures of farmland and heatherland. The North Sea breeze brings fresh sea air into every breath, and the ever-changing view of clifftops and sea will keep you in constant wonderment. Nearing the end of the walk you will pass through Whitby Caravan Park, and eventually Whitby Abbey – a fine landmark to mark the completion of this three-hour walk.
Walk From Robin Hoods Bay To Ravenscar
Those wishing to combine the delights of sandy coastal walks with pleasant countryside rambles, the walk from Robin Hoods Bay to Ravenscar and back is the ideal route. Leave the bay at its southern point and make your way south along the pristine beaches. Starting this walk at low tide makes the first leg of the journey a lot easier, and keeps those feet dry. Walking along the sand allows you to keep a steady pace, and for those with a keen eye, this section of the Yorkshire coast is the perfect place to find fossils. It will be a hard choice between looking down at the ground, eyes open for that new Jurassic discovery, or at the crashing waves that lap the shore on this coastal hike. Making your way across the beach, you will pass many eye-catching rocky outcrops and pools, known locally as scars and dumps.
A little further along the coast, you will reach the picturesque cove of Boggle Hole. This cove has uniquely carved-out hollows, worn away by ebbing waves of the sea. The unusual name stems from a local legend. Boggles, or Goblins, are meant to have lived in the coves and caves along the shoreline, and in hidden places across the moors. Once you have indulged yourselves in the local myths and legends of Boggle Hole, continuing south you will soon see the magnificent cliffs of Ravenscar illuminate themselves before you. Navigating yourself around Ravenscar comb maybe a little tricky, but is definitely worth it once you have found the path. A well-defined route leads you gradually from the beach below, bisecting itself between the awe-inspiring views of the Ravenscar Peak Fault and the shale cliffs. Following this route will take you to the edges of Ravenscar and the famous Raven Hall, continuing on your way until you join the Cleveland Way.
The coastal clifftop half of the walk is over and now the green coppiced woodland route back to Robin Hoods Bay lies ahead of you. In sharp contrast to the sandy steps on the first leg of the walk, this return journey will take you through some of the most luscious examples of English woodland and heathered farmland. Following the Cleveland Way high above the cliffs you were once below, you are able to see the waves of the North Sea crash below you, your path winding ever on. For those with a keen eye for history, the remains of the Peak alum works can be seen a little way off the path. This scheduled monument gives a little insight into the long history of alum extraction in this area, one of the first examples of British industrial prowess. Crossing the footbridge at Stoupe Bank Farm and accending the steps at Mill Beck will be the final obstacles in this seven-mile round trip. With spectacular views of Robin Hoods Bay looming large ahead of you, the final steps come with proud satisfaction in completing this walk.
Venturing Further Afield…
Howdale Moor and Brow Moor
For those wishing to leave the relatively tame pathways and ramble their way cross-country, the four-mile circular walk around Howdale and Brow Moors is for you. Three miles south of Robin Hoods Bay, the sweeping heather moorlands are Yorkshire countryside at its best. Exiting the Scarborough road, you will venture onto ‘open access land’, meaning walkers do not need to stick to designated footpaths or public rights of way. Immerse yourself entirely into nature, leave the modern sounds of roadside traffic behind you, leaving only the skylarks song and a sense of adventure in front of you. Unlike many moors in the North York National Park, grouse shooting is not permitted, as a result, the heather-clad moors of Howdale and Brow are a haven for birdlife. Hawk and Owl trusts have been working hard here in the last decade, helping the moorland birds thrive.
The easiest route when crossing the moors from the Scarborough Road carpark entrance follows a bridleway. Let the bridleway lead the way with the wall and fields on your left before entering a small wooded area. Fording the shallow beck just to the right of the small waterfall – on a clear spring or summer day this is English countryside at its best. You emerge from the trees, following the clear path ahead uphill through the rolling heather. A gentle climb takes you uphill, with a small diversion left you encounter a large cain, giving you amazing views of the coast and surrounding area. Returning to the main track, and following the pathway towards the mast and carpark, will bring you to the end. The combination of waterfalls, rolling heather, shaded woodland and the chance to see the best of England's wildlife, makes this an essential walk when visiting Robin Hoods Bay.
Coast To Coast Walk
No walking guide of Robin Hoods Bay and the area would be complete without the mention of the ‘Coast to Coast Walk’. Perhaps one of the most famous unofficial footpaths in the world, this 182 mile journey starts in St Bees on the west coast and finishes in Robin Hoods Bay. Devised by Alfred Wainwright, the walk crosses the Lake District, Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, the Vale of York and finally North York Moors. Traditionally the walk is made from west to east, with the bay as its final destination, though the walk can also be made with Robin Hoods Bay as the starting point. With a long history and heritage surrounding this route, thousands of people complete this walk every year. As a result Robin Hoods Bay is a font of knowledge when it comes to the world of walks and hikes, whether it is the ‘Coast to Coast’ walk, or any of the others spoken of above.