One of our favourite things to do whilst staying in Robin Hood's Bay is simply…walk! We love to explore different routes and embrace the stunning scenery. Here are some of our favourite Robin Hood's Bay walks for you to try.
Basing yourself in Robin Hood's Bay just five miles from the town of Whitby, means you have endless opportunities to explore this walkers paradise. The bay itself is surrounded by the North York Moors National Park, a park that 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.
Don't worry about ability, for those who do not wish to venture too far from the village itself, Robin Hood's 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.
Before you start – Recommended reading!
Historic Walking Guides Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay, Runswick Bay & Staithes
Discover the history of Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay and Staithes on the North Yorkshire Coast through interesting and themed walks, illustrated with maps, pictures and colourful stories.
Staying Local? Take a village walk around Robin Hood's Bay
Walking in Robin Hood's Bay doesn't have to involve rambling through mud-soaked foothills, following exact routes, traversing dales, and day-long hikes. This quaint fishing village offers its own network of ancient streets, picturesque cottages, and local history that is 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 village's 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 Hood's Bay is a perfect way to spend a day.
Robin Hood's Bay circular coastal walk
4.5 miles | 2 – 3 hours | easy to moderate difficulty
Why not try this small section of the Cleveland Way along the coast near Robin Hood's Bay? Starting off at Robin Hood's Bay, taking an inland route over towards Hawkser Bottom before returning along the coastal path. Perfect for those who want a shorter walk but still want to appreciate the stunning scenery, take it at your own pace and enjoy!
Robin Hood's Bay to Whitby walk
6 miles | 3 hours to complete | moderate difficulty
One of the most accessible and rewarding walks in the local area is the walk from Robin Hood's 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 Whitby Abbey.
To begin this charming walk, exit Robin Hood's 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.
Robin Hood's Bay to Ravenscar loop
7.5 miles | 5 hours to complete | moderate difficulty
This one is more for the long-distance walkers out there. If you check the tide time when you get to the Cleveland Way (the cliff path) you can also walk along the beach below the cliff. If you choose to walk up the coast you’ll reach Whitby in around an hour, whereas walking down the coast will bring you to the pretty village of Ravenscar.
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.
The Robin Hood's Bay to Ravenscar loop is very popular as it takes in the coastal areas and the moorlands. With a few ups and downs and a steep climb at the end (from Baytown back up to Robin Hood's Bay), it is given an ‘amateur’ rating so you will benefit from a decent level of fitness.
Robin Hood's Bay to Maw Wyke
6 miles | 4 hours to complete | moderate difficulty
Follow the cliffs north of Robin Hood's Bay and pass Ness Point, one of the most dangerous headlands on this coastline on this 6 mile walk from Robin Hood's Bay to Maw Wyke. This walk is perfect for those who love to enjoy nature and spot all sorts of wildlife.
The breeze, seagulls, and stunning clifftop panoramas are all left behind on the return along the Cinder Track, the line of the old railway between Whitby and Scarborough. Here there are occasional benches, hedgerows, and plenty of wildflowers to stop and enjoy for a moment or two as you head back to Robin Hood's Bay.
Robin Hood's Bay to Howdale Moor and Brow Moor
4 miles | 2 hours to complete | moderate difficulty
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 Hood's 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 car park 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 to 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 car park, 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 Hood's Bay.
Feeling brave enough for the 182 mile Coast to Coast walk?
No walking guide of Robin Hood's 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 Hood's 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 Hood's 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 Hood's 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.
Let us know if you have tried any of these robin Hood's Bay walks in the comments.