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The Cinder Track, Whitby To Scarborough, Walking And Cycling The Cinder Track

The Cinder Track is a walking or cycling route from Whitby to Scarborough. It boasts fantastic views, secluded coves and access to local attractions.

The Cinder Track is 21.7 miles. It can be started from Whitby and end at Scarborough or vice versa. The old railway line closed in 1965, but the track still provides an excellent off-road route for cyclists and walkers along the fantastic North Yorkshire coast.

How long is the Whitby to Scarborough Cinder Track route?

Cinder Track Robin Hood's Bay.

The distance from Scarborough to Whitby along the Cinder Track is 21.7 miles. It’s easily possible for strong cyclists to ride there and back in a day. Take care, though, as it can be a bumpy ride in parts!

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Where does the Cinder Track start in Scarborough?

The Cinder Track from Scarborough to Whitby begins next to Scarborough Sainsbury’s car park, past the children’s play park and off Falsgrave Road. From here, follow the signs for Whitby; the trail continues north and passes under several bridges before skirting alongside the playing fields at the former Northstead Carriage Sidings site.

Click here for the location.

Where does the Cinder Track start in Whitby?

If you start your journey in Whitby, technically, at the end of the route, you can start from Southend Gardens with Pannett Park in front of you. This is great if you stay in Whitby and enjoy exploring more of the coast.

Click here for the location.

Parking at Whitby for the Cinder Track

The closest on-road parking for The Cinder Track is around Pannett Park, with free parking on Chubb Hill Road. Find our guide to parking in Whitby here.

Breakdown of the Cinder Track entire route (21.7 miles)

Start In Scarborough.
  • The starting point for the Cinder Track is Sainsbury’s car park off Falsgrave Road in Scarborough.
  • The track heads north through cuttings, passing under bridges before running alongside the former Northstead Carriage Sidings site.
  • Pass along Chichester Close before turning right onto Station Road. Turn left into Field Close and another right into Lancaster Way. Then, pass through a gate back into the open countryside.
  • Once the trail crosses a stream, it continues and eventually reaches the A165 Coastal Road at Burniston. Here, there is a pelican crossing. Head onto Cloughton.
North York Moors National Park
North York Moors Hiker.
  • When leaving Cloughton, the trail enters the North York Moors National Park and steadily climbs.
  • As you leave Cloughton, you’ll catch glimpses of the North Sea. The route takes you past the old platforms at Hayburn Wyke station, where you can stop for refreshments at the Hayburn Wyke Inn. If you have some extra time, we highly recommend making a detour to visit the Wyke itself. The National Trust owns this picturesque cove. Here, a double waterfall cascades straight onto the beach.
Ravenscar Alum Quarry.
  • Resume the walk towards Staintondale. If you’re headed further up north, you’ll notice the route gradually ascending to the highest point of the line at Ravenscar, which sits 631 feet above sea level.
  • Leave Ravenscar, head towards Station Square and then proceed along Station Road. Once there, go down Peakside, which runs alongside the National Trust Visitor Centre. From there, the path will take you down through a vast alum quarry, once home to a brickworks site with a railway siding until the 1930s.
Robin Hood’s Bay
Girl On Robin Hood's Bay Beach.
  • Following the quarry, the path winds around hillsides, boasting stunning views of Robin Hood’s Bay. The descent then takes you through a wooded area, crossing several deep valleys on large embankments. Eventually, you’ll reach the site of Fyling Hall station. However, it’s worth noting that a bridge has been removed, so you’ll need to briefly descend to the lane before climbing back up to track level.
  • It’s easy to overlook the old station platform, nestled among the trees. Next, head past the Middlewood Farm caravan site and cross another road at Lingers Corner before reaching the former Robin Hood’s Bay station.
  • The station yard has been turned into the village’s central car park. Robin Hood’s Bay is lovely to explore, but it’s a steep descent to the rocky beach and town.
  • After departing from Robin Hood’s Bay, the previous trackbed is now covered by back gardens. To continue on the Cinder Track, head towards Station Road and take a right onto Mount Pleasant North. The path rejoins at the end of the road, and you can continue your journey.
  • The path gradually starts to climb again around Bay Ness. On the right-hand side, fields offer views of the clifftop route of the Cleveland Way. Moving away from the sea, you’ll pass another campsite before reaching the main A171 road at Hawsker. Here, you’ll find a pelican crossing, and a short distance down the road is the Hare & Hounds pub.
  • The Hawsker station now serves as Trailways Cycle Hire.
Larpool Viaduct
Larpool Viaduct.
  • After Hawsker, the line travels under the road to Stainsacre before passing over the same road and entering Larpool Woods. The woods lead to Larpool Viaduct, situated on the outskirts of Whitby, where it crosses the River Esk and the Whitby to Middlesbrough railway line. You’ll be treated to stunning river and harbour views across to Whitby Abbey from the viaduct.
  • The track runs between school playing fields before ending abruptly at the top of Stakesby Vale. To reach Whitby Centre, you must continue down Southend Gardens and into Bagdale. This will lead you to the bus and rail stations and the Tourist Information Centre.

Can I get on/off the track and do shorter walks?

Our simple answer is yes! The Cinder Track is perfect for doing just that. It’s recommended for even the most experienced, super-fit walkers to complete it over two days. The route is well signposted, and many different walking routes include the Cinder Track.

Can you walk from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay via the Cinder Track?

Yes, you can. One of our favourite walks is the Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay and back; it’s a popular route and can be challenging, especially in wet weather conditions. We like to follow the Cleveland Way from Whitby and return via the Cinder Track.

Whitby to Robin Hoods Bay.

If that’s a bit much for you, don’t worry. You will find a walking route to suit you; a quick Google search will find plenty, or check out our walking routes article here.

Can you walk from Ravenscar to Robin Hood’s Bay via the cinder track?

Yes, you can, and it’s a beautiful walk.


The route begins at Raven Hall Road and follows the stunning coastline before reaching Boggle Hole, an area renowned for geology and fossil collecting. Continue along the coast until you reach Robin Hood’s Bay, where you’ll take a left turn and join the trail again along Thorpe Lane. The route follows the disused railway line through the countryside until you return to Raven Hall Road.

Please note that there are some rough and steep sections along the trail, including several steps. Taking time and being careful with your footing is essential, especially in wet conditions. Suitable footwear is necessary.

Follow the route here.

Is the Cinder Track flat?

The Cinder Track is primarily flat terrain with a mixed surface. During winter, some parts of the track can become muddy and rough. From Scarborough to Ravenscar, the surface can be described as bumpy gravel, but it worsens between Ravenscar and Robin Hood’s Bay. However, the surface improves significantly from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby.

Cinder Track history: how did it get there?

The Cinder Track was previously an uneconomical coastal line that follows the old railway route from Scarborough to Whitby. The railway was in use from 1885 to 1965. It closed during the Beeching Axe period in the 1960s.

By 1972, all of the tracks had been removed. However, the route remains designated for walking, cycling and horse riding. The track was made from cinders rather than crushed stone, which gives the route its name, the Cinder Track.

Other towns and villages on the Cinder Track route

Robin Hoods Bay.

You can visit many beautiful towns and villages and enjoy the day via the Cinder Track. Even if you need a quick refreshment, you will find several refreshment stops and charming pubs along the route. Scarborough, Scalby, Cloughton, Robin Hood’s Bay, High Hawsker, and Whitby are all perfect to explore.

Explore Whitby.

Suppose you enjoy learning about early industrial heritage. In that case, the Cinder Track is perfect for you to explore, and you can stop at the Peak Alum Works, considered the birthplace of the British chemical industry. Here, locally mined rock was combined with human urine, brought up by barge from London, to make Alum. This then helped fix the dye to cloth for the UK textile industry.

Is the Larpool Viaduct on the Cinder Track?

You can view the Liverpool Viaduct from the Cinder Tack and walk over it. 

Larpool Viaduct.

The Larpool Viaduct, also known as the Esk Valley Viaduct, is a remarkable sight as it crosses the River Esk. This historic railway bridge was built to carry the Scarborough and Whitby Railway over the river, standing at an impressive height of 120 feet or 36.5 metres.

Larpool Viaduct Walking route | 5 miles

From the Whitby train station, you can embark on a walking route that leads to the Larpool Viaduct. The trail heads south towards the viaduct, located approximately a mile away. Along the way, you’ll cross the Esk on a footpath and be treated to stunning views of the surrounding countryside and Whitby from the top of the viaduct. Once you’ve crossed the viaduct, you can continue on the Cinder Track towards Stainsacre, where you can take a relaxing break before returning.

Follow the route here.

Hire a bike to ride along the Cinder Track

Image from Bayhire Facebook.

You can hire bikes from Bayhire to ride leisurely along the Cinder Track, discover hidden gems across the coast, or explore challenging routes. They offer a selection of bikes and e-bikes that are perfect for all adventures, catering to all ages and preferences. They even offer a Whitby delivery service to the start of the Cinder Track.

Learn more here.

Whether you are after a long walk or a bike ride, the Cinder Track is a fantastic route between Whitby and Scarborough. With stunning views of the North Sea and the surrounding countryside, this former railway line offers a peaceful escape from everyday life. We hope we have provided enough information to try it yourself!

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