The coastal town of Whitby is in an almost unique position when it comes to walking and hiking trails.
To the north you have the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast, to the south you have Robin Hood’s Bay and Ravenscar and inland you have the beautiful North York Moors National Park. In fact, it doesn’t matter which direction you travel you’ll always find at least a handful of lovely hikes and walks around Whitby. All you have to decide is whether you prefer a coastal walk with the stunning sea views or a moors walk with the associated nature trails.
Walks around Whitby
According to one of the best walking websites we found (www.walkinginyorkshire.co.uk/whitby) there are over 50 popular walks around Whitby. This website not only describes each of the walks in detail, it also allows you to download free maps to keep you on the right path. What’s more the people who have put the website together have added useful information about each walk including the length, the ability it is most suitable for and whether it is accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs.
Obviously we can’t mention all 50+ walks around Whitby so we’ve chosen just a few that we feel really show off the beauty of Whitby and the area surrounding it. For more walk information please do visit the website mentioned above.
Robin Hood’s Bay Walks
There are numerous walks that take in the lovely area that is Robin Hood’s Bay so even if you’re a novice you’ll be able to find one to suit. Some of the walk routes take in just the coastal path (Cleveland Way) and are very easily navigated whereas others do a loop by going inland. These routes normally entail fields, stiles and occasionally country roads so they may not be suitable for youngsters or those with limited mobility.
By walking around Robin Hood’s Bay you’ll get to visit such places as Stoupe Brow and Boggle Hole before returning to the village for possibly the best fish and chips in Yorkshire. If the tide is out when you get to the Cleveland Way (the cliff path) you can 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.
The Robin Hood’s Bay – Ravenscar – Robin Hood’s Bay loop is very popular as it takes in the coastal areas and the moorlands. Being around 8 miles long 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. Saying this you can always walk back up the coastal path that you walked down and leave the moorlands for the more adventurous.
Staithes is a lovely town about 10 miles north of Whitby and can be reached via foot along the Cleveland Way (the main coastal path). Obviously if you walk 10 miles from Whitby to Staithes you’ll need to walk back again, although there is a bus service that runs regularly throughout the summer months.
Most people choose to travel by car to Staithes and then follow one of the many walking routes around the town and the surrounding countryside. The town itself is built onto quite a steep slope and in order to take full advantage of the sea views you will need to climb several steep hills. Saying this, they are definitely worth the climb.
One of the most popular walks around Staithes is the loop route that takes the coastal road south to Port Mulgrave before returning through farmland and picturesque woodland. The route is about 4 miles long and is quite easy to follow. Port Mulgrave is a lovely place to stop and have a rest and has a number of cafes and pubs to refresh your palette before starting the journey back. If you’re feeling a bit more energetic then you might like to carry on when you reach Port Mulgrave and visit Runswick Bay; another beautiful place well worth a visit.
North York Moor National Park
All of the Whitby walks take place in the area known as the North York Moor however if you fancy going a bit further inland you’ll be able to take advantage of the true moorland walks in the main National Park area. There are probably more walking routes documented for the park area than you could ever complete so it’s just a case of choosing the ones you really want to do.
The website mentioned above includes several of the most popular moorland walks including the Lealholm circular. This loop walk is around 7.5 miles long and takes in the stunning scenery of Glaisdale, Great Fryup Dale (we kid you not) and Eskdale. It’s classed as ‘moderate’ on the difficulty scale and does include quite a few steep climbs, but the views from the top of the climbs makes them worthwhile. The majority of the walk is on designated pathways however there are a few road stretches to be aware of.
According to reviews by proficient hikers the routes in the Yorkshire Dales are amongst the best in the country. They are very well signposted and rarely do they leave the main trails.
So, if you’re thinking about visiting Whitby in the near future don’t rule out the idea of getting out in the fresh air and discovering the real town and the surrounding areas. Even if walking isn’t really your thing you’ll be glad you took to your feet. After all, you never know what lost relics you might find while tramping around the beautiful Yorkshire Moors and many of the other beautiful walks around Whitby.