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Whitby To Robin Hood’s Bay Coastal Walk Along The Cleveland Way

We spent a sunny winters day enjoying the Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay coastal walk along the Cleveland Way. Here is everything you need to know to attempt this walk yourself.

One of our favourite things to do whilst staying in Whitby is walk and explore. We love to try different routes and take in the vast coastal scenery. One of our favourite routes is the Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay coastal walk along the Cleveland Way. If you fancy walking from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay why not try this route? To give you an idea of what is entailed, here is our experience of the Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay walk via the Cleveland Way.

Robin Hood's Bay Sunset

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Robin Hood’s Bay is just six miles from the town of Whitby and offers 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.

How long will this route take me?

Robin Hood's Bay Walk Rest

The route is approximately 7 miles and takes between 3-4 hours to complete depending on your pace, with the occasional stop to admire the view and take photos. There are plenty of places to stop, throw down a blanket and enjoy a picnic along this route. 

Where does the walk start?

Robin Hood's Bay Coastal Walk Beginning

The route starts opposite Whitby Abbey where you will spot the Cleveland Way National Trail sign then follow it south towards Robin Hood’s Bay. 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. 

Take in the views across Saltwick Bay 

Robin Hood's Bay Walk Approaching Saltwick Bay

You will quickly approach Saltwick Bay, just across from Whitby Holiday Park. There is access here down to the bay just be careful as the path is steep and can be slippy. Saltwick Bay is a prime spot for fossil hunting, here you can find many ammonites, reptiles and shells. You might even find some jet here.

Admiral Von Tromp shipwreck at Saltwick Bay

As you approached Saltwick Bay you may have noticed the shipwreck of MV Creteblock, at Saltwick bay you can also get close to the shipwreck of Admiral Von Tromp. They are a sombre reminder of the power of the coastline here. It is important to always check the tide times before heading down to Saltwick Bay.

What to expect when walking from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay along the Cleveland Way.

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. Your route follows the edge of towering cliffs that become alive with the sound of seabirds in spring and summer.

Whitby to Robin Hood's Bay walk along the Cleveland Way

This is not a technical walk and the route is very simple to follow however this is a moderate walk that has uneven terrain at points, there are occasional steep inclines and declines and it can be very slippy in parts. Walking boots/ the correct footwear is essential. Be prepared as the undulating terrain will give your legs a good test before you arrive in the pretty fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay!

Robin Hood's Bay Signpost

We did see a lot of people walking dogs via this route, what we would suggest however is keeping them on a lead at all times and do not take dogs you are not in entire control of. The sheer drop you are walking alongside occasionally has breaks in the fencing and we did see a dog get very close to the edge with some very panicked owners.

Sunset Cleveland Way Walk

I’d say I have a moderate fitness level, and I was surprised by how challenging this walk actually is. However, the incredible coastal views, constant feeling of peace, and wildlife galore made this walk so perfect. It’s a really special route you won’t regret taking. 

We made it!

Sunset Robin Hood's Bay Beach

Once famed for its busy smuggling trade, Robin Hood’s Bay is now packed with pubs, cafes, gift shops and a really tasty chippy! Enjoy some rock pooling here or just rest and admire the view. After a few drinks, we headed down to the beach to enjoy the Winter sunset and warm up around our fire pit. 

Follow the full route here.

Is it a circular walk?

This route is not a circular route however you can return the way you came or follow the Cinder Track to Whitby. If your legs won’t carry you back don’t worry taxi’s are easily available and there is a regular bus route between Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay.

Sunset Robin Hood's Bay Firepit

The walk can be done in either direction and if you fancy really stretching your legs you can continue down the coast to Ravenscar, set high on a beautiful headland.

Video – Our Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay coastal walk

Let us know if you have tried this Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay coastal walk in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Whitby To Robin Hood’s Bay Coastal Walk Along The Cleveland Way”

  1. I took this walk during the Summer a few years ago before COVID and following knee surgery and found it quite challenging but managed a good 5 hour journey. I found some of the descents hard to negotiate due to my knee but enjoyed the walk immensely. I had to take the bus back to Whitby as i was shattered but hadn’t realised what a steep climb there is out of Robins hood bay to the bus stop which finished me off lol. This walk set me on the hunger to try more of the Cleveland Way and have travelled much of this route so far to date.

  2. Wonderful walk. There is a cafe 600m off the path, maybe 2 miles before Robin Hood’s Bay, but other than that there is no water. Also very, very little shade.

  3. On our honeymoon we spent a week in Whitby. Nearly two years ago.
    We caught the bus from Whitby to Robin hoods. We had launch and explored Robin hood’s bay for an hour or so. Then walked back into Whitby along the Cleveland Way.
    It was a beautiful sunny day. We took it steady, with plenty of sit downs to admire the spectacular views.
    It was a magical when we caught site of Whitby Abbey in the distance.
    We got to the 199 steps with aching feet, and had dinner in the Board Inn, and a well deserved drink or two.
    It’s one of the best walks I’ve ever been on.


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