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Whitby to Runswick Bay Coastal Walk

When it comes to coastal walks in North Yorkshire, you are totally spoilt for choice. One of our favourites is the Whitby to Runswick Bay coastal walk.

This popular clifftop walk from Whitby to Runswick Bay follows a section of the Cleveland Way. It’s a moderate walk covering 7 miles and takes approximately 3 hours to complete.

We suggest wearing appropriate footwear, taking a flask of tea and a small picnic so you can stop and fully appreciate the views along the way. The walk between Runswick Bay and Whitby boasts some of the best coastal walking views in England. 

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Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay is a beautiful yet small fishing village in comparison to the larger town of Whitby. It features a sheltered bay and glistening red roof cottages. The sandy beach here is perfect for rock pooling, fossil hunting and enjoying time beside the sea. The Times and Sunday Times Travel recently named Runswick Bay Britain’s best beach in their top 50 round-up of the country’s best beaches. 

Upgang Beach Whitby

This is an undulating clifftop route that starts North of the town at Whitby Sands, here you turn left to Upgang Beach. The walk then continues on west towards Sandsend. Here, if you fancy you can divert off the path to visit Mulgrave Woods. This ancient woodland is ideal for walkers to explore with miles of tracks and the ruins of the Norman Mulgrave Castle to see.

Sandsend Ness

This route then continues onto Sansend Ness which shows off with interesting geological features in a moonscape style setting. This area dates back from the 17th century this is an old alum quarry. I found it really interesting to research the 16th and 17th-century use of alum in the textile industry. It was used primarily to hold the dye together and was extracted from the nearby shale.

North Yorkshire Fossil

The next section of this walk brings you to Kettleness, a beach that is infamous with fossil hunters looking for dinosaur remains and ammonites in the foreshore and cliffs.

Runswick Bay Red Roofs

Finally, you will pass through Runswick Sands before finishing your walk at Runswick Bay. You made it! This quaint fishing village is a photographer’s dream. The white thatched property on the seafront is the only remaining thatched house on the Yorkshire coast. Why not stop and enjoy refreshments at one of the many cafes or hotels with lovely views over the bay.

Runswick Bay Boat

After exploring the village you can catch a bus directly back to Whitby. If you’re up for testing your legs even further head north on the Saltburn to Whitby Walk and visit Staithes, Skinningrove and Boulby where there are some of the highest cliffs in England, at 203 metres (666 ft) above sea level.

You can follow the full route here.

Let us know if you have ever completed this Whitby to Runswick Bay coastal walk in the comments. We love to hear your own experiences.

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