|Whitby to Ravenscar (16.6 km)|
The misty crowded houses of old Robin Hood's Bay
Another day of cliff top walking, punctuated by the very interesting village of Robin Hood's Bay. Beyond the village there are a couple of sharp dips across steep dales and then you end up in the hamlet of Ravenscar. These villages are the ending points of two famous walks - A.W. Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk (Robin Hood's Bay) and the Lyke Wake Walk (Ravenscar). The weather on this day started off fairly well - just some low clouds - but the clouds continued to lower to be just above the cliffs at Robin Hood's Bay and ground level at Ravenscar (making finding my B&B an interesting experience).
|Arches Guesthouse||B&B||01947 601880|
|Whitby||YH||0870 770 6088|
From the Whitby Youth Hostel, the Cleveland Way crosses a car park (access the abbey ruins from here) and follows the perimeter wall of the abbey to Abbey Farm. The cliff edge is reached through the farm yard (sometimes muddy) where a board walk takes you past Saltwick Nab to a holiday park. The cliff is abandoned temporarily for a path and tarmac road through the holiday village. Once past the shop and reception area the cliff edge is regained and followed all the way to Robin Hood's Bay. Out on the bay is the isolated outcrop of Black Nab, surrounded by water at high tide. The next point of interest is the Whitby Fog Signal Station with a lighthouse over the next field.
There are some streams to cross on the way (most of which reach the North Sea via waterfalls over the cliffs). At Maw Wyke Hole (where Oakham Beck drops into the sea), the Coast to Coast path finally reaches the coast after 300 kilometres of great walking from St. Bees in Cumbria. On a good day, there is a good view from Ness Point across the sweep of the bay - the village is not quite visible yet.
The old section of Robin Hood's Bay is reached after a walk through the more modern housing to its north and a steep descent down the main road that drops right down to the sea. The Bay Hotel to your left once had a ship driven into it by a storm - a modern sea-wall prevents this happening again. The bottom is likely to be crowded with tourists (on a fine day) and survivors of the Coast to Coast Walk.
|Robin Hood's Bay||Type||Phone|
|Orchard House||B&B||01947 880912|
|Boggle Hole||YH||0870 770 5704|
|Rose Garth||B&B||01947 880578|
The Cleveland Way leaves the village via a climb through the steep cobbled streets and a set of steps back to the cliff top. This gives a good view back to the crowded cluster of houses above the harbour. You can well understand that in the height of its smuggling days, it was said that a bolt of silk could travel from sea to town top without seeing the light of day. The steep descent into Boggle Hole and its Youth Hostel is quickly reached. However a bit of effort can be saved at low tide by walking along the shoreline to Boggle Hole. From Boggle Hole, the cliff top is regained for a few hundred metres until the drop to sea level at Stoupe Beck (also accessible along the shore at low tide). A last steep climb for the day gets you onto Peter White Cliff which is left 500 metres further for a farm access road. The track passes the old Ravenscar Alum Works and enters the village of Ravenscar along a vehicle track paved with bricks.
The quarries and a stretch of the coastal cliff are owned by the National Trust - their shop is on the left as you enter the village. Of more interest is the Raven Hall Hotel which welcomes walkers (use the bar entrance). On a fine day, the view back across Robin Hood's Bay is said to be one of the most beautiful coastal sights in Yorkshire. This sparked a developer to purchase the land around here in 1895, intending to create a seaside resort to rival Whitby and Scarborough. The hotel, a terrace of houses, an abandoned railway station and overgrown kerbstones are the only remains of this dream.
I stayed at a B&B near the hotel.