The trail climbs up onto the cliffs as it heads south from Robin Hood's Bay, before descending to reach a river bridge by the youth hostel at Boggle Hole. Another minor ascent and descent to a stream crossing is followed by a major climb; initially the trail follows the cliffs, before continuing to climb steeply inland to reach Ravenscar.
The trail follows a road through Ravenscar as it starts to descend, before joining the cliff top once more. A gentle and easy descent follows along paths to reach a footbridge over the Hayburn Beck at Hayburn Wyke.
3 hours 45 minutes
Map of the leg
Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format.
This leg starts off on the road beside the Bay Hotel at the bottom of Robin Hood's Bay at NZ952048.
Just above the Bay Hotel, turn right (as if heading downhill) to head up the narrow Albion Street between houses. When the road ends, turn left up Flagstaff Steps and then up boardwalk steps. This leads out onto a flagstone path that runs along the clifftop. The path passes the end of a hedge on the right and then curves to the right; a few yards further on it turns left through a field gate. It runs between fences to another field gate and continues on before descending down steps to reach Boggle Hole at NZ954040.
Cross a track to reach a footbridge over Mill Beck near the YHA. On the other side, climb up the hill for a short distance to reach a road. Turn right along the road for about five yards and then turn left up some steps. These lead steeply up; the path follows a fence on the right and continues east-southeastwards along the cliffs. It passes several fields and becomes enclosed between fences before starting to descend once more, including a flight of steps to reach a footbridge over Stoupe Beck at NZ957035.
Cross the footbridge and follow steps that lead uphill, with a rocky track to one side. The path ends at a road beside Stoupe Bank Farm. Follow the road southwards for a couple of hundred yards; just after a right-hand bend turn left through a stone squeeze stile to join a path that runs between fences. The path soon meets the edge of the cliffs, and then turns right to parallel the cliffs with a fence on the right. Go through a pedestrian gate and follow the path, still with a fence on the right. It passes a bunker complex on the left, part of which is hanging over the cliff edge and presumably will not last much longer.
The path is quite easy to follow and not strenuous as it follows a fence on the right. It passes a pedestrian gate at NZ966026 to enter the Ravenscar property and then crosses a footbridge over a stream. The path curves to the right inland alongside the fence, then to the left to a second footbridge, then right once more to continue inland. The path then joins a track at NZ970021 beside a field gate.
Turn left to join the track and follow it as it climbs uphill for a third of a mile. At NZ974018 turn right to join a gravel path that climbs steeply uphill through a gorse-laden hillside. The gorse ends and the path continues through trees before curving slightly to the left to meet a track. Turn left down this track and follow it as it continues to climb eastwards. Some of this track is made of bricks, presumably from the local brickworks. The track curves to the left and the gradient slackens as it gains a north-easterly heading; it becomes an access track to a house on the left, passes a National Trust shop and then ends at a road junction of Raven Hall Road and Station Road in Ravenscar at NZ980016.
Turn right to head southeastwards along Station Road to pass a cottage on the right, and then turn left along a rough track called Hammond Road. Follow this as it heads towards the cliffs; it becomes grassy for the last few yards to the cliff edge, where a path leads off to the right along the edge of the cliff. This winds around as it generally parallels Station Road across the field to the right. When the field ends the path continues on, following a fence on the right. It passes an old radar station in the field to the right at NZ991008.
The path continues to gently fall; it goes through an area covered with ferns before opening up once more and reaching a short but steep descent down steps. At TA009978 the path passes through a pedestrian gate and then falls and rises across a dry gully. It continues to gradually fall as it passes Red House Farm in a field to the right. At TA009973 cross a stile and start heading down steps and wooden stepladders downhill.
This leads to a causey path after which the path climbs slightly before falling down more steps to reach a footbridge. On the other side steps lead up for a short distance before descending to reach a second footbridge, this one over the Hayburn Beck at TA009970. Just off to the left is the small beach at Hayburn Wyke, where the stream trickles down a little waterfall onto the beach.
Places of interest
Robin Hood’s Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay is yet another small fishing village on the northeast Yorkshire coast. It has a rather dubious connection with Robin Hood: allegedly French Pirates were pillaging the local fishermen’s boats, and Robin hood fought them off and managed to return the plunder. Since Robin Hood himself is entirely fictional, I think the bay can claim the fictional connection! The village was famous for smuggling, so perhaps the locals were more on the side of the French than Robin Hood.
The village has a couple of pubs, many B&Bs, shops, a campsite and a museum.
The Cleveland Way passes through Robin Hood’s Bay, and it is also the eastern trailhead of the Coast-to-Coast path.
location UID #356
The Scarborough to Whitby railway
The Scarborough to Whitby railway was opened in 1885, connecting in the north at Whitby with the coastal line to Middlesborough, and in the south with Scarborough station. It was a steeply-graded line, with reversals required at both ends. The gradients were particularly troublesome in poor weather, as sea mists and rain would make the rails slippery. The line closed in 1965.
The route of the line between Whitby and Scarborough is now a cycle path.
location UID #357
Going south from Robin Hood’s Bay, the Cleveland Way and English Coastal Paths climb high onto the cliffs to reach a small hamlet, little more than a couple of streets dominated by a large hotel. This is all that remains of Ravenscar, an ambitious attempt to build a holiday resort that would rival nearby Scarborough. It seems a slightly odd place to have attempted this, given the small rocky beach at the bottom of 600-foot high cliffs, but it seemed to make sense to the speculators.
The building now known as Raven Hall Hotel was built in 1774, and later passed into the hands of William Hammond. On the death of his widow in 1890, it passed into the hands of property speculators who saw the location as a fine place for a resort. Large sums were spent building roads and sewers, but it seemed that the high cliffs held little attraction, and the concern folded just before the First Word War.
location UID #358
Robin Hood's Bay has frequent services between Scarborough, Whitby and Middlesborough.