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Sea fog hanging over Robin Hood's Bay around 9.30am
Sea fog hanging over Robin Hood's Bay around 9.30am

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Route No. 183 - Tuesday 4 July 2006
Robin Hood's Bay, Rain Dale circuit - 4km.
Yorkshire Coast . . .

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area at 1:25000
Route Map on 'Landranger' base from OS Open Space service


Sculpture on the cliff top in Robin Hood's Bay
Sculpture on the cliff top in Robin Hood's Bay

It was still very overcast and thankfully cool! We started off with a coffee in a little cafe at the top of the hill and I had a bacon sandwich much to my wife's disgust. Then we set off out of the village on the old disused railway track heading north towards Whitby. At this time of year the sides of the cuttings are covered with all kinds of wild flowers.

I had my little operation done last week and now I'm back home to recouperate, which means gentle walks gradually building up to the kind of stuff I used to do. So to-day was my first attempt away from home. We set off early and got to Robin Hood's Bay by 9.30am There was thick mist over the moors (car headlights on etc.) but we dropped below the cloud as we descended to the car park at the top of the village street in Robin Hood's Bay.

Start of the railway path heading north from Robin Hood's Bay
Start of the railway path heading north from Robin Hood's Bay

Bird's foot trefoil by the railway path
Bird's foot trefoil by the railway path

Purple vetch by the railway path
Purple vetchl by the railway path

By now the sun was starting to break through the low cloud with some intiguing lighting effects over the sea.

Ox-eye daisys by the railway path
Ox-eye daisysl by the railway path

From Robin Hood's Bay to Rain Dale all the land (except for 4 fields) between the railway path and the cliff top path is owned by the National Trust and the public have open access to it.

Cattle in the rough pasture by the railway path
Cattle in the rough pasture by the railway path

Looking across Rain Dale from the National Trust land we crossed
Looking across Rain Dale from the National Trust land we crossed
Hare bells by the railway path
Hare bells by the railway path
Clover by the railway path
Clover by the railway path
This part of the coast is called "Far Jetticks" on the map
This part of the coast is called "Far Jetticks" on the map
Old coastguard lookout post seen from the cliff path
Old coastguard lookout post seen from the cliff path
Cliff path near the Rocket Post field
Cliff path near the Rocket Post field
The sun was still battling with the sea fog
The sun was still battling with the sea fog
Cattle creep under the railway
Cattle creep under the railway
There are little pedestrian access gates at intervals along the railway path and the cliff path - except for the last field next to Rain Dale. I was originally planning to use a permissive path down Rain Dale to go from the railway path to the cliff path for the return leg of the walk, but we stopped by the National Trust plaque on the railway path that proclaimed open access to link the railway path to the cliff path so we thought we would try it as I had never walked through this land before. It did not start well. The gate next to the "open access" plaque was wired shut! I should have taken the hint and continued to Rain Dale but I didn't. In stead I persuaded my wife that we should climb the gate and walk across the field to the cliff path below. This we did, and of course there was no gate at the bottom of the slope so we climbed out next to the National Trust "open access" plaque on the cliff path at the bottom. My wife was not impressed by this feat of navigation.
A replica "Rocket Post" where the original once stood
A replica "Rocket Post" where the original once stood
An explaination of the "Rocket Post" from the information board by the cliff path
An explaination of the "Rocket Post"
from the information board by the cliff path
By lunch time the heat wave had reached Robin Hood's Bay and the sea fog had gone
By lunch time the heat wave had reached Robin Hood's Bay and the sea fog had gone

We returned to Robin Hood's Bay along the cliff path (part of the Cleveland Way) and I was ready for a sit in the cafe and another coffee by the time we got back. The whole route was about 4km and it took us about one and a quarter hours to walk at a very steady pace without any stops.

Right: Remnants of the sea fog drifting by Ravenscar headland

Remnants of the sea fog drifting by Ravenscar headland