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Robin Hood's Bay from Ravenscar
Robin Hood's Bay from Ravenscar

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Route No. 247 - Wednesday 21 May 2008
Ravenscar, Cleveland Way,
Robin Hood's Bay circuit - 12km
Yorkshire Coast,
North York Moors . . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base
View the route in Google Earth

Map: OS Explorer OL27 North York Moors Eastern area


Cleveland Way heading north from Ravenscar
Cleveland Way heading north from Ravenscar

Cleveland Way heading north from Ravenscar
Cleveland Way heading north from Ravenscar

Due to our late start we did not begin walking until about 11.00am. We set off along the Cleveland Way to the old Alum Works about 1km away. We stopped for a quick look at the information boards on the site. It is a fascinating story about the alum industry on this site that lasted for around 200 years.

This morning I had a brief hospital appointment and after that my neighbour, Jim, drove the two of us to Ravenscar on the Yorkshire Coast, about 12kms Southeast of Whitby. We parked on the roadside near the tourist information office (which as usual was not open) overlooking Robin Hood's Bay to the north. Due to our late start we did not begin walking until about 11.00am.

Cleveland Way heading north from Ravenscar
Cleveland Way heading north from Ravenscar

Looking back to Ravenscar from the Cleveland Way
Looking back to Ravenscar from the Cleveland Way

War time bunker ready to fall into the sea
War time bunker ready to fall into the sea

Path down to Stoupe Bec
Path down to Stoupe Beck

The tide was going out and it was almost low water so we were quite safe to walk along the beach to Boggle Hole.

We continued along the Cleveland Way for another 2km to Stoupe Beck and followed the path down the steps to the beach.

Path down to Stoupe Beck
Path down to Stoupe Beck

Violet by the path
Violet by the path

Following Stoupe Beck on to the beach
Following Stoupe Beck on to the beach

Heading north from Stoupe Beck to Boggle Hole
Heading north from Stoupe Beck to Boggle Hole
Looking back to Ravenscar from the beach at Stoupe Beck
Looking back to Ravenscar from the beach at Stoupe Beck

Erosion of the shale cliffs near Boggle Hole
Erosion of the shale cliffs near Boggle Hole

The cliffs on this part of the coast are made of shale, the same material that was quarried at Ravenscar for the alum industry. It's a soft material and the cliffs are eroding fast.

From Boggle Hole we continues along the beach to the village of Robin Hood's Bay.

Robin Hood's Bay from the beach
Robin Hood's Bay from the beach

Ice cream van at Robin Hood's Bay
Ice cream van at Robin Hood's Bay

At Robin Hood's Bay we sat on a seat on the small promenade on the sea defences for our lunch. I had to give the sea gulls an aggressively hard stare to protect our sandwiches from attack!

It was a warm sunny day with a cool breeze and there were lots of people about including groups of school children, each group with different coloured baseball caps, red group, green group and white group - all very well organised.

The slipway at Robin Hood's Bay
The slipway at Robin Hood's Bay

Robin Hood's Bay village
Robin Hood's Bay village
The Cleveland Way leaving Robin Hood's Bay
The Cleveland Way leaving Robin Hood's Bay

Looking back to Robin Hood's Bay village from the Cleveland Way
Looking back to Robin Hood's Bay village from the Cleveland Way

The path dropped steeply down through some woodland to Boggle Hole and a footbridge over Mill Beck next to the Youth Hostel.

After lunch we climbed the steps out of Robin Hood's Bay along the Cleveland Way cliff top path, heading back towards Ravenscar.

Looking back to Robin Hood's Bay village from the Cleveland Way
Looking back to Robin Hood's Bay village from the Cleveland Way

Cleveland Way cliff top path leaving Robin Hood's Bay
Cleveland Way cliff top path leaving Robin Hood's Bay
Mutual grooming is very pleasant
Mutual grooming is very pleasant
Boggle Hole from the Cleveland Way
Boggle Hole from the Cleveland Way
Approaching Stoupe Beck on the Cleveland Way cliff path
Approaching Stoupe Beck on the Cleveland Way cliff path

We climbed up the other side and continued along the cliff top to Stoupe Beck. Again the path dropped down steeply through the woods to beach level and we crossed the footbridge and climbed the steps up the hill to the road at map ref. NZ957033.

Dropping down to Stoupe Beck on the Cleveland Way
Dropping down to Stoupe Beck on the Cleveland Way

Soay lambs beside the road
Soay lambs beside the road

Joining the path along the disused railway above Stoupe Beck
Joining the path along the disused railway above Stoupe Beck

From there we continued up the road for about 1km, quite a steep climb, to the disused coastal railway at map ref. NZ960024.

Blue Speedwells by the path
Blue Speedwells by the path
Red Campion and white Stitchwort by the path
Red Campion and white Stitchwort by the path
Yellow Broom (no prickles) growing with the gorse by the path
Yellow Broom (no prickles) growing with the gorse by the path
Yellow Gorse (or Furse) by  the path
Yellow Gorse (or Furse) by the path

Plantains in flower amongst the grass
Plantains in flower amongst the grass

Path under the railway near Ravenscar
Path under the railway near Ravenscar

We stopped in Helmsley on the way back hoping to get our usual coffee and bacon sandwich to round off the day but we only managed a coffee. We tried three cafes only to find that they had already stopped cooking food for the day. The message seems to be "Go home all you tourists, it's past 4.00pm"

The railway is now a footpath and cycleway and provides an excellent opportunity for circular walks anywhere along the coast between Scarborough and Whitby using the railway path one way and the Cleveland Way path to return, or vice-versa. We followed the railway back to Ravenscar. The whole route had been about 10km and had taken us three and a half hours to walk including a look around the old alum works and a leisurely lunch on the promenade in Robin Hood's bay - a really gorgeous day at the seaside!

Sculpture near Ravenscar showing a  quarry worker from the old Alum industry there
Sculpture near Ravenscar showing a quarry worker
from the old Alum industry there

Looking back across Robin Hood's Bay
Looking back across Robin Hood's Bay