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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Robin Hood Bay and Cinder trail - 5.94miles

I had seen a good robin hood bay walk on the east ridings website but wasn't sure if i wanted to walk it or not. When we were discussing our walks with the relatives we stayed with, we spoke about the pros and cons of robin hood bay over Runswick bay slightly further up the coast, and after flicking through a visitor guide we elected to walk Robin Hood. The guidebook, published by the council, described this walk as "easy and level" but if was anything but and very misleading.

We parked at the station car park at Robin Hoods bay, and the ticket price was very reason for what is so clearly a tourist seaside town. Again we changed into out walking shoes and off we went. As you leave the car park you cross to the left of the road and follow the Cleveland way signpost, up a residential road and then through a kissing gate.
You are immediately at the top and on the edge of the cliffs, and you walk around the end of Rocket Post field, the information post explaining that the post was used to fire rockets off to help in rescues. You can see a great view of the bay behind you and theres a bench to sit on to look across the waves.
On the left hand side you can see some of the railway tunnels that mark the cinder trail opposite the Cleveland way for the first part of the walk. You are walking around the edge of fields, being used to graze cows and you come to the old lifeguard lookout at around 1.5 miles on the map. Up until now the path is a sandy cliff top path, with  a few cobbled potholes in places but relatively flat, we cut across a field diagonally, theres a stile on the way into the field and out of the field at the other side. At about 2 miles you can see the scars left on the cliffs from the Jet mining which used to take place around here.  A little bit further on and the first small descent comes, the path is very uneven in places and in the wet would be tricky to say the least. before you start the descent, look back over your shoulder here for a view of where you've just walked, its much prettier looking back, than just the fields you pass on the inside.
The climb up is steep, uneven and hard work! we passed a few walkers and a spaniel on their way down, but the path is crumbly and weak in places, people walking to the side of the cobble stones used for this climb. Here the guide book is blatantly wrong, its hard work to get to the top and you feel it in your legs. A short water break stop at the top and we walk on. At 2.5 miles you come to a caravan site, and you turn left here and walk up through the park, this is the end of the cliff side part of the walk. It was on the grassy bank just before the caravan site that we stopped for our lunch, a welcomed break in the sunshine. Then after a short while, we packed up and walked up, and man is it steep walking through the park! in fact after the rest our muscles were crying out here. As you come out of the caravan site you are walking along the road for a short while. Whilst its a quiet access to the site only road, be careful its very narrow and winding, you wouldn't want to meet a caravan here. A little way up the road and you see the cinder trail which we took to go back. You are now walking on the old railway line, it was discontinued as a line in 1965 and has been made into a cycle and walking path, its clearly signposted as the cinder trail.

The walk is faster and pleasant, less windy than the clifftops, and the gravel underneath is sometimes loose so watch your step along here. We saw a dozen or so cyclists both young and old and some in between all using the paths. At this stage whilst our legs were feeling the walk so far, the view of another walker on the horizon behind us and a pride of not being overtaken, made us pick up our pace a little and miles 4 and 5 were 20mins and 22mins. You walk at the top of the Bay Ness field, having walked along the bottom on the way, as you can see we weren't the only ones enjoying the view!

The path ends just down from the first gate you entered, and we decided to walk towards the village store, to pick up a cold drink and a flapjack square. We discussed walking from Robin hoods bay to Whitby as you could see it in the distance and it couldn't be more than another 2-3 miles from the caravan site, and it would be all coast paths if we came back again.

Our first proper coast walk and we both enjoyed it, the level walk back along the train route a nice combination too.
Date: 5th July 2011
Total walk: 5.94 miles / 8.83km
Descent:253  ft
Ascent: 297 ft
Average pace:  24.09 mins a mile
Accompanied: Gary Bygrave


  1. hehe it sounds like a flat Lakes walk....there isn't such a thing. I love that area, from RHB up to Staithes is my idea of heaven. I hope you had your passport stamped before coming up ;)

  2. we love yorkshire, theres plenty more visits needed up that way for walking lol