Awe-inspiring cove

St Stephen's old church at Fylingthorpe.
St Stephen's old church at Fylingthorpe.

Written by Maureen Robinson

Fylingthorpe and Robin Hood’s Bay are situated 
between Scarborough and Whitby, and much admired by artists and photographers. The Cleveland Way and the Coast to Coast walk take in this spectacular area.

With summer over, 
resorts return to normality, and now is the time to head for Fylingthorpe, either by public transport (the 93 Scarborough to Whitby bus) or by private transport.

Travelling along the A171, turn off as indicated to Fylingthorpe 1.5 miles. Rounding the bends and beyond crossroads stands Fylingdales Inn on the right, and the fire station almost opposite. Barnard’s Butchers on Thorpe Lane is a small family-run butchers and bakery situated in the heart of Fylingthorpe. It has served locals and visitors since opening in 1938. Just beyond is your starting point from St Stephen’s Church to the left.

Start. From the church, continue along Thorpe Lane to its junction with Station Road. Go left at Station Road Stores and follow Station Road past the tennis courts to swing right into Mount Pleasant North. Here feature smart Edwardian houses originally built for shipowners in Robin Hood’s Bay. Passing Mount Pleasant East (off right), the road ends.

From here, keep straight forward as signed and 
arrowed ‘Cleveland Way’. A gentle stroll of about three miles provides superb views of this spectacular coastline northwards, returning along the disused railway track. With linking footpaths to the track this route may be shortened if need be, but it’s easy walking.

Continue along the Cleveland Way as indicated. A lovely hedged/fenced path is fronted by several attractive properties with beautiful gardens to admire in season, and sea views.

The hedged path quickly leads to a hand-gate opening onto Rocket Post Field. Skirting sheep pasture you reach information boards detailing ‘Rescued by Rocket’ and ‘Rocket Post Field’. Beyond is a seat.

Keep to the obvious, well-used path, which does have a couple of slight deviations into the adjacent field due to erosion.

Proceed along the Cleveland Way, crossing a small stream to enter the headland of Bay Ness. A host of wild flowers are enjoyed in season.

Elevated on the hillside stands a former Coastguard look-out station. Enjoy the coastal scenery as you wander round the headland of Bay Ness. A ruined stone wall is close beside your path on the seaward side, and on a clear day, from this point you may see part of Whitby Lighthouse. Keep glancing off-shore and there’s a chance of spotting seals as they surface.

Homerell Hole is awe-inspiring. The remote, rocky cove with towering shale cliffs is a dramatic experience, especially on a wild and windy day. We once viewed a dead whale far 
below! Kittiwakes and fulmars haunt the cliffs, and their flight contributes to the eerie atmosphere.

From Clock Close Nab the path crosses a small stream by means of wooden “duck-boarding”, before climbing a shale slope.

Meeting a sign near a kissing gate from Bay Ness, leave the Cleveland Way and turn left as signed, ‘Railway Path’. Keep beside the left stone-walling as you wind towards the railway path.

Beyond stone-walling is a small inlet named Rain Dale, where huddle together a group of wind-swept trees. Keep climbing in line with the walling until a grassy path continues to a kissing gate. This is your exit from Bay Ness onto the disused railtrack.

Turning left along the cinder track, glance back at Rain Dale before enjoying the railway cutting. In season the banks are emblazoned with a great variety of wild flowers.

At the far end, leave the rail track at a wooden fence and meet the entrance-drive to a property. Here, turn left beside three garages to a point you’ll recall from your outward route along the Cleveland Way.

From the far end of Mount Pleasant North, go straight across the road as signed to the railway station, village hall, station car park and station workshops etc. Public toilets are conveniently sited and a small art gallery may be open at times.

Leaving the centre, continue down to meet the road in Fylingthorpe. Turning left along Thorpe Lane returns you to St Stephen’s Church.

Distance: Four miles. Mostly level and easy to follow.

Refreshment: A wide choice in upper Robin Hood’s Bay and Fylingthorpe.

stocking filler

A new volume of Rural Rambles by Maureen Robinson is now available from Crag and Moor Outdoor Shop, 38 Victoria Road, Scarborough.

Seventeen walks and maps for only £3 per copy. All profits donated to Scarborough’s RNLI.