A Stroll With Stu: A cracking walk around Robin Hood's Bay that defied the weather

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
I had a fascination with weather as a kid, always looking for signs of the next blizzard or hoping thata summer heatwave would break down into a crash-bang-wallop thunderstorm.

I really wanted to be the next TV weatherman, but I was rubbish at Physics and had to seek employment pushing a pen in an office.

Of course I’m not alone in the appreciation of spectacular weather - there are clickbait stories all over social media, warning of Beasts from the East or melting Tarmac, that are actually as likely as a tartan rainbow.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nobody will click on “another cool week with a moderate breeze and above average rainfall”, but sadly that’s the truth of our weather since last October.

Gorse on the Cinder track.Gorse on the Cinder track.
Gorse on the Cinder track.

All this obtuse preamble links me to reports I’ve heard that the Cleveland Way coastal path is still an impenetrable mudfest after a six-month deluge, but with the temperatures inching upwards and the grass growing, I hoped for an improvement and thought I should take a look (it should be OK by


This six-miler couples the reliably dry Cinder track with the clifftop path, and we’ll see how much I did of each, in a few paragraphs’ time.

Access the Cinder Track in Whitby by climbing steps 100 yards up Southend Gardens, adjacent to Arundel House near the roundabout at the foot of Pannett Park.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
A new lamb in a field.A new lamb in a field.
A new lamb in a field.

Follow the track for two miles to Hawsker, crossing the ever impressive viaduct and edging past Stainsacre village in the process, admiring the burgeoning life in the woods as they awake with an almost audible yawn.

Shortly after passing two rail carriages – now offering cycle hire – cross the A171 which I guess used to climb over the tracks on a long demolished bridge.

Soon you will pass a little wooden structure selling home-made jams, chutneys and other cottage garden produce to the passing public.

Much of this stuff is monumentally scrumptious, but how annoying is it to see an accompanying notice berating folk for taking the goods but failing to interact with the honesty box.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Looking down Raindale.Looking down Raindale.
Looking down Raindale.

I’m guessing they are the same people who think they’ve been put on Earth to lob empty cans of Red Bull out of car windows.

Sadly, they live among us.

Enough whingeing!

After several grassy fields with their cute little lambs and fabulous views towards Whitby Abbey, leave the Cinder Track on a tiny lane, heading left to quickly bend right and sharply downhill before climbing up to Northcliffe Holiday Park.

Ravenscar from the Cinder Track.Ravenscar from the Cinder Track.
Ravenscar from the Cinder Track.

There is a very nice café here if you want to pause for a cuppa and a flapjack, otherwise turn left in the centre of the holiday park at a finger post pointing you to the clifftop path.

Leave the cabins behind, edging to the right of woodland, and the Cleveland Way path is soon reached.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Now, on my visit those reports of a squelchy slide-a-thon proved accurate, and a large tract of slop and gloop need slithering through to reach the path itself.

Heading right, the path soon dried out and you have to admire the Cleveland Way.

The views down vertiginous cliffs to the rocks far below, and out to sea where fishing cobles bob on the water, are truly magnificent and you may just want to follow the path all the way to Baytown.

Contrary to the thoughts of some keyboard warriors, Cleveland does exist.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Cliffs near Hawsker.Cliffs near Hawsker.
Cliffs near Hawsker.

Now, Cleveland County has been confined to the back of a filing cabinet, but if it still has a slot on Wiki, then it is real –

Cleveland corresponds with the former Langbaurgh Wapentake no less (you’ll have to Google it).

It means ‘Cilff Land’ and on this stretch of the path you can sure see how it got its name.

Spectacular stuff.

A mile or so later, some approaching walkers, mired in grime, warned of further slop to come, so I took the opportunity to turn right after a second gully at a sign marked ‘National Trust – Bottom House’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Resplendent with dazzling yellow gorse blossom that would put your average rapeseed field to shame, climb the stile and head uphill in grassy fields.

The path edges left for a while, but keep the field boundary on your right eventually climbing a stile to reacquaint yourself with the Cinder Track.

Turn left to soon enjoy stupendous views down to the cliffs and over the bay to Ravenscar.

You really could just stand there in admiration until you miss your last bus home.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Finally, the track bends right to reach Robin Hood’s Bay, where you take a left to go down a quiet road – almost illuminated on my visit by great swathes of vivid pink cherry blossom.

I opted to sample the delights of the newly-refurbished Victoria Hotel, but there are many other places to refresh after a cracking walk that defied the weatherman.