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Coastal Classic Challenge

Distance: 21 miles, 33.8km

Time: 9 hours

Grade: moderate to hard (based on distance)

Whitby - Robin Hoods Bay – Ravenscar circular

Meet: 08.45 for a 9am start at the main carpark at the top end of Robin Hoods Bay (RHB) where the public toilets and village hall are situated.  

We leave the carpark and follow the old railway track to Hawsker. From Hawsker we continue towards Whitby, crossing the high viaduct across the Esk Valley, with exceptional views of the historic town and its iconic medieval Abbey. On completion of this section we head through the town towards the harbour, where Captain Cook set off on his many maritime adventurers. Having crossed the bridge we head off up Church Street, famous for its Whitby Jet shops and museum, before turning right to encounter the famous 199 steps that take us up to St. Mary’s Church and Whitby Abbey, and the start of the Cleveland Way. Once on the Cleveland Way we follow this spectacular cliff top trail first to Saltwick Nab, then on to the lighthouse at Whitestone Point. As we approach the Bay we pass through Rocket Post Field, and a blast from the past, as these devices were once used to fire a line with lifesaving equipment to ships in trouble many feet below in the unforgiving coastal waters. From here we follow the path back into the village and towards the carpark.

We then leave the carpark again this time heading in the opposite direction and pick up the next section of the old railway line, now a popular cycling and walking track between RHB and Ravenscar. Passing through Middlewood Farm we keep to the trail and head for the National Trust centre at Ravenscar about 3.5 miles of easy walking. If the centre is open refreshments are available here. We then make our way back to Robin Hoods Bay along the Cleveland Way. There are some spectacular views along this coastal section as we see evidence of the old Alum mines just to the north of Ravenscar. From this point we walk along the cliff top eventually reaching Boggle Hole and a short steep ascent up from the Youth Hostel back to the cliff top. From here you can see the picturesque setting of the Bay ahead as we make our way down to the shoreline and the finishing point of the popular Coast to Coast Walk. We then make our way steadily back up the steep hill out of the Bay and return to the carpark at the top.