The Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby Walk is a beautiful coastal walk in the North York Moors National Park. The walk from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby takes place on a brilliant section of the multi-day Cleveland Way in North Yorkshire. Of course, it’s possible to do the walk in either direction. By doing so, it becomes the Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay Walk! But, personally, we walked from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby. So, our guide will focus on this direction of walking. In this guide, we’ll also cover information about where to stay in Robin Hood’s Bay, looking at cottages, hotels, caravan sites and camping options.
Anyway, before you read this guide, feel free to watch our North York Moors hiking video (coming soon). For your convenience, when you press play below, it’ll start at the section showing the Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby Walk.
We hope you find this Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby guide helpful. For information about other great walks in the North York Moors, read our guides on the Sutton Bank Walk, the Hole of Horcum and the Roseberry Topping.
Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby Walk Overview
The section of the 175km (109 mile) multi-day Cleveland Way between Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby is simply excellent in terms of natural beauty. Certainly, this section of the Cleveland Way has to be one of the best segments of the entire multi-day trail. Whether you walk from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby or vice versa, it doesn’t really matter. It’s even possible to do an out and back return coastal walk (walk in both directions on the same day). You could even combine the Cleveland Way coastal walk with the Cinder Track to complete a circular walk between the towns. We’ll cover both of these options later in the guide here.
For now though, we’re going to describe our superb walking experience, from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby. Personally, we then got the bus from Whitby back to Robin Hood’s Bay afterwards. Anyway, before we dive deep into a trail description, let’s look at a map of the Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby Walk and some quick stats.
Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby Walk Map and Stats
- Type: Figure 8
- Distance: 12.5km
- Time: 3–3.5 hours
- Accumulated elevation gain: 245m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Robin Hood’s Bay (FYI – you’ll see in the map below, that we started the walk in Fylingthorpe as that’s where we were camping)
Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby Walk Description
In this trail description, we’ll talk about the key points of the one-way walk from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby. We’ll then talk about three options for getting back to Robin Hood’s Bay from Whitby. We’ll then look at a bunch of accommodation options in Robin Hood’s Bay, including camping options.
Robin Hood’s Bay: Exploring the Yorkshire Village
Starting in Robin Hood’s Bay, you’ll make your way north through the town to join the Cleveland Way. Whether you explore the charming town before or after the walk is totally up to you. Personally, we decided to explore Robin Hood’s Bay after the walk. Indeed, there are many alleyways filled with vintage shops with red-pantile roofs, cottages, cafes and bars to explore.
Robin Hood’s Bay Beach
As you climb north out of the town, you’ll gain a fair amount of elevation. From this higher position above the town, you’ll get a decent view of the town and the coastline, which feature Robin Hood’s Bay Beach. If you haven’t already explored Robin Hood’s Bay Beach in more detail, add it to your to-do list when you arrive back later in the day! For now, on to Cleveland Way!
Rain Dale – Maw Wyke Hole
After passing through the quaint town of Robin Hood’s Bay, you’ll see a clearly signposted path directing you towards Whitby. Immediately, the Cleveland Way hugs the coastline, offering mesmerising coastal views. You’ll pass many stellar vantage points and landforms. These include Bulmer Steel, Castle Chamber, Cow and Calf, Craze Naze and Rain Dale. Beck and I enjoyed a good workout as we we were speed hiking along the undulating terrain.
What’s speed hiking? We like to speed hike for a workout when we’re exploring nature. Find out more about it here.
After passing the raw and rugged Rain Dale area, you’ll pass further landmarks, including Clock Case Nab, Far Jetticks, Normanby Stye Batts and White Horse. You’ll then arrive at the Maw Wyke Hole at Oakham Beck. This is actually where the Coast to Coast Walk joins and shares its path with the Cleveway Way back to Robin Hood’s Bay. Anyway, you’ll continue further north, passing Hawsker Bottoms, Gnipe Howe, Widdy Head and Whitestone Point.
Whitby Lighthouse – Saltwick Bay
You’ll eventually pass Vanguard & Galatea Cottages at Whitby Lighthouse. Expect to see plenty of birdlife flying around the lighthouse. After passing the lighthouse and some fields, you’ll soon arrive at Saltwick Bay. Indeed, Saltwick Bay is one of the highlights of the Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby Walk.
Saltwick Bay is protected by two large rocky outcrops. The southern outcrop is called Black Nab and the northern outcrop is called Saltwick Nab. Expect a few more people on the trail at this point of the walk. Given the beauty of Saltwick Bay, some people will do a short return walk to this part of the coast from Whitby.
After enjoying Saltwick Bay, continue further north to reach Whitby Bay. You’ll pass a campground as you spot Whitby in the distance. Further north along the coastline, you’ll spot Whitby Beach. Personally, we didn’t visit Whitby Beach as part of this coastal walk from Robin Hood’s Bay. Of course, feel free to visit Whitby Beach. But, we simply admired Whitby Beach from afar and continued into the town. Certainly, the prominent Whitby Abbey stands out.
Undoubtedly, one of the most spectacular attractions in Whitby is the abbey, which you can see from Cleveland Way. As you walk into the town, you’ll pass the outer parameter of the abbey. From the outside, you’ll get a good glimpse of Whitby Abbey, which was a 7th Century Christian monastery that later turned into a Benedictine abbey. For information about visiting Whitby Abbey, including details about prices and opening times, head to the official website.
Certainly, visiting Whitby Abbey would be an awesome way to finish the walk from Robin Hood’s Bay. Personally, we arrived too late in the day to visit Whitby Abbey. Instead, we explored the charming town before heading back to Robin Hood’s Bay.
How to Get From Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay
Once you’ve reached Whitby, you have a few options regarding getting back to Robin Hood’s Bay. Let’s explore these options below.
1. Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay Walk – Out and Back Walk
Why not walk from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay? Yes, you could do an out and back walk. Sure, we haven’t written a Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay guide; but, you could simply retrace your steps, following this guide in reverse!
If you’re keen to walk some more; but, follow a different route, consider the Cinder Track.
2. Cinder Track (Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay) – Circular Walk
It’s possible to walk from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay or Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby via the Cinder Track. The Cinder Track is a 34km former railway line connecting Scarborough and Whitby. The track can be walked; but, is more popular with cyclists. At any rate, it’s possible to walk from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay, via the Cinder Track to complete a circular walk. For more information, check out the interactive map below.
3. Bus From Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay
If you’ve had enough of walking, you can simply catch a bus from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay. You’ll find the Whitby bus station, opposite the train station. The X93 Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby bus runs in both directions, taking around 20 minutes. You’ll alight in Robin Hood’s Bay at Thorpe Lane. For more information on departure times, including the Sunday timetable, please check out the bus timetable here.
FYI – you can’t get a train from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby or vice versa.
Once you’re back in Robin Hood’s Bay, it’s time to explore the town. We headed to Wainwright’s Bar for a pint!
How to Get to Robin Hood’s Bay
The easiest and quickest way to get to Robin Hood’s Bay for the walk to Whitby is to drive there yourself. In terms of parking, there are two main pay and display car parks in Robin Hood’s Bay. These include Station Car Park and Bank Top Car Park. Station Car Park is located fairly close to Cleveland Way, making it the preferable option. Admittedly, these car parks aren’t cheap.
You won’t find free street parking in Robin Hood’s Bay. But, if you’re hellbent on free parking, you could park south of Robin Hood’s Bay in Boggle Hole. From Boggle Hole, you could walk to Robin Hood’s Bay. The other option is to stay in Robin Hood’s Bay, whether it be camping or staying in a cottage, which offers free parking. That’s what Beck and I did. We parked for free at Middlewood Farm Holiday Park in Fylingthorpe and walked to Robin Hoody’s Bay from there.
If you don’t have your own set of wheels, we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars, which are very easy to book online.
It’s also possible to use public transport to get to Robin Hood’s Bay. The nearest town offering a direct bus service is Middlesborough or Scarborough. You can catch the X93 bus from Middlesborough or Scarborough to Robin Hood’s Bay.
Other Robin Hood’s Bay Walks
There are a few other popular Robin Hood’s Bay walks to choose from. You’ll find a few different circular walks starting from or visiting Robin Hood’s Bay. To find out more about these walks, click on the links below, which will take you to their respective GPS-guided trail maps.
Robin Hood’s Bay Accommodation
Robin Hood’s Bay is a popular place to visit. Being a tourist destination, there are plenty of accommodation options to suit all preferences and budgets. Let’s go through the best Robin Hood’s Bay accommodation options below, including the best camping spots!
Robin Hood’s Bay Hotels
Let’s start with the best Robin Hood’s Bay hotels. We’ve handpicked the best budget, mid-range and luxury Robin Hood’s Bay hotels to cover all bases.
- Budget – Grosvenor Hotel: the Grosvenor Hotel is the mostly highly-rated and highly-viewed hotel option in Robin Hood’s Bay. Lots of people stay at the Grosvenor Hotel because of its affordable prices. Indeed, this hotel, is by far, the best budget option. But, never mind the cheap prices. Certainly, this lovely hotel doesn’t have the feel of a budget stay!
- Mid-range – Lee-Side B&B: when it comes to the best mid-range option, we think Lee-Side B&B is the right choice. Beautifully located in Robin Hood’s Bay, this bed and breakfast has gorgeous deluxe double rooms with a charming ambience.
- Luxury – The Villa in Robin Hoods Bay: for the ultimate experience, why not stay at The Villa in Robin Hoods Bay? This tastefully styled villa is well-positioned, providing stunning views over Robin Hood’s Bay. You’ll also be a short walk from the town and well-placed to do the coastal walk to Whitby.
Robin Hood’s Bay Cottages
Sure, there are plenty of nice hotels in Robin Hood’s Bay; but, there are also plenty of quaint cottages. We’ve handpicked the best Robin Hood’s Bay cottages below.
- Darnholm Cottage: this beautiful 17th Century fisherman’s cottage is located right in the heart of Robin Hood’s Bay. Darnholm Cottage offers a top floor sea view in a recently renovated holiday home.
- Brincliffe Cottage: this semi-detached cottage is a fantastic place to relax in at Robin Hood’s Bay. Brincliffe Cottage is managed by Sykes Holiday Cottages, so you know you’ll have a high-quality stay.
- Robin Hood’s Bay Coastguard’s Cottage: this newly renovated, redecorated and restyled coastguard cottage is truly an exceptional accommodation option in Robin Hood’s Bay. The Coastguard Cottage features a lovely garden overlooking the sea. It’s also well-situated in a peaceful spot overlooking the bay and town below.
Robin Hood’s Bay Camping and Caravan Sites
Other than flashy hotels and cottages, Robin Hood’s Bay is home to great camping and caravan sites. Personally, Beck and I really enjoyed our lovely camping spot at Middlewood Farm Holiday Park in Fylingthorpe, located just outside of Robin Hood’s Bay. Middlewood Farm Holiday Park is probably the most popular option when it comes to camping in Robin Hood’s Bay because of the sheer size of the campsite.
But, despite the huge campsite, which includes a caravan site, we really do recommend camping at Middlewood Farm Holiday Park, just outside of Robin Hood’s Bay. It has great facilities and a huge area of land; so, the pitches are well-spaced out. There’s a short track connecting Middlewood Farm Holiday Park to Robin Hood’s Bay. This made it super easy to do the Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby Walk from the campsite.
Below, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about the Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby Walk.
Can You Walk From Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby?
Yes, following Cleveland Way.
How Far Is Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby?
The walk between Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby is around 12km or so.
Is it a Difficult Walk on the Coast From Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay?
No, we’ve classified this walk as easy. The trail is simple to follow and the terrain is mostly even and gentle. Yes, the undulating trail is somewhat physically demanding, but nothing terribly difficult.
How Long Is the Cinder Track From Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay?
The Cinder Track is around 11km from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay.
How Much Is the Bus Fare From Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby?
As of 2021, the bus fare from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay was £4.20 per adult.
These are our five hiking gear essentials for this walk.
Why do you need this?
See it in action
These walking boots are very comfy and a great choice for this coastal walk
This camera is the best compact digital camera on the market. Lightweight, compact and durable, the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII takes high quality photos and 4K videos
It can get wet and windy on the North York Moors coastline, so pack a waterproof and windproof jacket!
This is a great backpack for day hikes. It has plenty of space to store everything you'll need
You can't beat a GoPro Hero when it comes to action cameras
Make sure to also pack water, snacks, sunscreen and a hat! For a longer hiking gear list, read our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a list of everything else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.
- Book accommodation in Robin Hood’s Bay in advance: particularly for school holidays and long weekends, make sure to book in advance. Personally, Beck and I looked at camping options in Robin Hood’s Bay around three weeks in advance of a long weekend and our options were very limited.
- Walk in good weather: trust us, this coastal walk wouldn’t be anywhere near as enjoyable in poor weather conditions.
- Why not try Get Your Guide? if you’re looking for great activities in the North York Moors, head to Get Your Guide below.
Are you looking for another great coastal walk nearby? We recommend the Flamborough Head to Bemptom Cliffs Walk.
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