The Cleveland Way ~ Day Nine (Robin Hood's Bay to Cloughton)
One of the many bonuses of walking the Cleveland Way is getting to the coast early enough to catch a glimpse of the often bustling resorts at their best - quiet streets; shops just opening and only the occasional squawk of seagulls up above to interrupt the tranquility of the morning...
Having parked the car in the top village we walked down the steep hill into the old part of Robin Hood's Bay. The Cleveland Way path follows a flight of steps next to the Old Coastguard Station at the bottom.
The top of the steps brings you to a raised platform with great views across the bay. Isn't this the most perfectly positioned beach house?
After admiring this delightful house and panoramic views, we were back on our mission. We took a deep breath and started our climb out of Robin Hood's Bay up a steep flight of steps.
Where the path flattens out at the top there is some severe coastal erosion which has taken the Cleveland Way path with it. If you look at the photo you can see the new path to the right and the stone flags that were the original path...
At a bend in the path a little further on there is a fantastic view looking back at Robin Hood's Bay and its vast expanse of beach and rock pools.
You soon dip down to the shoreline at Boggle Hole with its youth hostel (once a corn mill) and café, where you cross a bridge and hike up the steps to follow the two-and-a-half mile path to Ravenscar.
As always the views are spectacular. I don't think I would ever tire of this scenery no matter how often I walked this spectacular coastal path.
Oh, good morning to you too!
It's not a long walk from Boggle Hole to Stoupe Beck Sands where the path descends again almost to the shoreline. Stoupe Beck Sands is another secret sandy stretch of beach which you'd probably have to yourself most of the time.
By now it was getting very warm and we were feeling the heat. This wasn't helped by the long, hilly hike through woodland to reach Ravenscar. There is another public footpath that takes you across the golf course to Ravenscar but my mum and I are gluttons for punishment and decided to stick to the official Cleveland Way. So we huffed and puffed our way to the top.
Once we emerged from the woodland we had a wonderful view looking back over the impressive curve of Robin Hood's Bay. In the 19th and early 20th Century, the plan was for Ravenscar to become a major seaside resort to rival Scarborough and Whitby. Plans got quite far along until the reality of it not having an accessible route to any beach (plus bankruptcy of the company who'd invested in the project) quashed any hopes of Ravenscar becoming the seaside resort the developers had planned. But you can see why they thought this beautiful location had potential...
One of the things we aim to do on our walks is find a fabulous spot for our lunch - and this was today's location in front of the Raven Hall Hotel, overlooking the golf course and bay beyond.
As we followed the path out of Ravenscar we came across some derelict remains of a coastal defence radar system constructed in 1941 during World War Two. There was talk of demolishing the buildings after they became neglected but thankfully they were given scheduled monument status by English Heritage in 2002 and the land is now owned by the National Trust - their remains are a reminder of the huge importance of this area during wartime.
From here there are some great views of the headland further along the coast - and as is often the case somebody has thoughtfully placed a bench. We often take up the offer of a seat if we spot one to enjoy the view.
I mentioned coastal erosion at the start of this post and the situation is dire on the path approaching Hayburn Wyke. Signs indicating a diversion directed us away from the coastal path and through meadows to follow an inland route.
Much of the diversion takes you along country lanes before entering a picturesque wooded valley which was very refreshing after pounding the coastal path in the direct heat.
This woodland near Hayburn Wyke is beautiful and well worth a visit in its own right. We took a small diversion to walk down to the rocky cove at Hayburn Wyke to see the waterfall and giant boulders. It's yet another steep climb out up from the beach to get back onto the coastal path which we followed as far as Cloughton Wyke.
Many of the official Cleveland Way routes take you as far as Scarborough (about 16 miles) on this stretch but we prefer to keep our walks between 10-12 miles if possible as we love taking time to stop along the way to appreciate our surroundings.
From Cloughton Wyke we left the coastal path and walked along a small road that took us into Cloughton village where we caught the X93 bus back to Robin Hood's Bay.
This walk was fairly strenuous in parts, compounded by the current heatwave, but the scenery is magnificent with some dramatic cliffs and outstanding views. We'll be on our penultimate walk next time from Cloughton to Cayton Bay. Dare I say that I'm already planning my next national trail!