ROBIN Hood’s Bay (the village) is tucked at the north end of a bay of its name, only a six-mile walk from Whitby.

Any visitor to Whitby should explore its narrow streets and take the exposed but relatively short walk from the bay back to Whitby, passing the abbey enroute.

There is a regular bus service from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay (X93). Stay on the bus at Robin Hood’s Bay bus stop and continue to the next at Fylingthorpe. Fyling Hall and the folly known as The Pigsty are a few hundred metres up the road (to the west).

From the bus stop follow Middlewood Road south for 300 metres to a lane on your left, turning in to a footpath as it drops down to the Hay. Turn left before the sands and enter lower Robin Hood’s Bay as the smugglers did (well nearly!). It is worth spending some time exploring the tightly-packed streets, and even taking in one of the cafes before heading to the top of the village to start the main walk.

From the Upper village of Robin Hood’s Bay follow the coastline closely all the way to Whitby. The footpath starts just south of the old railway line and heads initially east towards a headland. After a few hundred metres look to your right at the lovely views across Robin Hood’s Bay and towards Ravenscar. The footpath follows the headland before dropping steeply (and climbing equally steeply) out from a stream which has cut into the cliffs. One mile further on Oakham Beck creates an even steeper drop and climb. This is typical of coastal walking and the effort is worth the rewards of dramatic views and bracing air. The cliffs here are gradually eroding away and will eventually eat up the existing path.

The path tracks the coast for a further two miles, past the old ‘Fog Signal’ before arriving at a large holiday park. Sadly the fog horn that used to blast out has now been de-commissioned, but there is still a splendid old harbour house (now private residency). The holiday park is situated above a sandy beach (at low tide) which is worth visiting (if you have time). Having picked your way through the holiday park the imposing site of Whitby Abbey looms large ahead.

Whitby Abbey was (and still is) an impressive Benedictine Abbey which fell in to disrepair during the Dissolution of the Monasteries during Henry V111 reign. English Heritage manage the abbey; no need to pre-book a visit, just ensure it is not Monday or Tuesday when the abbey is closed to visitors. The footpath keeps to the coast and passes on the coastal side of the abbey before cutting inland just before a TV satellite. The path joins Abbey Lane before arriving at St Mary’s Church, a building probably as old as the abbey itself. From here steps drop steeply to Whitby town and its fine harbour.

Fact box:

Distance: Roughly 6.5 miles.

Height to climb: 300m (985 feet).

Start: NZ 943050. Take the X93/94 (roughly every hour, takes 15 minutes) from Whitby bus/train station. Drop off point for the bus in Fylingthorpe.

Difficulty: Easy/medium: Some steep up and down on the coast but following a well worn path.

Refreshments: I would suggest a coffee in Robin Hood’s Bay near the start of the walk and fish and chips in Whitby.

Be prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL27) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass (essential on this walk). You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk. Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.