North York Moors CAM
Saturday 4th March 2000
Robin Hood's Bay - Ravenscar ( via old railway track )
Ravenscar - Robin Hood's Bay ( via Cleveland Way )
( 8 miles )
Today's walk starts at what was once Robin Hood's Bay Railway Station situated next to a convenient car park
Imagine years ago when, each summer, thousands of excited holidaymakers would disembark from the old steam train drawn carriages, after enjoying what was probably one of the most scenic routes in England, ready to enjoy a week or two's vacation in Robin Hood's Bay
The one good thing to come out of the rail closures which took place in the 1960's is that we can take advantage of the old track beds which make excellent walkways
Today we set off in a south-westerly direction on the old line to Ravenscar
The reason for choosing the railway route on the outward journey is that we have to make an ascent of approximately 400 feet from Robin Hood's Bay to Ravenscar - the skill of the railway engineers of over a century ago has made this climb almost unnoticeable and, normally, a pleasant 4 mile walk ensues
Unfortunately for us today, due to work on the track, there is short diversion but . . .
. . . it gives us a chance to cross this picturesque footbridge near the ford over Mill Beck . . .
. . . and enjoy this view from Bridge Holm Lane south-eastwards to Ravenscar two miles distant (centre)
Near Fyling Old Hall Farm we rejoin the railway track bed and continue our walk, passing under several old road bridges . . .
. . . enjoying superb views north towards Robin Hood's Bay . . .
. . . and south-eastwards to Ravenscar
After another ½ hour's walking we arrive at the entrance gates to the Raven Hall Hotel, Ravenscar
In 1896 plans were initiated to make Ravenscar a seaside resort to compete alongside nearby Whitby and Scarborough. However, mainly due to lack of funds and the exposed site of the 'town' the project was abandoned in the 1920's. By then, many of the roads and kerbstones had been laid, and, even today, can still be seen and walked on. A few scattered buildings still exist including a small church, a village hall, two shops, a post office and an Information Centre (open April-October)
The only building of any significance is the Raven Hall Hotel which boasts a nine-hole golf course and an outdoor swimming pool. Local legend has it that King George III visited it to recover from his recurring bouts of insanity, when the building was a private residence.
Here's one of the reasons behind the optimistic plan for Ravenscar - the magnificent view north across Robin Hood's Bay from just below Raven Hall Hotel
Here we take a look back towards Ravenscar from our return journey to Robin Hood's Bay on the Cleveland Way path
Another view looking back towards Ravenscar emphasising the severe coastal erosion which is taking place on this particular section of the North Yorkshire Coast - the soft boulder clay is slowly submitting to the constant battering it receives from the North Sea. The Cleveland Way path has, on several occasions, been diverted inland to avoid any danger to walkers
Now the cliff-top path looks safer as we continue on our way back to Robin Hood's Bay
Robin Hood's Bay, known locally as 'Bay Town' - this view shows how precariously situated the village is to the North Sea
Over the years the village has had a love-hate relationship with the sea; there is the story of the bowsprit of a ship coming through the window of an Inn! It is estimated that over the last two hundred years a similar number of houses have been claimed by the sea. A sea wall, 14 metres high and 170 metres long, with a retaining wall behind it, has been constructed in an endeavour to stop the recession of land as the battering waves eat into it at the rate of about 6 metres every century
A typical view of the red roof tops of 'Bay Town'
It is easy to imagine the Revenue men and smugglers playing their game of 'cat and mouse'. To this day there still exists in the village houses with secret rooms which were used to hide smugglers and their contraband
A last look back at Robin Hood's Bay and distant Ravenscar - the end of a splendid afternoon's walk and one well recommended
back to top of page
go to Homepage
or to my Archives Page