North York Moors CAM

Saturday 5th August 2000

( weather: fine & warm )

A Circular Walk from Whitby

( via the old Whitby - Scarborough railway track and the Cleveland Way )

( 8 miles )


Today's walk starts from the 'swing bridge' at Whitby Harbour ( Grid Ref: 899 111 )

Here we look north across the harbour from the 'swing bridge' - today Whitby was busy
- next weekend it's the annual Whitby Regatta and you won't be able to move!


After crossing the bridge in an easterly direction towards Church Street, follow the main road round to the right
and then walk alongside it for the next half mile in a southerly direction

A small jetty just off the road to the right affords good views of the harbour and River Esk both up and downstream (above)


On reaching the busy A171 Whitby to Scarborough road (Grid Ref: 902 102), go straight across taking care and
carry on along narrow Larpool Lane, uphill at first, soon passing this unusual church

After walking along Larpool Lane for about half a mile you pass under an old brick railway bridge (Grid Ref: 896 094)
- immediately after passing under it you'll see a narrow path on your right leading up the bankside
back up onto the bridge - take this path and then turn right at the top onto the old Whitby - Scarborough rail track

If you look to the left as you get onto the bridge you'll see that the massive old viaduct
across the River Esk is fenced off for safety reasons


From on the bridge there's a lovely view north-west over towards Ruswarp and the Esk Valley


You now follow the trackbed for the next 2 miles in a south-easterly direction

The path is fairly narrow at first but improves further on - it can be popular with other walkers and cyclists

Occasionally you may come across the odd horse and rider as we did (above)


Breaks in the tree lined route offer splendid views west across farmland . . .


. . . and towards the Esk Valley and North York Moors


After a couple of miles the track passes the old railway station at Hawsker where bicycles can be hired
and soon after you once again have to carefully cross the busy A171 - continue along the track on the other side
soon passing under the old bridge (above)

About of a mile further on you will arrive at a caravan site on your right
- immediately on reaching the site turn left (Grid Ref: 935 078) down a narrow surfaced road and soon you will reach
another caravan site - Northcliffe Holiday Park


Follow the yellow arrow markers and walk down past the rows of caravans gloriously located
on the bankside overlooking the North Sea which you will see straight ahead


Some of the caravans have lovely 'window boxes' adorned with flowers

Go all the way to the bottom of the site and carry on along the path downhill which soon meets the
coastal section of the long distance Cleveland Way trail at Grid Ref: 941 083


On reaching the Cleveland Way path, turn left and follow it north-west for the next 3 miles along the cliff tops
where you are rewarded with spectacular cliff top views of the rugged coastline above Maw Wyke Hole


At times the path comes perilously close to the cliff-edge and I for one am very wary having not got much of a head for heights
especially where there is a sheer drop of 200 or 300 feet involved!


Where the path has had to be moved inland a few yards my advice is DO NOT go up to the edge to have a look over
- there are plenty of safe and spectacular viewpoints along the way as can be seen from these photos

Here we look back south along the Cleveland Way path towards Northcliffe Holiday Park


Even the fog station seems to get closer to the cliff edge year by year


Next into view ahead come Saltwick Nab and the sharp, dark rock of Black Nab


Saltwick Sands are convenient for the holidaymakers from yet another caravan site
but a steep descent of steps is involved to reach them (top left)
- then, of course, you've got to come back up!


After passing through the caravan site, another view of Saltwick Nab . . .


. . . and then the wonderful ruins of Whitby Abbey silhouetted against the late afternoon sky


Just past the abbey we come to St Mary's Church and the view north-west to Sandsend Ness. . .


. . . and after descending the 199 steps, here looking across to West Cliff, and then walking along Church Street . . .


. . . we arrive back at our starting point - the 'swing bridge' and from nearby enjoy a reward of . . .


. . . Whitby fish & chips complete with 'scraps' !!!



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