Whitby is great for walking!
Walking is a great way help get fit, it can improve your sense of wellbeing and it is FREE!
It just costs you some shoe leather, as the saying goes.
Here are twenty of our favourite routes, suitable for a mix of abilities, from a gentle stroll to a sweat-inducing trek!
Paths through the Pandemic
During the last year or so, many of us took to walking and exploring our neighbourhood.
And if you’re on holiday, it’s just amazing to have the time to, well, take your time, and enjoy a long-distance trek.
To help you help you step out here in Whitby and the surrounding area, we’ve listed some short, medium, and long-distance trails.
As with all forms of exercise, make sure you are prepared.
Wear the right footwear, be sure to have your route planned (a map is best, in case your phone can’t get a signal or runs out of battery).
Always be prepared with proper clothing, enough food, and a drink, particularly on long distance hikes.
If possible, always let someone know where you’re heading, particularly if you are walking solo.
Please note: we’ve used a number of helpful links in this blog which will take you to a variety of walking-related websites.
These websites are helpful guides to planning your route or routes.
Walkers are strongly advised to check and double check these and other routes before tackling them and always take an up to date map with you.
We are not responsible for the content of other sites and this blog includes our own recommedations to give you some inspiration!
Our favourites from Whitby
These routes are perfect for you if you don’t want to use or move your car.
1. Whitby Abbey to Saltwick Nab – about 1.5 miles – a nice, short route to limber you up if you’re new to walking or maybe just need to build up a bit of stamina. See the glorious Abbey, the stunning coastline and keep well away from any cliff edges.
2. Whitby Dracula Trail – a circular trail of about 4 miles that takes in the landmarks that feature in Bram Stoker’s world-famous novel about the globe’s most infamous vampire! Part of it takes in the stunning Cleveland Way National Trail, with view that will take your breath away (for the right reasons!).
3. Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay – 14 miles return. A popular route, this can be challenging in wet weather. We would say take the Cleveland Way on the outward, southbound route and then follow the Cinder Track (the old railway line) for the return leg. There are buses from Robin Hood’s Bay at peak times if you’ve got aching legs! Be prepared if you want to do the full circuit and allow at least six hours, if not longer, to complete it. Also take into consideration tide times for certain parts of the route.
4.Whitby to Staithes– 12 miles one way. This takes in the northerly route of the Cleveland Way. This walk requires some fitness to tackle it. You will wander through Sandsend, Mulgrave Castle, Runswick Bay, Hinderwell, Port Mulgrave and Rosedale Cliffs. Unless you are super fit and can tackle the return leg safely, we would advise getting a bus back from Staithes.
Our Favourite Coastal Routes Away from Whitby
You will need to either use the bus or your car to get to the starting destinations.
5. Fylingthorpe to Robin Hood’s Bay – a short linear route of perhaps half a mile that can be helpful to get you prepared for the longer treks to come.
6.Runswick Bay to Kettleness – around 5.5 miles return, and knowledge of the tides is essential if you tackle the beach section. Runswick Bay is one of our favourite local fishing villages with its houses jostling on the cliffside, the boats moored on the slipway and the steep hillside behind it. You feel like you’re in another timeless world here. Feel yourself totally relax in this lovely village. As you head towards Kettleness, you can imagine the stormy seas that have plagued the coast over the years. This route is steep in places.
7. Robin Hood’s Bay to Ravenscar Circular – 11 miles over rough terrain and with steep inclines. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! This is known to locals as ‘the National Park in a nutshell’ as you get just about every North York Moors landscape in this challenging yet rewarding trek. You will tackle the oddly named but no less charming Boggle Hole and Stoupe Beck during this walk. The route heads inland and uses public rights of way so you will need to be able to map read if you tackle this. It is a glorious walk, though and if you are correctly prepared, you’ll fall in love with the North York Moors. Allow at least six and half hours (or more) for this walk.
Our Favourite Inland Routes
Again, you’ll need some form of transport to get most of these starting points. What better way than catching a steam locomotive from Whitby Railway Station? The North Yorkshire Moors Railway has regular services to Grosmont and beyond. Be sure to time your walk so you have time to catch your return train back to Whitby again!
8.Ruswarp Round– A lovely, short walk of just 2 miles that is a scenic circular riverside stroll with a nature trail included. This lovely route crosses the railway line so be sure to take extra care and stop, look, and listen for trains. Spot seals, deer, heron, and other wildlife. A nice one for kids or for those who prefer shorter walks, just be aware of those trains, though.
9.Esk Valley to Beck Hole– another section of the Rail Trail and a linear route so you will return the way you came. This short walk of just 3 miles so it’s an easy one for a day when you just want to relax!
10. Goathland to Grosmont– a relatively short linear route of just 3.5 miles. You can follow the rail path. It is a favourite with runners too and is a point-to-point trail. You will see the river on this route and of course, if the steam trains are running, you’ll hear them puffing along the North Yorkshire Moors Heritage Railway Line.
11.Grosmont to Beck Hole Circular– just under 5 miles, it starts in Grosmont in shady woodland and Beck Hole marks the halfway point. You join the Cinder Track, also known as the Rail Trail.
12. May Beck, Falling Foss– this walk is just full of woodland magic! A short 2 miles circular walk that passes through stunning trees and takes in the 30ft Falling Foss Waterfall. May Beck is quite shallow and is great in the summer for cooling off hot feet.
Walks Further Afield
Our family walks can also take place away from Whitby and the North York Moors National Park. We are so lucky here at the Riviera as we have so many amazing towns and villages within driving distance. Scarborough is about 21 miles away down the coast and has some amazing walks.
13. Why not try the Marine Drive, a 2-mile route which takes you from the North Bay to the South Bay around the foot of Scarborough Castle. This route is paved all the way around, so it is perfect for wheelchairs and pushchairs. This route does get busy so it’s a good one to tackle maybe early in the day or in the evening, particularly at peak season.
14. There is also the Mere Trail, a 3-mile route which is a short drive out of the town centre and just off the A64. This route takes in the Mere and all its birdlife, includes a 300 ft incline, and the town’s War Memorial with its amazing views.
15. Peasholm Park, Glen and Tree Trail – a fabulous walk that is placed within Scarborough’s North Side, not far from the Open Air Theatre. Peasholm Park was constructed in the early part of the 20th Century and includes a boating lake, Peasholm Island, a café, a putting green, and the famous Tree Trail which features some of the world’s rarest trees. The walk is absolutely stunning at any time of year but is very beautiful in Spring and Autumn. The trail follows a linear route of approximately two miles return. If you love market towns then Pickering is also hard to beat. With its quirky shops and ancient Castle, the town is also famous for its North Yorkshire Moors Railway connections. Pickering itself has a river and woodlands as well as historic architecture.
16. Pickering Castle and New Bridge – A circular walk that is just over 2 miles in length. This takes you from the Castle and allows you to drink in scenic views with moderate steepness.
17. Pickering and Pickering Woods– a circular walk of about 6 miles so allow two to three hours. It follows Pickering Beck and and Pickering Beck following a flat route the crosses the railway line (remember to take care of trains using the line). It does get muddy so wear the right foot gear.
18.Bridestones Circular Walk – just over 7 miles that is also a point-to-point trail. The high point is the titular odd-shaped rocks against the dramatic heather-clad moors. This route is steep in places with various start and finishing points.
And we are back where we started … Whitby!
We’ve just to two more to share with you that are based in our beloved Whitby.
19. Whitby Circular – You can’t appreciate Whitby without doing the Whitby Circular with is approximately seven miles that takes in the Abbey, crosses the mighty River Esk, follows the river to Ruswarp and then returning on the opposite riverbank towards the Abbey and the cliff. Stunning!
20. Whitby and the Whale Bones– quarter of a mile. The shortest walk in Whitby! Well, maybe not the shortest but one you can do whatever the weather or at any time of year. Head out of the Riviera Guesthouse, take care in crossing the road, buy yourself an ice cream from the kiosk and then head towards the Whale Bone Arch and the Captain Cook statue, seeing fabulous views at the same time. This is just a tiny little stretch of the legs that is your reward for all the long walks you’ve tackled during your holiday!
Some safety points:
- Always be properly prepared for long walks (and short ones).
- Always be aware of the weather and the tides.
- Take care near cliff edges or when walking near cliff side or bases.
- Always follow the Countryside Code.
- Be sure to time your walks in daylight hours.
- And don’t forget, you’ll start your walk day the right way with one of our amazing, freshly cooked breakfasts here at the Riviera Guesthouse!