Exploring the Yorkshire Coast

Walkers and their dog sit in a meadow at Ravenscar looking out over Robin Hood's Bay

Visit our special place and enjoy self-led walks, unearthing our history and marveling at our unique views of the coast.


Ravenscar can be found high on the cliffs of the North Yorkshire coast between Scarborough and Whitby. The stunning coastal countryside and industrial heritage found here is a product of thousands of years of natural history and hundreds of years of industrial and agricultural activity. The well preserved remains of Peak Alum Works and a World War Two radar station offer a glimpse into the past. Nature lovers can meander through Bluebell Wood or pause at the pond to spot aquatic life and colourful dragonflies. 
Explore on foot or bring your bike to clock up a few miles on the Cinder Track cycle route which follows the old Whitby - Scarborough railway line. Ravenscar Visitor Centre offers information to help make the most of your visit as well as gifts, souvenirs and refreshments. Check opening times here.

Hayburn Wyke

A lovely place for a walk, accessed either from the Cleveland Way or via footpaths north or south of the Hayburn Wyke Inn at Cloughton, north of Scarborough. Winding paths through woodland lead to a rocky bay where a beck meets the beach in a double waterfall. Oaks stunted and twisted by sea breezes create mystical shapes. Flat rocks above the waterfall provide the perfect spot for a picnic. Please note, there are some steep drops which are well hidden, particularly where the woods meet the cliff slopes; we advise that dogs and young children are kept under close control.


Port Mulgrave

The village of Port Mulgrave lies nine miles North West of Whitby on the Yorkshire Coast. The settlement here owes its existence to the ironstone mining industry of the mid-19th century. The old mine entrance can still be seen 50 feet above the high water mark. After the mine ceased to be productive the tunnel was extended to join with the Grinkle Park mine and used to transport stone to the harbour by narrow gauge railway.
Please note, following a large landslip in January 2016, the footpath to the beach is currently not accessible. The cliff slopes remain unstable and it is dangerous to attempt to reach the beach here. 

Loftus Alum Quarries

Today Loftus Alum Quarries is a peaceful place to get away from it all and enjoy the cliff top views of the coast, but between 1656 and 1863 it was a centre of industrial activity.

Warsett Hill

Warsett Hill is the highest point on the stretch of coast between Saltburn and Skinningrove. It is well worth climbing to enjoy the superb panoramic view of the coast and surrounding area that it offers. The hill was the site of a Roman signal station built to defend the area against Anglo-Saxon attack but most of the archaeological interest here is a little more modern.

Old Saltburn

Old Saltburn may only be a small piece of land but is interesting for its nature conservation value.
The slumped boulder clay cliff slopes that rise up from the beach support plants such as hemp-agrimony, fragrant orchid, bird’s foot trefoil and betony.
The steep sided valley that cuts through the centre of the property is known as Little Dale and is a Site of Nature Conservation Importance. Salad burnet, wild thyme, harebell and common century can be found growing here.
Old Saltburn is easily accessed from the public car park on the front at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The entrance to the grassland is at grid reference NZ669215.

Cowbar Nab

In spring it is home to a raucous colony of seabirds. Kittiwakes, fulmars and the occasional razorbill jostle for position on precarious looking ledges. On grassy areas towards the top a large colony of herring gulls add to the cacophony.
Please note, following a landslip in March 2016, access to the property is currently not possible. The cliff slopes remain unstable and it is dangerous to attempt to reach Cowbar.
There is a pay and display public car park (not National Trust) Staithes and a small free car park near Cowbar. The grid reference for Cowbar Nab is NZ780189.

Runswick Bay

Our field at Runswick Bay contains two reservoirs built to feed an ironwork’s blast furnace in the mid-19th-century, the remains of which can be found at the base of the slumped sea cliffs. Today they are managed as wildlife ponds. The deeper of the two provides breeding habitat for all three of our native species of newt, including the rare great crested newt.
There are two public car parks at Runswick Bay. Follow the Cleveland Way to grid reference NZ807162 to visit the ponds.

Beach safety

Yorkshire Coast beaches are fantastic places to explore and enjoy activities such as rock pooling or fossil hunting. Please be sure to check tide times before you visit, it is easy to get cut off by the incoming tide. 
At many places on the Yorkshire Coast, the cliffs are prone to erosion and rock falls. Frequency can increase following periods of extreme weather, including heavy rainfall, cold, heat or a very dry spell. Please remain a safe distance from the base of cliffs at all times.