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In late 2015 we held a series of workshops along the North York Moors Coast (from Saltburn to Cloughton), looking at what makes this coastline special and different.

Local residents and business owners contributed their ideas. We have collated their recommendations to create this "Insider's Guide to the North York Moors Coast".

Some of this information will be included on the North York Moors National Park website and we'd like to encourage local businesses to use it in any way they can to help promote this fantastic area.

You are welcome to cut and paste, edit, correct and add to this information in any way you wish. You might like to feature some of these suggestions on your own website, in your social media activities and to offer your visitors ideas to help them enjoy and explore the area.



  • Start your Staithes exploration in the Captain Cook & Staithes Heritage Centre, which features an atmospheric recreated 1745 street scene

  • Wander round the narrow winding streets, duck into alleys and snickets. Many have intriguing names and offer some wonderful views from within the huddles of cottages

  • Follow the Staithes Illusion Trail around the village created by trompe l'oeil artist Paul Czainski

  • Walk around the sheltered harbour and imagine it in its heyday as one of the largest fishing ports on the north east coast of England, with around 300 men fishing from coble boats, launched and landed off the beach

  • Notice the names of many of the quaint cottages: many were named after their owners' boats and houses were even painted the same three colours as their owner’s coble

  • Can you spot an ulley box?

  • Spend a day with Trish and Sean at Real Staithes for a real insiders' view: learn about fishing, the life on the foreshore, the alum, jet and ironstone industries, find fossils, and how to create an ancient paint palette from the ochre you find

  • Follow in the footsteps of the Staithes Group of Artists and create your own masterpiece after a workshop with Staithes Art School

  • Try a Printing from Nature course with Stef Mitchell

  • Discover beautiful works of art and craft in Staithes Gallery, Staithes Studio Gallery, and the Slipway Studio

  • Look out for the RNLI Staithes and Runswick Lifeboat Station - they'd really appreciate a donation! View the short film telling the moving story of the RNLI in Staithes and Runswick. Lifeboat practise takes place on Sunday mornings in winter and Monday evening in summer

  • Spot locations featured in CBeebies' Old Jack's Boat, set and filmed in Staithes

  • See Staithes from a different perspective, looking down from Cowbar Nab

  • Enjoy the quirky and popular Staithes Festival of Arts and Heritage with its pop-up galleries, cafes, talks and other events

  • Buy a locally made souvenir from the Staithes Arts and Crafts Centre or sit and enjoy the garden at St. Peter's Centre - look for the mermaid and fish carvings

  • Sit by the harbour and watch the herring gulls, kittiwakes, fulmars, razorbills and other seabirds or walk along the foreshore

  • Learn a new skill at CraftAtCleveland Corner, try your hand at knitting, felting or one of the other regular workshops

  • Look out for the convivial regional dinners known as Lisa@theGallery, held in the Smugglers, a beautiful room above the Gallery, prepared by award winning chef Lisa Chapman

  • Enjoy a coffee and cake at Dotty About Vintage, Seadrift Cafe, The Tearoom, and Cleveland Corner Bistro. Choose from pub grub at the Cod and Lobster, Royal George, and Captain Cook Inn

  • Catch crabs at high tide along the beckside or cast your rod out on the pier. Enjoy a fishing trip out at sea with Sean on All My Sons - Sean will also point out the local wildlife

  • Staithes is home to Dog Loup, possibly the narrowest street in the country at just 18"

  • Look out for the Men of Saithes Choir singing shanties and songs of the sea in The Captain Cook Inn

  • At 203 metres, Boulby Cliff, north of Staithes, is the highest cliff on the east coast of England.


  • Hunt for fossils on the foreshore and enjoy lunch in an old fisherman's hut with Real Staithes

  • Look out for fossils, jet and ironstone

  • See the old jetty and the tunnel entrance, the only remains of the ironstone mining industry, which transformed this part of the coast in the mid-nineteenth century

  • Enjoy the excellent cake at the Ship Inn (now a tea room) or in the Runcible Spoon which also runs theme nights with live music

  • Buy work from local artist Gail Hurst at The Blue Shed Studio Gallery (open Sundays and Bank Holidays from Easter until the end of October)

  • Enjoy the popular cliff top walk along the Cleveland Way National Trail between Staithes and Port Mulgrave


  • Join a guided tour of the fascinating Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum, experience an "explosion" and find out about life below ground

  • Take part in a bat walk with the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust

  • Find the Village Storywall mosaic featuring work by local artists Derek Mosey and Helen Gaunt and the local community. Panels show various aspects of Skinningrove's history such as the mine, floods and the merman

  • Enjoy a drink and homemade food at KasKane Cafe & Covells Bar

  • Look out for the public art: the 18ft long Evolution of Life in the Sea mural, restored fishing coble with carved fisherman and carved pigeon man, and the anchor of the Sylvania

  • At low tide you might be able to spot the marks made by the wagons used in alum production


Discover a real hidden gem that few coastal visitors find - Hayburn Wyke. It's a secluded cove with a beach waterfall, wooded glen and large boulders. It's a short walk from the Cleveland Way National Trail or exit the Cinder Track at The Hayburn Wyke Inn and follow the path down through the woods. (See

  • Keep your eyes and ears open for breeding birds such as redstart, blackcap, willow warbler, great spotted and green woodpeckers, and pied flycatcher.

  • See how many different coloured pebbles and rocks you can find

  • Enjoy a geocache treasure hunt around the hidden cove or join the National Park/Nature Trust/Cleveland Way geocache taster day organised every summer



  • Visit St. Oswald's Church to see their remarkable collection of Anglo-Scandinavian carved stones



  • Enjoy some time on one of this coast's most accessible beaches

  • Walk along the beach, paddle and then enjoy an espresso at the Wits End Cafe and Walled Garden

  • Find the remains of the medieval castle in Mulgrave Woods. Mulgrave Woods is open on a permissive basis on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays with the exception of May, when it is closed every day.

  • Enjoy a meal at Bridge Cottage Bistro, perhaps sitting in their outside area

  • Enjoy a gourmet meal at the award-winning restaurant at Estbek House

  • Choose art and craft work from the region at Turnstone Gallery

  • Enjoy a warming drink or light meal at Sandside Cafe and watch the oystercatchers patrolling the golden sands below

  • Relax in the cosy Hart Inn, perhaps tucking into one of their fish suppers


  • Stroll along the Grade II-listed Victorian pleasure pier and look out for the latest colourful yarn-bombing

  • Take a trip up from the pier to the town with the Saltburn Cliff Lift, one of the world's oldest water-powered funiculars

  • Wander around the town, where you'll find the "Jewel Streets", cafes, traditional food shops, and other interesting and quirky retailers

  • Climb to the top of Cat Nab or walk along to Hunt Cliff for stunning views - you could keep going and continue the walk along the Cleveland Way National Trail

  • Paddle in the sea, enjoy fish and chips on the Lower Promenade followed by excellent coffee and cake

  • Take a trip on the Saltburn Miniature Railway running from Cat Nab Station close to the beach for about 1/2 mile inland to Forest Halt

  • Walk through the Valley Gardens and sit and enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the formal Italian Gardens

  • Spot the three steel sculptures by Richard Farrington - the large metal fish, marker post representing earth, air, sky and water and the ring with 10 charms suspended from the top

  • Learn to surf or paddle board with Richie and friends at the Flow Surf School

  • Shop at the Farmers' Market (2nd Saturday of the month) and the annual Food Festival (August)

  • Buy picnic supplies at Real Meals deli, ready for a walk along the beach or cliffs

  • Go horse-riding on the beach

  • Try locally made ice cream at Chocolinis in the town centre and Camfields on the sea front

  • Take a seat in the Sitting Room, a tea shop by day and cocktail bar by night

  • Enjoy a whole range of activities with Valley Adventures such as bushcraft, orienteering and gorge walking

  • For something different, try the Shanti Vegetarian cafe at The Earthbeat Centre which also houses yoga, d.a.n.iDelights (raw food), a theatre company and children's trapeze classes.


  • Spot the white-painted thatched cottage, probably the village’s most photographed building right by the sea, and formerly the coastguard's house

  • Enjoy an ice cream and look out to sea from the old lifeboat station

  • Follow the Cleveland Way National Trail which weaves itself through the village and along the beach to enjoy breathtaking views from Kettleness

  • Explore the rugged cliffs of Claymoor. Hobgoblins are reputed to have lived in the caves here (known as Hob Holes), including one who was supposed to cure whooping cough, so mothers took their ailing children there and called out: "Hob - hole Hob! My bairn's gettent kink-cough Tak't off! Tak't off!

  • Hire kayaks and paddleboards right off the beach from Andy at Barefoot Kayak

  • Search the village for one of the remaining “binkys”

  • Spot some of the latest locations used in CBeebies Old Jack's Boat

  • Enjoy a meal or snack from The Royal Hotel or Runswick Bay Hotel pubs


Did you know?

  • Those who were actually born in Runswick Bay are known locally as “Nagars” and only a handful of locals can claim this title.

  • Runswick Bay has its own privately funded, volunteer Rescue Boat which operates in high season alongside the RNLI Staithes & Runswick Lifeboat.

  • In 1901 during a storm, Runswick fishwives launched the lifeboat themselves to save their husbands.

  • In the spring storms of 1682, virtually the whole village of Runswick sank towards the sea, but all the residents escaped as they were attending a funeral out of the village at the time.

  • Hardworking Runswick Bay women built the tiny Methodist Chapel in 1829 (now a private residence)


  • Discover this tiny cove at the bottom of a wooded valley, where you might also like to hunt the boggle (hobgoblin)

  • Enjoy a drink or meal in the Quarterdeck Café at the beautifully and quirky refurbished YHA

  • Hunt for fossils and go rock pooling with Hidden Horizons


Known for its fossils and smuggling history, Robin Hood's Bay or 'Bay' to locals, is full of hidden alleyways and narrow passages. Many of the houses are said to be connected by cupboards or passages in the cellar. It is said that a smuggled bale of silk could pass from the bottom of the village to the top without leaving the houses.


  • Find out more about Robin Hood's Bay rich marine life in the National Trust's Visitor Centre in The Old Coastguard Station

  • Discover live sea animals and creatures in the many rock pools left behind at low tide

  • Create your own sea creature, balancing stones, seaweed, flotsam and jetsam on the beach

  • Pick up a Family Tracker Park at The Old Coastguard Station to help you explore this special place and enjoy family activities together

  • Learn about the richness of local life in Robin Hood's Bay Museum, housed in what used to be the Coroner's Room and Mortuary

  • Walk (low tide only) along the shore or cliff path to Boggle Hole

  • Discover the ghostly side of Robin Hood's Bay on a walk with Rose, the Whitby Storyteller, listening to stories of the strange and supernatural, combined with historical anecdotes

  • See the memorials to shipwrecks and maidens' garlands in St. Stephen's church, Fylingdales

  • Stock up on picnic supplies at Station Road Stores and set off on the 192 mile Coast to Coast walk from Robin Hood's Bay to St Bees on the Irish Sea

  • Listen to golden oldies on the free juke box as you enjoy a break at Tea, Toast and Post

  • Whether you need wellies, thick socks or sandals, you'll probably find them at The Old Drapery

  • Try a taste of Robin Hood's Bay while you're here - choose from locally ground coffee from The Baytown Coffee Company, or locally brewed beers and smuggler's spirits from Baytown


described as "the town that never was", Ravenscar is a village built on spectacular cliffs with sweeping views out to sea.


  • Wander around to find the eerie remains of the streets in which no-one ever lived

  • Explore the remains of the old alum works, an industry that lasted around 250 years

  • Try to spot seals perched out on the rocks and listen for their haunting cries which can sometimes be heard from the cliff top. You'll find grey seals coming ashore to give birth to pups in November, while common seals pup in June and July. Take care not to disturb these small colonies

  • Explore the remains of a World War II radar station to the south of the village, accessible from the Cleveland Way National Trail and Cinder Track


  • The Russian ship ‘Demeter’ ran aground on Whitby’s Tate Hill beach, with the only apparent survivor a mysterious dog that disappeared up the 199 steps. At least, that’s how Bram Stoker’s vampire novel ‘Dracula’ starts, inspired by his holiday in Whitby in 1890, when he also enjoyed walks to Kettleness and Mulgrave Woods.

  • Captain Cook first learned his trade in Whitby, and all his ships of exploration were built in the town, from the Endeavour, the Resolution, Adventure to Discovery,

  • Browse the many jewellery shops with pieces crafted from Whitby Jet, the petrified remains of the monkey-puzzle tree.

  • Find ammonites of all kinds on display at Whitby Museum as well as exhibitions on a range of subjects from Cook and Scoresby, to archaeology and native jet.



Here you can download An Insider's Guide to the North York Moors Coast


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