When discussion turns to Britain’s best coastal walks, the cliffs of the North East are typically overlooked in favour of routes along the southern and western shores of Britain, where it is felt the weather is a little more temperate. However, the Cleveland Way boasts stunning views, the North Yorkshire Moors and a host of historical sites that make it a truly fascinating part of the country, ensuring a hugely enjoyable route for walkers.
The Cleveland Way stretches for 110 miles from Helmsley to Filey. If you’re thinking that doesn’t sound like much of coastal route – you’d be right as the crow flies. But the beauty of the Cleveland Way is that it takes you along the edge of the North Yorkshire moors National Park, over the wild rolling moors towards the coast, until the roaring sea comes into view at Saltburn. The final 40-mile leg of the route takes the winding coastal path through Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough before reaching Filey.
Taking in both moorland and a coastal path, the Cleveland Way boasts a wide range of wildlife, including red grouse, curlews on the hills and Great Cormorants, Puffins and Guillemots by the sea. As for sites of interest, the trail takes in Rievaulx Abbey, Mount Grace Priory and Roseberry Topping, as well as the historic towns of Helmsley, Scarborough and Whitby, with all the historic and cultural features they boast. Whitby in particular could take a couple of days to explore on its own, as you discover the historic Abbey, the legend of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the maritime tales of Captain James Cook.
The whole trail is way marked so there’s little chance of getting lost on the moors, and it’s very easy to find accommodation along the way. YHA has great-value hostels at Helmsley, Osmotherley, Whitby, Boggle Hole and Scarborough along the way.
In a bid to encourage more visitors to this part of the world, the new National Trails website has pulled together all the information you need for a visit. As well as Ordnance Survey maps, the site allows you to download recommended itineraries for walking and cycling, and even guidance for geocaching trails. There is also assistance for anyone looking to hire things such as bikes and outdoor equipment, while the website is also looking to develop a community of local experts and walking enthusiasts who can add in personal recommendations.
Environment minister Dan Rogerson said of the website launch: “National Trails pass through some of the most stunning landscapes in Britain and are a welcome attraction for visitors. This new website will make it easier for people to make the most of the countryside and can help build stronger local economies and businesses.“