Number in Group: 12
Distance: 11.1 miles
Total Ascent: 2,627 feet
Highest Point: Seavey Hill 367 ft
Lowest Point: Sandsend Sea Level
After the previous “hunt the path” walk in Langholm, this walk was straightforward simply: keep the sea on the right and follow the well worn Cleveland Way from Whitby to Staithes.
We left the coach on A174, near West Cliff, headed to the coast and followed the cliff edge westwards to Upgang. Descending to the beach, we had a coffee stop, before crossing Sandsend Beach. The new sea defences that were under construction in May (see Robin Hood’s Bay walk) are now completed. In the warm sunshine, the beach was popular with holiday makers. Leaving Sandsend, we passed the Ness and the area of old quarries, to climb the steps and ladder at Overdale. These did raise a few mutterings about the amount of ascent on the walk description!
The walk along the cliff tops was magnificent, with the sea flat calm and a brilliant blue colour in the sunshine. Lunch was taken on a pair of seats at Kettleness. Judging by the scowls on the faces of two walking groups that passed us, heading towards Whitby, we had obviously nabbed their intended lunch stop. Continuing on the views of Runswick Bay opened up, showing that today it was a very popular place. It made a nice change to descend the 250+ steps to Hob Hole, rather than the usual climb when heading to Whitby. The infamous rock, which has been struck by many a head in the past, is now protected by a wooden hand rail. After walking along the beach and climbing to Runswick Bank Top, a stop for ice creams was made.
Passing Port Mulgrave, the Cleveland Way is now diverted, towards the row of houses, due to land slippage. Port Mulgrave was once a busy port, built in 1857 for Sir Charles Palmer. The port allowed him to ship ironstone from his local mines to his foundries in Jarrow. The opening of the railway to Whitby in 1916, which ran past his mines, heralded the demise of the port.
Crossing Beacon Hill, there were a couple of fields which were covered in very tall clover, probably awaiting harvesting for animal feed. After passing the rather “sweet” smelling farm above Staithes, we dropped down the narrow path to come out at the harbour beside the “Cod and Lobster” pub, which was very busy. That only left the climb up the hill to the designated pub and the coach. (Report and Photos by MW)