ROBIN Hood’s Bay (the village) is tucked at the north end of a bay of the same name, only a six mile walk from Whitby.

Any visitor to Whitby should make sure to explore its narrow streets and take the exposed, but relatively short, walk from the bay back to Whitby, passing the abbey en-route.

There is a regular bus service from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay (the X93). Stay on the bus at Robin Hood's Bay bus stop and continue to the next one at Fylingthorpe. Fyling Hall and the folly known as The Pigsty are a few hundred metres up the road (to the west).

From the bus stop follow Middlewood Road south for 300 metres to a lane on your left, turning onto a footpath as it drops down to the bay. Turn left before the sands and enter lower Robin Hood’s Bay as the smugglers did (well nearly!). It's worth spending some time exploring the tightly packed streets and even taking in one of the cafés before heading to the top of the village to start the main walk.

From the upper village of Robin Hood’s Bay follow the coastline closely all the way to Whitby.

The footpath starts just south of the old railway line and heads initially east towards a headland. After a few hundred metres look to your right at the lovely views across Robin Hood’s Bay and towards Ravenscar. The footpath follows the headland before dropping steeply (and climbing equally steeply) out from a stream which has cut into the cliffs. One mile further on Oakham Beck creates an even steeper drop and climb. This is typical of coastal walking, but the effort is worth the rewards of dramatic views and bracing air. The cliffs here are gradually eroding away and will eventually eat up the existing path.

The path tracks the coast for a further two miles, past the old Fog Signal before arriving at a large holiday park. Sadly the fog horn that used to blast out has now been decommissioned, but there is still a splendid old harbour house (now a private residence).

The holiday park is situated above a sandy beach (at low tide), which is worth visiting if you have time.

Having picked your way through the holiday park the imposing site of Whitby Abbey looms large ahead.

Whitby Abbey was – and still is – an impressive Benedictine abbey which fell in to disrepair during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Henry VIII's reign.

English Heritage manages the abbey. There is no need to pre-book a visit, just make sure it's not Monday or Tuesday when the abbey is closed to visitors.

The footpath keeps to the coast and passes on the coastal side of the abbey before cutting inland just before a TV satellite. The path joins Abbey Lane before arriving at St Mary’s Church, a building probably as old as the abbey itself. From here steps drop steeply to Whitby town and its fine harbour.

Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company based in the Yorkshire Dales. He has published three books on walks in the Dales – The Yorkshire 3 Peaks, The Dales 30 Mountains and the new Walks Without Stiles, all of which are available direct from the Where2walk website. On the site you can also book a navigation training day in Long Preston, near Settle (beginners or compass & contours). The dates and further information are available on the website,, which also features hundreds of walks across Yorkshire and beyond, from easy strolls to harder climbs.