Robin Hood’s Bay is a picturesque little seaside resort five miles south of Whitby on the way to Scarborough. You could easily miss it, but it’s well worth visiting – and staying for a holiday. Once home to smugglers (it’s rumoured that there’s a warren of tunnels under the village, leading out to coastal caves where goods were once landed to avoid customs duties).
It’s not clear how Robin Hood’s Bay got its name, as it’s not certain that the famous outlaw ever visited the village. But there are old legends and a ballad which recount how Robin helped rescue the possessions of Yorkshire fishermen from French pirates. But whether it’s true or not, it certainly makes for a good story. Although it’s a village, it’s known locally as Bay Town, and it’s a friendly and welcoming place, with several pubs and restaurants, cafés and lots of places to stay including hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast, self-catering, and several camping and caravan sites.
The houses in Robin Hood’s Bay climb up a steep hill and visitors are advised to park at the top and walk down on foot through the narrow cobbled lanes (although it’s permissible to bring a car down to load and unload luggage).
The resort itself is quite delightful – with miles of sandy beaches, extending north and south beneath steep cliffs. There’s a local museum so visitors can discover the history of this fishing village, and learn not just about the smuggling, but also about some of the daring sea rescues that have taken place here, including the rescue of the crew of a ship called “Visitor” on a cold winter’s day in January 1881. The beaches are famous for the many fossils that are found there. If you go out fossil hunting make sure that you watch the tides though as it’s easy to get cut off beneath the cliffs.
Just a mile inland to the west, there’s the North York Moors, some of the wildest and most beautiful countryside in Yorkshire. And Robin Hood’s Bay is just off the Cleveland Way – part of the Coast to Coast route for walkers.
Places to stay
There are lots of places that you can stay when you visit Robin Hood’s Bay. Here are just a few of your options.
Farsyde Farm Cottages – 6 amazing self-catering places to stay overlooking Robin Hood’s Bay, including a grade 2 listed farmhouse built in 1670 (sleeps 7/8), a 4* cottage with a private swimming pool (sleeps 4), and four 3* cottages (sleep 2-5)
Flask Inn Holiday Park – a luxurious holiday park with ten 5* self-catering static caravans (sleep 4) in a delightful setting near Robin Hood’s Bay
Lemon Cottage – a 4* self-catering “villa style” holiday cottage (sleeps 4) between Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby
Middlewood Farm Holiday Park – set in Robin Hood’s Bay, a 5* caravan and camping park for touring and static caravans
Northcliffe & Seaview Holiday Parks – a pair of 5* rated holiday parks at Hawkser, between Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby for both static and touring caravans
Things to see and do:
There are so many wonderful things you can see and do when you visit Robin Hood’s Bay. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Beach and sea activities
It’d be a wasted opportunity if you didn’t spend some time on the beach while you’re here, the beach is especially good for rock pooling.
Church of St Stephen, Fylingdales
This is a beautiful little church overlooking the sea that gives you the perfect space for quiet reflection. It’s a lovely place to visit no matter what religious beliefs you hold.
There are some truly spectacular views from the Cleveland Way. It’s a nationally recognised walk that you can take part it. You don’t have to follow the whole route, just meander along some of the path close to Robin Hood’s Bay.
There have been some amazing finds along the Yorkshire Coast. What will you uncover as you walk along the beach?
Farsyde Riding Centre
Take one of the gorgeous horses at Farsyde Riding Centre out for a walk, trot or gallop, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling!
Robin Hood’s Bay Museum
Learn a little more about the history of this gorgeous little village in the museum.
Old Coastguard Station
There’s a long and intriguing history at the Old Coastguard Station. Will you discover it?
Trailways Cycle Hire, Hawsker
For the adventurous among you, hire a bike and enjoy the local area from the seat of your cycle.
Explore more of the coast
Whitby and Scarborough are just a short drive away. If you’ve not had your fill of beautiful coastal sights and seaside fun, why not give them a visit too?