The Cleveland Way is a 109-mile-long footpath running between Helmsley which sits in the North York Moors National Park and Filey on the Yorkshire Coast, the walk takes in Yorkshire’s glorious heather-clad moorland and stunning coastal scenery along with charming fishing villages for you to explore along the way. Let’s get Walking…
We’re following the short 3-mile coastal section of the walk starting in the picturesque harbour of Staithes, heading South to Runswick Bay. This section of the trail offers gorgeous sea views at every turn and you can look forward to sampling some delicious Yorkshire fayre and a beverage at the end of your walk….you may also learn a bit about the area’s maritime history too!
It’s a great walk at any time of year, outside of the Summer months you’ll need your layers as there is often a cool breeze sweeping in from the North Sea.
Begin your walk in Staithes, where you park at the public car park located at the top of the Village.
Head down the hill for around 500 metres through the charming fishing village to the Captain Cook & Staithes Heritage Museum, to the start of the walk. If you’ve got some time to spare, why not pop into the Centre to learn about the village’s most famous resident – Captain Cook, who spent his younger years here as an apprentice before heading off on his maiden Voyage.
At this time, Staithes was one of the largest fishing ports along the north-east coast, and you can find out more at the Heritage Centre.
Once you have reached the bottom of the village, join the Cleveland Way and follow it south passed the Cod & Lobster pub – where you could enjoy a well-earned refreshment on your return journey, here you will also glimpse the picturesque harbour below you.
This first mile is the steepest section of the walk, rising from around sea level to 275ft (84 metres) above- depending on the time of year you may come across lovely coastal wildflowers like vetch, clover and bird’s-foot-trefoil so keep your eyes peeled!
The second mile is quite a level section and passes through the hamlet of Port Mulgrave, which marks the halfway point between Staithes and Runswick Bay.
It’s a former ironstone port with a cluster of cottages and a Sea cove at the bottom.
Watch out for wildlife like skylarks, blackcaps, swallows, sand martins, and, of course, a variety of gulls dipping and diving on the thermals, as you come around the headland before arriving at Port Mulgrave, a derelict former ironstone exporting port.
Onto the final section of the walk, where the path will dip and then climb again as you head round into Runswick Bay, before you do this look across and out to Sea, here you will see the distinctive headland at Kettleness known locally as ‘The Crocodile Head’ you can then head round and into Runswick Bay – pronounced “Runsick” by the locals.
This gorgeous horseshoe bay has captured many a heart over the years and once hosted a collection of wooden beach-style chalets located just above the beach, if you look closely you can see one or two still evident.
The village itself is a myriad of tiny streets located down a steep path, where quaint picturesque cottages clamber on top of one another for the best sea view. The village also boasts the last remaining thatched former coastguard’s cottage which clings to the rock face like a limpet and is depicted on almost every illustration you’ll see of the Bay.
Rest a while, take in some well-deserved refreshments and decide to return along the same path or if you’re feeling a little weary then why not take the X4 bus which runs every half hour back to Staithes.
Whatever you choose we hope you’ll enjoy this delightful cliff-top walk along this lovely section of the trail.
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