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Yorkshire walk from Whitby Park and Ride to Sandsend

Whitby beach with its bright beach huts. (c) Paul Kirkwood
Whitby beach with its bright beach huts. (c) Paul Kirkwood

Which do you prefer? Quiet Sandsend or all-action Whitby? Decide for yourself on this easy walk from one to the other with the bonus of a bus ride back

Great British Life: Herring Girls sculpture. (c) Paul KirkwoodHerring Girls sculpture. (c) Paul Kirkwood

1. Leave the park and ride car park via the far corner of the overflow section heading towards a 10mph sign. Pass through two gates to the narrow lane and turn left. Turn left again down a bridleway beside a green gate. Pass through a gate, along along a Tarmac lane and through a second gate towards Bannial Flat Farm.

2. Turn right and press a button to open gates with a leaf pattern (this is a right of way). Pass through a handgate, across a lawn and through another handgate. Cross field just to the right of a telegraph pole. At the far side of the field go over a stile and walk towards the far left corner of the next field and over another stile onto a Tarmac lane. Turn left briefly to reach the village street.

3. After the Old Beehive Inn fork left down a lane then immediately fork right and down Howlgate Lane. Just before a caravan park turn right over a stile and, after 50m, fork left and down, passing over another stile into a wood. Pass over a footbridge and up steps. On emerging from the wood turn right along a field edge. (The right of way is actually a little further on but in summer the field is likely to have standing crops so divert). Follow the path as it bears right and downwards, becoming sunken and then a lane.

4. If you're eating at Raithwaite Hall you can approach it via a gate on the right and path through the gardens. Alternatively, continue ahead along a lane. After the hotel turn left signed to Sandsend. Pass over a footbridge and, emerging from the wood, over a stile. Keep ahead and, after 80m, pass through fieldgate. Go through a gate and over a stile beside Sandsend Bay Cottages. At the road turn right to complete your descent to Sandsend.

Great British Life: The sweeping bay at Sandsend. (c) Paul KirkwoodThe sweeping bay at Sandsend. (c) Paul Kirkwood

5. Cross the road to drop down to the beach and simply walk eastwards to Whitby. Leave the sands at West Pier and follow Pier Road beside the estuary mouth. Pass the bridge to your right and stay on the road as it bears right to the rail station. Just to the right of it you will find the bus station for your return on the park and ride.


START/FINISH: Postcode YO21 1TL, grid ref NZ 874102

TIME/DISTANCE: 2-3 hours/8km

ACCESSIBILITY: The path from Newholm to Raithwaite is likely to be overgrown in summer

MAPS: OS Landranger 94, Whitby & Eskdale and OL Explorer 27 North York Moors eastern area PARKING: Whitby park and ride. Adult single fare from the town centre costs £1.70. Note: the last bus departs at 6.45pm after which the car park closes.


Great British Life: Raithwaite Hall (c) Paul KirkwoodRaithwaite Hall (c) Paul Kirkwood

Points of interest

The only problem with taking lunch at Raithwaite Hall so soon on your walk is that you may never leave. On a sunny day sitting on the terrace overlooking the magnificent, rhododendron-garlanded garden is an absolute delight. You'd be hard pressed to find a more secluded, sheltered, calming spot on the Yorkshire coastline.

The sleepy hamlet of Newholm, the first landmark on your route, is similarly peaceful and concealed. The theme continues through the wooded valley below it and past Raithwaite to the shore. Here things start to get busier but only in a demure, buckets and spades Sandsend sort of way. Now it's a simple matter of dropping down to the beach and making your way along it all the way to Whitby. Schedule your walk for high tide if you can.

I like the way the mood of this stretch of seaside gradually changes. As you approach Whitby you're walking against the tide of people heading away from the town and on arrival you are, of course, right in the midst of the candyfloss hustle and bustle with fish and chips on every corner and trippers' boats regularly sweeping past the quay. Look out for the nine wire sculptures installed two years ago to celebrate Whitby's fishing heritage.

This is a route with something for every sort of seaside lover together with a regular, easy bus ride back to avoid trekking across town. All the more time to enjoy your ice cream.

Eat here

Great British Life: Abbey Wharf. (c) Paul KirkwoodAbbey Wharf. (c) Paul Kirkwood

Raithwaite Hall, Sandsend. Lunches served in the restaurant while sandwiches are available for about £10-12 from Bar 1822. Afternoon teas and Sunday roasts are specialities. For a fresh take on fish and chips try the Crab Shack. Around 80% of the fresh produce comes from the hotel's kitchen garden including foraged mushrooms from the grounds. All items on the menus are sourced from within a 50-mile radius of Sandsend.

Abbey Wharf Bar & Restaurant, Whitby. Strikingly located fish and seafood restaurant with terrace propped over the harbour approach. All fish caught daily and processed in Whitby. Steaks cooked on a very hot charcoal grill are also popular. Children's menu, takeaway and click and collect available.



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