- The National Trails
- Cleveland Way
- Cotswold Way
- England Coast Path
- Glyndŵr's Way
- Hadrian's Wall Path
- North Downs Way
- Offa's Dyke Path
- Peddars Way / Norfolk Coast Path
- Pembrokeshire Coast Path
- Pennine Bridleway
- Pennine Way
- South Downs Way
- South West Coast Path
- Thames Path
- The Ridgeway
- Yorkshire Wolds Way
Trail Information and FAQs
We have tried to provide answers to the most common questions about the Trail here. If you can't find the information you are looking for please contact us directly and we'll do our best to help.
About the Trail
The Cleveland Way National Trail is a 109 mile (175 Km ) walking route through beautiful and ever changing landscapes and scenery. It was the second National Trail in England and Wales and was officially opened on 24th May 1969. The Trail offers the best of both worlds, heather moorland and stunning coastal scenery. You don’t have to do the Trail in one go to enjoy the best it has to offer. There are a number of circular walks based on the Trail including 1 and 2 day walks, and shorter easy access walks for everyone to enjoy.
The fastest official completion time is 21 hours and 3 minutes, set by Neil Ridsdale on 25th September 2010 as part of the Hardmoors 110 Ultrarun.
Anyone who is reasonably fit can walk the Cleveland Way. The route is challenging in places, especially the coastal sections, which adds to the overall experience. Whilst the route is well signed throughout, an up to date map or gps mapping is essential.
The Cleveland Way is managed by a National Trail Partnership led by the Managing Authorities of the North York Moors National Park, Redcar & Cleveland, Scarborough and Natural England. Management activity is co-ordinated through a National Trails Officer, based with the North York Moors National Park
You can volunteer your time to help the Cleveland Way. Most activity takes place through the volunteer groups for the North York Moors National Park. In addition some groups and businesses carry out volunteer activity days on the Cleveland Way. Contact the National Trails Officer to find out more.
Exploring the Trail
There is lots of accommodation close to the Trail. See the Plan your visit page to find out what is available. The area is popular and accommodation can book up quickly in peak season. We recommend that you book it well in advance. If you are planning on walking the whole trail you might want to consider offsetting your days – so that you start on a Monday or Tuesday for example, or consider walking it in the less common direction – from Filey to Helmsley.
The Cleveland Way can be walked right through the year, so there is not really a best time. If you want to see the moorland heather in bloom, then this take place in late August and September.
Most people walk the route from Helmsley through to Filey in a clockwise direction. This way you are likely to have the wind on your back for more of the time and most of the guidebooks are written this way. But there is no right or wrong way – plenty of people enjoy walking it in the other direction. If you are finding it hard to book accommodation you might want to walk the Trail in the less common direction – from Filey to Helmsley.
We recommend that you take a map or guidebook or GPS with mapping with you, or a copy of the walk leaflet if you are doing a shorter walk. Conditions can vary along the Cleveland Way, if you are planning a longer walk you will need to be fully equipped with waterproofs, good boots and emergency supplies. You should always have food and non alcoholic drink with you as well.
Phone reception can be patchy along the Trail, don’t rely on being able to use your phone to help you navigate. Wi-Fi is available at some accommodation and pubs/cafés along the route.
As a National Trail, the Cleveland Way is well signed throughout its length. You will see on stiles, gates and signposts an acorn symbol. This is the symbol used by all the English and Welsh National Trails. In addition you will often find a coloured arrow which marks the status of that particular section of Cleveland Way.
A yellow arrow means that that section is footpath. It is illegal to cycle, or ride a horse or drive a vehicle without the owners permission on footpaths
A blue arrow shows that a section of Cleveland Way is Bridleway. This means it can be used by walkers, cyclists and horseriders, but not a vehicle without the owners permission. On bridleways cyclists should give way to horseriders and walkers.
A red arrow indicates a byeway which may be used by walkers, cyclists and horseriders, and vehicles.
Because the weather can be unpredictable we recommend that you do not rely on signposting alone to follow the Cleveland Way, but include a map and compass with you on your travels.
To report a problem on the trail go to the ‘report a problem’ page. From here you will need to identify where the problem is on the map, and add some details. If you want to be informed about progress to resolve the problem please add your email address. Trail staff aim to resolve problems as quickly as they can, but some things do take a long time. Please be patient if you do not see an immediate resolution.
Who can enjoy the Trail
Some lengths of the Cleveland Way are bridleways or minor roads and so are suitable for cycling and horseriding. However you cannot cycle or ride the full route, because most of it is footpath. These sections are shown on the ‘plan your trip’ page. Select ‘equestrian’ or ‘cycling’ on the interactive map to see which sections can be ridden or cycled.
Your dog is welcome on the Cleveland Way. You will need to keep it under close control and we would recommend a lead on the moorland stretches where there can be nesting birds. There are still some stiles on the route and your dog will need to be able to cross them.
The Cleveland Way is mainly for walkers, with some sections suitable for cyclist and horse riders. It is not suitable for motor vehicles. Some sections follow minor roads where you may encounter traffic, and estate tracks where you may meet gamekeepers vehicles
The terrain along the Trail varies, some sections are across rough terrain with steep slopes and steps, others are on good paths with gentle slopes. We have identified some of the more accessible sections and created a series of eight easy access walks for everyone to enjoy. The walks vary in their level of difficulty. Most of the walks are short ones that may be suitable for people with impaired mobility, with a pushchair and where there are no kissing gates also wheelchair and mobility scooter. The Baysdale walk is far more challenging. None of the detailed walks have steps or stiles and comprehensive information is provided on the gradients and surfaces to expect. The leaflets can be downloaded here.
If you are planning to hold an event on the Cleveland Way please let us know . If we know events are planned we can let others know so they can choose to either join in, or avoid the Trail on that day.
What is special about the Trail
The Cleveland Way is one of the 15 National Trails in England and Wales. National Trails are designated by the Secretary of State and are administered by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales, and managed by the local authorities and National Park Authorities whose area they pass through. Most National Trails have a dedicated Trail Manager responsible for maintaining the high quality standards on the Trail. National Trails are waymarked with the distinctive “acorn” symbol.
National Trails are special because they pass through some of the best landscapes, and they are managed to a very high standard. Because of this you can be confident that any journey you make along a National Trail will be one of the best you have taken.
Natural England sets quality standards for National Trails and their management. You can find out more on the Natural England website.
The Cleveland Way follows a horseshoe line of great variety around much of the beautiful North York Moors National Park. Starting from the attractive market town of Helmsley it heads across the inspirational, and sometimes vibrant heather Moorland of the North York Moors, before reaching the coast at Saltburn. From here it’s a visual feast along the dramatic North Yorkshire coastline to Filey, passing old fishing villages and lively coastal towns. Along the way there is a wealth of history and heritage to enjoy. Helmsley Castle, Rievaulx Abbey, Mount Grace Priory, Gisborough Priory, Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle to name just a few special sites.
Maps, guides, certificates and merchandise
The official Guide Books for the National Trails are produced by Aurum Press. The guides are regularly updated and all details are checked by the trail managers. The books include sections of Ordnance Survey 1:25,00 maps and are the very best accompaniment to your walk. You can buy them through the National Trails shop.
As well as a guide book we also recommend a good quality map and you can buy these in paper or digital format.
To browse the maps and books available please visit the Maps and Guide Books page.
You can download a free certificate for the Cleveland Way - follow this link.
How to add information to the Trail map
Anyone can add information to the website. We hope that people who have enjoyed the National Trails will want to share their good experiences and that businesses will promote their services by adding information to the map.
You can add information to the map. This includes:
- Points of interest or attractions
- Services - for example shops, pubs, vets, cycle hire shops etc
- Details of your accommodation business
- Events - for example farmers’ markets, village fetes, guided walks
- Information to help horse riders or cyclists such as busy road crossings or water points
To add content you will need to sign up – click the join button in the top right corner. You’ll need a username and an email address. We won’t give your email address to anyone, we’ll only use it if you need a password reminder or if we need to contact you directly. For more information read our data protection policy.
Once you’re signed in you can add information to the map by clicking here.