Cleveland Way Coastal: Scarborough to Saltburn

An exhilarating clifftop trail that explores hidden coves and wonderful harbours and reveals new vistas around every headland of the rugged Yorkshire coastline. Steeped in the region’s rich seafaring history, this wonderful coastal trail can be completed in just four days.

This four-day itinerary follows the stunning coastal sections of the Cleveland Way between Scarborough and Saltburn, passing through lively coastal towns and romantic old fishing villages like Staithes. Along the exhilarating clifftop trail, there are hidden coves and wonderful harbours and new vistas around every headland. This wonderful coastal trail is steeped in the region’s rich seafaring history and includes fascinating insights into this county’s wider standing in the stunning remains of Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle.

Tour Overview

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History / Coastal

Landscape Type

By Water

Cleveland Way Coastal: Scarborough to Saltburn

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Setting out from the bustling seaside resort of Scarborough, head to the clifftop fortifications of the castle, then around the bay and onwards through the historic town of Whitby and the delightful old fishing villages of Robin Hood’s Bay and Staithes, before finishing at the more lively resort of Saltburn.

After an enjoyable night in the lively seaside resort of Scarborough, head along the promenade to Scalby and out towards the historic settlement of Ravenscar with its stunning views. On the way, drop down to the beautiful pebble beach of Hayburn Wyke, with its wonderful waterfall that cascades onto the beach. 17.7km/11 miles

Today starts with a descent to the former fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay, with its cluster of charming cottages and claim to fame as a smugglers’ base. From here on there is wonderful clifftop walking, on the stunning approach to Whitby as its famous Abbey looms large on the headland above this atmospheric old harbour town. 15.6km/10.3 miles

If the tide allows it, enjoy a beach stroll to Sandsend before climbing back onto the Cleveland Way and continuing your coastal journey.  The trail descends to the beach at Runswick Bay (you may have to wait a short time for the tide) a breath-taking location, before climbing again to Port Mulgrave and onto Staithes, which has inspired artists for generations. 18.5km / 11.5miles

The final day starts with a climb to the highest point of the east coast of England at Boulby Cliffs, before a descent to Skinningrove, an old iron mining village.  From here it’s up again, having passed the beautiful Cattersty beach, passing the artistic “Charm bracelet” before finishing with a celebration at the wonderful Victorian town of Saltburn by the Sea.  Overnight here or journey home. 14.2 miles/8.8 miles


Scarborough and Whitby offer ample accommodation options for all budgets and most of the larger villages along the route like Staithes, Robin Hood’s Bay and Saltburn have several options, ranging from budget hostels to comfortable harbourside inns. This stretch of coastline has a fine selection of coastal inns and taverns to explore: The Cod & Lobster at Staithes, the Guns Bar at Saltburn and the Whitby Brewery Tap are all highly recommended. The Discover Yorkshire Coast website has plenty of great suggestions around Whitby.


From Leeds Bradford airport: bus from airport to Leeds station, then hourly train to Scarborough – 2 hrs; by car 1 hr 30 mins.

From Manchester airport: hourly by train 3 hrs; by car 2 hrs 20 mins.

From Newcastle airport: train via Newcastle and York – 2 hrs 30 mins; by car 2 hours.

From Hull Ferry: bus transfer from ferry terminal then 2 hrs train from Hull to Scarborough; by car 1 hour 10 mins.

From Newcastle DFDS Ferry: 3.5 hrs, bus to Newcastle; Train to Scarborough via York; by car 1 hr 45 mins

Return flights from Saltburn via Leeds Bradford, Manchester or Newcastle.


Public transport options to Leeds Bradford Airport:

Saltburn to Leeds via Darlington on train then bus transfer to airport – 3 hours and by car 1 hour and 20 mins.

Public transport to Newcastle Airport: train via Darlington and Newcastle to airport – 2 hours and by car 1hr 10 mins.

Public transport to Manchester airport: train to airport via Thornaby – 3 1/2 hours and by car 2hrs 15 mins.

Public transport to Hull port: train via Darlington and York,  bus to near ferry + 15 min walk) 4 hrs mins and by car 2 hours.

Public transport to Newcastle port:

Train to Newcastle via Darlington, then DFDS bus to ferry  2 1/2 hours and by car 1 hour


These coastal sections of the Cleveland Way are moderately challenging with some ups and downs but not overly demanding. The clifftop sections require a good head for heights and some sensible precautions in high winds. May to September is the best time for walking this route.

Food & Drink

Yorkshire prides itself on the quality of its local produce and there’s no shortage of food and drink options along this stretch of coastline. You’ll find welcoming cafes and characterful coastal pubs – all of which offer hearty food and a wide variety of local ales. The Rusty Shears Vintage Tea Shop and Gin Bar in Whitby is worth a visit, as are the Quarterdeck Café at the wonderfully named Boggle Hole and Tea, Toast and Post at Robin Hood’s Bay.

Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

Itinerary Map

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