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Cleveland Way: Saltburn-by-the-Sea to Filey

The Cleveland Way was the second National Trail in England and Wales and was officially opened on 24th May 1969.

The coastal section of the Trail provides a visual feast along the dramatic North Yorkshire coastline, passing old fishing villages and lively coastal towns. Along the way there is a wealth of history and heritage to enjoy including Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle to name just a couple of the special places you’ll visit.

Tour Overview

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Coastal / Wildlife / History

Landscape Type

By Water / Connecting Towns and Villages

Cleveland Way: Saltburn-by-the-Sea to Filey

Every step of the journey has been carefully planned to help you make the most of your walking adventure. Click on the blue tabs below for more information.

Tour Details

This itinerary is offered by Great British Walks, a company owned and run by walking enthusiasts Julie and Nick Thomas, who live in Monmouthshire, on the borders of England and Wales.

Nick and Julie have never taken it for granted that they live in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and both enjoy walking in the great outdoors. The couple have spent most of their holidays walking the length and breadth of the UK, mostly on the National Trails of England, Scotland and Wales, each time discovering new highlights and lovely places for walking holidays and accommodation.

Great British Walks arrange all accommodation including breakfast, luggage transfers between overnight stops, and transfers between the accommodation and path should your overnight stay be away from the trail. They supply your route planning in the form of a Holiday Pack that includes a Trail Guide (and map, where necessary), your itinerary, accommodation directions and local interest leaflets.

To find out more about this itinerary and make an enquiry or a booking, click on the Enquire Now button at the top of the page. The Save to My Rucksack button allows you to save itineraries to view later, or to download them as a PDF.


Arrival day - Arrive in Saltburn-by-the-Sea

Check into your comfortable accommodation in Saltburn-by-the-Sea. This Victoria spa town is worth exploring. Its fine pier is frequently adorned by Saltburn “Yarnbombers” and the town has become especially popular as a surfing destination.

Brimming with history and tradition, this untouched town has such a wealth of outstanding architecture and original features.

In contrast to its stunning built environment, Saltburn has a wealth of more natural charms including beautiful gardens, plentiful areas of preserved woodland, over a mile of curving, golden sands and rugged sea cliffs providing breath-taking views.

Journey between town and beach with a ride on the oldest water-balanced cliff lift in Britain, where you’ll disembark alongside Saltburn’s magnificent 600ft long Victorian Pier, the sole surviving example on England’s north-east coast.

Day 1 - Saltburn-by-the-Sea to Staithes

The Cleveland Way heads south out of Saltburn rising quickly onto the cliff top. You may be surprised to come across several art features along this stretch. The most distinctive of these metal sculptures is the ring  – a circle with ten metal objects representative of the area hanging and clanking from it in the breeze!

Beyond Skinningrove you will climb up to Boulby Cliff. This is the highest cliff on the eastern coast of England at 203 metres (666 feet). Another record is set nearby – you will see the Boulby Potash mine which is the deepest mine in Europe.

Beyond Boulby you drop down to Staithes, a most picturesque harbour village with narrow alleyways and a cluster of houses.

14.1 km / 8.8 miles

Day 2 - Staithes to Whitby

Take in the sea air as you travel on and enjoy the beach at Runswick Bay before climbing the cliffs once more. The original village of Kettleness slipped into the sea in 1829, a reminder of the ever present nature of coastal erosion along the Cleveland Way. Your journey continues through to Sandsend where there is a wealth of tea shops and pubs.

Your journey from Sandsend soon reaches Whitby, a famous sea side town which prospered through the years from whaling, shipbuilding (Captain Cooks ships were built here) and the jet trade. Today tourism is one of the main industries. Whitby is also renowned as the setting for Bram Stokers “Dracula”.

Enjoy counting the 199 steps up to St Mary’s church – everyone else does! The classic outline of the ruins of Whitby Abbey, managed by English Heritage soon comes into view.

17.3 km/10.8 miles


Day 3 - Whitby to Robin Hood's Bay

From Whitby follow the pleasant walk along the cliff top through to Robin Hoods Bay. Here the houses are clustered so closely together that they appear to be nesting on the cliff edge. Robin Hood’s Bay is infamous for its role in the smuggling trade between 1700 and 1850.

Wandering through its narrow, twisting cobbled streets and alleyways, you can easily imagine the sailors and fishermen, smugglers and press gangs that walked these streets hundreds of years ago. Today it is a vibrant village, with a wide range of cafes, pubs, restaurants, small shops and places to explore.

10.2km / 6.4 miles

Day 4 - Robin Hood's Bay to Scarborough

Heading south once again is the gradual climb to Ravenscar, with the occasional sudden drops to sea level at Boggle Hole and Stoupe Beck. Approaching Ravenscar you pass through site of former Alum works, considered one of the first sites of the Worlds first chemical industry. It is worth calling in at the National Trust centre at Ravenscar to get local information and to learn about the “Town that never was”.

Heading south from Ravenscar the trail drops into the delightful wooded bsy of Hayburn Wyke. This is a fantastic spot to stop by the waterfall and admire the stone pebble beach.  Nearby the Hayburn Wyke Inn is a great source for refreshments.

Journey on and soon Scarborough Castle comes into view. Keep heading on towards this busy seaside resort. On reaching Scarborough you can choose to take the open top bus around from North Bay to the Spa at South Bay or enjoy this exhilarating walk around its promenade.

19.3km / 12 miles

Day 5 - Scarborough to Filey

This final length has some stunning cliff and coastal scenery to appreciate as you saunter through to the lovely old Victorian resort of Filey.

Passing out of Scarborough you will see the former location of the Holbeck Hall Hotel. The hotel famously slipped into the sea in front of the British media in 1994.  In fact coastal slippage is a frequent reminder here, as you head past the bungalows at Knipe Point some of which have also been lost to the sea in recent years.

The walk passes above the beautiful expanse of Cayton Bay before you enjoy the last few miles through to the stunning geographical location of Filey Brigg, a birdwatchers paradise. This point marks the finish not only of the Cleveland way but also the Yorkshire Wolds Way, another National Trail that follows the gentle rolling landscape of the Yorkshire Wolds between Hessle on the Humber and Filey.

16.7km / 10.5 miles

Departure day

Depart Filey after breakfast.


Great British Walks always book recommended local accommodation as close as possible to the Cleveland Way and hope to give you a flavour of different types of accommodations and you may stay in a Bed & Breakfast, a Guesthouse, maybe a Farmhouse, and sometimes a local Inn or a small Hotel. En-suite or private facilities are provided wherever possible.

This 5 day tour includes 6 nights’ accommodation.



A regular bus service connects Saltburn to Middlesbrough.

On finishing the Trail you can catch either a bus or train directly from Filey to Hull.

Check Traveline for latest timetable information and journey planning.


Hourly trains link Saltburn to Darlington on the East Coast Mainline where you can change trains to stations between London’s King Cross and Edinburgh.

On finishing the Trail you can catch either a bus or train directly from Filey to Hull.

Visit for rail information and journey planning.


International airports are Leeds-Bradford Airport and Teeside International Airport.

From Leeds-Bradford Airport, you can take the Airlink 757 bus to Leeds railway station, followed by a train to Saltburn-by-the-Sea (2.5 hours)

From Teeside International Airport, you can take a bus or taxi to Darlington railway station, followed by a train from Darlington to Saltburn-by-the-Sea (55 minutes)


If arriving at Hull using North Sea Ferries you can catch a bus from King George Dock to the Paragon Interchange where you can pick up train, bus and coach services.


Anyone who is reasonably fit can walk the Cleveland Way. Along the coastal section the route is challenging in places. This tour is moderate and involves 5 days of between 10 and 19 km each day.

Food & Drink

The Yorkshire Coast is a food lover’s paradise.

With an unrivalled fishing heritage you can be sure that the seafood will be unlike anything you’ve ever tasted anywhere else. Seafront ice cream parlours are always a popular attraction and of course no visit to the Yorkshire Coast is complete without sampling the finest fish and chips in the world.

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.

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