The Cleveland Way – Whitby to Sandsend


This is a popular beach walk from Whitby to the nearby village of Sandsend, along a flat sandy beach. The route is part of the Cleveland Way, although technically this follows the top of West Cliff and the A174.

The beach is a much better option unless it’s a particularly high tide. The long, wide beach is ideal for a dog walk, plenty of room for dogs to run around. The walk from the West Pier in Whitby to the cliffs at Sandsend and then back is about 4 and a half miles. Parts of the beach do get cut off at high tide so check the tide times at UK Tide Times when planning your walk. The whole length of the beach is dog-friendly from 1 October to 30 April. There are two dog bans at Whitby and Sandsend during the summer months. Avoid the banned area, by an easy detour along the clifftop at Whitby or the roadside footpath at Sandsend.

The whole of the coastal section of the Cleveland Way is covered on the Ordnance Survey explorer map OL27, the North York Moors – Eastern area. With this map, you also get a code for use on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet. The explorer map is available in both the standard paper version and weatherproof ‘Active’ version.

Whitby to Sandsend

If you are walking out of season (or don’t have a dog) leave Whitby at the West Pier, dropping down to the beach. The route then heads out across Whitby Sands, past the Golf Club and Upgang Beach, and arrives at Sandsend Beach. Jutting out of the sand here is the wooden skeleton of an old jetty, the subject of many photographs. Walking past the village, the walk ends at the cliffs, which form a natural barrier at the end of the beach.


This is a very picturesque village with Victorian houses and traditional cottages (East Row). The pretty fishing village includes a nice beach and lots of attractive cottages. Behind Sandsend is the wooded Mulgrave Estate, which is open Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. This is a great place to extend the walk. As well as the ruins of Mulgrave Castle there are miles of woodland trails which will take you to becks and waterfalls.

You could also continue along the Cleveland Way and visit Kettleness and Runswick Bay if you are feeling energetic.

Walk off the beach to the car park near the cliffs. Then look for the Cleveland Way signpost and the obvious track up the cliffside. Runswick Bay is another lovely fishing village with a sandy beach, sheltered bay and picturesque cottages.

You could always turn this into a linear walk, the x4 bus is a regular service from Whitby to Middlesbrough, which calls at Runswick Bay and Sandsend.

If you are arriving by car, a possible alternative would be to walk the other way, Sandsend to Whitby and back. In winter this will save any car parking charges. The car park at Sandsend is free in the winter months.

If you are returning along the beach to Whitby, fantastic views of Whitby Abbey and the West Pier are in sight all the way back.

To avoid Whitby Beach when the dog ban is in force. Firstly, walk up the Khyber Pass to the Whalebones next to the statue of Captain Cook at the top of the West Cliff. Then walk along the clifftop until you have passed the Pavillion Theatre. Finally, descend back down to the beach huts, promenade and beach. The area covered by the dog ban is clearly marked.

Want to save this article for later? Pin the image below.

Whitby to Sandsend Walk

Leave a comment