This is a short (3 mile) cliff-top walk, from Runswick Bay, through Port Mulgrave and on to Staithes. Be prepared for some amazing views. The route follows the Cleveland Way for the whole length of the walk.
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.
If you have walked into Runswick Bay from further down the coast, Whitby or Sandsend, then walk along the beach to the old lifeboat station. This sits above the rail-mounted winch and fishing cobles. From here it’s a steep climb up the village to Bank Top and the upper half of the village.
If you are driving, car parking is available in both Runswick Bay and Staithes (pay and display).
Start the walk in either Runswick Bay or Staithes, returning back along the same route. The villages are 10 minutes apart by bus if you want a shorter walk and only want to walk one way. The same bus (X4) will also take you back to Sandsend and Whitby.
The path leaves Runswick Bay at the side of the Runswick Bay Hotel. Be careful to take the right path. The Cleveland Way runs through the pub car park, not the track to the right of the hedge. Follow the path to the cliff edge and head north (left) at the pond. The path continues along the top of Lingrow Cliffs, above Wrack Hills and on to Port Mulgrave.
There was once a harbour at Port Mulgrave. The old jetty and tunnel entrance, a few fishermen’s huts and some small boats are all that remains of the harbour. The jetty was used for transporting ironstone quarried nearby for the railway and shipbuilding industries. It was built and operated by the Grinkle Park Mining Company from 1857 until 1934. The jetty was partially demolished at the outbreak of the Second World War to prevent its use by invading German forces. A few small fishing cobles still operate from here. If you decide to explore the jetty area and beach, there is a very steep path down. Be careful walking down to the far end of the beach, past the landslip, this is cut off at high tide.
Beyond Port Mulgrave, the path passes below Beacon Hill. This is another link in the chain of signal stations that used to run along the coast. The path runs across farmland past Old Nab and Penny Steel. The view down into Staithes from here is absolutely stunning as the whole village and harbour are laid out before you. The path down to the village enters Church Street which leads to the harbourfront and the Cod and Lobster pub. Staithes was once one of the largest fishing ports on the North East Coast, at one point over 80 boats were based here.
Entering Staithes is like stepping back in time. The village is full of fisherman’s cottages, arranged around winding streets. It is a charming place, take some time to explore the harbour area and village before returning or heading for the bus stop. The bus stop is located on the main road at the top of the steep road that leads down to the harbour. It’s a massive effort especially after a long walk but the views back over the village are well worth it.
Whilst I take every care to ensure the accuracy of the route descriptions, I cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions. The route described may be pleasant for walking in fine weather but can become slippery, boggy and dangerous in wintry or wet weather. On days when visibility is impaired by fog, rain, cloud or mist, some landmarks used as direction aids in the route descriptions may not be visible.
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