Robin Hod's Bay from above

Things to do in Robin Hoods Bay

Things to do in Robin Hoods Bay

Robin Hoods Bay, on the East Coast of England, is one of the best coastal villages to visit in the country. Situated to the north-east of York, whats not to love about it? An unchanged place of narrow, cobbled lanes and fishermen’s cottages crammed along close to a secluded harbor once haunted by smugglers. The coastal scenery is beautiful, and therefore the village has become exceptionally well-liked as a vacation destination.

Robin Hoods Bay from above

Thousands of tourists visit the village annually during the holiday seasons. Robin Hoods Bay retains its aura of untroubled peacefulness, partially due to the restriction of vehicles from the harbor space. Therefore, if you wish to see the village you have to go walking down the steep hill to the harbor and pass all of the characteristic shops and cottages. I hope you enjoy this article about things to do in Robin Hood’s Bay.


Robin Hoods Bay was habited during the Bronze age around 3000 years ago. On the high moorland, Burial mounds were dug, and they were seen on the south of the village and they were known as Robinhood’s butts. Over 1500 years later the Romans designed a stone signal tower near Ravenscar, however, the first permanent settlement wasn’t established till the Dark Ages with the departure of the Romans.

The first settlers were Norwegians who were attracted by the rich glacial soil and ample fish, and that they survived through a mixture of fishing and farming. The Norse settlement was slightly inland, probably to avoid being seen by raiders on the coast.

After the Norman invasion in 1066 William, the master gave the manor of Fyling to William the Conqueror’s relatives, Hugh of Chester. The manor passed in time to the powerful Percy family, and therefore the Percy’s gave the estate to Whitby Abbey.

The Norman settlement should not have amounted to a lot, however, step by step homes were designed by the shore because the threat of ocean raiders diminished. The primary record of a village at Robin Hoods Bay doesn’t come back till 1536, and by 1540 there have been fifty homes by the harbour. Once Whitby Abbey was suppressed by the King of England, he granted the estate to the Earl of Warwick.

The village should have undergone a growth spurt, however by the late sixteenth century the population had grown considerably larger at the nearby town of Whitby.

Matthew Storm the chief tenant in 1540 and his descendants still live in Robin Hood’s Bay. In 1539 at the dissolution of the monasteries, the land passed to Earl of Warwick who the King sold it to. And the final ‘Lords of the Manor’ are the Cholmleys and the Stricklands.

Still, now it has been a mystery about the origin of the name. There is no evidence to show that Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest folklore visited the Bay. It is believed that the name has been come from legends with local origin and probably from more than one legend.

Robin Hood’s Bay, in Yorkshire, the North of England,  began to attract visitors from outside from the early 19th century and this has continued to the present day. Hoods Bay goes by an abundance of different names, Bay Robin, Robin Hoods, Whitby Bay, or Robin Hoods Bay.

Getting around Robin Hoods Bay

The village has narrow cobbled streets and they are at the top cliff they can be reached by descent on foot. The visitors are advised to leave their car at the car park as there are so many things to do in Robin Hood’s Bay – they’ll be there for hours.

The large beaches are very beautiful and are extended around a mile to the north, and five miles to the south of the village are sandy and these are a fossil hunter’s paradise. But when you are staying far away from the village do take care of yourself as the waves can change rapidly and can cut you off beneath a cliff.

From time to time with regular artists and special guests, one of the local pubs hosts a Friday Folk Club. There’s a very small local museum which has all the lowdown on the smugglers as well as lots more information about the history of the village and the nearby area.

Robin Hood's Bay beach

Even though Robin Hood’s Bay is a small resort, there’s a lot to see and do within the village. 5 miles to the north there is Whitby and 15 miles to the south there is Scarborough and the North York Moors start just a mile or to the west. Sandsend, Staithes and Runswick Bay are the other coastal villages. Apart from all the beautiful places and coastal walks you can try surfing at Scarborough. You don’t have to be a professional surfer, just do it for fun! Surfing is one of those things that takes years and years of practice!

The streets of Robin Hood's Bay

You can walk to Whitby (7 miles) on the clifftop coastal path that forms a part of the Cleveland approach National path. The path and trail that runs south of Robin Hood’s Bay towards Scarborough.

Wainwright’s famed Coast to Coast Walk ends its journey from St. Bees in Cumbria at Robin Hood’s Bay. A plaque by the quayside marks the top of the walk.

Walk or cycle on the ‘Cinder Track’, the obsolete Scarborough to Whitby Railway line that passes through the higher part of Robin Hood’s Bay. The views of the native coast square measure beautiful. Bike rent is offered at Hawsker on top of Robin Hood’s Bay from Trailways.

Robin Hoods Bay from the beach

Robin Hood’s Bay is the eastern end of Alfred Wainwright’s famous 190 mile Coast to Coast walk and is also a popular stopping off point for those walking the Cleveland Way. The village in the north of York, is a sight to see in itself.

What to See in Robin Hood’s Bay

The Old Coastguard Station

Hoods Bay prides itself on its old coastguards Station. Entry to The Old Coastguard Station is free to discover what makes this part of North Yorkshire so special and learn about the geography of the area, the smuggling history and the local wildlife. The Old Coastguard Station is also home to The National Trust Visitor centre offering a great range of gifts, books and National Trust products. There lies the rockpool tank which is home to some of the creatures of the sea such as hermit crabs, winkles, crabs and prawns.

The Seals at Ravenscar

If you stroll across the beach to the foot of Ravenscar cliff you will discover the common and grey seal colonies. At certain times of the year you can see large quantities of seals especially common seal pups in June and July and grey seals in November when they come ashore.

The walk from Robin Hood’s Bay to Ravenscar can take just over an hour and please be aware of the tides and make sure that you start to head home well before high tide approaches.

North Yorkshire moors

If your looking for things to do in robin hoods bay then go take a look at the north york moors national park. Its based on the outskirts of hoods bay. Visiting the north York moors national park is a fun day out for all of the family! Also if you wanted to go Robin Hood Bay Camping there is a camp site based close to the North york moors, so take a look into it for your next visit!

The Traditional Robin Hood’s Bay Ghost Walk

You can join a unique tour through the cobbled streets and alleyways of Robin Hood’s Bay and listen to the strange and supernatural tales of smuggling and shipwrecks. The ghost walk meets in the dock outside the Old Coastguard Station and lasts for just over an hour. The walk is suitable for people of all ages and the prices are £5 for an adult and £4 for a child. The ghost walk is available all year round on certain days.

Robin Hood’s Bay Museum

Run entirely by local volunteers and there are no entrance fees. The Robin Hood’s Bay Museum offers displays including fishing, shipwrecks, local history and smuggling tales. There is even a model of a smugglers house explaining just how contraband was concealed in the area. The museum is located on Fisherhead bank and is open most weekends and school holidays.

Boggle Hole

This is one of the best things to do in Robin Hood’s Bay for kids! If you take a short journey across the beach to the old smuggling cove of Boggle Hole. Boggle Hole is now home to many rock pools and the YHA Youth Hostel. The Youth Hostel has recently reopened after a £1.2m renovation and offers a fantastic café serving refreshments for people visiting the area. The walk to Boggle Hole is 20 minutes from Robin Hood’s Bay across the beach or on the cliff path towards Ravenscar. Please check the tide times.

Delicious Fish and Chips in the Dock

A visit to anywhere on the east coast, especially Robin Hood’s Bay isn’t complete without sampling the local Fish and. Mariondale Fisheries take away is open daily during the Spring and the Summer months, open Thursday – Sunday during Winter and is very popular among locals and visitors. You are able to sit upstairs in the restaurant or take away and sit in the dock or the quarterdeck to take in the atmosphere and fantastic views. The Bay Hotel and Ye Dolphin are perfectly situated for something to wash them down with afterwards.

Rock pooling

Rock pooling in Robin Hood’s Bay is a must do activity for everyone that visits. Hermit crabs and winkles are commonly found but if you are lucky you may find more fascinating creatures found on our shores.  The rockpools nearest to the water’s edge are the best as sea creatures tend to need full seawater.

The Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way path towards Whitby or Scarborough provides stunning views and is a firm favourite with all walkers. Unlike the Cinder Track, The Cleveland Way has many small rises and falls as the path follows the cliff. Towards Scarborough, the walk drops into Boggle Hole and Stoupe Beck before heading to Ravenscar. Towards Whitby, you can drop down to Saltwick Nab which is a great area to explore at low tide before finishing at Whitby Abbey. I hope you learned a lot of things to about Robin Hoods Bay and this article has made you want to come and visit!

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