Did you know that Robin Hood’s Bay was named one of the 25 top beaches in the world by Passport Magazine who said:
“It’s a photographer’s and scenery-gulper’s delight: the centuries-old houses and byways of the village rising behind, the craggy coast filled with Jurassic fossils and rolling grey waters, the beachcombing and strolling.
Walking on the beach here is like stepping into the history and pre-history books, or, more appropriately, the ancient legends combined with some modern-day pirate stories from this isolated smuggler’s cove.”
We couldn’t agree more and think that everyone should visit at least once (we are pretty sure though you will want to go back again and again). Here is our Gorgeous Guide to Robin Hood’s Bay!
A historic village!
From the cliff-top views at the top of Robin Hood’s Bay to the beach at the bottom (not to mention the maze of cobbled streets inbetween) there is plenty to enjoy in this historic village.
It dates all the way back to the 16th century and by the 1900s was reputed to be a haven for smugglers. The maze of narrow cobbled streets were ideal for transporting contraband goods from fishing boats through a series of passageways and boltholes. The Old Coastguard Station on the edge of the sea gives a fascinating insight into this secret history!
Fishing was the main occupation for many inhabitants of the Bay and this reached its peak in the 19th century. It is still a great spot to catch some fish if you fancy trying to catch some for your supper!
A mosaic wall has recently been completed which runs to the beach at the bottom of the bay which commemorates the history of the town along with memories from current residents and visitors.
Where to eat in Robin Hood’s Bay
Nowadays Robin Hood’s Bay is a haven for tourists and there are plenty of great choices to stop for a bite to eat including The Bay Hotel, which dates back to 1828. This dog-friendly pub and restaurant is located in The Dock and marks the end of the Coast-to-Coast walk from St Bees.
The Wayfarer Bistro has a selection of fresh seafood on their menu along with local beef and lamb. Head there on a Sunday and you can get two meals and a bottle of wine for £20. Another Sunday speciality is the Victoria Hotel’s Curry Night, the food is accompanied by some live Blues played by local musician Steve Phillips.
If music is your thing then you may also want to try Tea, Toast and Post. This former Post Office now serves a variety of tea and toast (it’s really all in the name) and has an extensive juke box and regular live performances.
For a romantic candle-lit meal, try Smuggler’s Bistro. It has a great location that’s is just a few metres from the beach.
And if you are in the mood for traditional Fish and Chips (well you are at the seaside) try The Fish Box. There are plenty of outside picnic benches if you want to eat them al fresco or a café inside for when the weather is bad.
Walks to try
The position of Robin Hood’s Bay makes it an ideal spot for walking – the Cleveland Bay runs right through the village.
Head one way and you will reach Ravenscar in around five to six miles. This cliff-top walk has some some stunning views so it is well worth doing at least some of it – even if you don’t walk regularly.
Walk the other way and Whitby is about seven miles away. Spend a few hours exploring this well-loved town and famous abbey before heading back to Robin Hood’s Bay.
What to do
There’s a good reason why the North York Moors coastline is nicknamed the ‘Dinosaur Coast’. The coastal rocks date back to the Jurassic period which makes Robin Hood’s Bay a great place to hunt for fossils. Spend a day at the beach and see what hidden treasures you can find.
Children can burn off some energy at a children’s park (opposite The Fish Box) which includes a special built pirate’s ship and lots of climbing frames for them to burn off some energy. They will also love a trip afterwards to Browns Chocolate Heaven where there is a chocolate fountain along with a range of other sweet treats.
If you fancy trying something a bit different you can join one of the regular ghost walks through the town. This spooky walk will take you through various alleyways where you will learn about some of the supernatural history of Robin Hood’s Bay.
If you have built up a thirst while exploring the village, Baytown brewery produces a range of local beers to sample during your visit. Try them all during their Beer Tasting Smuggler’s Tour which also includes a guided walk through the town plus tea and scones at the Victoria Hotel. You can also call into The Laurel Inn for a drink or two – it has a bar made out of solid rock!
Where to stay
Whether you are looking for a romantic cottage for two or a large property for ten, there will be something available in Robin Hood’s Bay. Take a look at these options:
Albion Hall – Sleeps 10
A four bedroom luxurious holiday home near the bottom of Robin Hood’s Bay
Apple Farm Cottage – Sleeps 6
This 17th-century farmhouse has been transformed into a three bedroom holiday home
Feather’s Nest – Sleeps 2
One-bedroom cottage with exposed walls and beams that looks over the Bay
Little Pearl – Sleeps 2
A stylish cottage that’s just a short walk from the beach.
Millbrook – Sleeps 4
A great choice for small families that comes with a private courtyard
The Boathouse – Sleeps 2
An atmospheric nautical bolthole in the heart of Robin Hood’s Bay.
Vale View – Sleeps 6
This spacious holiday home is located in Fylingthorpe, just a short walk from Robin Hood’s Bay.