Robin Hood's Bay - You Can't Visit Yorkshire Without Visiting Bay!
So you're heading to Yorkshire for the weekend, or perhaps a little longer? Well, you won't want to go home without visiting the wonderful Robin Hood's Bay. It really is the jewel in the crown of the North Yorkshire Coast - and not be missed.
During the summer you're best option for parking is the Village Hall Pay and Display at the top of the village. However, there is a regular bus service on the Whitby to Scarborough route, should you fancy it. Or you could always walk along the cliff path - if that's your thing!
When heading down towards the Old Village, you'll pass the childen's play area at the top of the bank, just after the Victoria Hotel. It's been recently improved with the addition of a large climbing frame in the shape of ship - so if you're travelling with children it's the perfect place to stop and enjoy the view for a few minutes.
Just past the park you'll find another recent addition to the village - the Fish Box. Run by one of Whitby's top fish and chip families, the Fish Box is a village outpost of a very popular fish and chip takeaway in Whitby. The building has been a succesful cafe for years, and it's no wonder - with undisturbed views out across the Bay towards Ravenscar.
Don't forget there's also another fish and chop shop in the Dock - so you now have a choice of two fish and chip takeaways, should they take your fancy.
The Bank is famously steep, but worth the effort (of getting back up). There are a few small shops on the Bank itself so you can always stop to catch your breath - or even stop for a pint in The Laurel!
Just past the Laurel you'll find Bay Fisheries. They're not open all year round (though they continue to provide a fresh fish delivery service to local businesses through the winter months) - but through the summer they're open selling fresh fish along with snacks and sandwiches - all locally caught.
Once at the bottom of the bank you'll have your choice of alleyways and snickets to explore - and it's worth 'getting lost' for a little while and being transported back in time to the days of the smugglers. Apart from the occasional telephone wire or estate agent's sign, very little has changed in the alleyways of Bay for hundreds of years.
With some buildings dating back to the 1600s and before it really is like stepping back in time. Look out for the fire insurance plaques, the communal taps and other remnants of times-past. There are also some wonderfullly original knockers on some of the front doors - some shaped like fish, others like sail boats and galleons. Keep your eyes peeled!
You'll also see a few plaques regarding local history - like this one on the side of a house signifying the place where John Wesley stayed when he visited the Bay. The Weslyan Methodist Chapel is now a cafe, Swell, and while the downstairs has been converted the upstairs retains it's traditional pew seating and is still used for weddings, and also for musical performances throughout the year.
Robin Hood's Bay also has it's own set of Whale Bones - a smaller jaw than Whitby's iconic landmark, but impressive nontheless. They're a little off the beaten track though, so you'll have to look carefully to find them!
It doesn't have to take long to explore the backstreets and pathways, but if you're not careful you could while away quite a lot of time in the peace, quiet and tranquil beauty of what is one of Yorkshire's top destinations.
Of course, it's not always quiet and peaceful - through the summer it can be very busy, but the hustle and bustle only adds to the friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
You'll find little gardens, tiny orchards and troughs and baskets of plants and flowers nestled between the cottages, enjoying the summer sun, or sheltering from the winter winds. These were particularly vibrant, just at the top of Tyson's Steps:
Down in the Dock you'll find a choice of restaurants, pubs and cafes - Smugglers Bistro is a popular choice, along with the Bay Hotel, opposite which is the National Trust Visitor Centre which is a great place to learn a bit more local history and get to meet some of the local wildlife, like this friendly crab:
The Old Post Office re-opened last year as Tea, Toast and Post and is possibly the most relaxed location for a tea, coffee, hot chocolate and cake, or wonderfully generous bacon sandwich or toast and jam (amongst other things) in the village.
Open daily they serve locally roasted Baytown Coffee which has quickly gained a reputation for being excellent! They also put on various musical events throughout the year and go out of their way to ensure everyone feels properly at home. Pay them a visit!
Here's their Juke Box:
And their old Post Bike outside the front of the shop:
Tea, Toast and Post is located on King Street, just up from the Bay Hotel in the Dock - right at the bottom of Bay Bank.
It goes without saying that the beach is worth a visit - but it just happened that the tide was right in the day we took these photos - so weren't able to show it to it's best advantage!
Whatever time of year you visit Robin Hood's Bay you won't leave disappointed. Through the warmer months the expansive beach, footpaths, alleyways and snickets will provide ample entertainment when paired with a refreshing drink or ice cream. And when the weather's not so good head for one of the cosy pubs, settle down with a good book and drink of your choice and relax.
Robin Hood's Bay is a place to take life slowly - to stop and enjoy the view, to step back a century or two and experience an atmsophere and location unlike anywhere else.
We can't recommend it highly enough!
Thanks for reading,
Phil and Dee