Date - 13th September 2023 Distance - 9.5 miles
Ascent -
Map - OL27
Start point - Station car park Robin Hood's Bay (NZ 9493 0493)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



All was well with cakes on our plates and our mugs charged with Ramblears tea.

"What are the stocks of tea bags like", asked Allen.

"Well tea belly", replied Shaun. "I think we will have to ask Dad to get more supplies when we goes to Armathwaite Hall in October.

"Thanks for making the scones Southey, and giving Little Eric and I another day off", said Grizzly.

"Yes pal", they are delicious", went on Tetley.

Just then our railway club pals Higson and Scooter trotted in.

"Have some tea and scones that Southey has made", said Shaun.

"Oh thanks", replied Higgy as he and Scooter tucked in. "They are delicious Southey."

"It is Dad's holiday to Raithwaite Hall in 2 weeks. All the railway club will be going as he has promised to take us on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway", said Scooter.

"But what we have say is that you will also be going, as Dad is determined to do a walk, which will be a completely new area for you and him."

"Oh that's just great", cheered Allen putting his tea down and doing somersaults round the room.

"Now calm down pal", called out Grizzly, "what are you like."

"Just excited to explore somewhere new", replied Allen.

Ever practical Tetley said, "we will need to come up with and idea for a route."

"How about we look on Dad still has credits to download the details", replied Allen.

Little Eric grabbed the iPad and soon had the website on screen. "There is a section of walks in Yorkshire we can scroll through."

This we did, Little Eric tapping away with his paw. We began to get despondent as most of them were in the Dales, and we indeed recognised many of the hills and places we had explored over the years with Uncle Bob.

Then Shaun said, "stop. Here's one. It starts from Robin Hood's Bay, takes the Cleveland Way south to Ravenscar, then returns along the Cinder Track, part of the old railway line between Whitby and Scarborough."

"Perfect", cheered Southey. "Let's get it printed off."

"We need his password to log in", said Little Eric.

"I know what it is", replied Tetley, whispering in his ear.

Soon we had the paper copy, and then taking over Allen printed off the section of the Ordnance Survey map relevant to the route. "All set now", he said. "In a while I'll go and show it to Dad to hopefully get his approval."

"You are all very clever" said Scooter. "I am glad we do not have to do it for our railway trips."

"Well pal, we have been doing this for many years now", replied Tetley. "Just second nature."

After a chat Allen told us, "Dad had no problem approving our idea."

"Great", cheered Little Eric. "All we have to hope for now is good weather."

"Raithwaite Hall is a truly lovely hotel and I can see why Dad likes to stay here", said Tetley, as we were relaxing in the room on Monday, while some of our pals were out with Dad.

"Higgy said, "Dad was planning to take us on the railway tomorrow but looking at the forecast it is going to rain all day."

"That leaves Wednesday and Thursday then" replied Chuffer. "From the operating point of view Wednesday would be best, but I know that is the planned day for the walk."

"It is by far the best day weather wise", said Little Eric, "but we will not mind if we wait until Thursday."

"Absolutely not" said Higgy emphatically. "You must go tomorrow. After all we went on the NYMR in May, and we will still have a good day even without the extra train."


The Walk

As Dad opened the curtains, Grizzly said, "the weather forecast is right. It is to be a sunny day with light winds.

As soon as breakfast was over Dad gathered his things and we set off out to walk the short distance to the car park. Dad programmed the Satnav, although Shaun said, "from Whitby we take the A171 towards Scarborough, turning off for Robin Hood's Bay."

As we neared the village Southey advised, "the large car park is to the right at the site of the old station. According to Wikipedia it closed on 8th March 1965."

Arriving at around 09:45, it was already very busy, such is the popularity of Robin Hood's Bay. Dad's car can be seen. The red one nearest the camera.

Parked next to us was a lovely couple from Broadstairs, and Dad chatted with them. They were getting the bus to Whitby and then walking back.

Out of the car park a clear sign for the Cleveland Way pointed right down the steep narrow road into the village.

Nearing the bottom Shaun suggested, "the general view of the buildings will make a nice shot and give a feel for the village.

Tetley said, "this is the eastern end of the Coast to Coast Walk that was devised by Alfred Wainwright, so it is entirely appropriate that the bar at The Bay Hotel bears his name."

Although not our route we walked the few yards to the beach. Shaun pointed, "we will be walking the cliff path, as far as the headland."

"Ooh looks to be a long way, and from reading the instructions Dad will be faced with lots of steep up and downs", said Little Eric.

"I know lad, but no more than those we faced climbing all the Lakeland Fells."

"Which way now?", asked Allen.

"Up those steps", pointed Southey.

At the top this sign confirmed we were on the right route.

Down the steps brought us to a promenade. "A picture on that seat", pointed Grizzly, "to prove we have been here."

Safely in the rucksack, there was no doubt of our route. Up the steep steps.

Beyond the corner the ascent went on and on, never easing until finally we gained the top of the cliffs, where Dad paused to catch his breath, and take this shot looking back to the village. "We can see the promenade where we started the climb, on the right", pointed Southey.

The path is well walked and mostly fenced, and level for a while before the steps descended steeply towards Bogle Hole.

"What goes down must go up again", sighed Little Eric.

"True", agreed Dad. But then he laughed, "the return path on the Cinder Track will be level as it was once a railway, so, we are getting the hard work out of the way first."

"That is a nice shapely tree", pointed Allen. "Worth a picture."

Bogle Hole is a narrow cove...

where there is a Youth Hostel, seen here after we had crossed the footbridge.

"There's a cafe", said Dad.

"So there is, but a bit too early in the walk to stop", replied Shaun.

"I suppose you're right", sighed Dad wistfully.

The path led to as Little Eric had alluded steep steps to regain the top of the cliffs.

Out of the woods the path led on with fields to the right, where cows and calves were grazing.

Soon there was another steep descent to cross the footbridge over Stoupe Beck...

and as can be seen a steep ascent to reach a road.

"Left along this, and shortly take what will be a signed path left across the field", instructed Shaun.

Fairly level now the path wound on and on, and now closer we could see Raven Hall Hotel on the headland. "The end of the cliff section will be by the entrance to that hotel at Ravenscar", said Tetley.

Suddenly we reached the remains of buildings.

"What were they?", asked Little Eric.

"According to the map they were once The Peak Alum Works", replied Grizzly. "There's an information board up ahead, let's go have a look.

This told us that Alum is a crystal containing aluminium sulphate produced by a chemical process. It was ground into a 'flour' used as a fixing agent in the textile dyeing industry and as a preservative for tanning leather.
The works here were a thriving industry for just over 200 years, until it closed in 1860 after the introduction of cheaper manufacturing methods. Production was very labour intensive and up to 150 men worked to quarry the shale and produce the final product. This was an ideal location; the vast amounts of alum shale being quarried from the hills behind the works. Other materials human urine and seaweed were transported by boat, docking at the bottom of the cliffs, and from where the finished 'alum flour' product was transported across Britain and Europe.
This was one of Britain's first chemical industries. Following the discovery of alum-bearing shale in North Yorkshire, over 30 alum producing sites were established in the 17th and 18th centuries. By about 1780 they were producing 5000 tons of alum a year, and here at Peak the output was about 10% of the total. By-products of the process included Epsom salts used in the production of medicine. Ironstone and cement stone were also quarried here.

"Well that has been quite a school day", commented Tetley.

Walking on it was left at a crossing track that was delightful through the woods...

...where once clear of them we paused to take in the view looking north from where we had come.

"We've climbed quite a way already as we passed the red roofed barn and that small house that was close to the Alum Works", stated Southey.

"Just a perfect day to do this walk. Fabulous views, the sea blue", called out Tetley. "We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful Dad to take us on all these adventures."

Soon we reached a fork. "Go right", instructed Shaun.

So followed a long continuous ascent to finally level off as we neared Ravenscar.

"There is a sign right for the Cinder Track", pointed Allen.

"Yes", agreed Shaun, "but the instructions state we keep on to the entrance to Raven Hall Hotel."

Large bird sculptures adorn the gateposts. "We must have our picture taken by that", insisted Grizzly.

Seeing the sign for Cinder Track Dad ambled along Station Road, but Shaun called out, "we still going south, so in the wrong direction."

Dad smartly turned round and in fact to get onto the Cinder Track, it was at the signpost that Allen had pointed out earlier.

Scratching his head, Shaun said, "the author has got a bit confused. There was no need to walk up to the hotel entrance as he states."

"Well if we hadn't we would not have had that picture by the bird sculpture", replied Grizzly.

"What is that sculpture about?" pointed Southey.

"I assume it is of a quarry man related to the Alum Works", stated Tetley.

Some sleuthing later by Grizzly confirmed his assumption.

So off Dad strode onto the Cinder Track. "Well being an old railway there will be none of the steep ups and downs of the cliff path", said Little Eric.

"Yes lad an easier return route."

Grizzly told us, "we are on part of the trackbed of the Scarborough to Whitby Railway. It operated from 1885 to 1965 when it closed as part of the Beeching Axe. It was a single track the total length being 20.5 miles. There were a number of intermediate stations including at Robin Hood's Bay where we parked, and here at Ravenscar. Entry into Whitby was via Larpool Viaduct over the River Esk. This was built between October 1882 and October 1884. It has 13 arches and is 305 yards long with the rail level reaching 120 ft high. The viaduct is grade ll listed. It is now part of the Cinder Track trail. Oh and finally the viaduct is mentioned in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula."

"Thank you pal", said Allen. "Always adding interest to our adventures."

There were not so many views from the trackbed with the vegetation, but this gate to a path towards the coast provided a view.

Minutes later, Little Eric pointed, "a seat. I think we need to appear in the story again."

"Of course pal", replied Tetley. "There is one thing we are not and that is camera shy!"

"Bit like what Uncle Brian used to say about Dad", added Grizzly. "He said 'you must have kept Kodak going'."

We had passed under a bridge, then shortly Southey pointed, "those are Harebells. How pretty."

Then the noise of these geese and ducks attracted our attention.

Coming to Stoupe Bank Farm, Grizzly said, there must have been a crossing here to access the fields. It is possible that the concrete gateposts are contemporary with the railway.

"There's also a few of the sleepers that supported the rail", added Tetley.

As we had alluded before a number of bridges crossed the line this being the largest. Although not in shot there is a complementary arch built into the bank on the right too.

At the road to Bogle Hole the bridge had been demolished so steps either side were provided to access and cross the narrow lane. Then soon there followed a straight section with tall trees hemming in the trackbed.

And finally, we arrived at Robin Hood's Bay, where this sign indicated the distances.

At the road Shaun said, "go right, then branch left up to pass the old station building."

"I suspect that the section to the right by the cars has been added since the line closed", commented Allen.

"There's an engraved window above the door marked Waiting Room", pointed Tetley. "Take a picture please Dad, to round off our tale."

There was not much Dad could do about the reflection of the bushes. Sorry!

As we headed to the car, Allen pointed, "that's a coincidence, the couple from Broadstairs had just arrived back!"

So more chat. They had had a good day too, just like us.

As we drove back to the hotel, Tetley said, "that was truly a fab walk."

"Yes", cheered Shaun. "We have had a super super day. Thank you Dad."

"Aye lads, its been a grand day out."


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