Robin Hood Bay is a ‘must see’ attraction for those visiting North Yorkshire. Famous for its winding cobbled streets, little shops and restaurants, there is really nothing to be said against this beautiful fishing village. It has a beautiful beach, studded with rock pools, which children love. Families return year after year. It lies six miles south of Whitby, and fifteen miles north of Scarborough, which makes it a perfect family day out for Park Manor Hotel visitors.
Robin Hood’s Bay is no longer a fishing village, in the traditional sense, but in the 18th and 19th Centuries its population depended entirely upon fishing. Well, almost. The smuggling connection dates from this time too. Despite the risk of being caught, many men dared fate and smuggled goods ashore, which then disappeared into the labyrinth of underground tunnels and cellars that run under the town. Tea, rum, tobacco, gin and brandy were smuggled, from the Netherlands and France, in an attempt to avoid duty.
The penalty for smuggling was death by hanging, but it didn’t stop the practice. Robin Hood Bay was an ideal spot for smuggling due to its natural isolation. Coastguards were tasked with catching smugglers in 1856 and, aided by dragoons. They had a tough job. The network of tunnels made it possible for smuggled goods to be moved away from the shore under cover extremely easily. Efforts to catch smugglers in the act usually failed. However, a bloody battle between excise men and smugglers took place in 1779. The contraband? 15 bags of tea, and 200 casks of brandy and Geneva rum.
The village tumbles down a steep incline, so you will need to leave your car at the top. The walk down is wonderful, however, with alleys to explore and little shops and tearooms to investigate. The tightly packed cottages running either side of the cobbled streets are a delight. The shore itself is beautiful, with an abundance of marine life to hunt for. The rock pools have kept children busy for centuries. Bring a bucket and net! You can also hunt for fossils on the shore. You never know what you might find. The beach has frequently been awarded the ENCAMS Seaside Award.
‘Must See’ in Robin Hood Bay
- The National Trust run Old Coastguard Station is well worth a visit. It has a superb Visitor’s Centre.
- The Robin Hoods Bay Museum is run by local volunteers, and has a host of interesting exhibits.
- St Stephen’s Church, in nearby Fylingdale, houses artefacts from shipwrecks that have occurred in the bay. You also get a great view of the bay.
- Walk along the beach to Ravenscar. Check tide times before you set off.
- Visit the beautiful Falling Foss Waterfall Tearoom in Sneaton Forest, and enjoy the 30 foot tall waterfall, set in beautiful woodland. There is a childrens playground set in the woods to keep the children happy whilst you enjoy a lovely afternoon tea.
- Take a Ghost Walk through the village after dark, and listen to spooky stories from the past.
Need To Know
There are plenty of facilities for visitors, including picnic areas, public toilets, restaurants and take aways, pubs, village phone box, and General Store. There is also a Youth Hostel. A regular bus service runs to and from Scarborough and Whitby.