Each HD film clip starting with Whitby, Robin Hoods Bay, Staithes, Sandsend and Runswick Bay starts at the top of a fishing port and winds down on foot aiming to show the scenery and also how steep the incline is down to each port.

Some of the fishing ports have no, or just limited parking at the bottom and so require reasonably strong legs. If you have not been before we hope these films will inform you and entertain you and if you have visited bring back nice memories.


This is the view from the Westcliff with the whales jawbone and Captain Cooks memorial on the left. View over to the East Cliff's St Mary's Church in Whitby Abbey.

View of Whitby Abbey and St Mary’s Church

Whitby is positioned at the mouth of the River Esk which divides the town into the North and East side connected by a swing bridge. The old towns charm is greatly due to the cottages and buildings which were built as close to the water as possible, due to the fact that its history is mostly connected to the fishing industry.

Map of the East cost showing the fishing ports
Whitby is positioned on the very edge of the North York Moors which provide stunning scenery and more recently became very popular with tourists due to the television programme called Heartbeat which has been filmed on the moors prominently in Goathland village.

From an industrial point of view, Whitby was known for many trades and was connected strongly to wooden shipbuilding in the past. The vessels were built there and provided much work for the local community which was largely isolated from the inland before the railways were built.

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Work was also from the mining of Alum and also Whitby jet which in the early part of the 19th century provided most of the employment for over 2000 men who worked in jewellery or export. The apprenticeships in Whitby jet were long and could be up to 7 years.

Whitby is also associated with Count Dracula which was written by Bram Stoker who was greatly influenced by the scenery whilst staying in the town.  It is this connection which has encouraged in more recent times Whitby to have two Goth weekends when the town is filled with elaborate costumes

Whitbys most other celebrated explorer was Capt James Cook. His most famous ship was the Endeavour

Robin Hoods Bay

Robin hoods Bay from the beach looking towards the harbour

Approximately 4 miles down the coast from Whitby, and is a very charming and picturesque fishing port with lots of little alleyways leading to the old fisherman's cottages that are now mostly used as holiday accommodation.

It is a very steep descent down into the fishing port and there is no parking so the only way is on foot. At the very bottom there is a wide expanse of beach going in both directions which is great for exploring but be careful that the tide does not catch you out it comes in rather quickly.

For tourists needing subsistence, there are a number of small cafeterias, shops and two public houses which serve food. There is also a small museum which exhibits artifacts relating to the smuggling trade which was connected to the fishing port which once had a warren of small tunnels in which smugglers could bring in their booty.

Its beauty relies on the fact that the town is a maze of tiny little alleyways and back streets between the old cottages that used to be the home of the fisherman. In fact in the past the town was strongly associated with smuggling and there was a network of subterranean passages which were connected to the cottages to assist in this illegal practice. Ships coming over from the continent wouldl bring in contraband which was filtered through places like Robin hoods Bay, with the local people taking the risks, leaving the people finance the operations in relative safety.

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But the original occupation of people living in this little town was fishing and farming, with the fish being stacked onto panniers and then the locals would ride or walk over the North York Moors to Pickering or York to sell their produce. Many of the cottages that are still there were built between 1650 and 1750 to house the local fishermen, with many of the families also owning cobles which were working boats they used forfishing.

You can take a look around Robin hoods Bay museum, which is situated in an old building that was the coroners room and mortuary and the entrance is free. There are just three rooms of the museum which display details of some of the shipwrecks which have occurred in the area, many artifacts associated to things like the lifeboat station, and information about the smuggling trade which once flourished.



Staithes looking down from the high observation point on the cliff

You might think you've suddenly arrived in Cornwall; the fishing port gives you a similar feel for places like St Ives with its steep incline and beautiful rugged cliffs.

This view of Staithes can only be reached on foot by climbing the little alleyways between the cottages, but there is seating and it has an excellent view and worth the effort.

Staithes can make you think you've suddenly arrived in Cornwall; the fishing port gives you a similar feel for places like St Ives with its steep incline and beautiful rugged cliffs.

Situated only 9 miles down from Whitby and also close to Middlesbrough it's the perfect holiday spot or day out retreat.

Originally it was a hard-working fishing port which used cobles, solidly crafted wooden boats used for fishing.

Capt James Cook is famously known to start his career as a seafaring explorer, living in the little fishing port, where at the age of 16 he came to live here in 1744 and worked as an apprentice to William Sanderson a local grocer and Draper. Being so close to the sea is probably what fuelled his desire to become an apprentice seaman in Whitby. The old shop of the Sandersons was battered by the great storm of 1745 the building was then reused and is now known as James Cook cottage. The beauty of this fishing port was recognised at the end of the Victorian era, when the Staithes art group was formed, there is still a gallery there today.

Situated on the main street there is the Staithes Heritage Centre and Captain Cook Museum which is housed in the Methodist Chapel, where you can see exhibits relating to Cook's voyages and a lifetime spent in this area. There are also exhibits of olden times a life spent in the Staithes, particularly showcasing a tradition which was the Staithes bonnets which were won by the fisher women to give them protection to the head and neck. The bonnets had padding to the top to make it more comfortable for carrying fishing baskets which would be balanced on their heads, with flaps to the side so what would run away from them. It was this tradition of carrying the baskets on their heads which gave the local women notoriety as being very graceful which was born from the fact that they had to balance these heavy baskets.

There is plenty to facilitate visitors with bistros, cafes, two public houses and a number of small shops.

If you go down to the harbour front you can look back at the wonderful scenery of the cliffs surrounding the port named Penny Nab, Cowbar Nab, and Bias Scar.

Runswick Bay

Situated between Whitby and Staithes and has one of the steepest roads dropping down into the bay it feels like your are coming off the end of the world as you drive or even worse walk down. The result is a one in three decline and only people with good strong legs should attempt to walk, but the good news is that there is a pay and display car park for the public at the bottom.

Runswick Bay looking over the beach towards the old white cottage

The properties are largely of a more modern design being built in more recent times with the occasional older cottage like the prominent white one which points out into the sea.
It has a good expansive beach which stretches round to the boating club which provides the scenery of yachts and boats on nice days bobbing in the sea. If youre look around there are some scenic views of the cliffs which still bear the scars of the Alum industry from the last century. There are many hotels and guest houses overlooking the bay and there are a number of caravan sites nearby. There is a cafeteria at the bottom where snacks and drinks can be bought.



Well-known for the high tides which crashes over the walls of the bay.

Sandsend with a high tide and crashing waves coming into the harbour wall

Sandsend is only about 2 miles down the coast from Whitby headed in the direction of Staithes, and is a beautiful little village with fishermens cottages against the backdrop of grass and a wide expanse of beach, from which you get an overview of Whitby. Its the perfect location for a nice day for lazing on the beach and paddling in the sea, there are a number of shops selling trinkets, artwork and a couple of public houses. Theres even a lovely beach cafe where snacks and light meals can be bought.

Lythe is only 1 mile inland with a small community just over 400 residents f incorporating St Oswalds Church, tennis courts and a post office.

One of the main industries of Sandsend in the past was the mining of Alum which was used in the dying and the tanning process of materials as a fixative of the color.


Also take a look at our in-depth HD filmed walking tour of Whitby with tourist information and pictures. We start on the North York Moors in Goathland village and then travel into Whitby walking from the East to the West side looking at all the major tourist attractions. Whitby Walking Guide

Whitby Guide 2010. HD filmed trip through Whitby 



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A walking guide of Whitby

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