England Coast Path - Whitby to High Hawsker

Starting at Whitby Abbey, this stretch of the England Coast Path gives some stunning views across the North Sea from its many vantage points. The route passes a lighthouse and foghorn station on the way. Be prepared for a few steep climbs and steps.

Technical sheet
No. 19393992
A Whitby walk posted on 17/02/22 by sarahhcfe. Update : 30/03/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h35[?]
Distance Distance : 6.95km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 195m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 121m
Highest point Highest point : 128m
Lowest point Lowest point : 25m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Area Area : North York Moors
Location Location : Whitby
Starting point Starting point : N 54.489152° / W 0.607568°
Ending point Ending point : N 54.454928° / W 0.563479°
Download : -


(D) From Whitby Abbey, cross Abbey Lane and pick up the Cleveland Way, follow this well-defined path behind the brewery and along the cliff tops.

(1) The Cleveland Way will pass Saltwick Nab promontory and then bears right and goes through the middle of the Whitby Holiday Park. At the end of the holiday park, go through the kissing gate clearly marked as the Cleveland Way. The footpath here is less well defined, hugging the fence around the cliff top.

(2) You will pass through several more gates and then down some wooden steps before reaching Hornblower Lodge. Continue until you reach the old lighthouse (now accommodation), turning right and then through the gate walking around the back of the holiday cottages taking the steps, still following the signs for the Cleveland Way.

(3) Continue walking along the cliff tops, take care here as there is no fence. The footpath here is narrow and climbs gradually including steps and a steep turn until you reach the top of the hill. The footpath will now be a gentle downward slope to a stone wall with a gate, go through the gate straight in front of you and up the steps.

(4) Continue crossing a stile, you should see a farm to your right. Beyond the stile is a seat if you wish to rest, continue down the steps into the wooded area, crossing another stile. Descend into the woodland, there are stone steps here which could be wet and slippery, then climb back up to the other side.

(5) You will come to some more stone steps leading down into a wooded area, again be careful if it is wet, You will come to a wooden bridge and wooden steps, climb these back to the open cliff tops.

(6) After a short distance you will come to a third wooded area, continue down the steps and through a gate onto a boardwalk over Oakham Beck. As you climb up from the beck, you will see a signpost. If you are continuing with the next stage of the walk, continue straight. If you are finishing the walk here for the day, turn right and follow the path up the steps towards the caravan park signposted Hawsker.

(7) The footpath will emerge onto an access road, follow this through the caravan park. Turning right onto Bottoms Lane passing the Coast Cafe Bar. Follow Bottoms Lane to Row Posture Bank where you will find a bus stop to take you back to Whitby (A).

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 53m - Whitby Abbey
1 : km 1.32 - alt. 45m - Whitby Holiday Park
2 : km 2.95 - alt. 39m - Hornblower Lodge
3 : km 3.58 - alt. 63m - Sharp Bend in the Path/Steps
4 : km 4.42 - alt. 63m - Woodland
5 : km 5.2 - alt. 64m - Second Woodland Area
6 : km 5.58 - alt. 60m - Oakham Beck
7 : km 6.07 - alt. 110m - Bottoms Lane/Coast Cafe Bar
A : km 6.95 - alt. 126m - Hawsker Bottoms Bus Stop

Useful Information

  • Transport: There is parking in Whitby and a large car park at the abbey. Arriva bus X93/X94, stops at the end of Bottoms Lane.
  • Facilities: There is a public toilet at the Abbey Car Park. There are no facilities on the route, however you may find refreshments at Saltwick Bay Cafe at Whitby Holiday Park (1) and at the Coast Cafe Bar at Northcliffe Holiday Park (7) at the end of the walk.
  • Accessibility: This walk has many uneven grassed surfaces, lots of steps, stiles and kissing gates. There are also a lot of steep inclines on the walk. I have graded this walk moderate as it includes lots of steps, inclines and uneven ground.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • At the beginning of the walk visit Whitby Abbey.
  • Whitby Brewery
  • Check out the old lighthouse and fog horn, now holiday accommodation.
  • Throughout the walk there are stunning views out to see from the various high viewpoints.

Other walks in the area

distance 6.06km Vertical gain +67m Vertical drop -37m Durée 1h55 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Lythe - North Yorkshire

This walk starts in the quiet village of Sandsend passing beaches and cafes then winds through the centre of Whitby finishing with a climb up 199 steps to Whitby Abbey giving stunning views back across the town.

Sandsend Coastal Walk
distance 10.46km Vertical gain +228m Vertical drop -225m Durée 3h40 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Lythe - North Yorkshire

A short and easy walk from Sandsend. Heading along the coast and then inland to pass through the quiet villages of Goldsborough and Kettleness before taking the coastal path back to Sandsend.

distance 6.52km Vertical gain +136m Vertical drop -241m Durée 2h15 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre - North Yorkshire

This rural cliff-top walk shows off the best of the North Yorkshire Coastline with some stunning views and ends in the busy village of Robin Hoods Bay, once a haven for smugglers.

distance 9.91km Vertical gain +187m Vertical drop -181m Durée 3h20 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Fylingdales - North Yorkshire

An easy clifftop hike starting and finishing in Robin Hoods Bay.

distance 5.45km Vertical gain +235m Vertical drop -66m Durée 2h15 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Fylingdales - North Yorkshire

Starting in the busy seaside resort of Robin Hoods Bay, this walk takes in some of the steepest sections of the coast, open views give way to steps down through ravines. Passing through the site of the alum works, the walk finishes in the interesting village of Ravenscar, once planned to be a resort to rival Scarborough, but as you will see, the resort never materialised.

Burn Howe Rigg from Jugger Howes
distance 16.1km Vertical gain +222m Vertical drop -220m Durée 5h15 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in LCPs of Fylingdales and Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre - North Yorkshire

A North York Moors walk that explores the moorland west of Jugger Howes.

distance 9.17km Vertical gain +205m Vertical drop -197m Durée 3h10 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Goathland - North Yorkshire

An easy circular walk around the lovely village of Goathland. You will see steam trains on the lines, two small waterfalls and have the chance to take refreshments at a unique country pub.

distance 18.1km Vertical gain +223m Vertical drop -220m Durée 5h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Goathland - North Yorkshire

This lengthy North York Moors walk crosses Two Howes Rigg and circles the Goathland and Howl Moors. In addition the Wheeldale Beck valley is very pretty. For railway enthusiasts you may also see steam trains on the North York Moors Railway.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.