Headland and Sea

Robin Hood's Bay

Huddled precariously on the rocks, the charming fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay holds secrets of an exciting and perilous history.  It originally offered a perfect hideaway to 18th century smugglers, who took advantage of the maze of alleyways and inter-connecting houses on the hillside. For quite some time, it was the busiest smuggling community on the Yorkshire coast and although a dangerous business, smuggling brought in big money. Besides, being surrounded by three sides of vast, marshy moorland meant the smugglers had the privacy needed to operate in this risky trade. There is much speculation regarding the origin of the name ‘Robin Hood’s Bay’, much of it of course relating to the ‘Prince of Thieves’ himself, Robin Hood.  Legend has it that notorious outlaw kept boats in the little bay in case he needed a quick getaway to the continent. Some even say that when French pirates stole from local fishing boats, Hood battled with them until they surrendered and he returned the loot to the villagers. During low tide, Robin Hood’s Bay is great for exploring the many rock pools. Children will love looking for shrimps, crabs and if they are lucky, maybe even a fossil or two from long ago when the bay was hidden beneath a deep sea. Vehicle access for non-residents is denied in the main village, however at the top of the hill there is ample parking available. The walk down to the village is steep and a little strenuous but well worth the effort and there are plenty of cafés to rest and refresh if required on the way.  The area has numerous campsites within walking distance from the seafront. Located just 5 miles south of Whitby, and 15 miles north of Scarborough, this is the ideal location for exploring the Yorkshire coastline and North York Moors National Park.