Well, I finally escaped from the pub at Danby to make a return to Robin Hoods Bay on a beautifully warm April day.
This seven-miler starts at the Falcon Inn on the A171 above Staintondale, and after woods and moors, culminates in a long descent to the coast with fabulous views always in your eyeline.
The double-decker Arriva X93, having tottered and swayed its way from Whitby, will drop you off at
the roadside Inn. Make your way round the access road of the Falcon, through a grassy garden and over a stile past a dozen or so glamping pods – the 21st Century’s answer to Carry on Camping.
Follow the path alongside and then into woodland, looking out underfoot for tiny lizards suggesting that you’re meandering down for a bottle of Mythos and a plate of olives at a beachside taverna.
The warm sun had brought out a variety of new wildlife, including Skylarks, Curlews and a couple of big yellow Brimstone butterflies that overtook my friend Simon and I as we lumbered up the gentle slope.
After a mile or two in the woods, you’ll emerge into open moorland. Head straight on (in the general direction of a telephone mast), along a newly cut path in the heather designed, apparently, to protect the ancient Green Dike a few yards to your right.
Doesn’t look like you’d do a lot of damage to be honest, but hey, do as you’re told.
At the mast, continue straight on down the road, with pretty glorious, and gloriously pretty views opening up ahead to Robin Hoods Bay, and back to Ravenscar.
By the time you read this, the General Election will have been and gone.
You may have chosen a posh bloke in a grey suit, or perhaps a grey suit on a posh bloke, or maybe a posh suit on a grey bloke or even a gurning idiot. But whether it’s left Twix or right Twix, this view will still be there and will be free at the point of use.
You may of course, have refrained completely - perhaps thinking that the ballot paper is the biggest waste of printer’s ink since yesterday’s Daily Mail - but I must avoid mentioning leading abstainer Russell Brand as the mere declaration of his name can cause spontaneous combustion in human beings.
Carry on along this quiet lane until it turns sharply down to the right, and follow a concrete track ahead into the gorse. This is an access road for a number of attractive houses on either side.
Pass two or three of them until after half a mile you will see a line of cottages 50 yards down the slope on your right. This is Browside Farm, and an unmarked access track takes you down through the buildings
where you should turn right through a gate before curling left through a tunnel (marvel at the brickwork) under the Cinder Track.
Drop down through a couple of fields, keeping the hedge on your right, and you will ultimately find a
bridge over Stoupe Beck at the bottom.
Climb steeply and slightly to the right up the grassy slope to cross a stile, then bear left alongside a fence. Finally surmount a huge ladder stile to land with a resounding bump on the road that leads right to the beach at Boggle Hole.
If the tide won’t allow you around the Nab (the cliff face on your left as you hit the beach), you will need to use the cliff top path back to Robin Hoods Bay - steps lead to it near the Youth Hostel.
The beach route is only obstructed for a couple of hours at high tide and there are no further watery issues, so if you can get round the Nab this is the route I’d recommend.
RHB is one of my very favourite little watering holes in North Yorkshire. Wikipedia says that prominent historian John Leland describes the town in 1536 as “A fischer tounlet of 20 bootes with Dok or Bosom of a mile yn length” (I fear he may have spilled some coffee on his laptop).
Wiki also notes that smuggling – especially of the usual suspects of booze, fags and, er, tea – was rife in the town, and several hidden tunnels linking the houses were used to evade the excise men with their
18th Century clipboards.
In the village, I suggest you climb either the main road or the seaward path, and cough up the appropriate fees in any of the excellent cafes and pubs along the way.
My personal favourite is the beer garden of the Victoria Hotel at the top of the bank (stunning views and nearer the bus stop), but you find your own.
There really are plenty of excellent options.