Stroll With Stu: Walk to Bay - away from the crowds

Paul and Alison Cundy's wedding.
Paul and Alison Cundy's wedding.

Always nice to walk to Robin Hoods Bay and if you don’t want to follow the crowds down the old railway or the clifftop route, try this lovely alternative.

It’s only four or five miles, but if you’ve had an energy drink for breakfast you can extend it by taking the Cinder Track over the old viaduct and diverting when you reach the A171 at Hawsker.

Robin Hood's Bay.

Robin Hood's Bay.

At that crossing, turn inland down the lane into Low Hawsker, soon passing half a windmill with a Christmas Tree on the top (no, really).

Opposite the funeral parlour, take a look at the 10th Century Hawsker Cross on your right.

Possibly erected to mark the southern boundary of Whitby Abbey land, the head is missing and the intricate carving has suffered from years of erosion - but hey, haven’t we all?

Various bits of myself have slowly disappeared over the years – teeth, hair, savings etc, though I still have most of my head.

Horses in Hawsker.

Horses in Hawsker.

While I am on about physical degeneration, we over-50s are all familiar with the involuntary noises we start to emit every time we bend down.

But I have now discovered another affliction that creeps into your daily routine around the age where you find yourself staring into Greenwood’s window – you have to do every trivial little thing at least twice.

Picking a bit of fluff off your trousers, shutting a door, putting milk in your tea – anything.

It never works properly first time and you have to have another go. It’s just taken me five attempts to plug in my phone charger.

The village of Raw.

The village of Raw.

Anyway, turn left up some steps immediately after the funeral parlour following a path which quickly

confronts you with a “cows with calves” sign, so scuttle down through the field away to your left and leap nimbly across a footbridge and back uphill on the other side.

Any cows were of the calm, cud-chewing variety on my trip.

Keep the hedge on your left, soon crossing a minor road then straight on over a stile into more pleasant greenery.

Ten minutes later, the path dog-legs so that the hedge is now on your right.

Follow it as it swings right a little and with the farm ahead looming larger, look out for a stile through the hedge to take you diagonally across a field with some inquisitive horses, then over another stile onto a path that curves left to Manor Farm.

Turn left along the A171 – the main road to Scarborough.

This would be a six-lane motorway in Kent, so be thankful that it is little more than a country lane. After just five yards or so, take a path on the other side winding through thistles near a wooden barn.

Bear right after a stile towards power lines then sharper right to follow a field boundary curving slowly left as it approaches another farm.

Head towards the stables, then left through a gate down the access track to the road, admiring the scrapyard on your left.

A quarter of a mile down the road to your right, is the pretty village of Raw, with excellent emerging views of Robin Hood’s Bay ahead.

Raw is home (though I’m not exactly sure where) to the Raw Animal Rescue Centre.

Run by Norma Carrick, the centre does a great job looking after and rehoming a variety of animals – checkout their Facebook page for details.

Walk down through the village, and where the road turns sharply right, go left along Bowman’s Lane, immediately through a gate, seemingly into a gorgeous residential property. (Ignore the earlier footpath sign pointing over a stone wall).

Very quickly, take a path on your right next to a shed, curving in a U-shape around the garden of Brook Cottage.

This leads to a gate onto a stone trod which you should follow to a muddy junction, turning sharp right downhill eventually emerging back on Tarmac.

Turn left, and after 50 yards follow a footpath right (adjacent to the second house), which runs downhill for a mile or so alongside Lingers Beck, finally dropping you off onto the road into Robin Hood’s Bay (with or without an apostrophe).

Now I was looking forward to a pint in the glorious beer garden of the Victoria Hotel, only to be thwarted by a wedding ceremony taking place under a gazebo.

Al fresco supping was still available at the front, where I joined a number of onlookers watching Paul and Alison Cundy getting hitched.

I once watched a similar wedding in a crappy all-inclusive hotel somewhere hot, and what a sad affair that was – all done to a backdrop of tattooed idiots making primeval noises in the nearby pool, after several plastic tumblers of cheap vodka.

Paul and Alison – you chose a cracking venue to start married life!