Discover the heather moors, rolling hills, charming towns and dramatic coastal landscapes of North-East England by walking one of the region’s amazing National Trails.
The 109-mile Cleveland Way National Trail starts in the pretty market town of Helmsley. From there, it leads through the North York Moors National Park before reaching the coast at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. It then turns south, tracing the edge of the coast down to Filey.
Along the way, you’ll pass through heather moorland, which you’ll find at its most stunning when in full bloom between late August and early September. Whitby, a town made famous by its connection to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, lies along the coastal stretch. Here you’ll get the chance to explore the towering ruins of the abbey that overlooks the town harbour. The picturesque seaside village of Robin Hood’s Bay lies a few miles further down the coast. It’s famous for its history of smuggling and as the port from which Captain Cook set sail on the voyage that first lead him to Australia.
Although the Cleveland Hills and some coastal sections of the route are challenging, anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can walk the Cleveland Way. The clockwise route from Helmsley to Filey is generally preferred because the wind is more likely to be behind those travelling in that direction.
Yorkshire Wolds Way
The Yorkshire Wolds Way is a 79-mile walk through the gentle chalk hills of its namesake, the Yorkshire Wolds. The route begins on the banks of the mighty Humber Estuary. From there, it winds through woods, wildflower clad valleys and up over green hilltops with elevated views of the surrounding natural beauty which extend to the edge of the horizon in all directions. The Wolds Way reaches its end at the point it meets the ocean at the magnificent headland of Filey Brigg.
Highlights along the route include the intriguing ruins of Wharram Percy, one of over 100 deserted medieval villages scattered throughout the Yorkshire Wolds and the stunning pastures of the Londesborough Estate. You can also uncover the ‘secret art’ that lines The Yorkshire Wolds Way by downloading the Sprytar App onto your mobile device. Find out more in this detailed guide to the Yorkshire Wolds Way.
The Yorkshire Wolds Way is considered an easy walk. The occasional hilly sections are generally little more than gentle inclines and present little challenge. Poppy fields are a special treat that you’ll only find along the route during June and early July.
England Coast Path, Northeast
The England Coast Path will eventually span the entire length of the English coast. When it does, it will be the world’s longest coastal path. But for now, it’s gradually opening section by section. The parts of the path that are already open to public access in the northeast are:
- Skegness to Mablethorpe
- Filey Brigg to Amble via Newport Bridge, North Gare and South Bents
One point of interest that lies along the open sections is Arbeia Roman Fort at South Shields, which once guarded the sea route to Hadrian’s Wall and now hosts events, displays and Roman re-enactments. Tynemouth Castle and Priory is another. This ancient site, perched on a headland peninsula overlooking the North Sea, was once one of the most fortified areas in England.
You have the freedom to venture from the paths that make up England’s Coast Path in the Northeast. You’re free to explore all areas designated Coastal Margin i.e. land that lies between the path and sea, but be aware that your safety is your own responsibility.
Wales is another part of the UK that features a selection of amazing national trails. You can find out more about the Welsh National Trails by reading A Walker’s Guide to the National Trails in Wales.
Where to Stay in North-East England
Middlewood Farm Holiday Park is a five-star family holiday park near Robin Hood’s Bay with motorhome pitches, touring pitches and camping pitches.