Distance: 11.5 miles
This day would be the final day of this wonderful trek across England and we would savor every moment! The previous night’s stay at Intake Farm had been a lovely experience and Judith came out to give us all a hug as we prepared to leave. Then, after we departed, my mom helped Judith feed the farm’s orphaned lambs while waiting for her Packhorse van to Robin Hood’s Bay – the eastern terminus of the C2C trail.
Once on the trail we descended almost immediately into the charming Littlebeck Wood. We soon happened on “The Hermitage,” a very large rock with a manmade cave. Local legend has it that the cave was hollowed out in 1790 by an unemployed seaman, George Chubb, who was commissioned to do this to keep him active. Note the inscription “G.C.” over “1790” above the cave entrance in the picture below.
In about half a mile, we were treated to the Falling Foss waterfall that was visible through the trees.
Right on the C2C trail, Midge Hall is a quaint, former game keeper’s cottage that had been converted into a home and shop, Falling Foss Tea Garden. Unfortunately, we had just had breakfast and were not in the tea and scones mood!
The path through Littlebeck Wood was accompanied by a quiet, babbling brook, May Beck.
Emerging from magical Littlebeck Wood and continuing our march to the sea, we popped out on yet another moor, Sneaton Low Moor.
The closer we got to the sea, the more spectacular were the views of Whitby Abbey.
A pasture full of adorable ponies and their foals was worth a little down time to watch the foals run and play.
This was the first sign pointing us to Robin Hood’s Bay.
Success! We made it to the North Sea coast!
Turning south to walk along the sea cliff, we felt as if this bird was a guide, pointing the way!
Then we had our first view of the town of Robin Hood’s Bay, snuggled in the harbor. It is doubted that Robin Hood ever had a connection with the town although this name for this bay was present on Dutch sea charts in 1586. Although his historicity (was he real or just a legend?) has been debated for centuries, theories around the name of this location abound: perhaps he kept a boat in the harbor for getaways or perhaps he helped the Abbott of Whitby repel Danish raiders or perhaps he (and his Merry Men) defeated a French pirate and redistributed the loot in this town or … While the main industry of the town for many years has been tourism, in earlier days fishing and farming were the mainstays. During the 18th century the town was rougher, supporting rampant smuggling along the Yorkshire coast. It is said that contraband would be spirited off the ships, moved through houses near the coves and into tunnels leading up to the hills above the town undetected, avoiding the government’s excise men.
Living up to its billing as one of the most picturesque coastal villages in England, Robin Hood’s Bay was a feast for the eyes as we walked through the village toward the sea. Small alleyways and winding streets hugged the hillside creating an almost Disney-like atmosphere.
When beginning our trip in St. Brees, a traditional ritual of the Coast to Coast Path required that we tap our toes in the Irish Sea and pick up from that beach a small stone which would be carried across England to the North Sea. Therefore, having reached the North Sea, we now completed the ritual with the ceremonial end-of-trip toe tap, throwing the small stone into the North Sea. The trek was officially complete and what a delightful trek it was!
The Bay Hotel, in its Wainwright
After registering our trip and having a cup of tea at the Old Bakery, we checked in at the very lovely Villa B&B and visited with Jane, the host.