The coastal route between Scarborough and Whitby opened in 1885. The single-track route was draped over the moors and cliff sides of East Yorkshire’s coast. It was a masterpiece of Victorian engineering, with commanding vistas, challenging gradients and spectacular viaducts and tunnels. It offered a lifeline to sleepy remote fishing villages turning them into attractions in their own right.
Naturally as competition to road traffic grew in the 1960’s the line was under threat of the Beeching Axe. It’s remote nature proved problematic for the new diesel multiple units of the era. Seasonal traffic and declining freight would also contribute to the lines eventual downfall and closure in 1965.
Although the track is now long gone, the route remains largely intact and forms the majority of the 20 mile Scarborough & Whitby Rail Trail cycle and walking route.
On a recent get-a-way to the area I took the opportunity to sample a small section of the route between Ravenscar and Robin Hood’s Bay.
Views from The Cleveland Way
We’d already walked the destinations in reverse on the Cleveland Way via Boggle Hole – a walking route some 2 miles shorter but one that really did rise and fall with the terrain.