GETTING TO KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS
What to do in North Yorkshire
The stunning local area of Ruswarp
Where is the nearest....
Where is the nearest………
Ruswarp village is a ten minute walk from the cottage or a two minute drive. If you turn left at the bottom of the cottage track, you will find Ruswarp just down the road.
The nearest cash point is on the outskirts of Whitby around a five minute drive or a 35 minute walk. If you turn left in Ruswarp and head up the bank. At the roundabout on the left is a Petrol station. This has a cash point, Spar shop and a Costa.
The nearest petrol station is in Ruswarp. If you turn right once you have entered the village and go over the train track and bridge, following the road round to the right. The petrol station is on your left.
The nearest shop is in Ruswarp. If you turn left as you enter the village the shop is on the right. There is a free carpark if you turn right down a small road just after the shop & just before the butchers. The shop is open 9-1 and 2-6 during the week, 9-11 & 2-6 on a Thursday and closed on a Sunday.
There is a butchers in Ruswarp. If you turn left as you enter the village, it is on your right hand side. There is a carpark behind the butchers, which you access from the small road on the right, just before the butchers.
The main bus shelter is in the Village, on the left, in front of the church. There are stops between the cottage and the main bus shelter. If you are travelling to Whitby you need to be on the cottage side of the road. If you are travelling towards Sleights you need to be on the river side. Timetables are included in this file.
The nearest train station is in Ruswarp. If you turn right in the village, the station is opposite the Board Inn pub. You can catch the diesel train from here, either into Whitby or along the route, through the villages. The steam train does not stop at Ruswarp station, so to catch the steam train you would have to change at Whitby. Timetables are included in this file.
Taxi ranks are not available in the village. To contact a taxi please go to the useful numbers section.
The nearest pub is in Ruswarp, on the right hand side as you enter the village. The Board Inn serves food and local ales.
The nearest café is a minutes’ walk from the cottage. If you turn left when you exit the track to the cottage and walk past the miniature railway. The Chain bridge riverside Café is on the right hand side.
The nearest Supermarket is Lidl, which is just as you enter Whitby, around a five minute drive. If you turn left in Ruswarp and head up the bank. If you go straight across at the first roundabout. Then take a right at the end of that road, Lidl is on your right hand side. Other supermarkets in Whitby are the CO-OP, Sainsburys and ALDI. Although these are a little further afield.
Within walking distance...
Within walking distance….
At the bottom of the cottage track – Directly opposite you will find the miniature railway, which is great for children & adults alike. Just to the left of here (down a gated entrance to your right) is the Chain bridge riverside café, serving lovely lunches in a fabulous riverside setting.
A little further along the road towards Ruswarp, on your left hand side is Mini Monsterz indoor play centre, great for the kids on a rainy day.
Opposite here you will stumble across Ruswarp Pleasure Boats, where you can hire a rowing boat or canoe to take a trip down the picturesque river Esk.
Keep walking along this road, with the boats on your right, and you will enter the village of Ruswarp.
To the left you will see Ruswarp church and the bus shelter, where you can pick up the bus to Whitby.
If you keep heading left along this road you will pass a small shop and the local butchers.
As you enter the village, if you choose to head right, you will stumble upon The Board Inn pub, which serves welcoming food and local ales. Opposite the pub you will find the train station, where you can catch the diesel train either into Whitby or for a meander through the other villages on the route.
If however, you choose to walk right when at the bottom of the cottage track, you will wander along the Carrs towards Sleights (around 2 miles).
Sleights village has the lovely River Gardens Tea rooms and Garden centre. Great for a spot of lunch by the river, a game of croquet or a visit to the garden centre. Across the river and up the bank in Sleights you will also find two pubs, a shop, a butchers and a branch of the famous Bothams Bakery.
Getting Around/ public transport...
Parking in Whitby
Parking in Whitby can sometimes prove difficult, to say the least. To park in town you can either use the pay & display facilities or if they are busy you can park in the disc zones, where you will need to display a disc, which we have provided for you. You can only use this in the disc park areas in town for the time stated on the signs. Set your disc to the time you leave your vehicle and leave on display. Traffic wardens are very keen in Whitby, so please be careful.
Should you choose to use it, we have a park and ride facility, this is situated on the outskirts of Whitby. Turn left out of the bottom of the cottage track. Turn left in Ruswarp village and head up the bank. At the main roundabout, take the first left, heading away from Whitby. The park and ride is situated on the next roundabout to the right. The buses run very regularly from here.
For more information check out www.northyorks.gov.uk/parkandride
(This site is sometimes used for Covid testing so you may need to check it is running beforehand).
The bus to Whitby from Ruswarp picks up at the village bus shelter ( on the left in the village).
The bus is an Arriva Bus No 95. It is a 9 minute journey into Whitby.
There is a timetable overleaf.
To double check the times please contact 0344 800 4411
To get the train into Whitby from Ruswarp, you can pick up the train at Ruswarp station which is situated on the right as you enter the village.
The diesel trains run through this station at different times throughout the day. If you would like to ride on the steam train, you would have to change at Whitby Station, as the steam train does not stop at Ruswarp.
There is a timetable overleaf.
To double check times & fares please contact 0800 138 5560
To walk into Whitby from Ruswarp it is around a 40 minute walk. There are details of the routes in this file.
Walking into Whitby
WALKING INTO WHITBY
There are two ways to walk into Whitby, both setting off from Ruswarp.
At the bottom of the drive turn left to the T junction in the village.
For the easier walk turn right to cross over the railway lines, then immediately turn left through a gate to take a footpath alongside the lines. This level path runs between the railway and fields, and later alongside the river. Passing under the viaduct and a high level bridge it ends at the marina, from which it is a short stroll to the town centre. This walk is approximately 2 miles.
The other way into town is a little more challenging. From the T junction in Ruswarp turn left and follow the High Street as far as Jackson’s Butchers. Look for a footpath sign on the right, which passes between a high hedge and a wall. Follow the stone paved path, an old monks’ trod, passing 2 kissing gates and a reed bed on the right, to climb stone steps. At the top take the path signed Whitby Marina, passing allotments on your left, descending and ascending more steps to reach the Cinder Track (some of which is now tarmacked.) Cross the track, across the school playing field, through the car park and onto the A171. Cross the road, with care as it can be busy, turn right and within a few metres look for a pathway on the left between hedges. This path leads steeply down to Waterstead Lane, where, after some new cottages, take the track down and over the railway line, into the marina carpark.
There are coastal paths in both directions from Whitby.
From the coastguard cottages near the abbey the path goes to Robin Hood’s Bay and beyond. (The X93 bus, half hourly in summer, hourly in winter, goes through Robin Hoods Bay for a return to Whitby)
From Sandsend the old cinder track, the bed of the disused railway line, can be accessed via a flight of steps in the car park at the bottom of Lythe Bank. After about a mile steep steps leads up onto the cliff top, from which the path leads to Kettleness, Runswick and Staithes. (The X4 runs through Staithes and Runswick, half hourly, for a return trip to Whitby)
THE CINDER TRACK
The cinder track, leading from Whitby to Scarborough, a total distance of about 20 miles, can be accessed in several places, thus creating shorter walks. To get on to the track in Whitby, follow the A171 Scarborough road, to the corner of Pannett Park and a small roundabout. Take the small road, Southend Gardens, between houses, to a tunnel. (This can be seen from the roundabout) This is the Cinder Track, accessed either up steps before the tunnel, or a ramp on the other side of the tunnel.
The walk from here to Robin Hood’s Bay is about 6 miles and is fairly level, easier than the coast path which is very undulating. However for a shorter walk drive out of Whitby on the Scarborough road, A171, for approximately 3 miles, to Hawsker. Park in the layby opposite the Robin Hood’s Bay road, B1447, and walk back about 50 yards to a pelican crossing. Cross the road and you are now on the track, 3 miles to RHB.
There is a book on local walks in the cottage, if you would like some further ideas.
The best things to do in & around Whitby
Ruswarp Miniature Railway
If you are in the Ruswarp area and you have taken a boat trip, then you should take the kids to the Miniature Railway as well. This is something the whole family can enjoy as you sit inside the small train carriages as it goes around the circuit in a delightful little tour of the surrounding area. The Carrs, Whitby, YO21 1RL
Visit Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the seaside town and it’s something that the majority of visitors go out of their way to have a look at.
The Benedictine Abbey can be quite an impressive sight and it is yet another connection to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Situated on top of Whitby’s East Cliff, Whitby Abbey is operated and maintained by Whitby Heritage. There are several events held at the Abbey throughout the
year, with the illuminated Abbey spectacle around Halloween a particular highlight.
The Abbey is open to visitors throughout the year.
Location: Whitby Abbey, Abbey Ln, Whitby, YO22 4JT
The Seal Colony at Ravenscar
Yorkshire is home to some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. This also means it is also home to some wonderful wildlife – both inland on the moors and in the woodlands, as well as on the coast.
If you are prepared for a bit of a climb, the seal colony at Ravenscar is well worth visiting. It’s not advisable to get too close to the common and grey seals as they lounge around on the rocky beach, but you can get an excellent view of them from the foot of the cliff, below Ravenhall Hotel.
There are around 300 seals living at the foot of Ravenscar – the rocky headland which features in just about every postcard photograph of Robin Hood’s Bay. To get close to them you can park in Ravenscar village, there is plenty of on-street parking available, though it can get busy in the summer.
Head towards the National Trust shop (from the road) and just to its right you will see a rocky track heading down onto Ravenhall Golf Course. A couple of hundred meters down the track you will see a wooden signpost directing you down across the grass towards the cliff edge (not as dangerous as it sounds!). Just follow the path all the way down to the beach. The last section is a bit tricky, and can be slippy if there has been rain recently, so be careful.
This is not an advisable walk for those with mobility issues, or particularly young children (it is not pushchair friendly!). But if you are up for a bit of mud and the occasional scramble it’s definitely worth the effort. Make sure you always check the tide times too – you don’t want to get cut off!
For more information on local wildlife, check out this page on the National Park website:
Brave the Dracula Experience
This is a wonderful tour for people who have an affinity for Bram Stoker’s famous novel. The tour tells the story of Dracula and the connections to Whitby.
Live actors are used along the way along with impressive special effects. There are 8 terrifying scenes to this tour, each one telling the story of Dracula & his connection to Whitby.
Go Crabbing in Whitby Harbour
Crabbing in Whitby has long been considered a pastime for the young people of the town and they enjoy visitors joining them and experiencing it for the first time.
Crabbing is not an overly difficult thing to do and once you get the hang of it, you will probably find it a lot of fun.
Ruswarp Pleasure Boats, Esk River
Lots of people enjoy having a nice slow sail down the River Esk. With Ruswarp Pleasure Boats, you are able to take your own boat trip through one of the more
secluded areas of the River Esk. You can enjoy the breath taking scenery in peace and quiet.
They cater for parties of all sizes in traditional rowing boats. They also have canoes for the more adventurous. School parties are also very welcome and inspection prior to visiting is not a problem.
Get there: The Carrs, Ruswarp, Whitby, YO21 1RL
Visit the many beaches
One of the most popular things to do in Whitby for young and old is visiting one of Whitby’s beautiful beaches.
Sandsend is considered by many to be one of the more popular beaches around the town and it makes for a great place to sit back and enjoy the sea air.
There are several beaches to enjoy, with the main beach been situated along the West Cliff. This beach stretches all the way to Sandsend and you can walk the whole way when the tide is out. Just ensure you have plenty of time to walk back before the tide comes in.
There are donkey rides available during summer months along with surfing opportunities. There is also a dog-friendly beach on the East Side of town which is very popular during the summer months.
Visit the stunning Falling Foss Tea Rooms
The Falling Foss Tea Rooms are the ideal place to have a few minutes and enjoy a cup of tea & Cake.
You will have a wonderful view of a waterfall as you sit outside and enjoy the sound of the flowing water.
These tea rooms are a serene place to unwind. The children can explore the forest and let their imaginations run wild as they explore the outdoors.
Falling Foss Tea Rooms are open seasonally from April until September.
How to get there: Midge Hall, Whitby, YO22 5JD
Visit Flamingo Land
The Flamingo Land resort is another great place to visit, particularly if you have kids with you and you want to keep them happy for a few hours.
You can take the kids to have a look at all the different animals and then stay for some food as well. Flamingo Land is located around 40 minutes outside of Whitby.
There are plenty of rides and themed days throughout the year and the park now offers accommodation if you wish to stay overnight. The zoo at Flamingo Land is packed with a variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles.
Goathland has become an increasingly popular tourist destination over the years. It was used for several decades as the location for the television show Heartbeat.
The train station in the area is also linked with the Harry Potter films as well, so there is no shortage of things to look at.
Goathland is a remote village with attracts hoards of visitors each year who are eager to recapture some of the historic scenes from Heartbeat.
Goathland Train Station is a must-visit if you’re lucky you will get to experience the NYMR steam trains pass through the station. Stand on the railway bridge and enjoy the steam trains passing beneath you, its a great thrill.
*Top tip* – Park at the Mallyan Spout Hotel and walk down to the Mallyan Spout waterfall. It’s a beautiful forest setting with a breathtaking waterfall. After the walk, you can enjoy a pint in the Goathland Hotel (Known as the Aidensfield Arms from Heartbeat).
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
For a great day out hop on board the North York Moors Railway and enjoy a day out filled with amazing scenery and lots of vintage charm.
Travel across the North Yorkshire Moors National Park on steam or vintage diesel train and visit some charming station stops along the way, including the famous Goathland – this was the original Hogsmeade Station in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as well as Aidensfield in 90s drama Heartbeat.
NYMR run special events throughout the year including 60s Fest and Railway in Wartime as well as the popular Pullman Dining Train which allows you to take in the stunning scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors while tucking into delicious great food and drink on one of the luxury carriages.
Captain Cook Memorial Museum
The Captain Cook Memorial Museum has a wide range of art exhibitions and shows on a regular basis so you’re bound to be visiting when something is on. Otherwise, there is the main museum exhibition, which you can easily lose a few hours enjoying. The Museum is located on Grape Lane and is based in the house where Captain Cook served his apprenticeship as a seaman. It is here where he learned his maritime skills which helped him on his voyages of discovery.
Prices are around £5.40 for adults and £3 for children. Group bookings are also possible.
Phone: +44 1947 601 900
Address: Grape Lane, Whitby YO22 4BA
Climb the 199 Steps to St Mary's Church
Climbing the 199 Steps to St Mary’s Church is a must on your list of things to do in Whitby. These steps are well known for being mentioned in Bram Stokers Dracula, but they are also a great sight to see in their own right. You can climb up the steps and look out over Whitby as you climb higher.
Tradition says you have to count the steps though as you go higher and higher.
You access the steps by walking along Church Street on the East Side of town. St Marys Church can be found at the top of the 199 steps. The churchyard is full of old graves which date back as far as the 1700s. Look out for the old pirate’s tombstones!
You can access Whitby Abbey from the back of the graveyard.
How to get there: 199 Steps, Whitby, YO22 4DL
Robin Hoods Bay
Robin Hoods Bay was once a major smuggling haven on the Yorkshire coast, today it has been transformed into a small tourist town which is a short drive from Whitby.
It should certainly be on your list of places to visit. Park at the top of the bay and walk down the winding path, through the forest of gift shops and cafe’s until you come to the beach at the bottom. There are plenty of places to stop for lunch or a quick refreshing drink.
There is plenty of history in this small village, you can imagine the smugglers hiding in the small cobbled streets. It’s certainly worth a visit.
Staithes is a beautiful little fishing village that is situated along the coast just North of Whitby. It’s a wonderful place to kick back and escape the trappings of modern life.
Staithes feels like a village that has been frozen in time. It has a few connections with the aforementioned, Captain Cook and the Cod and Lobster pub at the bottom of the hill offers great food at sensible prices throughout the day. It’s a dog-friendly pub and offers a selection of ales along with tea and coffee.
The beach is popular at low tide and keep an eye out for seals, they regularly pop-up in the harbour looking for fish from the local fishermen.