The Cleveland Way National Trail has continued to offer wonderful walking experiences for over 50 years. Many walkers consider it as a classic route because of the variety of landscapes through which it travels. The first half of the 109 miles is spent crossing the North York Moors National Park, including great sweeping vistas from the heather moorlands across the Vales of Mowbray and York and then north to Teesside. All of these interspersed with pockets of rustic farmland and woodland. Having reached the sea at Saltburn by the Sea the route follows the dramatic North Yorkshire Coast all the way through to Filey, climbing to the highest cliffs in eastern England at Boulby along the way. Much of this coastal length still lies in the North York Moors National Park and now forms a section of the nation’s England Coast Path. Don’t miss the hidden gems of the coast, such as the tranquil waterfall and boulder beach of Hayburn Wyke.
Throughout the walk there are welcoming villages and historic Market Towns both small and large to enjoy. Along the coast people rave about the old fishing villages, the bustling towns of Whitby (try the traditional smoked kippers!) and Scarborough and the more genteel finish at Filey. Of course, you need good food and drink and that’s pretty much a guarantee along the trail. Why not call in at Helmsley Brewery’s Taproom, right at the start of the trail, for a glass of “Striding the Riding” the official beer of the trail.
Another popular feature of the Cleveland Way is the wealth of important heritage sites and history to enjoy along the route. Numerous historic monuments are either on, or very close to the trail including Helmsley Castle, Rievaulx Abbey, Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle. In places the route itself is ancient. Imagine the life of a Drover as you saunter along the length of the old Hambleton Drove Road. Man’s impact on the landscape is also in evidence, especially revealing is the industrial past of the North York Moors, such as the extensive alum quarries at Boulby and Kettleness.
Walking is the ultimate therapy for mind and body and the Cleveland Way is a fantastic experience if you have 9 days free to enjoy its charms from end to end. However if you have only a day or two to spare there are still wonderful trail experiences to be had, with day length circular walks that reveal some of the top highlights of the Cleveland Way.