Hawsker, North Yorkshire Walks, England, UK
Hawsker, North Yorkshire Walks was about 10 miles in distance. The terrain of this walking route included a disused railway track; coastal and field paths; bridleway, track and road sections; a quayside; two steep ascents, one steep descent. We took care on exposed clifftops and there were seven stiles to negotiate.
This was a fascinating walk because it passed through some rural landscape comprising of fields and forest plus it crossed the former Larpool Railway Viaduct which towers high above the River Esk. It also descended into the centre of the historic town of Whitby. It then traversed undulating clifftop along the Cleveland Way coastal path for much of the return journey back to Hawsker.
Starting from Hawsker lay-by, leg one went south west through Low Hawsker before heading north west to Stainsacre on field and woodland paths. Leg two headed north a short way into Stainsacre before turning north west on field and woodland paths, along a track and a lane to Cock Mill; then going north along a woodland path and lane to Larpool Viaduct.
Leg three went north to Whitby on a field path, under a bridge, on quayside pavements, along streets and up steps to pass Whitby Church. Leg four headed south east on the Cleveland Way coast path to a caravan site north east of Hawsker. To complete the walk, the fifth and final leg turned south west on a field path, roads and a former railway track to return to Hawsker.
Get an OS Map or a Walking Guide for your Walks
- Landranger 94 OS Map - Whitby, EskDale and Robin Hood's Bay - 1:50,000 Scale
- Explorer OL27 OS Map - North York Moors Eastern area - 1:25,000 Scale
- Norh Yorkshire Walking Guides
Hawsker, North Yorkshire Walks Route
The Hawsker, North Yorkshire Walks route was circular in a clockwise direction with five legs.
On this first leg we started from Hawsker lay-by, initially heading south west through Low Hawsker; then turning north west to Stainsacre along field and woodland paths.
- From a lay-by in Hawsker just off the A171 we headed down into Low Hawsker.
- After about 200 metres we forked diagonally right along a driveway.
- We then turned right along beside a wall and hedge to avoid Hawsker Hall Farm, following it around to the left.
- We then entered a field through a gap in the hedge.
- Keeping the hedge on our left we followed it round to the right and down to cross Stainsacre Beck.
- In the next field, we walked parallel with the beck on our left and entered a wooded section.
- Emerging from the trees on a gravel track, we ascended to the top of the bank that swung right.
- On reaching a stile on the left we crossed it to follow a path through woodland to pass through a gate and emerge into a field.
- We followed the left field edge to turn right in the corner and soon reach a stile on the left which we crossed on to a path enclosed by hedges.
- Following the path which curved to the right we emerged on Stainsacre Lane.
Having walked about 1 mile to this point, the second leg went north a short way into Stainsacre; then headed north west on field and woodland paths, along a track and a lane to Cock Mill; then headed north on a woodland path and a lane to Larpool Viaduct.
- Here we turned right into the village.
- Just after a road junction on the right, we took a public footpath on the left, passing a playground on our right and crossing a playing field, with Stainsacre Hall on the left.
- The route was a bit vague here but at the bottom of the playing field, there was a mown strip that lead us down into woods below the hall.
- The path zig-zagged down through trees to join a track by a beck which was forded but could be crossed by footbridge.
- We followed this main track up from the beck which swung right and at the top it emerged at a junction with a lane on Long Rigg.
- We turned right along the lane which headed down the ridge between Rigg Mill Beck and Stainsacre Beck until we reached Cock Mill.
- We passed the entrance to Cock Mill Hall and continued into the hamlet.
- Where the lane curved left we forked right up a driveway, passing garages, crossing a flagstone path.
- In the left corner of the drive we followed a woodland path leading down past Waterfall Cottage.
- After crossing a footbridge we continued straight ahead along a flagstone path which emerged onto Larpool Lane.
- We turned right up the lane as far as a former railway bridge and went up steps to the left of the bridge on to a trackbed, now part of National Cycle Network.
- Turning left we soon reached Larpool Viaduct above the River Esk.
Now at around the 3 miles mark, the third leg continued north to Whitby on a field path, under a bridge, along pavements on the quayside, along streets in the town and up steps past Whitby Church.
- After crossing the viaduct, at the far end we scrambled down an embankment on the right to follow a path along the edge of school playing fields to a cottage and caravan site. Don’t go into the caravan site on the right.
- We followed the right edge of the field until it curved back around to the left and exited the field through a gate concealed behind a hedge at the side of a cottage.
- We turned right along the driveway to exit the cottage and caravan site and then went right on the footpath beside the A171 road embankment.
- Next we followed the path down steps, under the road bridge and up the other side.
- The path led us beside trees and scrub on to a road leading down into Whitby.
- Going right on the road at the bottom, after some houses we forked right to drop down alongside the railway.
- We then crossed the railway track using a gated pedestrian crossing took us on to the quayside.
- Keeping the River Esk on our right we walk alongside the riverside moorings.
- Eventually we turned right on the roadside pavement and went right at the roundabout to reach the swing-bridge.
- After crossing the swing-bridge we turned second left into the old town along Church Street.
- At the end the stone pedestrianised road curved up to the right as Church Lane.
- We then ascended the ‘Church Stairs’ – the 199 steps up to church.
- After continuing past the abbey we turned left up along a road to curve right and soon cross over to join the Cleveland Way coastal path.
Having walked about 5.25 miles to this point, the fourth leg headed south east along the Cleveland Way coastal path for about 3 miles to a caravan site north east of Hawsker.
- Now, it was simply the case of following the coastal path south until turning off for Hawsker.
- We went along the coastal path for the next 5 kilometres which hugged the clifftop.
- After passing through a gate we continued on the path to Saltwick Nab where the path cut across the headland through a caravan site.
- We then passed through a kissing-gate and after passing through a further 4 kissing-gates and some steps we reached a lighthouse.
- Here the path cut behind the lighthouse away from the clifftop to pass behind it and we crossed a stone stile and went up some steps.
- Back on the cliffs the path rose over Widdy Head and passed below Widdy Field Farm. We ascended some steps, passed through a gate; crossed three stiles and descended steps; crossed another stile; descended more step; crossed a stream; and ascended more steps.
- Continuing on the path we ignored a path on the right to Hawsker, just after a seat.
- Continuing along the cliffs, after descending a stone path to cross a footbridge over a beck, the path ascended a little.
- A little further on we descended more steps, passed through a gate and crossed a boardwalk.
- The path ascended a little again and soon after we reached a path on the right.
Having walked about 8.5 miles to this point, the fifth and final leg turned south west, inland along a field path, roads and a former railway track back to Hawsker.
- We turned right along the path up some steps and up the right edge of a field and led us to a caravan site.
- We continued up passing caravans and followed the access road to the right out past a shop and tearoom.
- At the top of the hill, the road was crossed by the former railway track (National Cycle Route 1).
- We turned right along the track back to Hawsker; passing through a gate, going under a bridge; and through another gate to a pelican crossing.
- After crossing the road we turned left back to the lay-by at the start.
When Done & With Whom
I did this hike with my partner Anne whilst on a North Yorkshire hiking holiday during September 2013. We drove from our holiday accommodation in Harwood Dale, North Yorkshire to the starting location of Hawsker, North Yorkshire and parked in a lay-by by Mill Lane (alternatively park at the village hall) just off A171 coast road near traffic lights, grid reference NZ924077, which was also the start location of the hike.