Best walks in Scarborough

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Located on one of the prettiest stretches of the Yorkshire coastline, Scarborough and its surroundings boast loads of appealing walks, both along the coastal paths and inland, among the sculpted parks and gently rolling Yorkshire moors.  

All of the following walks are dog-friendly, although you might want to keep any keen squirrel chasers on the lead!

North Bay Beach and the Parks

North Bay Beach and the Parks

Distance: 5 miles 

Terrain: includes a few steps but otherwise easy 

The most straightforward walk begins at Scarborough Harbour, heads up the steps towards the castle, then passes through the forested trail, and then down to North Beach. You’ll pass the open-air theatre, and the Sea Life Centre before Cleveland Way leaves the town and heads out among the fields.  

You can either walk back the way you’ve come or cut inland past the theatre and Peasholm Park, then through the side streets back to the station or town centre.

Cleveland Way to Filey

Cleveland Way to Filey

Distance: 8 miles 

Terrain: trails and road - moderate 

If you’re looking for a longer, more challenging coastal walk, head along South Beach, through the North York Moors Country Park, and continue along the Cleveland Way. You’ll pass the peaceful Cayton Bay Beach and Filey Brigg, a unique geological place where many seabirds gather, including puffins. Fortunate walkers may spot dolphins leaping in the bay, so bring binoculars if you have them. 

You can catch an hourly direct train back to Scarborough from Filey, which takes just 15 minutes.

Cloughton and Crook Ness

Distance: 4 miles  

Terrain: some mud, moderately challenging 

Another lovely stretch of the Coastal Path can be reached from the village of Cloughton, to the north of the town. A circular route follows an old railway line south and east to the coast, then follows the Cleveland Way as far as the top of the railway line to return south to the town.  

The coastal section is quieter than much of the Cleveland Way near Scarborough and provides a quiet escape from the town. Scenic clifftop views and open farmland alternate with cinder track and tarmac. It can be muddy on the sides of the fields, and there are a few flights of steps up and down the coastal ravines. Otherwise, the walk is level and relatively easy.

Broxa Forest

Broxa Forest

Distance: 6 miles 

Terrain: moderately challenging 

Part of the North Riding Forest, this route through Broxa woodland follows forest access paths and picturesque tracks (which can be muddy after rain). You’ll pass close to the edge of the Barn’s Cliff hill, which grants lovely views over Harwood Dale. The Blue Man Walk and Moors to Sea cycle routes pass through Broxa, so you’ll probably pass fellow explorers. 

Keep dogs on the lead to protect the local wildlife, which includes a population of nightjars. There are some gradients and narrow sections which make this walk unsuitable for pushchairs. To access it, drive along the A171 out of Burniston and head towards Harwood Dale.

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Cloughton and Hayburn Wyke

Cloughton and Hayburn Wyke

Distance: 4.5 miles 

Terrain: mixed, moderately challenging 

Drive to the end of Salt Pans Road near the village of Cloughton, and you can walk north along an especially scenic stretch of North Yorkshire coast, passing the Hayburn waterfall and taking the path alongside the stream (beck) then south via the Cinder Track, a disused railway line, which will carry you back to the road and your vehicle. 

There are some rougher and steeper sections, which can prove slippery in wet weather. You’ll also want to keep your dog on a lead as there are some sudden drops.

Raincliffe Woods

Distance: 5 miles  

Terrain: moderately challenging 

Another good option if you enjoy sheltered walks is Raincliffe Woods, an ancient woodland adjacent to the North York Moors. The woods, managed by a local community preservation group, cover over 400 acres, and feature wild garlic and bluebells in the spring. 

The wood is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, and harbours nationally rare flora and fauna. It also contains ancient earthworks and 4000-year-old coppice woodland. 

Some steep climbs and muddy terrain make this a slightly demanding route when it rains but you’ll be rewarded with pristine countryside and plentiful wildlife. If your dog enjoys chasing squirrels, you’ll want to keep them on the lead.

Forge Valley Woods

Forge Valley Woods

Distance: 1.5 miles 

Terrain: easy, including wooden boardwalk sections 

The last forest trail worth mentioning is Forge Valley, situated adjacent to Raincliffe Woods in the North York Moors National Park. Locate it by driving north of East Ayton on Seavegate. The river Derwent runs through the woods and lucky walkers may spot an otter or kingfisher (do keep dogs on a lead). 

The woods are relatively narrow and the there-and-back-again trail runs parallel to the road, so it’s an easy route to navigate.

Ravenscar Coastal Path

Ravenscar Coastal Path

Distance: 1.5 miles 

Terrain: easy to moderate 

For a short stroll to one of the most picturesque points on the North Yorkshire Coast, park at the facilities on Raven Hall Road and follow the signposted trail from the junction with Station Road. The route descends 200 metres through fields and alongside the golf course, providing excellent North Sea views. 

There’s a protected seal colony on the coast here, so keep your dog on the lead and save your energy for the uphill climb on the way back. It’s worth the effort.

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