It´s a wonderful bus ride from Whitby to Robin Hood´s Bay driving through the picturesque landscape and catching a view of the sea. Even better I rode on a double-decker bus in the front row – the best seat in the house!
robin hood´s bay
It´s just a very short walk from the bus stop in the “upper village” down to Robin Hood´s bay – a stunning old fishing village on the Heritage Coast of the North York Moors. Wandering down the very steep main street I instantly fell in love with all the narrow, twisting cobbled streets and alleyways going right and left and up and down.
Today Robin Hood´s Bay is filled with lovely independent shops and tea rooms and the perfect place to get lost in all the alleys.
The area around the Yorkshire coast was settled by Danes and Norwegians around 1000 but after the Norman conquest in the 11th century, much of the land in Northern England laid waste and later on sold to the Abbot of Whitby.
In 1536 “Robin Hoode Baye” was described as
A fischer tounlet of 20 bootes with Dok or Bosom of a mile yn length. (Wikipedia)
In the 16th century, Robin Hood´s Bay was a more important port than Whitby, whose Abbey was dissolved in 1540.
The town, which consists of a maze of tiny streets, has a tradition of smuggling, and there is reputed to be a network of subterranean passageways linking the houses. During the late 18th century smuggling was rife on the Yorkshire coast. Vessels from the continent brought contraband which was distributed by contacts on land and the operations were financed by syndicates who made profits without the risks taken by the seamen and the villagers. Tea, gin, rum, brandy and tobacco were among the contraband smuggled into Yorkshire from the Netherlands and France to avoid the duty. (Wikipedia)
But fishing and farming were the original occupations of the people living along the coast. Fishing reached its peak in the 19th century: the men went on the sea to catch the fish and the women carried the buckets full with the catch over the moors to Pickering or York.
A lot of the houses were built between 1650 to 1750 and the whole family was involved in the fishing business.
Today the main income for Robin Hood´s Bay comes from tourism.
The village was also featured in several movies like “Wild Child”, “Turn of the tide” or quite recently for “The Phantom Thread” with Daniel Day-Lewis.
If you´re interested in even older times, a lot of fossils can be found along the coast and on the beach.
After some time on the beach, I made my way up back to the clifftops towards the bus stop.