Key information: Cleveland Way
- Wonderful 110 mile horseshoe around the western and northern sides of the North York Moors, then along the superb east coast.
- Some of the best views in England, from its escarpments and along the coast, which boasts the highest sea-cliffs in eastern England. Heather moorland interchanging with hill (and some arable) farms.
- Some historic wonders Rievaulx Abbey in its meltingly pretty valley; Iron Age forts; castles, the remains of early industry; and timeless villages and fishing ports.
- You can stay in inns and B&Bs and walk selected sections.
- Walkopedia rating86
- Natural interest13
- Human interest13
- Negative points0
- Total rating86
- Length: 177km (110 miles)
- around 9 days
- Maximum Altitude: N/A
- Level of Difficulty: Variable
This nine day National Trail circles around the edge (often an abrupt and spectacular escarpment) of the North York Moors, then down its rugged eastern seaboard.
Wonderful views varying from wide aspects across the mellow farmland of central Yorkshire to wild moorland to seaside cliffs and bays.
The North York Moors consist of huge areas of heather broken by dales and interspersed with hill farms and woodland, crowned in places by tors and jumbles of rock.
The coastal walks track the crumbling cliff lines, said to be the highest in eastern England, dropping to fishing villages in the valleys.
The area is rich in history, from wonderful ruined Rievaulx Abbey in its deep valley near the start at Helmsley, to ancient drove roads, to old quarries and mines, to castles, to Captain Cooks monument, to Roman signal stations, to immaculate fishing villages, to the whaling centre and synod scene of Whitby.
Stay in places ranging interesting old houses in hardy stone villages to farmhouses to seaside towns. Beware that accommodation can be scarce on some moorland sections, and making bus connections can be helpful. Plan carefully.
The Cleveland Way Relay is an annual race along the path.
Other accounts: share your experiences
Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.
Books and Maps
Books on this walk
The Cleveland Way National Trail Circle by Ian Sampson is essential reading.
The Cleveland Way: Map/Guide - Footprint
Good Ordance Survey maps can be bought locally.
Best times to walk/weather
Best times to walk
Spring to autumn are good. Summer for the best chances of good weather. Winter can be spectacular if cold, but more of a specialist activity.
Depends on the season. This being England, even high summer can be wet or grey.
Moorsbus: a network linking villages with the national park. Timetable available from the national park and local tourist information sites.
See “Walk Summary” above.
Possible problems, health, other warnings
- Hill weather: rain, cold and wind are possible at any time of year. It gets very cold (and snowy) in winter. Come prepared.
See also the websites in our useful links page for more detailed, and up-to-date, information.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk. Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
Make sure you have appropriate insurance.
Guided or independent?
You can do this walk independently.
Various accommodation providers will pick up walkers or ferry luggage, enabling walking without heavy packs. Recommendations for such providers are requested!
And there are organizers who will arrange an entire expeditions, including baggage transfer, such as:
A wide selection of accommodation, from hotels to bed and breakfasts, hostels and campsites.
See the Cleveland Way Accommodation and Information Guide that is available from the North York Moors National Park Authority. Available online at www.nationaltrail.co.uk/clevelandway.
Hostelbookers usually has a good selection of cheaper-end accommodation.
Other information and tips
Useful websites and information
There are various websites with relevant information. Here are some that we think are useful or have been recommended to us.
- www.clevelandway.co.uk (which takes you to the Sherpa Van site)
- Try www.flickr.com for pictures of this walk.
Other things to do in the area
Yorkshire Wolds Way (in the same Cicerone book)
Tabular Hills Walk (in the same Cicerone book)
The North York Moors section of the Coast to Coast, which crosses the middle of the moors via Grosmont.
Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.
Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.
share your experiences
Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).
Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.
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