Path : Cinder Track

Activity : Walking, Cycling, Wheeling, Scooting, Horse Riding

Difficulty : Moderate

The Cinder Track runs along the trackbed of the old Whitby to Scarborough Railway Line. It is a shared walking path, cycle path and bridleway. It is currently the sole cycle infrastructure in the Whitby area. The Cinder Track is on land owned by North Yorkshire Council (NYC), with the exception of Larpool Viaduct which is owned by Sustrans (via its Railway Bridges Limited subsidiary).

Shared Path : cyclists should give precedence to horses and pedestrians; please respect other path users and cyclists use a bell well in advance. Keep dogs under control. Keep to the left.

Maintenance of the path is the responsibility of the landowner (NYC); you can contact them via their Cinder Track Facebook group, otherwise via their website. Whilst Sustrans has a number of volunteers who help with simple vegetation management and litter picking etc, they are not responsible for day-to-day maintenance of NYC property.

Note : we only cover the section of the track from Whitby to Ravenscar, due to that being the geographical extent of this group’s remit.

Path Status :

  • Whitby to Larpool : Leaf residue on the track (slippy), drains not been cleared. Suitable for all activities.
  • Larpool – Hawsker : Vegetation encroachment, drains not been cleared. Suitable for all activities.
  • Hawsker – Robin Hoods Bay : stretches of the track with loose coarse gravel. Walking, Horse Riding, Cycling (very laborious, not safe for less inexperienced), Wheeling (v difficult), Scooting (v difficult).
  • Robin Hoods Bay – Ravenscar : significant pot holes and surface washout. Mudbath (or flooded after any significant rainfall) between Thorpe Lane and Middlewood Lane. Large pond (or fully flooded after any significant rainfall) at former Fyling Hall Station. Resembles a quarry in places between Middlewood Lane and Bridge Holm Lane. Seriously rutted towards Stoupe Brow, with embedded bricks in the track. Walking (muddy, or impassible when flooded), Horse Riding, Cycling (not for inexperienced, and if using after rainfall much of this section should be avoided).

Path Description

Whitby - Larpool

The Cinder Track has a single point of entry in the Whitby urban area, just off Stakesby Vale, alongside the Beevers furniture store. A tarmacced ramp leads up to the track. At the top of the ramp is a Sustrans Millenium Milepost marker.

Warning : this entry ramp is steep, so could be problematic for manual wheelchairs.

From the top of the ramp cutting immediately back on yourself, you can reach the top of a bridge with a view on the right hand side up to Whitby Abbey.

Continuing along the track in the direction of Larpool, the surface for this section is tarmac, laid in 2021. Continue under Mayfield Road bridge and you are at a fork in the track (“Prospect Hill Junction”). The path off to the left is where the Prospect Hill Line went, down to Whitby Town Centre; it is an ambition to create an active travel route along this path. The track continues on the left, under a large (currently disused) bridge that was originally a farmers access bridge over the railway line. Follow around a slight dog-leg and you pass “Monkey Bridge Junction” (a wooden footbridge used to sit here over the railway line). The path off to the left heads across Caedmon College Scoresby site playing field to Whitby New Bridge. Head straight on and you are on Larpool Viaduct.

Larpool - Hawsker

This section was surfaced in 2021 with Ultitrec (compacted gravel, made from reconstituted road material). Two small sections were omitted when the surfacing was done (Broomfield Farm to Stainsacre, and the dog-leg at Trailways). Much of this section is either tree lined, or within Stansacre Woods. Consequently be aware of low hanging branches.

After a long straight section you arrive at a ramp down to Stainsacre, with access to the Windmill Inn, and Stainsacre Lane. Cross over the bridge and along a straight section abutted with rear gardens, and pass under a bridge, and the left turn off goes to Summerfield Lane. Continue straight on, and eventually you see 2 railway carriages. This is Trailways, not currently operational, but previously served as accomodation and bike hire. You finally arrive at the A171 with a light-operated crossing to get to the next section.

Hawsker - Robin Hoods Bay

This section has the original type of surface from the days of the railway, with poor drainage, and surface being washed out is fairly common. After crossing the A171, the section up from Hawsker is very narrow, particularly when vegetation is out of control. The drains on the right hand side (ascending) are of little use on this section as the track is sufficiently deteriorated that it doesn’t drain into them, resulting in frequent washouts of the surface. A gradual ascent continues to Bottoms Lane, which you cross over, and along a section with potholes, past the campervan park.

The track starts to ascend, through Hawsker Sidings (named from the days of the railway), now maintained as a wildflower meadow, with the picnic table. The highest point on this section.

The track starts to descend, and comes around a long sweeping corner with amazing views of the coastline, before arriving in Robin Hoods Bay. On this downhill section there are points where the drains do not serve much purpose due to the deteriorated track not draining into them, surface washouts happen. The track turns on to Cleveland Way, and you arrive on Mount Pleasant North. Cross over the B1447 (Station Road) in to Station Car Park.

Robin Hoods Bay - Ravenscar

Cross through the Station Car Park, and right on to Thorpe Lane for a short stretch, before turning left back on to the track. There is another Sustrans Millenium Milepost.

This section has the worst surface of the whole Cinder Track, with some parts being not much more than boulders where the original surface has been washed away. The section between Thorpe Lane and Middlewood Lane is notoriously bad for mud, with little to no drainage. Further on several sections are sufficiently deteriorated that only the hardcode is left making a very bumpy journey, with a latter section having embedded bricks in the surface.

Arriving in Ravenscar, there is another Sustrans Millenium Milestone just before reaching Raven Hall Road. Continue along Station Road and you arrive at an area with Ravenscar Tearooms etc, and another Sustrans Millenium Milestone.

Development Plan

The Cinder Track was derelict for many years, but in 2017 a study by Sustrans defined a possible future for the track as an active travel resource. This was subsequently adapted by Scarborough Council. Documents for the development are available below, and will be utilised in any future upgrades.

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