The Cinder Track
Hawsker Whitby YO22 4LB
The old railway line between Whitby and Scarborough closed in 1965, after 80 years of service, but the 21-mile-long track is still there, providing a wonderful off-road route for cyclists and walkers right along the finest part of the North Yorkshire coast. It's known locally as the 'Cinder Track' (after the original surface laid down for the railway line), and has all sorts of quirks and highlights, from a tea-room fashioned from the former station at Cloughton to clifftop side-routes down into hidden bays like Hayburn Wyke. There's bike rental at Hawsker, just outside Whitby on the A171, with the seven-mile section south from here up to Ravenscar (highest point on the line) probably the best bit of the route. You'll pass the old smugglers' village of Robin Hood's Bay before the long pull up to Ravenscar, where you can enjoy panoramic views and a bit to eat in the clifftop hotel, before freewheeling back down again. The track also links at points with the long-distance Cleveland Way footpath, so you can also plan a circular walk – say out from Whitby along the clifftop path to Robin Hood's Bay and then back along the Cinder Track.