Tour route 2

North Yorkshire Coast – Bucket & Spade and Cliff Top Walks

Map of North Yorkshire Coast tour
Harvey with big inflatable awning (with Trigger and Fi) – Scarboro’ Camping & Caravanning Club Site

1st leg

Darlington to Scarborough Camping & Caravan Club Campsite

66 miles / 1hr 45mins

After collecting your shiny, new campervan follow Route 66 East. Ok, it’s the A66 and you’re heading towards Middlesbrough, but don’t worry the locals are friendly and some of the industrial landscape is impressive – keep an eye out for the iconic Transporter Bridge towering over the River Tees. Picking up the A19 and the A174 gives you an easy dual carriageway route that skirts around the urban centre and you’ll soon find yourself on a cracking driving road, the A171.

After by-passing the pleasant market town of Guisborough the road climbs steeply to the edge of The North Yorkshire Moors. From your elevated driving position, you’ll enjoy the view, especially the sea to your left as you cut across this moorland road. Before long the ruins of Whitby Abbey loom up ahead and although you’re less than an hour into the journey it might be worth a stop. Afterall it’s the home of the world-famous Victoria Café Fish & Chip Restaurant (other food retailers are available :).

In any event it’s the A171 that’s going to carry you further south to Scarborough. It’s a pleasant road, with Robin Hood’s Bay well worth a visit – just don’t take the campervan down the hill into the village, that would really spoil your trip!

As you approach the northern outskirts of Scarborough at Burniston you take a left on the mini roundabout at the Three Jolly Sailors pub (pub food, fine real ale and a good beer garden) and follow the road for just over 1 mile before the campsite sign turns you right.

As with all the Camping & Caravanning Club Sites this one is well organised with good facilities and friendly wardens. Don’t be put off by its size, we’ve always found some relatively private pitches and if you didn’t get your chips in Whitby it has its own chip shop (check opening hours, I don’t want you blaming me for going hungry). The site is on the quiet northern outskirts of Scarborough, but there is a large, child friendly, food-oriented pub adjacent to the site.

It is a very pleasant walk across fields to join the clifftop Cleveland Way walking route, which takes you to Scarborough’s North Bay beach in no time at all. Turn left instead and it’s a stunning walk all the way to Whitby, via Robin Hood’s Bay. Whilst this site is great for the kids, couples will love it too.

A view over the coastal town of Staithes
Staithes. A pleasant walk from Serenity Campsite. Photo by Agnieszka Mordaunt on Unsplash

2nd leg

Scarborough Camping & Caravan Club Campsite to Serenity Camping, Hinderwell – 26 miles/45mins (so time to stop in Sandsend, or Whitby, or Robin Hood’s Bay)

26 miles/45mins

I wouldn’t ordinarily take the same road twice in one trip, but the attractions of Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby are too much to pass over. Once in Whitby take the A174 to Sandsend where there’s a particularly nice beach café to while away half an hour with tea and scones.

Try parking on the seafront on the opposite side of the road as you approach Sandsend, if you can’t you’ll need to travel through Sandsend to the main car park and walk back.

After Sandsend it’s a pleasant 10-minute drive to Hinderwell. You’ll find the Serenity campsite entrance on the left just after The Badger Hounds pub. Serenity is very aptly named. As well as being a haven of tranquility it is a surprisingly large and spacious site.

The new owners pay particular attention to the environment and provide 1st class facilities, so as well as a nature reserve you can expect family bathrooms to augment the usual campsite facilities.

The aforementioned Badger Hounds is very dog-friendly, serves excellent food and well kept cask ale booking in advance is almost essential.

Lots of walks from the site, including another coastal section of The Cleveland Way. Runswick Bay lies a little to the south and rightly wins many awards for being one of the UK’s best beaches. A mile to the North lies the charming fishing village of Staithes – not one to miss, especially for the old-fashioned sweet shop.

Home leg

Serenity to Up North Campervans, Darlington, DL3 7ST

40 miles/1hr 15mins

Turn left out of the site and follow the A174. Pass through the Victorian resort of
Saltburn by the Sea with its jaunty pier and funicular railway. Then an easy run back on the dual carriageways of the A172/A19 and A66 back to Darlington.