Royal Hotel, Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire

Royal 01

There’s a great walk from Staithes along the edge of the cliffs to Runswick Bay. Marvellous scenery and bracing breezes give you a good appetite for lunch at either end. The walk is mostly level, with a steep bit at the beginning and the end, and a bit of a dip half way round. You pass Port Mulgrave on the way, now nearly deserted at sea level but once home to a thriving ironstone mine, as the National Trust describes…

The village of Port Mulgrave lies 9 miles North West of Whitby on the Yorkshire Coast. The settlement here owes its existence to the ironstone mining industry of the mid 19th century. The old mine entrance can still be seen 50 feet above the high water mark. After the mine ceased to be productive the tunnel was extended to join with the Grinkle Park mine and used to transport stone to the harbour by narrow gauge railway. Little remains of the harbour these days. It was destroyed by the Royal Engineers during the Second World War to prevent it being used as a landing area by invading Nazis. The little that remains is a popular spot for local sea fishermen.

Arriving at Runswick [we always start from Staithes…habit, we suppose] you have a choice of ways down the hill. The new road [well, 1960s anyway] or the old road, now a steep and narrow overgrown footpath, difficult to believe it was a road within living memory. Either way you soon become immersed in the cottages which grip the steep bank down to the beach. In their midst is the Royal Hotel. Recently given a coat of paint, the pub is welcoming and friendly, serving a range of snacks and drinks, including the famed crab sandwiches in summer. Good to see that, in the intervening 45 odd years, the toilets are still outside where they always were…

In the late 1960s and early 1970s there was a  folk club at the Royal, with a semi-resident guitarist who played really great jazz [Jim…?]. We didn’t think it was great then, we were more interested in the sort of folk music played by bearded people in waistcoats who sang with a finger in one ear – we should probably have had fingers in both our ears, on reflection. Misguided. One memorable occasion we sailed into Runswick Bay on a 67 foot British Steel Challenge yacht [Pride of Teesside] with Boris Webber and Mark Lodge guiding us – they would be skippers on the next race. They were specifically built for a round-the-world race, against the prevailing winds. Although built of steel, you could see where the waves had battered the bows, rippling the steel hull. Scary. We sailed it on a cruising leg from St Catherine’s Dock in London, to Hartlepool. It took about two hours to find and lay the anchor from the depths of the boat, and then a tractor had to brave the sea to launch a local cobble to take us off to the pub – no tender or dinghy. The Royal was ready though with enough freshly caught lobster…

Pub The Royal Hotel Runswick Bay

The walk starts at Staithes, parking in the visitor’s car park at the top of the hill. It skirts the top of the village and then head out along the cliffs, via Port Mulgrave, to Runswick. There is a return leg which goes inland as an alternative, but the coastal walk is spectacular.

The cosy bar

The cosy bar

There's a stunning view out of the window...

There’s a stunning view out of the window…

...the view

…the view

Getting the anchor chain ready...never been used before

Getting the anchor chain ready…never been used before

Paying out the chain by hand...

Paying out the chain by hand…

Challenge yacht anchored in Runswick Bay...

Challenge yacht anchored in Runswick Bay…

Taxi from the boat...

Taxi from the boat…

Arriving at the Royal...

Arriving at the Royal…lifeboat station in the foreground

The walk from Staithes to Runswick...

The walk from Staithes to Runswick…

The start from Staithes...you can go through the houses!

The start from Staithes…you can go through the houses

The start from Staithes...

The finish at Runswick…the pub beckons!

The alternative route back through Staithes village

The alternative route back through Staithes village

 

 

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One response to “Royal Hotel, Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire

  1. Pingback: Cod and Lobster, Staithes, North Yorkshire | sleep | eat | enjoy·

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