Robin’s Hood Bay is a small fishing village that simply oozes with character and history. It is located within the North York Moors National Park, five miles south of Whitby, 15 miles north of Scarborough and is part of the North Yorkshire Heritage Coast. The original name for the bay was Fyling and it is not certain how the name Robin Hood’s Bay came about. However, there are many tales that suggest it was once where the famous outlaw resided – but no hard evidence!
A village that was unquestionably built for smuggling
Back in the 18th Century smuggling was rife on the Yorkshire Coast and Robin Hood’s Bay was one of the many seaside villages that have become famous for this. Those that engaged in smuggling contraband goods no doubt became masters in it as the bay is said to have had the busiest smuggling community on the Yorkshire Coast.
The village is built on a steep hill and is made up of a maze of narrow cobbled streets and is believed to have a network of underground passageways linking the houses. Nearly every house is said to have a special place to conceal the contraband goods, most is said to be in hollowed areas of the rock.
The items were smuggled into Yorkshire from the Netherlands and France to avoid any duty on the products such as tea, gin, rum, brandy and tobacco.
Robin Hood’s Bay Beach
The beach is a 15 minute walk from the car park down a steep cobbled street, easy on the way down but hard work on the way back up - but not to worry, there are a number of cafes to break up the walk.
The flat, sandy beach has many rock pools which are great to explore. What’s more, if you are interested in fossils there is still a chance that you will be able to find the fossil remains of the sea animals that were once buried in the mud and became fossilised. If you have no luck in your search for fossils then fear not there are a number on display in the museum for you to view.
Robin Hood’s Bay is one of the five main fishing villages found on the Yorkshire Coast, the others being Filey, Runswick and Staithes. Although, it has always been the original occupation for the village, sadly it is becoming a dying trade in the area as tourism grows in importance.
Robin Hood’s Bay Museum
Robin Hood’s Bay Museum is run by volunteers and is unique as is not only a museum it is also the village mortuary! At the museum you shall find displays on fishing, shipping, local history and the geology of the area. The museum also includes models of the smugglers houses showing where the contraband could have been concealed.