As detailed in our Cookie Policy, like most sites Strolling Guides uses cookies to enhance your experience, and to share information about how you use our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Unless you disable cookies in your browser, using this website means you consent to this.

Robin Hood's Bay

Location

Yorkshire_north Map

OS Ref: NZ 951 052

Last Visited: 2011

Robin Hoods Bay

Robin Hoods Bay

Despite the fact that the historical Robin Hood was almost certainly a Yorkshire man, with strong links to the Barnsdale Forest area in South Yorkshire, there is no evidence that he had any connection with Robin Hoodʼs Bay or its eponymous village.

How the village got its name is, therefore, something of a mystery.

Houses

Houses

The most likely seem so be the use of the name Robin Hood for an ancient forest spirit similar to Robin Goodfellow. The use of this name is widespread in the area, in fact there are a pair of Bronze Age burial mounds known as Robin Hoodʼs Butts up on the high moorland a mile or so south of the village (NZ 954 017).

The original Norse settlements were probably at Raw and Thorpe (now Fylingthorpe), along with a scatter of other small places that make up the parish of Fylingdales. There is no reference to a settlement on the coast until 1536, after that the village grew rapidly and at one stage out-ranked Whitby in importance.

The Slipway

The Slipway

Fishing, farming and smuggling were the main stays of the local economy, along with the production of Alum at the nearby Peak Alum Works.

These days the alum works have closed, and there is only a little inshore fishing. Tourism is the main industry, and what a lot the village has to offer: a long sandy beach, narrow allies, winding street and a jumble of picturesque houses piled one on top of the other up the sides of a deep ravine.

There is a quote from J B Priestely on one of the benches overlooking the beach that seems to sum the place up, "A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours". I couldnʼt agree more.