The Cleveland Way is a national trail up and over the Cleveland Hills in the North Riding of Yorkshire. It runs 110 miles from Helmsley, deep inland in Ryedale, to the Brigg at Filey on the North Sea coast, skirting the North York Moors National Park.
Development of the Cleveland Way began in the 1930s when the Tees-side Ramblers' Association pressed for the creation of a long distance path in the north-east of Yorkshire linking the Hambleton Drove Road, the Cleveland escarpment and footpaths on the Yorkshire coast. In 1953 the National Parks Commission took the matter up formally. The trail was officially opened in 1969. It was the second official 'National Trail' in the United Kingdom.
The trail can be walked in either direction, from either of the trailheads, which are at Helmsley (SE6125183849) and Filey (TA1155480742). The trail runs in a horseshoe configuration between them. It is waymarked along its length using the standard National Trail acorn symbol.
The trail falls into two roughly equal sections. The inland section leads west from Helmsley, then north, then east around the west of the North York Moors National Park. It then leaves the National Park near Guisborough to meet the coast at Saltburn-by-the-Sea. It re-enters the National Park just north of Staithes. The coastal section follows the coast from Saltburn to Whitby, then leaves the National Park for the final time at Cloughton Wyke to reach Scarborough and Filey.
Geology and biology
Flora and fauna
The moorland sections of the trail provide a habitat for species including red grouse, curlews and Emperor moth caterpillars. The coastal sections may provide sightings of sea birds such as Great cormorants, Shags, Puffins, Guillemots and Seagulls.
The Cleveland Way connects with various other long distance footpaths. Listed in order from Helmsley to Filey, there are:
- The Ebor Way, from Ilkley (where it connects with the Dales Way) to Helmsley.
- The White Rose Walk from Kilburn White Horse to Roseberry Topping (and following the coastal section)
- The North Sea Trail, which follows the whole coastal section of the Cleveland Way
- The Esk Valley Walk from Castleton to end at Whitby.
- The Coast to Coast Walk which starts or ends at Robin Hood's Bay
- The Lyke Wake Walk crossing the moors from Osmotherley to Ravenscar.
- The Tabular Hills Walk, a route developed by National Park Authority, linking the two southerly ends of the Cleveland Way and enabling walkers to walk the complete perimeter of the North York Moors National Park.
- The Yorkshire Wolds Way from Filey to Hessle, near Kingston upon Hull, where it connects with the Trans Pennine Trail.
Published circular walks along the Cleveland Way include:
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