Runswick Bay

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Runswick Bay
North Riding
Runswick Bay Village - - 455297.jpg
Runswick Bay village
Grid reference: NZ822160
Location: 54°32’4"N, 0°45’18"W
Post town: Saltburn-By-The-Sea
Postcode: TS13
Local Government
Council: Scarborough
Scarborough and Whitby

Runswick Bay is a bay in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and also the name of a village standing on the western edge of the bay; though the village is sometimes shortened to Runswick. The bay and the village are found five miles north of Whitby, and close to the villages of Ellerby and Hinderwell. It is a popular tourist attraction due to its picturesque cliffside village, stunning coastal walks, fossil hunting and Runswick Sands, a white sand beach.[1]

The Cleveland Way national trail runs along the bay.

Runswick Bay


The original fishing village was almost completely destroyed by a landslide in 1682. Remarkably, there were no fatalities, as the village was alerted by two mourners at a wake.[2] The village was rebuilt, slightly further to the south, perched on the side of cliffs.

The cliffside village of Runswick Bay

The village ran its own lifeboat from 1866, until it was moved to the RNLI station at Staithes in 1978. The boathouse still remains, and has run its own volunteer rescue boat service since 1982.[3]

In the late 1880s, Runswick Bay was the site of an art colony.[4]


On the north side of the bay is Cauldron Cliff, and the headland on the south side is known as Kettleness, site of alum mining from 1727 until the late 1800s.[5]

Around the edge of the bay is a white sand beach called Runswick Sands, and a series of caves. The largest cave on the bay, Hob Hole, was so named as it was believed to be the home of a 'Hob' (or Boggart) in local folklore.[6]

The bay is a mile and a half long. A seawall, made of large boulders, was completed in 1970.[2] Like other parts of the Yorkshire Coast, the area suffers from a high degree of coastal erosion which has made it a popular location for fossil hunting.[7]

Looking across Runswick Bay toward Kettleness

A number of local streams drain into the bay across Runswick Sands; from West to East: Nettle Dale, Dunsley Dale, Calais Beck and Widgeytoft Gill.[8]

The village has a peak seasonal population of 2,315, though permanent residence is low with a high degree of houses being holiday lets and second homes. It is split into two parts, the 'lower' red-roofed, cliff-side, former-fishing village,[9] and Runswick Bank Top, a hamlet adjacent to farmland overlooking the bay, built around the intersection of the roads leading to Ellerby and Hinderwell, with a campsite and caravan site, a hotel and modern housing developments. The two parts of the village are joined via a steep lane which is part of the Cleveland Way, with the beach located at the bottom of the lane.

The Lower village of Runswick Bay is densely packed with narrow winding streets and steep steps. It is largely inaccessible to traffic accessed only by a 1 in 4 gradient road. Key buildings include the old lifeboat station, and a thatched cottage which is a Grade II Listed building.[10] There is a sailing club, a pub, one car park, holiday cottages to rent, public toilets and a beachside cafe. There are no disabled facilities and due to the uneven slopes access can be difficult [11]

A £2.28 million pound award-winning coastal erosion protection scheme was completed in 2018 to protect the village for another 100 years.[12]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Runswick Bay)


  1. "Runswick Bay - Yorkshire dog walking". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Whitworth, Alan (2011). Runswick Bay & Staithes Through Time. Amberley. ISBN 9781445605937. 
  3. "Runswick Rescue". 
  4. Slater, Robert (2010). Artists' Colonies In Staithes and Runswick Bay c.1880-1914. University of Leicester. 
  5. "Kettleness Alum Works - Tees Valley Wildlife Trust". Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. 
  6. Whitby. "Whitby Myth and Folklore: Hob - Whitby Online". 
  7. "Walking with dinosaurs for a stroll along Runswick Bay". 
  8. Richardson, Gary (2018). 100 Walks in Yorkshire: North York Moors and Wolds. The Crowood Press. ISBN 9781785003868. 
  9. "Runswick Bay - Yorkshire Coast | Welcome to Yorkshire". 
  10. National Heritage List 1301849: The Thatched Cottage, Hinderwell (Grade II listing)
  11. "Runswick Bay: North York Moors National Park". North York Moors National Park. 
  12. "Runswick Bay Coastal Defence Scheme". Scarborough Borough Council.