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A Circular Walk from Whitby to Hawsker along the Cinder Track, Returning via Whitby Abbey

  • Jack Barber

This walk is about 6 miles long and will take around 2 hours to complete. It’s half on the Cinder Track, which is relatively flat and accessible but can be muddy in places. The return leg is along the road between Hawsker and Whitby Abbey. It’s a quiet lane generally, but you’ll need to watch out for cars.

Join the Cinder Track

Join the Cinder Track in Whitby. This could either be at the very end, near Beevers, or from Larpool Lane, if that’s easier for you. Once you’ve joined the track head away from Whitby.

If you joined the Cinder Track in town you’ll cross the viaduct before too long. If you joined the Cinder Track from Larpool Lane you’ll want to take a quick detour onto the viaduct. The view is not to be missed!


The Cinder Track heads gently uphill as you leave Whitby behind you. You’ll be surrounded by trees, fields to the left and woodland to the right.

A mile or so out of town you’ll see some houses across a field to the left. This is part of a relatively new housing development on the edge of town. The track bends slightly to the left at this point and you might see some friendly horses in a field to your right.

Pass Through Stainsacre Village

You’ll see some farm buildings to the left and some houses to the right. A little further on you’ll cross the road on a bridge. If you fancy a break then you’ll see Stainsacre’s Windmill Inn to your left. Leave the Cinder Track and enjoy a refreshing pint, or a bite to eat, if you fancy!

Continuing along the Cinder Track you’ll see another bridge ahead. As you pass under it look out for a little track to the left, leading up to the road. Beware of cars as you join the road behind Summerfield Garage. Head towards the main road, to your right.

Hawsker Church

Carefully cross the main road. There’s good visibility, but cars can be travelling very quickly, so watch out! Go straight over, then follow the lane. Keep to the right hand side.

You’ll see Hawsker Church ahead of you, keep following the lane until you reach it. Hawsker Village Primary School will be just over the road.

Feel free to spend a few moments in the quiet of the graveyard, if you fancy. The view back across the fields to Whitby is wonderful, and there are a few benches if you need a sit down at this point.

Whitby Road

Turn left onto Whitby Road. Stick to the right hand side. The road heads downhill, passing a farm. This road is usually quiet, although it can be busier during high season, so watch out for cars.

The road continues all the way to Whitby Abbey, so provided you don’t veer off down a track you can’t go wrong!

You’ll pass a few farms, some offering caravan pitches or holiday cottages. As you get closer to Whitby you’ll begin to see more of the town across the fields. The Abbey will be visible on the headland ahead most of the time – a tantilising glimpse of your finish line!

Green Lane

As you get close to the Abbey you’ll see a road to the left called Green Lane. If you want to you can follow this lane down onto Church Street, near to Parkol Marine. Alternatively, keep going straight on.

Whitby Brewery

The walls of the Abbey grounds will appear on the left. Soon you’ll see the buildings which are home to Whitby Brewery on the right. The beer here is excellent, and other drinks are available! They’ve also recently started serving freshly-made pizzas – which are highly recommended. They also sell bottled beer to take away.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey is managed by English Heritage. The visitor centre has recently undergone renovation. It’s home to some interesting artefacts and is also the way into the main Abbey grounds, should you wish to visit. English Heritage members will get in for free.

The Abbey has a long and important history. It was the location of an important meeting called the Synod of Whitby in 664. It was at this meeting where the date for the celebration of Easter was set. The Abbey was dissolved Henry VIII and has been in a state of disrepair ever since. For more information visit our Whitby History page.

Sun Star on Whitby Abbey

St Mary’s Church

Enter the graveyard of St Mary’s Church through the tall gates. Follow the path down the left hand side of the graveyard. You’ll soon be greeted with Whitby’s most iconic view. You’ll be able to see almost all of the town, following the River Esk as it makes its way to the North Sea.

In front of you you’ll see the harbour, surrounded by the red rooftops of the ancient cottages. The Fish Market, fish & chip restaurants and amusement arcades are on the far side of the harbour. To the right you’ll see the piers – jutting out into the sea. Beyond the West Pier you might see the beach, if the tide is out, stretching beyond to Sandsend.

Enjoy the view – you deserve a rest!

199 steps whitby

199 Steps & Church Street

Descend the 199 Steps. At the bottom you’ll find yourself in the heart of Whitby’s old town. The cobbled streets and cosy cottages permanent reminders of years gone by. If you go right you’ll be on Henrietta Street, home of Whitby’s famous Fortune’s Kippers.

Turn left and follow Church Street, enjoy window (or actual) shopping! You can cross the Market Place onto Sandgate, then you’ll find yourself at the Swing Bridge, in the centre of town.

Scenic view of Whitby city in autumn sunny day

What Next?

You’ve made it! Why not enjoy a delicious fish and chip supper, or a meal in one of Whitby’s wonderful restaurants or cafes. Alternatively, head back to your accommodation, put your on your glad rags and head into town for a night out!