The Old Railway Line from Scarborough to Whitby

We've made a successful bid to Community Spaces (part of the Big Lottery Fund) to put in more bins and benches, to improve access and provide more information. On Mon 17th of August work is due to start on an access ramp at Cross Lane.

A promotional leaflet for the line has been printed. Text and pictures (3MB) and Map (4MB) and here's an impression of the new art work (2.4MB) near Woodland Ravine Bridge.

There have been workshops on site led by poet John Clarke to devise the text that will go around the inner circle (which is 10m in diameter) To see what's been going on visit

The Old Railway line runs for 20 miles between Scarborough and Whitby.

Apart from the section through Robin Hood's Bay, and a short stretch on the outskirts of Scarborough, the route is completely off road and suitable for walkers, horses and sturdy bicycles along its entire length. This site shows it very well.

There are places where wheelchairs and dedicated road bikes might find it a bit rough.

The line operated from 1885 to 1965. Here is a brief history.

As well as being on Route 1 of the National Cycle Network, it's also part of the Moor to Sea Cycle Route, and of the international North Sea Cycle Route.

Among the attractions on the route is the Peak Alum Works, just north of Ravenscar, arguably the birthplace of the British chemical industry.

Just before the route leaves Scarborough it goes over the Scalby Cut. This drains large parts of the Hackness Estate and was devised by Sir George Cayley (who also built the world's first manned aeroplane)

Smuggling played a big part in the history of Robin Hood's Bay.

Both Whitby and Scarborough are steeped in history.

The biggest structure on the route is Larpool Viaduct, near Whitby. It is 120 ft high, 915ft long, and stands on 13 arches.

Here's a plan of Route 1 as it passes through Scarborough.

A group of students from Sheffield University have being doing project work on the Old Railway.

They've set up a web site and a blog to record their progress

This page was prepared by The Friends of the Old Railway.

Contact Friends of the Old Railway

Minutes of meetings

Updated 15th August 2009
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