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From Moorland to Coast

The Cleveland Way

Robin Hood's Bay - Cleveland Way National Trail

What is the Cleveland Way?

The Cleveland Way National Trail is a 109-mile (175 Km) walking route from Helmsley to Filey in North Yorkshire. It is waymarked with the distinctive acorn symbol. 


It opened in 1969 and was the was the second National Trail in England and Wales (the first was the Pennine Way, opened in 1965). It offers the best of both worlds: the North York Moors and stunning coastal scenery. 


You don't have to complete this National Trail in one go to enjoy the best it has to offer. You can find books that include short walks on the Cleveland Way here


The Cleveland Way follows a horseshoe-shaped route around the beautiful North York Moors National Park. Starting from the attractive market town of Helmsley it heads across the heather moorland of the North York Moors before reaching the coast at Saltburn. From here it follows the dramatic North Yorkshire coastline to Filey, passing old fishing villages including Staithes, Runswick Bay and Robin Hood's Bay, and the lively coastal towns of Whitby and Scarborough. 


There is a wealth of history and heritage to enjoy including Helmsley Castle, Rievaulx Abbey, Mount Grace Priory, Guisborough Priory, Whitby Abbey and Scarborough Castle.

How long does it take to walk the Cleveland Way end to end?

The official guidebook recommends a 10-day trip with between 9 and 14¾ miles each day. However you can combine sections and walk further each day or take a little longer so you have time to see more of the sites along the way.

How hard is the Cleveland Way?

Anyone who is reasonably fit can walk the Cleveland Way. The route is challenging in places, especially the coastal sections due to the steep steps and gradients but this adds to the overall experience. There are no stiles on the trail (the last stile on the Cleveland Way was removed in 2021). Whilst the route is well signed throughout, an up-to-date map is essential.

Which direction should I walk the Cleveland Way in?

Most people walk the route from Helmsley through to Filey in a clockwise direction. This way you are likely to have the wind on your back for more of the time and most of the guidebooks are written this way. But there is no right or wrong way – plenty of people enjoy walking it in the other direction.

If you are finding it hard to book accommodation you might want to walk the Trail in the less common direction – from Filey head north along the Yorkshire coast to Saltburn-by-the-Sea and then turn west and then south around the North York Moors National Park to Helmsley. 

Who can enjoy the Cleveland Way National Trail?

The Cleveland Way is a long-distance National Trail primarily designed for walkers, although some short sections can be ridden or cycled.

Taking your dog on the Cleveland Way

Your dog is welcome on the Cleveland Way. However, you will need to keep it under close control, and we recommend a lead on the moorland stretches where there can be nesting birds and/or sheep. You may encounter cows with calves; these can be very protective and aggressive towards dogs. Try to avoid walking close to cows with calves; if you experience any aggression, release your dog, do not try to pick it up. There are no stiles on the Cleveland Way.

What is the best time of year to walk on the Cleveland Way?

The Cleveland Way can be walked right through the year. Each season offers something different. If you want to see the moorland heather of the North York Moors in bloom then late August and September is the time to walk the trail. Holiday destinations such as Whitby, Scarborough and Filey may be very busy during school holidays so it is wise to book accommodation in advance.

Can I buy Cleveland Way merchandise?

We sell a range of Cleveland Way merchandise including sew on badges, enamel badges, mugs and other merchandise. We also sell recycled Cleveland Way trail signs that have been removed from the trail. These are only available periodically, and always sell out fast – if you want one make sure you follow us on social media so you see when we get the signs in stock.

Can I get a Cleveland Way National Trail completion certificate?

Our personalised Cleveland Way certificate is a great momento for anyone that has completed the trail.

Guidebooks for the Cleveland Way

Cleveland Way Cleveland Way loading
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Let's Walk the Cleveland Way Let's Walk the Cleveland Way loading
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Walking The Cleveland Way and the Yorkshire Wolds Way Walking The Cleveland Way and the Yorkshire Wolds Way loading
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Let's Walk the Yorkshire Coast Let's Walk the Yorkshire Coast loading
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Cleveland Way - Trailblazer Cleveland Way - Trailblazer loading
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Cleveland Way Cleveland Way loading
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Maps for the Cleveland Way

Cleveland Way A-Z Adventure Atlas Cleveland Way A-Z Adventure Atlas loading
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Cleveland Way National Trail Harvey map Cleveland Way National Trail Harvey map loading
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Cleveland Way Harvey SplashMap Cleveland Way Harvey SplashMap loading
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Cleveland Way Merchandise

Cleveland Way 'contours' T-Shirt Cleveland Way 'contours' T-Shirt loading
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Cleveland Way enamel badge Cleveland Way enamel badge loading
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National Trail Completion Certificate National Trail Completion Certificate loading
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National Trail sew-on woven badge National Trail sew-on woven badge loading
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National Trail Mug National Trail Mug loading
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Acorn badge (various colours) Acorn badge (various colours) loading
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Waymarker fridge magnet Waymarker fridge magnet loading
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National Trail souvenir signs National Trail souvenir signs loading
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'Follow the acorn' National Trail T-Shirt 'Follow the acorn' National Trail T-Shirt loading
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National Trails BUFF® National Trails BUFF® loading
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National Trails poster - which ones have you walked? National Trails poster - which ones have you walked? loading
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Rustic National Trail acorn mugs Rustic National Trail acorn mugs loading
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'Follow the acorn' National Trail hoody 'Follow the acorn' National Trail hoody loading
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'From sea to summit' National Trail hoody 'From sea to summit' National Trail hoody loading
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Map of the Cleveland Way

What are National Trails?

National Trails offer some of the best long-distance walking, riding and cycling experiences in England and Wales, officially supported by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales. All of the National Trails are within easy reach of buses, trains and the services of nearby towns and villages. In fact nowhere in England or Wales is more than 50 miles / 80km from a National Trail. Each National Trail has dedicated staff, often working with local volunteers, to look after the physical condition of the Trail, keeping paths, gates, stiles and signs in the best condition.

Which trails are National Trails?

The National Trails are: 
  • Cleveland Way
  • Cotswold Way
  • England Coast Path
  • Glyndwr’s Way
  • Hadrian’s Wall Path
  • Norfolk Coast Path and Peddars Way
  • North Downs Way
  • Offa’s Dyke Path
  • Pembrokeshire Coast Path
  • Pennine Bridleway
  • Pennine Way
  • The Ridgeway
  • South Downs Way
  • South West Coast Path
  • Thames Path
  • Yorkshire Wolds Way 

The Coast to Coast is not currently a National Trail but will become one in the next couple of years.

Are there National Trails in Scotland?

In Scotland long-distance routes are called Scotland's Great Trails. There are 29 routes, at least 25 miles in length providing over 1,900 miles of well managed paths from the Borders to the Highlands. Each is distinctively waymarked, largely off road and has a range of visitor services and are are suitable for multi-day outings as well as day trips.


Scotland's Great Trails are:


  • Annandale Way
  • Arran Coastal Way
  • Ayrshire Coastal Path
  • Berwickshire Coastal Path
  • Borders Abbeys Way
  • Cateran Trail
  • Clyde Walkway
  • Cross Borders Drove Road
  • Dava Way
  • Fife Coastal Path
  • Formartine and Buchan Way
  • Forth & Clyde/Union Canal Towpath
  • Great Glen Canoe Trail
  • Great Glen Way
  • Great Trossachs Path
  • John Muir Way
  • Kintyre Way
  • Loch Lomond & Cowal Way
  • Moray Coast Trail
  • Mull of Galloway Trail
  • River Ayr Way
  • Rob Roy Way
  • Romans and Reivers Route
  • Southern Upland Way
  • Speyside Way
  • St Cuthbert’s Way
  • Three Lochs Way
  • West Highland Way
  • West Island Way