Sunday 19 August 2012

Cinder cycle track, Scarborough to Whitby

The defunct railway line between Scarborough and Whitby now serves as a superb, seaside cycle track. The round trip of about 50 miles takes in some spectacular coastal scenery, particularly on the stretch between Ravenscar, perched high on a cliff top, and the precipitous village of Robin Hood's Bay. Along the route, you'll pass several former stations, now serving as picturesque cafes or homes, complete with original platforms, benches and rail signage. Although some stretches of the track cut through patches of lush green forest, others provide far-reaching views across the moors and the sea. As you approach Whitby, you get glimpses of the distant Abbey before crossing a tall viaduct with fine views of the river far below. Although there are no steep hills, there are some lengthy climbs, compensated for by fun descents. Even on a summer Saturday afternoon, the Cinder Track only attracts a smattering of cyclists and pedestrians, so you can usually blast downhill. It gets bumpy in places and it is probably best to use a mountain bike. You can hire a respectable hardtail model from, which will deliver bikes to hotels around Scarborough. They charge £22 for a day's hire - if the sun is out, it's worth every penny. 9/10