Coastal walking, spa pampering + glorious food - Whitby
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty Level2 Two
As well as walking through some of the finest coastal scenery close to North Yorkshire’s historic fishing port of Whitby, this weekend is all about relaxing treats and indulging in some of life’s luxuries.
In a nutshell
- Drink-in the scenery – dramatic headlands, sandy beaches, historic landmarks.
- Savour the foodie treats on offer at one of the coast’s finest dining experiences.
- Retreat into a world of relaxation with a luxury spa.
- Simply enjoy the laughs and chatter that come with being with like-minded people.
A bit about the area
Whitby and the Yorkshire Coast
The stretch of coastline from Whitby to Staithes lies within the North York Moors National Park and packs in so much variety that it’s a real treat for a weekend visit.
Whether it’s the beautiful fishing village of Staithes where cottages huddle around a tiny harbour, the dramatic cliff tops, sandy beaches at Runswick Bay and Sandsend, or the brooding presence of Whitby Abbey, the area offers year-round interest.
As you stroll along the England Coast Path it’s easy to imagine how explorer Captain James Cook began his maritime career in Whitby, and why novelists such as Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker found inspiration during walks along the coast.
In fact some of our walking routes will follow in Stoker’s footsteps, passing the landmarks that he eventually included in his novel ‘Dracula’.
All this, and the lovely Raithwaite Estate, a luxury retreat at Sandsend, to return to after a day’s walking.
Arrive at your leisure during the afternoon.
If you arrive early, there are plenty of ways of settling in to the weekend ahead. For instance, take advantage of your free access to Raithwaite’s luxury spa with a dip in the indoor pool or visit to the steam room, or stretch your legs with a stroll through the beautiful grounds.
Alternatively, if it’s a parky winter’s day, gravitate towards the open fire in the lounge and enjoy afternoon tea, or make the most of a summer afternoon by basking on the sun terrace.
Then, at 6pm your Large Outdoors host will meet you for a welcome drink and introduce you to your fellow walkers.
Don’t worry though if you can only arrive later, as we can catch up with you then.
At around 8pm, we head to the hotel’s Poachers Bar to sample some of the delights from the menu (think anything from Whitby crab and prawn cakes, parmesan and rosemary crumbed pork escalope with a warm Belgian chocolate brownie or cheeseboard for afters!).
No doubt some of the group will end the evening at the bar before retiring to one of the spacious rooms for a good night’s sleep.
After a leisurely breakfast, we head out for an eight-mile exploration of the coast. We’re onto the Cleveland Way National Trail (which now also forms part of the England Coast Path) within minutes of striding out from the hotel, with gorgeous views across Sandsend beach that will put a skip in your step.
Heading north, we follow the undulating route hugging the coastline, past Kettleness Point, a hauntingly quiet area that was ‘borrowed’ by Stoker as a backdrop for Dracula.
We press on to Runswick Bay where the swathe of beach and rock pools conjure up memories of childhood seaside holidays. At the far end we dive into the village’s café for a quick stop before tackling the short, but steep walk back onto the trail.
Once past the disused ironore port of Port Mulgrave, the fishing village of Staithes comes into view with its jumble of cottages and cobbled streets clustered around the tiny harbour.
In Staithes, there’s time for a scout round the village, perhaps looking out for some of the quirky 3D murals on the walls of the buildings painted by resident artist Paul Czaiinski. Alternatively for art lovers there are a number of galleries to browse in, or some might like to see where Captain Cook first took up an apprenticeship in a shop in the village.
We then hop on the bus back to Sandsend where there’s ample time for relaxing in Raithwaite’s beautiful surroundings before sprucing up for an evening meal in the hotel’s popular Brace Restaurant.
The restaurant serves British cuisine with a European influence and is a real draw for locals and visitors alike, so it’s a great spot for the final night.
Meal over and with firm friends now made amongst the group, the evening then continues in the bar.
Today we adopt a more leisurely tempo with a stroll along the seafront into Whitby, heading for the historic and atmospheric old part of the town.
Along the cobbled streets, passing close to where Captain Cook lived, there’s time to see the sights including Tate Hill sands, the 199 Steps, St Mary’s Church and Whitby Abbey.
If you’re on one of our winter trips there might be mist swirling round that only adds to the Dracula atmosphere!
Retracing our steps, we head back to the spa with ample time then for a bit of pampering, perhaps booking a massage, beauty treatment or simply relaxing. Then its just time for afternoon tea before the weekend wraps up at around 5pm.
Set in 100 acres, Raithwaite Estate is surrounded by woodland just minutes from the seafront.
The hotel prides itself on providing a tranquil retreat for guests with excellent spa facilities, plenty of lounging areas, a bar with log burner and beautiful grounds that beg to be walked around.
The bar and restaurants all serve great quality food, lovingly prepared by chefs who are passionate about using locally-sourced produce.
This is offered on a single sex shared room basis or you can book either a twin or double room. There are a limited number of single rooms available for a single supplement.
All guests have free access to the spa facilities but any treatments booked will be an extra cost. Meals, excluding alcoholic drinks, are included throughout the weekend.
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What our members have to say...
I have attended Large Outdoors weekends for the last two years , achieving many challenges in the British countryside. Every weekend has been very well organised, in beautiful locations, wonderful walks, nutritious food with lovely people.
I have learned new skills and gained confidence in the outdoors from the mountain leaders. I thoroughly enjoy every weekend and always look forward to the next.Elizabeth BrooksMember Since 2014
I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.Shad EverettMember since 2009
I love the concept of the Large Outdoors weekends and I like to have at least one or two booked for the future, to have something to look forward to. A weekend trip finds me visiting some fabulous parts of the country: Northumberland, Dorset, Brecon Beacons, Lake District, North York Moors... hills, mountains, moors and coast - all well covered by the amazing choice of locations to pick from, with decent (or lovely!) accommodation, great food and qualified walk leaders. They're also very good value.Sue LangfordMember since 2008
Since my first Large Outdoors weekend I have rediscovered my love for the countryside, met so many great people and had a whole lot of fun. I've sailed around the Inner Hebrides on a luxurious yacht, climbed the 3 national peaks Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafel Pike, danced my socks off at the Halloween and New Year celebrations and fallen in love with the beautiful Isle of Skye. Every trip has been amazing fun and I have met so many lovely people and made friends for life. Cheers Large Outdoors!Karen RobertsMember Since 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience from beginning to end. The host Kendra was very welcoming upon arrival at the youth hostel, all walkers and climbers were friendly and we got on great as a group. The home cooked food was amazing and the idea of 'kitchen angels' worked really well. The rock climbing instructor and his son were brilliant and helped us all, providing constant guidance and encouragement.Penny GraingerMember Since 2016