The Cinder Track, between Scarborough and Whitby, is a popular off road route through the North York Moors National Park, just inland from the stunning North Yorkshire coast.
I decided to tackle this route from Whitby to Scarborough returning to Whitby making it an out & back loop. With that in mind I planned to park the car in Whitby which meant an early drive down as it can get very busy depending on the time of year you plan on riding this route.
Start point isn’t that far away take a left under the tunnel and your straight onto traffic free paths (good surface). After a few miles you’ll reach the first landmark of the route Larpool Viaduct.
(Larpool Viaduct, also known as the Esk Valley Viaduct is a 13 arch brick viaduct built to carry the Scarborough & Whitby Railway over the River Esk, North Yorkshire.)
As you pass under numerous old bridges en route to Robin Hoods Bay glance back towards the ruins of Whitby Abbey in the distance.
(Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula featured Count Dracula as a creature resembling a large dog which came ashore at the headland and runs up the 199 steps to the graveyard of St Mary’s Church in the shadow of the Whitby Abbey ruins.)
The landscape really opens up here with stunning views along the coast (track surface slightly rougher).
If you get the chance stop at Bay Ness to admire the views.
As you pass Robin Hoods Bay and continued along the track it becomes a lot rougher, but you get fantastic views across the bay.
Once Robin Hoods Bay is at your back the next main stopping point will be Ravenscar with its disused railway station and tearooms, if you feel the need for a break I can recommend Ravenscar Tearoom a great place to stop and grab a bite to eat. Good homemade food and friendly staff.
After Ravenscar it’s a good downhill section along quiet country tracks as you approach more urban areas eventually ending up at Sainsbury’s car park in Scarborough. There’s no marker to let you know the track has ended and it’s a bit underwhelming, but at least you can stock up on supplies at the supermarket before making your way back.
A great route during the warmer months, however some sections can get boggy so wouldn’t advise doing it on a bike with less than 2” tyres. I’d recommend starting and finishing in Whitby for a more scenic start and end point.