Home » Yorkshire » A brief history of Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire


Whilst hotels near Whitby are usually filled up with couples, families and friends eager to discover the charms of this port town, or the equally popular resort of Scarborough, there is a hidden gem in the area which goes by the name of Robin Hood’s Bay.

A fascinating and delightful village, it is not thought that Robin Hood himself ever visited (in fact, the origin of its name remains something of a mystery), but there is still much to recommend taking a trip here.

The first recorded mention of Robin Hood’s Bay was made back in 1536, around which time the picturesque spot was actually more important locally than Whitby in terms of being a centre of port trade.

With quaint cobbled streets and a tranquil atmosphere, the bay’s beauty belies the fact that it was a thriving hotspot for smuggling in the 18th century. Various products including tea, tobacco, gin, brandy and rum were all illicitly brought into the village, and many have claimed over the years that a secret underground network of tunnels connects the houses of Robin Hood’s Bay, through which the contraband goods were alleged to have been moved.

More recently, fishing was the village’s biggest industry, and this normally quiet corner of North Yorkshire was a scene of great drama in 1881 when a brig ran aground and residents were forced to demolish garden walls and other structures to help get a lifeboat down to the shore in time to save the Visitor’s stricken sailors.

There are several hotels near Robin Hood’s Bay to choose from if you wish to explore this special destination – fortunately, its unspoilt nature means that there aren’t any really big options in the village itself – so be sure to get booking soon!

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