Trail Information

The 109 mile (175km) Cleveland Way is one of England’s original National Trails. Starting at Helmsley, the first half crosses the North York Moors National Park, boasting great vistas from sweeping heather moorlands. Upon reaching the coast at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, the second half of the route then follows the North Yorkshire coast as far as Filey, taking in the highest cliffs in eastern England at Boulby.

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About the Trail

What is the Cleveland Way?

The Cleveland Way National Trail is a 109 mile (175 km) walking route through beautiful and ever changing landscapes and scenery.

It was the second National Trail in England and Wales and was officially opened on 24th May 1969. The Trail offers the best of both worlds, with heather moorland and stunning coastal scenery.

You don’t have to do the Trail in one go to enjoy the best it has to offer. There are a number of circular walks based on the Trail including 1 and 2 day walks, and shorter easy access walks for everyone to enjoy.

How long does it take to complete the Trail?

The official guidebook recommends a nine day trip. You might want to take a little longer if you want to see more of the interesting places along the way.

How hard is it?

Anyone who is reasonably fit can walk the Cleveland Way. The route is challenging in places, especially the coastal sections, which adds to the overall experience. Whilst the route is well signed throughout, an up to date map or GPS mapping is essential.

Exploring the Trail

How do I get to the Cleveland Way?

Rail services connect to York, Malton, Thirsk, Middlesbrough, Great Ayton, Whitby, Scarborough and Filey. In addition bus services can get you to the start at Helmsley from York, Malton or Scarborough.

For rail information please see www.nationalrail.co.uk

If arriving at Hull using North Sea Ferries you can catch a bus from King George Dock to the Paragon Interchange where you can pick up train, bus and coach services. Catch a train to Scarborough and then take the 128 bus from Scarborough to Helmsley.

On finishing the Trail you can catch either a bus or train directly from Filey back to Hull.

If you are arriving by plane to Leeds Bradford, Manchester or Newcastle airport it’s best to journey to York by train and then catch the daily bus through to Helmsley.

You can find up-to-date public transport information including a journey planner at www.traveline.info

Where can I stay on the Trail?

There is a good choice of accommodation close to the Trail and it can be viewed here.

The area is popular and accommodation can book up quickly in peak season. We recommend that you book it well in advance. If you are planning on walking the whole trail you might want to consider offsetting your days – so that you start on a Monday or Tuesday for example, or consider walking it in the less common direction – from Filey to Helmsley.

Can I camp along the Trail?

There are plenty of campsites along the Trail and they can be viewed here. If you plan to camp please note it is not legal to wild camp in England or Wales – you will need to stay on official campsites.

Can I get my bags carried or my accommodation booked?

There are several companies that will arrange to move your bags for you, help you plan your trip, or arrange a full package.

You can see baggage handlers here and holiday operators here.

What is the best time of year to walk on the Trail?

The Cleveland Way can be walked right through the year, so there is not really a best time. If you want to see the moorland heather in bloom, then this takes place in late August and September.

Which direction should I walk it 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 to Helmsley.

What should I take with me?

We recommend that you take a map and/or guidebook with you, or a copy of the walk leaflet if you are doing a shorter walk. You may also find a compass useful.

If you are walking solo you may want to tell somewhere where you are going as there can be mobile black spots along the Trail. Ensure your phone is fully charged before setting off.

Weather in the UK can be changeable so it’s wise to be prepared. You’ll need good footwear, waterproofs and warm layers. Take plenty of water and just in case, pack a few plasters for your feet. In the summer you may need sun cream.

Will I have mobile phone and internet access?

Phone reception can be patchy along the Trail, don’t rely on being able to use your phone to help you navigate. Wi-Fi is available at some accommodation and pubs/cafés along the route.

Is there signage on the Cleveland Way?

The UK is unique in having a network of paths that the public can use, this is the Public Rights of Way network. You can see these paths on Ordnance Survey maps.

National Trails are signed with an acorn symbol and/or the Trail name which you will see on stiles, gates and signposts. This is the symbol used by all the English and Welsh National Trails.

As you are walking along the Trail you will also see waymarkers pointing to other paths. You can use the public rights of way network to leave the Trail to explore places of interest, reach your accommodation and find places to eat and drink.

You will often find a coloured arrow on signs which indicates the status of that section of path. The most common are yellow arrows which are footpaths and blue which are bridleways.

Can I download a GPX file?

You can download a GPX file of the whole Trail here.

Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

Can I get a guidebook and map for the Trail?

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

Can I get a certificate if I complete the Trail?

Certificates are available from the National Trails Shop.

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