We love a dog friendly staycation and Robin Hood’s Bay is one of our favourite spots
It’s a cosy little fishing village on the Yorkshire Coast, two hours away from where we live in Newcastle.
We first visited in November 2017 with Daisy – we stayed in nearby Sleights to escape the fireworks – and fell in love with the quaint village.
Tommy and I returned in January with Daisy for my birthday in January 2018.
Patch visited for his first doggy holiday in November 2018 and again in November 2019 and I even bought him a nautical collar and bandana set from Leo, Charley and Me for the occasion!
Since first discovering the Bay we have stayed in 15 different cottages. I think this counts as a Robin Hood’s Bay addiction!
It is hard to pick a favourite, we love them all and we hope one day that Patch will have his very own holiday cottage so if you know of any coming up for sale, please let us know.
In the meantime, here is our comprehensive guide of all things RHB!
The village is built on a hill and became a coastal settlement in the early 1500s.
In 1536, historical poet John Leland described Robin Hoode Baye as, “A fischer tounlet of 20 bootes with Dok or Bosom of a mile yn length.”
In the 18th Century it was known as Baytown and a hot spot for smugglers with gin, tea, brandy and tobacco passing through a labyrinth of hidden alleys and secret tunnels.
At the height of its smuggling history, 40 per cent of the 90 or so households in the village were involved and most of the pretty cobbled streets are only wide enough for a horse and cart.
Robin Hood is rumoured to have stayed the village and kept a boat there as a means of escape from his enemies.
Steep stairs, wobbly floors, kitchens built into nooks and crannies, original doors and tiny windows and low ceilings all add to the charm but if you like luxe and modern when it comes to accommodation, the Bay may not be for you.
The cottage pictured below is Woodside. It’s on the end of a row of cottages and has a little garden which was the perfect spot to watch the sunrise.
On the ground floor was an open plan kitchen either side of a chimney breast and log burner and on the other side of the room was a sofa and dining table.
We cooked in the house a few times and felt like we had plenty of space. Upstairs was a bathroom with a power shower – a must after a day on the beach – and a double bedroom.
The top floor was a spacious twin room overlooking the beach and the foot of the bay. Tommy’s girls Hannah and Millie joined us for the final weekend and they loved it.
There was also a TV, DVD player and fab films to choose from – we watched Marmaduke which is great for kids and grown ups!
This is a lovely three storey property right in the middle of the village on Bloomswell, one of the prettiest streets.
It has two bedrooms and space to sit outside, two bathrooms and a downstairs lounge with a log burner.
Upstairs is a dining room with a bed sofa, so it sleeps five and is dog friendly, and really cosy.
We booked through Sian and Sam at Baytown Cottages and it’s a gorgeous spot, perfect for families.
Joyce is at the bottom of the Bay on Sunnyside and is a three bedroomed cottage.
We’ve stayed here twice, in November 2021 and January 2022, and it has a cosy fire and is really spacious.
Upstairs there is a master bedroom with an en suite, the main bathroom and a twin bedroom with bunk beds which is ideal for youg kids.
On the top floor is a huge bedroom with two large beds and plenty of storage, plus a view out onto the Bay.
There’s a small enclosed yard at Joyce too with a table and chairs for the summer and an outdoor bench to watch the world go by.
You can book on Baytown’s website here: http://www.baytownholidaycottages.co.uk
The only slight downside is that there’s one road in and out of the village and one public car park at the top so be prepared to lug your belongings up and down lots of steps.
It’s worth it though. These were the places and activities we would recommend.
The Bay Hotel
A traditional pub with roaring fires there are dogs everywhere and everyone is super friendly.
It overlooks the bay and you can sit outside if you like but as we visited in November when the wind was howling we decided to go indoors.
Expect old fashioned pub grub. We ate there on the first night and both had the Steak and Ale pie which was home cooked and really tasty.
Find menus and room rates on their website www.bayhotel.info
Tea, Toast and Post
If you like bacon butties on doorstep white bread washed down with a mug of Yorkshire Tea then this is a must.
We ate here one morning after a six mile walk (we got a bit lost) on no breakfast and I can’t tell you how good it was.
The cafe is in the old Post Office and is cosy, intimate and dog friendly. As well as a wide range of teas and coffees, homemade cakes and breakfasts, you can buy locally designed greeting cards.
It’s a music venue in the evening too. Find out more on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/TeaToastandPost/
Brambles is a new bistro and steak house at the bottom of the Bay. It’s dog friendly and they do a great range for brunch and lunch plus gorgeous steaks and burgers of an evening.
It opened in March 2022 and the staff there are very friendly and love dogs. There’s seating outside and they have a nice and reasonably priced selection of wines.
Find out more and book a table on their website: https://bramblesbistro.co.uk/
Our favourite spot here is right by the open fire. Staff are really friendly and there’s a range of ales and a gin bar.
When we visited they only sold Jack Rabbit wine but it was pleasant enough. On Wednesday’s they have a quiz night which was brilliant.
The quizmaster is a real character, the questions challenging and the prizes random and hilarious, especially the booby prize for the least answer of questions right.
They sell Fido’s dog sausages and one night Patch was being so cute and cheeky another customer bought him a packet.
He was so pleased – every time we walked past he tried to drag us back in.
Find out more on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/laurelinnpub/
A cosy, rustic, candle lit bistro by the dock of Robin’s Hood Bay, Smugglers is the most romantic spot in the village.
The menu is simple – stonebaked pizzas and nibbles which are gorgeous.
Service in Smugglers is really friendly. Lisa, the manager, is a dog lover with four of her own and is happy to chat about fur pals.
While dogs aren’t allowed in the bistro in the evening, they can go in up until 5pm.
And there’s a bar upstairs open Friday, Saturday and Sunday where well behaved dogs are welcome.
Smugglers has accommodation, and opens Wednesday to Sunday, with beer from Whitby Brewery, a good range of wines – and gin cocktails too.
You can see the rooms and menus here boathouserhb.co.uk
The Victoria Hotel
The Victoria is a grand hotel at the top of the Bay, overlooking the village with a huge beer garden, rooms and is a great venue for weddings and events.
Choose from sitting in the restaurant looking out onto the sea or in the bar area which is cosy with fires in the winter.
We love the very generous roast dinners here and Sam who works behind the bar always makes sure waggy tailed visitors are welcome.
Check it out here: https://www.victoriarhb.com/
The Fish Box
You can’t have a trip to the coast without fish and chips. The Fish Box is a fab chippy at the top of the hill.
The fish and chips are so fresh and when we visited were cooked in vegetable oil (do check this though) and were gorgeous – the veg oil means they’re less greasy and you don’t have that aftertaste.
They have seating indoors and outside with a panoramic view of the Bay.
Check out the menu here: www.fishboxwhitby.co.uk/v
The Higgledy Pig
This is a new addition to the Bay and we first visited in the summer of 2021. It’s such a cool shop run by a lovely lady named Helen and she has a gorgeous collection of gifts and goodies.
And GIN – so many nice craft gins from York Gin, Cooper King, Whitby Gin and Coast to Coast and different tonics, plus you can get G and T in a can and locally brewed cans of beer.
There’s also retro vinyl and audio, which is old fashioned records for any younger readers, and Helen upcycles vintage furniture with chic French paint.
You HAVE to go and check her out – here’s her website: www.thehiggledypig.co.uk/
The Ghost Tour
Robin Hood’s Bay is steeped with heritage and folklore, and the ghost tour is a MUST. You can take your dog along and the lady who runs it is such an amazing storyteller. She guides you through the streets in her top hat with a lantern flickering and it’s so atmospheric.
She had me, Tommy and the kids captivated with story after story of the different houses in the village (thankfully not the one we were staying in) and what life in the Bay was like when smugglers used the tunnels for tea, tobacco and rum.
It is an utterly magical experience not to be missed. Book your place: https://www.whitbystoryteller.co.uk/robin-hoods-bay-ghost-walk/
Paws Pet Shop
If you’ve run out of food, Paws Pet Shop which is half way up the hill stocks a good range including Pooch and Mutt.
You’ll also find toys, harnesses, dog beds, chews, and luxury leads and collars on sale – everything a pup needs on their holidays!
The green Doodlebone fleece Patch has on was from here and last year he got a Ruff and Tumble drying coat for his birthday in here.
They’re on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Paws-Of-Robin-Hoods-Bay
For a tiny village it’s pretty extraordinary that it has two museums. There’s Robin Hood’s Bay Museum which showcases the fishing and smuggling history of the village.
If you love classic photos of times gone by this is a must.
Find out more at www.northyorkmoors.org.uk
There’s also the brilliant Dinosaur and Fossil Museum which we took Hannah and Millie along to.
You can buy fossils from 500 years ago for 50p and see life-size dinosaur skulls, feet and teeth plus there’s loads of quirky gifts to choose from.
Learn more at www.facebook.com/pg/northeastyorkshiregeologytrust/
One place we love is Boggle Hole. Don’t let the name put you off, this place is stunning. Turn right and walk along the beach for about 12 minutes and you’ll come across a little cove at the bottom of a wooded area.
It’s where smugglers would hide away and there’s lots of fossil hunting and crabbing to be enjoyed – ideal for kids. You’ll also find a cafe attached to the Youth Hostel which had a £1.2 million refurbishment.
When we visited, the Quarterdeck cafe had been recently renovated and everything is made from sustainable materials including art created from bottle tops.
The cafe is pirate themed – with bouys as lampshades and ropes and nets adorning the walls and there’s a good range of food, cakes, hot drinks and a bar too.
Don’t miss it – it’s a real hidden gem. Find out more https://www.facebook.com/YHABoggleHole/
Dogs love a walk on the beach – but if you’re expecting rolling golden sands then you may be disappointed.
Depending on the time of year there can be a lot of seaweed on the beach at Robin Hood’s Bay – not that it’s unpleasant – just not quite so Instagrammable.
But what it means for the pups is lots of lovely things to smell – Patch even caught a crab one day and while it was a bit of a shock he was pretty pleased with himself!
There’s a seal colony at Ravenscar with around 300 of the creatures living at the foot of the bay.
We walked on the coastal path (which is very up and down) to the Ravenscar National Trust Visitor Centre and had a cuppa and a scone before heading down to the colony.
It’s a very steep walk down but absolutely worth it as seeing the seals is breathtaking – it was one of the favourite parts of our trip in 2019.
You’re asked to keep your distance from the seals so they don’t get frightened.
Your dog must be on a lead too. We were warned by the lovely ladies in the visitor centre that the seals understandably can be very protective.
Patch was really calm when we went there too, and seemed to be in awe of the beautiful creatures.
We walked to Whitby which is around eight miles from Robin Hood’s Bay on the coastal route but you can go along the cinder track which is closer to six miles.
Whitby Abbey is breathtaking – it was closed for refurbishment when we visited but earlier this year we took Daisy there and learned more of the history before visiting the Whitby Brewery.
In the town, you’ll find loads of quirky shops, restaurants, bars, and fish and chip shops. A trip to the coast wouldn’t be complete without a chippy tea would it?
Dogs even have their own bakery – The Fuzzy Dog Bakery has an excellent range of biscuits, treats, snacks and sausages, plus toys, accessories and other doggy essentials.
If it is a sandy beach you’re after, it’s only a short car ride to Sands End, Staithes, Whitby or Scarborough.
On both trips we were there for a week and spent a couple of days in Whitby, one day in Sands End, one in Scarborough and one in Staithes.
Whitby has everything you need from cosy cafes to outdoor shops in case you’ve forgotten any walking essentials.
We love having a potter around Staithes.
It’s a pretty little fishing village with lots of gorgeous cottages, homely pubs and galleries.
Sands End has a nice beach and a great gift shop next to Serendipity.
We’ve eaten at the Hart Inn a couple of times and the food is lovely, generous portions and they’re very welcoming to the dogs!
If you go to Scarborough, check out the beach huts and Kasper’s Kanine dog bakery in the old Market hall at www.facebook.com/kaspersbakery
I know there will be loads I have missed so if you visit and find any, please let us know.
We have stayed in the following cottages so do send a message if you’d like to know more about them. I can’t write about them all!
Cosy Cottage, Joyce Cottage, Rothwell Cottage, Orchard Cottage and The Captain’s Store with Baytown Holiday Cottages. Sam and Sian are now friends! https://baytownholidaycottages.co.uk/
Woodside Cottage, Bronte Cottage and this summer (2022) we’re staying at Roseworth Cottage with Robin Hood’s Bay Cottages. Find out more here: https://robinhoodsbaycottages.co.uk/