The first thing you notice about the peaceful hamlet of Ravenscar, which is positioned on a 600-foot high headland, are the exhilarating views that go on for miles as your gaze follows the sweep of coastline towards Robin Hood’s Bay.

Ravenscar views (c) Paul Kent
Ravenscar views (c) Paul Kent

Today you’re likely to see and hear the abundance of wildlife on the cliffs below, on the surrounding moorland, or in the ancient woodland at nearby Hayburn Wyke, but in the 1700s it would have looked very different.

Back then Ravenscar, or Peak as it was known, was the site of one of Britain’s earliest chemical works, filled with the sounds and smells of locally quarried shale being processed to create alum, a chemical used to fix dyes in the cloth industry. The remains of the Peak Alum Works and its history can be found at the National Trust-run Ravenscar Visitor Centre

A century later, and with booming passenger numbers on the coastal railway line, Victorian developers planned to turn Ravenscar into an elegant seaside resort, only for the grandiose plan to flop. Since then the hamlet has been known as ‘The Town that never was’.

Ravenscar got its name in Victorian times. 'Scar' means 'cliff' or 'rocky outcrop' in Old Norse. You can see these 'scars' – hard layers of rock stretching out to sea – from the top of the moorland.

The former Scarborough to Whitby railway line - closed in 1965 - is now a 21-mile walking and cycling track known as the Cinder Track. It passes through Ravenscar, offering easy rides south to Cloughton and Hayburn Wyke or north to Robin Hood's Bay.

What is special about Ravenscar

Plan your visit

Plan your visit

Getting here

EY bus (S115) runs twice a day (not Sunday) between Scarborough and Ravenscar

Cycle along the Cinder Track from Whitby or Scarborough

Follow the Cleveland Way National Trail for nine miles from Scarborough


Roadside parking

Nearest public EV charging points – Raven Hall Hotel, Ravenscar YO13 0ET and in Scarborough

Bike repair stations: Raven Hall Hotel and Hayburn Wyke Inn and Flossies Farm Shop

Bike hire available from Bayhire with delivery service

Tearooms and hotel


Ravenscar Visitor Centre for information and tramper hire (and light snacks)

Field Studies Guide (Moorland Wildlife) produced in partnership with Fylingdales Moor, North York Moors National Park, Whitby Naturalists’ Club and the Wild Flower Society

Public toilets

200 metres from Ravenscar Visitor Centre YO13 0NE – accessible (RADAR key needed)

Care for our coast

Please respect our coast and the wildlife that live there. We want to ensure it remains a stunning place to live and visit for generations to come.

View all share with care
Keep dogs on a lead or under close control to protect wildlife

Keep dogs on a lead or under close control to protect wildlife

Keep at least 10 metres distance from seals

Keep at least 10 metres distance from seals

Give nature a chance and take your rubbish and dog poo home

Give nature a chance and take your rubbish and dog poo home

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