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!
We booked with Robin Hood’s Bay Cottages and the photos on this post are from when we stayed in Woodside, a cosy two bedroomed property over three storeys right in the heart of the village.
Properties in the bay are quirky because they were built centuries ago as homes for the families of the fishermen who worked there.
The sunrise at the bottom of the bay
Patch in his Salty Sea Dog nautical collar and bandana at the top of Robin Hood's Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay is between the Yorkshire seaside towns of Scarborough and Whitby
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.
One of our favourite cottages in Robin Hood's Bay © Wikimedia
The homes have so much character
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.
Our cottage, Woodside, lived up to all our expectations. On the end of a row of cottages, it had its own 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!
The loft bedroom
The main bedroom at Woodside Cottage
If you like to imagine yourself stepping back in time, you will absolutely love it!
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.
Playing with his ball on Robin's Hood's Bay
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 www.yha.org.uk/hostel/yha-boggle-hole
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!
How amazing are the seals?
The seal colony at Ravenscar
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.
Patch at the seal colony
Scarborough, Sands End, Staithes and Whitby
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.
If you're looking for Sunday lunch, try the White Horse and Griffin. It's dog friendly and the roasts are amazing.
We love having a potter around Staithes.
It's a pretty little fishing village with lots of gorgeous cottages, homely pubs and galleries.
I'm really keen to go back on a working trip as there is hardly any phone signal so you can switch off from the world!
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
Patch showing off his nautical collar and bandana in Staithes
At the beach huts at Scarborough
Places to eat and drink
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/
Another super dog friendly pub. It serves traditional pub food which is locally sourced - try the fish pie if you’re feeling hungry - it’s HUGE.
All the food is locally sourced and portion sizes are substantial - just what you need after a challenging walk.
They have a big tub of biscuits by the bar and for £1.50 you can buy a pack of Fido’s pub snacks dog sausages - Patch loved these.
They're on Facebook here www.facebook.com/Ye-Dolphin
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 also 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.
We ate there on my birthday back in January 2018 and several times on our November 2019 trip. 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 - the best in the village - and gin cocktails too.
You can see the rooms and menus here boathouserhb.co.uk
Amazing bacon butties at Tea, Toast and Post
Waiting for sausages by the fire in The Laurel
Shops and culture
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.
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/
Checking out the biscuits at Kaspar's Kanines
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.
Sniffing along the cinder track
Patch admiring the view
There is so much to do on the Yorkshire coasts with your dog and many fabulous places to visit
I know there will be loads I have missed so if you visit and find any, please let us know.
We booked with Robin Hood’s Bay cottages and a week from 4-11th November cost £385. Find out more at www.robinhoodsbaycottages.co.uk