Robin Hood’s Bay is known to the locals as Bay Town. It is not known for sure if Robin Hood ever actually had anything to do with bay. Some rumours suggest that he owned a boat there in the event that he should he need to escape. Another legend tells of how Robin Hood challenged French pirates that had been looting along the east coast and gave all the surrendered loot to the poor in the village.


The first records of the existence of the village date back to the 15th century, when it was a small fishing village and a more important port then Whitby. Although fishing in Bay Town declined dramatically by the 19th century, you are still likely see local fisherman sorting their catch in The Dock most days.


Bay Town is most famous for the smuggling activities that took place there during the 18th century. Tea, Alcohol, Tobacco and Lace were brought in on ships and hidden in the houses, which are rumoured to be connected by so many underground tunnels that you could get from the bottom to the top of the bay without ever stepping outside!

The Beach containging Fossils at Robin Hood's Bay

The rock you can see on the beach when the tide is out is 170 million years old, so is a great place to find fossils during your holiday. If you prefer not to look for them yourself, the local fossil museum has a collection, or you can go on a guided fossil walk. There’s lots more information about the history of Bay Town in the links below We really recommend visiting the local museums and activities listed, or just a simple walk around the narrow streets to really appreciate the heritage of Robin Hood’s Bay.



You may like to visit these popular websites for more information about your holiday in Robin Hoods Bay and the surrounding area.

The Robin Hood Bay’s Tourist Association have provided this great little site for general information about the bay, with good lists of places to eat and things to do.

Bayfair Publications are based in the lower village and produce the popular local Bayfair newspaper. Great for finding out about local news and history.

If you’re planning a trip up to Whitby, this is a good site for information on things to do.

Robin Hood’s Bay Museum

This fantastic free museum, itself steeped in history, is a must-see when you visit the bay


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Beach during high tide at Robin Hoods Bay