The Cinder Track Traffic-free Cycle Route

Cinder Track Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Cinder Track runs for 21 miles, from Scarborough to Whitby, along a disused railway line. As with most disused railway lines, it’s quite flat. The Cinder Track got its name because the track ballast was made from cinders, rather than the usual crushed stone.

The start and end of the route shown on the map below includes some on-road segments. Also, at a few points along the Cinder Track there are on-road sections, along (usually) quiet lanes. After rain, expect large puddles at various points

Don’t be mistaken: though Scarborough and Whitby each has a railway station, taking a train between them involves a big diversion, going via York and Middlesbrough, using a number of trains. It is possible to do that train journey, but it will take four or more hours, and isn’t cheap.

Most of the information, and all the photos, was supplied by Mike Cookson. All errors are mine alone.

Surface on the Cinder Track

The surface varies. Roughly 14 miles is tarred, and the remainder doesn’t have a sealed surface. In places, especially in winter, the surface can be rough and muddy.
The surface is what may be described as rough and bumpy gravel from Scarborough to Ravenscar, but deteriorates significantly between Ravenscar and Robin Hood’s Bay. From Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby is a good surface.


You will be better off on a bike with chunkier tyres. Trikes and cargo bikes will struggle in places.


There are toilets at the trains stations in Scarborough and Whitby, as well as at Ravenscar and Ronin Hood’s Bay.

See also  North Dorset Trailway Traffic-free Cycle Route

Points of Interest

Spend some time at Ravenscar, looking at the town that never was. Also look out for the Larpool viaduct.

Other Routes in Yorkshire


There are several chicane barriers at various points. However, besides being an annoyance, these serve no purpose at all. Trikes and cargo bikes should be able to get through with relative ease.
There are also some gates along the route.


Safety: ⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐
Barriers: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here.

Forecast for the Cinder Track

What the Cinder Track looks like

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DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.

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