Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum is situated in Skinningrove, a small village nestled in a narrow valley on the Cleveland coast. There is a lot to do in the surrounding area: with Saltburn in the north, a Victorian seaside resort notable for its Valley Gardens, miniature railway and the last surviving north-eastern pier, and Whitby to the south, famed for Dracula and the haunting ruins of the gothic abbey.
Once a humble hamlet sustained on agriculture and fishing, the population exploded with the opening of the local ironstone mines. Nowadays it is a shadow of its former self: a small, friendly community of around 460 inhabitants. Beneath towering cliffs, undisturbed stretches of beach are ideal for taking the family rockpooling but be sure to check the tide times. If you are visiting around Autumn, the annual bonfire on November 5th is not to be missed.
Skinningrove lies along the Cleveland Way and on the edge of the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast.
Northwest along the coast lies Saltburn. Once a Smuggler’s haven, Salburn became a popular Victorian seaside resort and remains so to this day. From the viaduct, Woodland Centre, Italian Gardens and miniature railway in the valley, to the Cliff Lift — one of the oldest funicular railways in the world — and the last surviving leisure pier in the north-east, Saltburn has a wealth of attractions, all accessible by train.
The seaside town of Whitby is rich in history, literature and things to do. The long beaches, the fish and chips, the range of sea trips and the variety of shops and attractions are ideal for a family day out.
The town bears a long and rich history. The ruined abbey, dissolved by Henry VIII, remains a haunting spectacle atop the east cliff. Before, the first monastery was founded in 657ad and destroyed by Viking raiders two centuries later. It was the site of the Synod of Whitby and home to Saint Hilda and the first Anglo-Saxon poet, Cædmon.
On the opposite cliff, a whalebone arch commemorates the whaling industry and nearby stands a statue of Captain James Cook, once an apprentice in the town. Here can be found the gleaming Whitby jet; here too, Bram Stoker’s Dracula came ashore, inspiring the world famous Goth Festival.
Once one of the north east’s largest fishing ports, Staithes is now a beautiful fishing hamlet with a cosy harbour. The village was the setting of the CBBC series Old Jack’s Boat and of the Staithes Group, the famous local painters of the late 19th century. Nowadays, it is a popular destination for rock-poolers, geologists, fossil hunters and walkers exploring the cliff-top Cleveland Way. In autumn, come down to the annual Arts Festival.
North York Moors
The stunning Yorkshire Moors are ideal for walking and cycling and offer tantalising glimpses of the past. The ironstone industry had a significant impact across the moors with networks of railways and mine workings all across the area, including sites in Roseberry, Kilton, Eskdale and Rosedale. Many of the remains are still visible across the landscape.