36 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2015

Product name


Product country

Robin Hood's Bay, Whitby

Product city

Robin Hood's Bay, Whitby

Travelled with

Reasons for trip

I was surprised to see Swell Cafe, North Yorkshire as one of the 20 best summer cafes in a National newspaper. It was a place I’d visited often, and intended to write about.

The flagstoned terrace of this smart cafe bar in Robin Hood’s Bay, with its textured metal- topped bistro tables and modern white chairs, looks over the cliffs and sandy bay of this historic stretch of North coast, the site of Saxon, Norse, and Roman settlements. After a Fairtrade flat white, try your hand at fossil hunting on the beach. If you come up empty handed, you can always check out examples in the nearby museum.

I wondered if the writer had actually been there. No mention of the excellent display of prints, painting, postcards, pottery and other goodies to buy in the gift shop.

It was opened in 2004, a former chapel with a 1820s auditorium, used for weddings – but better known by my young grandchildren as a venue for school film shows! It is an independent cafe, and specialises in freshly prepared, simple food – the cakes are delicious!

Not the easiest place to find. With your back to the sea at the bottom of the hill, take the road to the right, then a footpath left. This footpath is parallel to the main road, but higher up. The cafe is in the right. When you have visited, if you want to get to the car park at the top of the hill, don’t go down to sea level again, but weave your way upwards along footpaths. A zig-zag climb, but not so steep as the direct route up the main road.


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