Designated: May 1981
The seaward edge of the North York Moors National Park. A coast of high cliffs, cut by bays and wooded 'wykes' and crowned by dramatic headlands. As a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) it is textbook country for geologists.
Between Robin Hood's Bay and Ravenscar the dark Jurassic rock layers are unstable, falling to step-like undercliffs. This is one of Britain's richest mineral and fossil coasts. Jet and coiled ammonites lie on the beaches. Steep sided clefts in the coast shelter fishing harbours such as alley-riddled Staithes. This is the coast of Captain Cook, whose Endeavour was built at Whitby; where in proud tradition the fishing fleet still put to sea. Although mostly within a National Park, the Heritage Coast has its own special ranger and a series of leaflets interpreting the coast and its way of life.