Much of the east coast of England is characterised by low-lying land and gently rising shores and cliffs, but by the time we reach North Yorkshire the coastline starts to take on a more dramatic character. This reaches a climax at Boulby Cliffs which, at 666 feet high, are the highest point on the east coast of England. The footpath at the highest point offers an amazing view of the surrounding coastline. The cliffs attract nesting birds in spring such as kittiwakes, fulmars and house martins. Boulby used to be a source of alum, jet and ironstone, while today potash is mined inland from here, with workings extending for up to 2 miles under the seabed. Ironstone was also mined at nearby Skinningrove following its discovery in 1848, leading to the existing fishing activities being supplemented by iron and steel-making. There is a mining museum here which tells the story of the Cleveland mining industry, while nearby there is still a steelmaking works making specialised products which include sculptures which can be found on the Cleveland Way footpath. The legacy of the now closed ironstone pits lives on in the form of the rust colouring in the small stream running through the village.
Map of the area.