Robins Hood's Bay is a small fishing village located 5 miles south of Whitby and is nestled in a deep furrow between two cliffs. While much of the village stands on the top of the cliffs properties do extend all the way down the cliff side and the road is extremely steep. This road leads all the way down the village and to the beach.
The main part of the village stood at the top of the cliffs is a "normal everyday" village. However the village properties set in to the side of the cliff are a maze of tiny streets and there is a wide range of cafes, restaurants and other shops mainly geared towards tourism. The village has a tradition of smuggling and it is said that there are an underground network of passages joining the houses together. Apparently tea, alcohol and tobacco where all smuggled in from places such as France and the Netherlands in order to avoid tax. I'm not sure if this is just folklore but given the geography, location and layout of the village it may well be true.
The beach is reasonably sandy, but there are a few rocky outcrops, and there are some excellent walks around the area. I would imagine that, as you walk around the beach it would be easy to get cut off by the incoming tide if you're not careful. Also the coastline looks fairly eroded so the sea clearly makes it all the way to the cliffs when the tide comes in.
On the day we visited Robin Hood's Bay there was a group of school kids looking for fossils in the cliff sides. They were finding them too which was excellent as it kept them interested. This got me curious and I started looking at the formation of the actual cliff side. While some it is just loose soil other parts are like a gray coloured shale that's built up of many thin layers. You can pick up chunks of this shale and easily separate the layers with your hands although it is quite sharp. It had an oil type smell to it and you could easily break chunks of this stuff off the cliff sides with your hands. No wonder parts of the Yorkshire coastline are eroding quickly.
Smuggling at Robin Hoods Bay
Discover Yorkshire - Robin Hoods Bay
Robins Hoods Bay Tourism Association Website
Wikipedia - Robin Hoods Bay