Seven of the Best Yorkshire Beaches
It is without doubt that Yorkshire has some of the finest beaches in the UK and with more than 100 miles of stunning coastline on offer, there are plenty of hotspots to explore. Here we pick 7 beaches that are well worth making a trip to.
Winner of the Sunday Times’ Best British Beach Guide in 2018, Filey’s long, picturesque promenade and sweep of soft, golden sand make it a true haven for beach lovers.
It’s the perfect place to go for a run along the beach, fly a kite, build a sandcastle or roll up your trousers, grab your fishing net and head for the deep rock pools. At the bottom of the beach is Filey Brigg which is a long, low headland jutting far out into Filey Bay. The walk along the top of the Brigg is fairly level and affords extensive views across the bay to the great chalk cliffs of Bempton and Flamborough and northwards towards Scarborough and the cliffs of Robin Hoods Bay.
Whitby beach was recently awarded a prestigious Blue Flag Beach Award. The international Blue Flag and the UK Seaside Awards are the quality marks for beaches and mean those visiting them can be sure that they are clean, safe and meet the highest environmental standards. Due to its award-winning beach, Whitby is always a popular holiday destination but don’t worry, with over 2 miles of sand, there is more than enough room for everyone!
The West Cliff beach stretches up to the West Pier and as well as glorious coastal views, you can also see the vibrant holiday beach huts (something that I always wanted to have as a kid!) and throughout the summer there’s donkey rides to be had too.
When you’ve had enough of the sand, you can head inland and enjoy a bite to eat in one of the many fantastic Fish and Chips restaurants like the renowned Magpie Café or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can head up the 199 steps (don’t forget to count them on your way up) and explore the magnificent Whitby Abbey, the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Forget the deckchairs and dodgems; this is Yorkshire's coastline at its most raw and elemental. Here, brooding cliffs tower over a huddle of red roofed former fishing cottages that spill right down to the edge of the sea, creating a lost in time getaway for anyone who loves unusual architecture and breath-taking scenery.
Sometimes you just want to leave it all behind for a while. And that's what Robin Hood's Bay is perfect for. Indeed, the first thing you do here is abandon your car on the cliff top before beginning the twisting descent through this timeless village on foot. On either side of you, picturesque dwellings and cobbled alleyways seem to tumble into each other, right up to the very edge of the coast - a fact that 18th century smugglers used to hide their illicit trade.
Affectionately known to locals as Scarbados, there’s no place quite like Scarborough when the sun is shining. The town has not one but two great beaches to take advantage of too. North Bay is a sandy beach with rocky outcrops to the north which becomes isolated at high tide and provides brilliant rock pool areas at low tide.
Since 2015, Scarborough North Bay has provided one of Yorkshire’s most iconic TV moments, as it has played a starring role in 4 finishes of the Tour de Yorkshire. In 2016 the race was won in Scarborough by cycling legend Tommy Voeckler and cycling fans now descend to Scarborough en-masse each year to take in this fantastic sporting spectacle. Before the race arrives into North Bay though, it tends to take in…
Separated by a crag topped with a castle, Scarborough North and South Bay are both popular holidaymaker spots. South Bay again has a large sandy bay and it also has a working harbour with a small fishing fleet as well as a new marina for yachts and pleasure boats.
Along the foreshore, you’ll not find yourself bored as the amusement arcades provide plenty of entertainment. On top of this there is Scarborough Spa which houses the famous Spa Orchestra during the summer season. They are the last remaining professional seaside orchestra will once again be performing 9 concerts a week as part of a 15-week Summer season in 2018.
The Yorkshire Coast is one of the best areas for surf in England. This stretch of coastline boasts some of the UKs finest beaches and its natural geology creates some truly spectacular surfing conditions. At no place is this more evident than at Cayton Bay, which serves up a big swell that even the most experienced of surfers would relish.
Cayton Bay has a magnificent wide sweeping bay, a year-round dog-friendly beach, clean water, affordable parking and great facilities. A firm favourite not just with surfers but also bird watchers, fun-seekers and fossil hunters, or those who just want to relax and unwind, Cayton Bay is the ideal place to set up camp for your Yorkshire Coast adventures.
Bridlington’s North Beach is clean and is a mixture of sand and shingle with extensive facilities and a cliff-top nature reserve. There’s chalets you can hire if you just want to relax but if you’re feeling like an adventure then the magnificent Flamborough Cliffs are nearby and the views from there are spectacular. Bridlington Spa stands proudly overlooking the bay, beaches and harbour and offers unbeatable views from its function suites. With a long and spectacular history, it is the venue of choice for many artists and touring shows so it is well worth keeping an eye on their programme of events.
In 2017, a university professor wrote a report on building the perfect sandcastle and Bridlington was number two on his list as the best beaches for sandcastles – apparently the best castles are made of eight parts dry sand to one part water and Bridlington’s beach serves up a winning combination!