We've seen many beaches accompanied by castles, but very few named after one. It goes without saying that Bamburgh's unique selling point is the impressive castle that has stood in this position for over 1,000 years. These days, it’s represented by surprisingly intact remnants from around 800 years ago. It’s still fair to say that you could come here and not visit the castle at all. The generously sized sandy beach gives you all the space you need, whether you’re a big group or here for some alone time. As you look out to sea, you’ll spot the Farne Islands archipelago. Interestingly, the number of islands in view depends on the level of the tide. These cool features make Bamburgh Castle Beach one to look out for in the North East.
Beaches in the North East
The North East is blessed with some of the most untouched coastal areas on the British mainland. A short drive from the region’s biggest cities takes you to a different world, often after just an hour on the road.
A diverse region made up of rugged coastline, each county we proudly feature brings their own tasty ingredients to the table. At England’s northernmost reaches, beaches stretch untouched for miles, with Northumberland taking the crown of the country’s most spacious county. As you head south, the densely populated Tyneside gives way to cool Yorkshire, home to many of the beaches on this list. The scenery doesn’t stop in Lincolnshire either, where rural roads take you to coastal gems. On this list, household names tie in with undeveloped rural stowaways to bring you a variety of experiences. Here is your quintessential guide to beaches in the North East.
Bamburgh Castle Beach
Coves Haven Beach, Holy Island
Don’t miss the chance to visit this special beach in the North East. Located on Holy Island, you’ll only be able to access this area of peace and quiet when the scenic road from the mainland isn’t consumed by water. A quick search allows you to plan accordingly to experience probably the most unique beach in the region. The island is home to around only 180 people, and it shows in the space you’ll have to roam here. Handily sheltered from high winds, the beach is a great place to bring your dog for a walkabout. The roads leading to the sand are as scenic as it gets, so don’t forget to take your camera with you.
Cleethorpes is a consistent favourite in the North East. The sandy beach is joined by attractions to win over any visitor. The pier plays host to top seaside staples like fish and chips, with Papas a name that keeps foodies coming back for more. You’ll enjoy a great view of the North Sea here, and little ones love the donkey rides that have taken place here for centuries. Donkeys are joined on the sand by the famous Lollipop land train- a great way to sit back, relax and enjoy more of the lovely Lincolnshire coast. South of the beach, you can hop on the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway, a route that runs down to Humberston.
Embleton Bay Beach
Embelton Bay Beach is overlooked by the dominant Dunstanburgh Castle. The 14th-century ruins are run by the National Trust, overlooking a coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in this part of Northumberland. You’ll be mesmerised by the peace and quiet here, with the rural location making this one of the most unpopulated beaches in the North East. Backed by low, uninterrupted dunes, the beach featured as one of BBC Countryfile’s favourites in 2017. The sand is great to relax on, with low tide meaning you’re spoilt for space. Historic Embleton village is well worth the walk. You’ll be met by stone-walled houses and lush greenery.
Filey is neighbours with names that get far more shoutouts than it does. An ideal location for young families, it’s a lot quieter than the Scarborough's and Whitby's of this world. The sand is uninterrupted for an impressive five miles, with it extending ¾ of a mile out to the waves when the tide is out. You won’t be stuck for space here, and you’ll probably see a huge range of recreation going on along the beach. The town of the same name has a deep pedigree when it comes to fishing, with the boats still heading out and casting their nets from the beach today. Filey is a great beach in the North East to reset and refresh at.
Moggs Eye Beach (Huttoft)
Moggs Eye Beach is another rural hideaway to feature in this list of beaches in the North East. This serene stretch of sand can only be described as a hidden gem. Backed by fields, the nearest village is Huttoft, which also acts as an alternative name. The fact that the beach is so popular despite being far from civilisation is testament to its quality. Surfers and swimmers are joined by dog walkers and bird watchers. You’re almost certain to come here by car, and there are over 150 parking spaces close to the coast. Bring a picnic and take in the North Sea breeze.
Robin Hood’s Bay Beach
Robin Hood’s Bay stands in an immensely beautiful area of Yorkshire, far from the hustle and bustle of urban life but close enough to be amongst the most popular beaches in the county for a day at the seaside. Located at the edge of North York Moors Park, the beach is close to the village of the same name, which once acted as a haven for smugglers. At sea level, low tide exposes lovely spaces for a paddle and play on the sand. Without doubt, Robin Hood’s Bay is a go-to beach in the North East. And yes, the beach is named after the character we love so dearly!
One of the prettiest beaches in the North East, Runswick Bay is a c-shaped sandy stretch with some rocks and stones added in for good measure. The coastal area is a favourite with canoeists, and surfers join them in the water when the conditions allow. Not too busy even in the summer, the beach is also dog-friendly all year round. To the north of the sand, you’ll find the picturesque village of the same name. It’s a real throwback in time and home to windy roads and cosy cottages. Runswick is another Yorkshire beach surrounded by great walking routes, and if you’re feeling energetic you may fancy a bike ride to Whitby, just a few miles down the coast.
Scarborough has everything needed for a top day out at the seaside. The town is an attraction, with a population of over 60,000 making this one of the most vibrant parts of the North East. It hosts two large beaches that hug the promenade, attracting city-dwellers and coastal lovers from across the region. The sand is welcoming for any visitor, and after a day of relaxing, you can indulge at one of the town’s restaurants or take a walk to the town’s centuries-old castle. You won’t be stuck for stuff to do at this beach in the North East.
Whitby has double beach delight for its visitors. With options on either side of the River Esk that runs through the town, a visit here can be paired with a relaxing day on the sand. To the east, the quieter Tate Hill allows dogs to explore all year round and is just steps from the Church of St Mary and Whitby Abbey. West Cliff is the second and largest option, fittingly west of Whitby’s twin lighthouses. Far more commercial, there are donkey rides, deck chairs and a wide cliffy backdrop leading to the town itself. You can access the beach from the pier or via the charming cliff lift that has been welcoming beachgoers for decades.