Best beaches in Yorkshire
Yorkshire, or God’s Own County as it’s fondly known, is a county of great natural beauty – from the open sweeping moorland to the rolling dales, the landscape has offerings for every taste.
The coastline is no exception – often linking up with national trails or backed by glorious and rugged cliff faces, the beaches in this north-eastern county are beautiful from every angle. Here at Haven, we’ve done our research - seeking out the hidden gems, climbing the craggy cliffs and basking in the buzz of the all-star spots to brew up this speciality list of best beaches in Yorkshire.
Bridlington North Beach, Bridlington
This sand and shingle beach in the East Riding area of Yorkshire is an ever-popular location for families looking for an action-packed beach-side day out. There’s a hive of activity on offer in and around the sea-front: take a donkey ride across the sand, ride the Ferris wheel at the funfair, or try your luck at crazy golf in one of the amusement arcades. For those who enjoy a bit of history, hop on the land train up to Sewerby Hall and Gardens – a Grade I listed Georgian Country House.
The town of Bridlington is a haven for sea-food lovers, claiming the title of the UK’s biggest shellfish port and nicknamed ‘The Lobster capital of Europe’, the restaurants do not disappoint. Top seafood joints include The Pride of Bridlington for a classic paper wrapped fare, or The Lobster Pot on Kingsgate for a homely pub-based classic.
Saltburn Beach, Redcar
The seaside resort of Saltburn in North Yorkshire is a location that wears its Victorian heritage with pride. Take a ride on the old cliff tramway lift and admire the views or jump aboard the charming miniature railway which will take you to the beautifully landscaped Italian Gardens and accompanying Victorian tea rooms.
The beach itself is a vast expanse of good quality sand and shingle and is popular with surfers for its prime location, which is sheltered from the harsh winds, yet facing into the swells of the North Sea waves. There’s a lifeguard service in operation to keep the surfers safe and plenty of eateries to restore your energy after you’ve met your match with the waves. Try The Seaview Restaurant on the lower promenade to sit-in or take away from Oscar’s Fish and Chips and find a good spot on the seawall to revel in the classic seaside culinary experience.
Spurn Point, Kilnsea
Spurn Point, or Yorkshire’s own Land’s End, is a peninsula that spools out for three long miles into the Humber Estuary. It is a place like no other and this out-of-the-way beach is markedly different to the other classic seaside spots on offer in this collection of best beaches in Yorkshire. The sandbanks of Spurn Point lie at the very end of the Spurn Nature Reserve which is home to a wide range of wildlife including sea birds, porpoises, lizards and roe deer. Safari tours traverse the reserve in a 4x4 and are available to book via the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Website.
At just over 50 metres wide, the peninsula is thoroughly at the mercy of the elements and visitors should also take note that the tip of the peninsula is cut off from the mainland at high tide. This is not one for a relaxing beach day, but a worthy adventure for families and couples looking for undisturbed natural beauty. For the best views, climb the Spurn lighthouse just off the headland and be sure to pay a visit to the Spurn Discovery Centre to find out about the history and wildlife of this special place.
Whitby Beach (West Cliff), Whitby
There are two beaches at Whitby, with West Cliff boasting the larger sands, prime for sandcastle building and pitching up with your hired deckchair and wind-break for a comfortable yet fun-filled day out. The beach offers all the usual entertainments including donkey rides, crazy golf and a children’s paddling pool. If you’re feeling energetic, a hike up to the cliff top will reward you with stunning views of the infamous Whitby Abbey and East Cliffs across the way. West Cliff has plenty of nearby parking for those coming by car and is also just a short walk from the station if you prefer to arrive by foot. All these offerings being so conveniently placed make Whitby undeniably one of the best beaches in Yorkshire.
After the excitements of the beach, head into the centre of Whitby for some top-notch Yorkshire grub. Besides the legendary Whitby fish and chips, we recommend Abbey Wharf in the marketplace for freshly caught fish dishes, or Humble Pie ‘n’ Mash on Church Street for comfort food in cosy surroundings.
A beach in a brilliant British coastal town that is home to over 60,000 people had to make the list of the best beaches. The array of amenities on hand for visitors to this North East wonder is spectacular, with the promenade playing host to attractions that are a great day out in themselves, regardless of whether you set foot on the sand. Restaurants, pubs, ice cream stands and even the all-important fish and chips are top-notch. This is the one of the go-to places in Yorkshire for seafood too.
The beach itself is divided into two long stretches of sand that run in line with Scarborough’s seafront. You’ll be just steps from the most vibrant part of the town. Fittingly, the town’s medieval fortress stands tall over the coastline. The English Heritage-run site is a magnet for tourists. Its grounds offer eye-catching views of the North Sea. The sea itself is calm and ideal for a paddle. A beach that welcomes all with open arms, it charms everyone from pensioners right the way down to toddlers.
Cayton Bay Beach, Cayton
Less than a 10-minute car journey from Haven’s Blue Dolphin Holiday Park, and just outside of Scarborough, sits a sweeping and unspoiled stretch of sand at Cayton. Cayton Bay is popular with surfers for the well-established Scarborough Surf Club and wide-open waters, perfect for catching the wind and surfing the waves. The club also offers lessons in stand-up paddle boarding and coasteering as well as tailored kids’ clubs during the school holidays.
And it’s not just the sporting amongst us who will enjoy a day out at Cayton. History buffs and nature-lovers alike will find plenty to keep them entertained along this historic shoreline. Keep your eyes peeled for fossils emerging from amongst the cliffs and an impressive range of sea birds to spot in the sky. Cayton Bay boasts both an ENCAMS Seaside Award and Quality Coast Award, making it one of the beaches in Yorkshire you just can’t miss.
Filey Beach, Filey
The stretch of coast between the Haven resorts of Blue Dolphin and Primrose Valley is home to a true Yorkshire beauty spot at Filey Beach. Voted by TripAdvisor as one of the top six beaches in the world in 2019, the large expanse of golden sand is popular for activities such as kite-flying, horse-riding and long, bracing family walks.
Filey has a rich heritage as a fishing village which is explored in a series of sculptures designed by artist Russ Coleman that line the promenade. For those looking for a spot of relaxation, there are some delightful beach chalets along the front which are available for rent but be sure to book them early as they get snapped up fast by holiday makers and locals alike. You can book a chalet for a week or the entire season and settle in, Yorkshire tea in hand and a view of the bay just beyond your door.
Reighton Sands Beach, Filey
The beach that gives Haven’s Reighton Sands Holiday Park its name is a sandy shoreline that lies less than a 10-minute walk from the comfort of your Haven chalet. The low cliffs and flat sands make this beach a great place for walking, rock-pooling and fossil-hunting. Its waters have a cleanliness rating of ‘excellent’ meaning that the waves are often enjoyed by swimmers and surfers too.
The RSPB-run Bempton Cliffs Nature Reserve - just to the east of the beach - is well worth an explore with its array of seabirds from warblers to wheaters, gannets to guillemots. If you’re lucky, you might even spot one of the whales or dolphins that are known to the shores at Reighton too. History enthusiasts will note the remains of World War Two military defences dotted across the beach – a reminder of the stories the beaches of Yorkshire have to tell.
Thornwick Bay, Flamborough
Thornwick Bay is a real hidden gem of the east Yorkshire coast – snuggled into a cove on the northern side of the coastal village of Flamborough. As its name suggests, the bay lies just a ten-minute walk from Haven’s Thornwick Bay Holiday Park and has no parking for the general public, making it a quiet and secluded spot for the use of Haven holidaymakers.
The bay itself is a gorgeous piece of natural beauty - a gift for nature lovers, photographers and couples seeking that picture-perfect selfie location. With its stunning sea arches adorning the white chalk cliff face and intriguing caves to be explored below, Thornwick Bay makes for a fun and memorable adventure-filled day out. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the charming, family-run Thornwick Bay Café, perched right atop the cliff. The menu offers a range of local specialities from freshly caught cod with chips, fresh regional crab, and roast beef with Yorkshire puddings.
North Landing (Flamborough) Beach, Flamborough
Another great beach for a day out from Thornwick Bay Holiday Park is the North Landing Beach at Flamborough. Like many of the beaches in Yorkshire, Flamborough has a bit of a steep path down to the sand itself, so walking boots and a careful step are advised.
The sand and pebble beach is an excellent location for rock-pooling, and a small cave to the left of the beach beckons young explorers in to investigate (accompanied by an adult adventurer, of course!) There’s an oldy-timey feel about this small inlet, and it’s a perfect spot to perch up and watch the world go by. Fisherman can often be seen launching their boats from the beach here, and for those with a keen eye, bobbing seals can sometimes be spotted in amongst the buoys.