There is no denying Yorkshire is a large place with so many opportunities and things to see and do. Yorkshire is home to some of England’s best waterfalls, hikes, and even peaks. But that isn’t all Yorkshire has to offer, there are, of course, beaches and wonderful seaside towns and villages.
A well-known tradition is to go to the seaside on a warm summer’s day to fill up on fish and chips, doughnuts and have a paddle in the sea. With many to choose from you might be looking to explore more of the best beaches in Yorkshire and explore somewhere new to visit.
We decided to put this guide together for anyone looking to go somewhere new, looking for something in particular, or just wanting to know more about the beaches themselves.
We would go for the entire day from early morning and leave just before everything was about to shut. We would happily spend hours playing in the sea, playing in the arcades or just walking up and down the seafront.
Something we loved as children were to hop in the car and drive to the nearest seaside, more often than not it was Scarborough for us.
Something that is also really fun to do is go see some of the old-style villages and towns which are both stunning and picturesque and more often than not have a cheeky sweet shop for a treat.
If you are looking for the perfect day out with fun, sea and sand along with good food here are our 9 best beaches in Yorkshire.
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Sandsend is quiet and sleepy but offers stunning views of the ocean and behind at Whitby Abbey. Located a short 15-minute drive from Whitby Abbey you can find this beautiful little village. The sand and sea, run along from the small village to Whitby itself, you can walk along the beach and it would take you roughly 1 1/2 hours.
The beach itself is popular with visitors for fossil hunting, walkers and beachgoers. In the summer months, you will find a section of the beach zoned off for swimming. This is also a popular place for fishermen to come and catch fresh fish for the day.
One of the most charming parts of this beach is the stream that comes running down into the sea. It creates a place to watch the water flow and you might even see a crab or two.
Sandsend much like Robin Hood’s Bay is small but mighty with stunning views, delightful places to eat and plenty of nature to discover. At low tide, you can find plenty of rock pools to keep the little ones entertained. It is a great place to go with all the family even your four-legged friend.
Dogs are restricted to certain areas on this beach from May 1st to September 30th. Pay and display parking is available at Lythe Bank, Sandsend.
Another family favourite to visit is Bridlington, we visited here less than we did Whitby and Scarborough but still enjoyed the views every now and then. Bridlington is located 17.4 miles south of Scarborough which is roughly 40 minutes drive if you are looking to enjoy a little coastal road trip.
Bridlington has all the fun and excitement other coastal towns have to offer along with fresh seafood and vintage style ice cream parlours. If you are looking for some other things to do on your visit to Bridlington, look at head to Bridlington Priory where you can see the beautiful architecture of the church and surroundings.
Bridlington has a beautiful promenade in which you can stroll up and down to explore the beauty of the town. As kids we used to go and take our roller blades as the walkways were flat and easy to navigate, a keen tip to know if you are looking at taking pushchairs or wheelchairs.
One great thing about heading to the beach at Bridlington is that it is incredibly family-friendly. Even if dipping your toes in the sea is a little cold for you and your little ones there are shallow pools along the front that is open for anyone to use and play in.
A popular part of the South Bay area is near the Spa and Princess Mary Promenade. Walk further on and you will find yourself walking towards Hornsea which is possible if you want to have a really good walk, just remember you need to walk back for the car!
Bridlington like Scarborough also takes very good care of the beaches to allow the wildlife, guests and locals to fully enjoy the nature and natural scene of the beach. Parking is available at Station Car Park, Bridlington Park and Ride and Beck Hill Car Park.
If you are looking at taking your four-legged friend you might be wondering if they are permitted on the beach, dogs are banned on the main beach between May 1st and 30th September. Over on the Northside are allowed beyond the coastguard station.
Filey is a calm, peaceful and somewhat gentler beach with a slower pace and a tranquil setting, it is perfect for those looking to enjoy a perfect beach without the hustle and bustle of crowds and arcades.
Filey is a fairly large beach stretching a wonderful 5 miles, so even if it is busy with fellow visitors there is plenty of space for everyone. There is something for everyone at this beach and it really does offer up a number of activities to keep even the pickiest of people entertained.
Filey Beach is a marvellous place for families who like to be active, you can build sandcastles, swim or paddle, fly a kite, go rock pooling over at Filey Brigg or just enjoy a little snooze in a deckchair.
One of the amazing things about Filey Beach is the opportunities of seeing new and exciting wildlife from birdwatching and even spotting porpoises in the summertime.
If you get hungry or want to see what there is nearby head to Coble Landing, a slipway with a stunning mix of boats and kiosks for a spot lunch and a fresh cup of tea. There are many more places you can find amazing food to eat in our out along with fresh seafood.
Filey Brigg located at the northern end of town you can find snoozing seals on the beach, the best chance to see them is in early spring. If you ever get bored of the sea and stunning views look at heading into town to see the beautiful Edwardian architecture and experience the cute and quirky shops.
Dogs are not allowed on the beach between the dates of 1st May and 30th September from the section by Royal Parade to Coble Landing/Promenade. There are 3 places in which you can park to explore Filey Beach, West Avenue Car Park, Country Park Car Park and a small car park at Coble Landing.
4. Runswick Bay
Known as one of Yorkshire’s prettiest destinations it is easy to see why this makes the list. Runswick Bay is located in Saltburn-by-the-sea 8.7 miles from Whitby.
The pretty scene of the coastline is created by the beautiful sandy beach with the red roof cottages behind. The idyllic coastal village is peaceful and perfect for romantic strolls along the beach with ice cream. Though there is so much more to do and is great for a family day out.
Runswick Bay beach is a wonderful place for rock pooling, coastal walks, fossil finding and a place to sit and admire the beautiful scenery around you. Don’t forget to walk by the stunning white thatched cottage bravely facing out to the sea along with the church and old RNLI boat station.
If you like to be creative or like painting and drawing this is an incredible place to visit, find a spot to perch and draw the day away. It is very common with local artists along with those hopping down from Staithes to paint the quaint coastal village and bay.
Something to keep in mind is that this beach and area are dog-friendly and have no restrictions at any point of the year. There is also parking at the top and bottom of the hill entering Runswick Bay, parking is pay and display so don’t forget your coins.
If you are looking for somewhere to eat nearby you can find a small selection of restaurants including Hinderwell Fish and Chip Shop, The Badger Hounds and Restaurants no.20 just 5-minute drive away.
I was lucky enough to live in Scarborough for three years during university and so I was able to explore the wonderful beaches of Scarborough. Of course, there are two beaches which you can visit in Scarborough, North Bay and South Bay.
South Bay is much more popular with many tourists heading there for fish and chips, fresh doughnuts and a go on the arcades on the seafront. South Bay is an incredible beach and is perfect for a family day out playing in the sea, building sandcastles and eating all the incredible foods.
South Bay is also a great place for sunbathing in the summertime, it can get a little busy so make sure you get there early to get a good spot. This is also much more shaded from the wind compared to North Bay so you don’t have to worry about sand blowing into your sandwiches.
A long but worth it walk around the bay you will come across North Bay, if you choose to park along the seafront and around the bay, you will be able to see North Bay from your car. Here it is a more calm area with people walking their dogs, taking a stroll across the front and enjoying an ice cream or two.
North Bay is also home to an esplanade, sea defences, a small eating and shopping area and further out you can find Peasholm Park. There are also some great opportunities for rock pooling on the sides of the cliff areas to keep everyone entertained for hours.
You can find a number of places to park in Scarborough either on the seafront of both North and South bay along with more parking over by Peasholm park. If you fancy parking further out and in the town to explore the shops you can find a number of places to park there too.
Scarborough is also a very dog-friendly place, both in the town and on the beaches. You can take your dogs on the beaches all year round but certain restrictions may be put in place in the summer months or during harsher weather.
6. Robin Hood’s Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay is a small but beautiful place to visit, it was often a place my parents would take me for the day when I was at university or even when we were kids. It is a small fishing village which is locally called The Bay. Located between Whitby and Scarborough it is the perfect place to stop for a cup of tea and to stretch your legs between the seaside towns.
The only downside to Robin Hood’s Bay is the steep hill down to the bay, it can be quite the strain on your legs so if you do suffer walking I would maybe miss this one out. Parking is located at the top of the hill opposite Victoria Hotel, alternatively, there is another small car park located on Station Road near the Grosvenor Hotel.
Robin Hood’s Bay has a certain whimsical feel to it and it is incredibly charming with unique shops selling anything from trinkets and gifts to clothing. There is also a wonderful array of food to be found in this small area with fresh fish and chips, delicious homemade ice cream and lovely little tea rooms.
If tea rooms and trinkets aren’t your things, you can always earn yourself a lovely pub lunch at the top of the hill at one of the nearby pubs and enjoy the view over the water. Whether you are visiting in the summertime or in winter you will find stunning views over the bay which might just take your breath away.
Down by the water is where the fun really is, you can head here in low tide and walk across the stone and find crabs, small fish and more hiding in the rock pools. Or if you really want to, lay down a towel and enjoy the clouds passing by in the sky and the sun on your face.
Robin Hood’s Bay pride itself on being dog friendly, so much that there aren’t many places in the idyllic village they can’t go.
Staithes is a short drive from Sandsend and Whitby. It was once upon a time one of the largest fishing ports on the North East Coast, it is now one of Yorkshire’s best beaches. The village itself is serene and stunning with whimsical winding streets and cosy cottages.
With stunning views and a village from a fairytale, it is easy to see why it made our list of best beaches in Yorkshire. Though it doesn’t hold the fun arcades and flashing lights of the bustling seafront of Scarborough’s South Bay it holds a charm that is unique to itself.
Staithes is popular and famous for a couple of reasons, the first is that it is the location for the CBBC show Old Jack’s Boat and the other is The Staithes Group.
The Staithes Group are well known for painting local scenes and fishermen’s wives in draped cotton bonnets around the area. The group were made up of 30 artists at one time in the 19th Century, some of those were Dame Laura Knight, her husband Harold and Joseph R Bagshawe.
One of the more popular things to do in Staithes is to come for the autumn weekend to see the Arts Festival. Within this many shops and homes are converted into art galleries, pop up cafes and street food stalls to cater for the many thousands of visitors.
However, if you are looking to visit this charming little village any other time of the year you might be wondering what to do. Well like many other beaches in the UK there is plenty to do. Things such as swimming, surfing, rock pooling, fossil hunting and sunbathing.
There are also some wonderful cliff edge paths to walk along to see the stunning views from another level. These may be closed or un-advised to use during harsh weather conditions and be sure to check the weather before heading out on a hike.
With all the exploring and fun things to do you might find yourself getting peckish, there are plenty of places to go for a quick meal or a nice relaxing break. What is really lovely about this village is if you explore further in away from the beach you can see Staithes Beck, running down the middle of the village which adds whimsy and fun to the village itself.
As of writing there seem to be no restrictions on dogs being on the beach itself. You can find parking on Staithes Lane where it is a pay and display car park.
8. Saltburn Beach
Saltburn Beach is located in Saltburn By The Sea 9.2 miles from Staithes at roughly 25 minutes drive. The old Victorian seaside town is located further up towards Redcar and Cleveland. This charming part of Yorkshire has an eight-mile stretch of beach covered in sand and shingle and is surrounded by high cliffs.
Much like Scarborough the coastal town itself was very much influenced by the Victorian era and still has prominent essences until this day. I love this style of charm as I think it was such a wonderful time for so many and it was a time that our coastal towns and villages were really thriving.
The area is popular with surfers and swimmers enjoying the waves and space to enjoy the sea. There is a lifeguard that patrols the beach and sea within peak season. There is an old-style cliff edge lift that takes visitors up and down the 120ft cliff.
There is also a beautiful promenade in which visitors can stroll up and down along with enjoying a coffee and something to eat. Along with a great choice along the promenade, there are a number of other places to eat within the town and in the neighbouring town of Redcar.
Dogs are very much welcome to Saltburn beach but are unfortunately not permitted on the beach in the summer months (the guide is from the pier to Hazelgrove). Otherwise other parts of the year dogs are permitted to roam the beach as they wish.
Of course, you will want to find a suitable place to park. Parking is available at either Cat Nab Car Park or at the Seafront Car Park.
9. North Landing Beach (Flamborough)
North Landing Beach is located in Flamborough, located on the north side of Flamborough headland. This beautiful beach is large and expands across 3/4 mile. It is a lovely sandy beach perfect for paddling, swimming and sunbathing.
This is a perfect spot for families to turn up, enjoy a nice day by the beach and even have a picnic. On the beach, you might find white pebbles to try and
Located on the north side of the magnificent Flamborough Headland. North Landing beach is a beautiful expanse of sand, white pebbles and rock pools. It is a perfect spot for a family day out where you can have a picnic. The beach itself is flanked by incredible chalk cliffs which add atmosphere and shelter to the bay.
This beach is a perfect place to play in low tide with a number of small marine life being left behind in the rock pools.
Though remember to take care as to not fall on the slippy surface. During the summer months, it is a popular area for those looking to top up their tan or even do a little snorkelling. There is no lifeguard present so be aware that this is at your own risk.
Another sport that is popular in the area is kayaking and fishing during the year. It is also a great place to sit, relax and do a little birdwatching with birds such as razorbills, kittiwakes and even puffins making an appearance.
The beach is open to dog owners and their four-legged friends throughout the year without any summer restrictions. All that is asked is that the dogs are kept under control and any mess is cleared up afterwards.
You can find parking quite close by at the end of B1255 along with a set of toilets and a cafe. The walk down from the car park to the beach can be very steep and may not be viable for those who struggle or with mobility issues.