You can’t beat a day at the beach, especially during the school summer holidays.
This year, many of us are looking closer to home for sun, sea and sand, so our friends at Scarborough & Whitby Mumbler have compiled this fabulous list of the best beaches in North and East Yorkshire.
All within a two-hour drive of Calderdale, it covers where is best for sand, fossils, rock pooling and a lovely family day out on the East Coast.
Enjoy, and we hope it’s useful!
PLEASE respect the local residents, take your rubbish home, park responsibly and remember that many of the local community have retired to these beautiful locations so many are in the “vulnerable” bracket in terms of COVID-19.
Wide open beach to play, run and walk. Lifeguard on duty. Lovely pier and there is a lift down the cliff to the beach, plus there’s even a miniature railway! There are some arcades, a few cafés and some little shops. Dog friendly.
Port Mulgrave is a perfect beach for sand and finding fossils as it combines sandy and rocky.
Really quaint with golden sands. Only a few shops and cafés. Fishing village with nice harbour area but not much beach to walk on. Do check the tide times before going. It is very hilly.
Runswick Bay is picturesque and “oldy worldy”, its red-roofed cottages clinging impossibly to the cliff above the bay, The golden beach is just made for nostalgic seaside trips – rock pooling, fossil hunting, sandcastle building and walking are favourite pastimes. One pub and that’s about it! 2 car parks – top and bottom. £5 to park all day.
Robin Hoods Bay
Believed to have been the busiest smuggling community on the coast in the 18th century – this historic fishing village is known for worldwide for its steep main street leading visitors down through a tangle of alleyways and side streets packed with quirky shops including the Dinosaur Museum, cafes and pubs to a family-friendly beach complete with rock pools.
Beware it is very hilly down to the beach. Make sure you check the tide times!
One of the most intriguing places on the Yorkshire Coast for those interested in history, the spectacular clifftop. Ravenscar was once an important part of the British dyeing industry: the peak alum works is now a National Trust site. Like many of the other towns and vilages on the Jurassic Coast, it’s a magnet for fossil hunters.
Hidden gem just a couple of miles north of Whitby. Lovely beach in a cove that provides a lagoon for children to play in with their boats and body boards. Lifeguards throughout the peak season. Lovely local pub and café for food….and lots of ice cream! 5 minutes from Whitby for fish and chips. Perfect place for a lovely family day out. Like most places, Sandsend has been very busy in 2020.
Whitby offers year round fun with its Blue Flag beaches and myriad attractions, including the world-famous steam-powered North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Whitby is steeped in history: fishing, whaling, the jet industry, Captain Cook, the glorious Abbey, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was inspired by the town and Goth Festival that draws visitors from around the globe.
West Cliff includes other children’s activities including bumper boats, trampolines, pitch and putt, and crazy golf. There is also a tourist shop selling buckets and spades and ice creams. The large west cliff car park is near the Whitby Leisure centre.
Lovely sheltered sandy beach in the centre of Whitby with easy access that is perfect for all ages.
The East Cliff stands above a very rocky coast full of fossils (check the tides before venturing down though, it comes back very fast).
Scarborough has stunning scenery, glorious beaches and loads to do! North Bay is a big open beach with cafés and a few shops. This long stretch of golden sandy shores is perfect for a sandcastle competition, and when you’re done, why not take off your shoes and go for a quick dip in the sea? There’s bright beach huts behind it, the ruins of an 11th century castle, and you could even go rock pooling here – phew! It is a life guarded beach and wonderful has the Waves Cafe & Ice Cream Parlour
South Bay is arcades, cafes etc together with access to a sandy beach. Donkeys are normally in situ in summer. Walk towards the Spa and further where the crowds tend to thin. It is possible to walk between the two, North and South Bay.
It is a rocky beach that is perfect for a family adventure, and that’s great for little explorers.
Once you emerge from the coast path, you’ll come out next to not one, but two spectacular waterfalls! Hiding in the rocks, keep your eyes peeled out for little creatures hidden among the rocks and boulders, plus it’s a great spot for some fossil hunting. Dog friendly.
Wide sweeping bay, dog-friendly beach, affordable parking and great facilities. Lucy’s Beach Shack sells snacks, sandwiches and a vast array of beach toys.
Cayton Bay is popular with holidaymakers and a beautiful place to explore, no matter what time of the year you decide to visit.
A favourite with surfers, bird watchers, fun-seekers and fossil hunters, or those who just want to relax and unwind.
Great rock pools and some fantastic fossils to be found.
Parking is £2. Toilets near the surf shop are 20p. It is quite a steep path to and from the beach.
A beautiful stretch of beach, one of the longest in the UK – its rarely crowded, however busy it is. Take a walk, paddle in the sea or build a sandcastle.
The Brigg is great for a long walk, loads of rock pools to play in and explore. Be careful when you walk past the cliff end, it can be very windy. Before setting off, check the tide times, its further than you think! With its glorious sweep of soft golden sand, Filey beach is one of the best in the country for families! If you take your dog, there are parts of the beach which are designated dog free zones.
Children love the Cobble Landing where they can see the fishing boats being taken out to see with the tractors or visit the Lifeboat, inshore and outshore. Interesting fact….Filey coble landing is named after the coble fishing boats. Visit Paul at Barnes Ice Cream or try the fish and chips from the Cobble Landing Fish Bar, I think they are the best. The Amusements and the Fair have been entertaining children for years. You can park at the Country Park (great play area here) with a slight hill to the beach at the back of the Sailing Club.
Glen Gardens also has a great play area and the boating lake is always fun. Car park up here too, with access to the beach.
Great with kids as it’s never packed with people so kids have loads of room to play without the worry of them being lost in a crowd. However, this has been busier in 2020 than in previous years. £5 for parking all day.
Thornwick Bay is excellent for rock-pooling, has several small caves and a magnificent sea arch. This beautiful rocky bay is on the north coast of Flamborough Head and is well worth a look. This is not suitable for a pushchair.
North Landing. Flamborough
Car park at the top with toilets (open). Costs £1.80 for over 2 hours. Steep enough walk down to the beach but level so pram is possible as long as you are feeling strong on the way home!
Pebbly / rocky beach with lots to explore including, rock pools, an arch and caves. Puffins, razorbills and gulls can be seen on the cliffs. Be careful of the tide as you can get cut off quickly.
Flamborough’s famous white cliffs enclose a dramatic bay with caves and chalk arches, and boasting a fabulous lighthouse! It has two – one active, and one dating to 1674, making it the oldest surviving complete lighthouse in England. You can climb the 119 steps of the Flamborough Lighthouse to see the magnificent views. The village is just a couple of miles from Bempton, one of the UK’s most famous RSPB reserves, hosting gannets and puffins amongst other sea birds.
Danes Dyke is a lovely walk. Easy parking with a friendly café and then a walk through the woods to the beach. Lots of rock pools to explore. Great for finding sponge rocks.
The Living Seas Centre on South Sea Road (South), Flamborough, YO15 1AE has information and education facilities.
Danes Dyke, Bridlington
Danes Dyke; Jutting out miles into the North Sea, the headland has in the past been effectively cut off by the construction, in the Iron Age, of the erroneously named Danes’ Dyke, which encloses five square miles of the peninsula. The end of the Dyke is a deep ravine on the south side of the Headland, where it exits into Bridlington Bay There are a number of nature trails in the Dyke which can be accessed easily from the car park off the main Bridlington to Flamborough Road. Danes Dyke, Flamborough Head, Flamborough, East Yorkshire YO15 1AG
Bridlington has lovely wide promenades, glorious beaches, an historic harbour and a fascinating, arty Old Town with galleries and antique shops. Bridlington Spa has a variety of acts to suit all tastes and ages. Bridlington Leisure Centre is great for a rainy day complete with climbing wall and health suite! The Land Train operates from Belvedere Car Park to the Spa Royal Hall
The beaches are really accessible, sandy and you can walk for miles from South Bay.
Situated just down from Bridlington. It’s a lovely beach where you park in a field and just pop onto the beach. Lots of space to run and play. Dog and child friendly. Take your picnic and enjoy the East Yorkshire Coast at its best. Low cliffs and sand dunes. No lifeguards. Parking is £5 for the day in summer.
Wide sandy beach is revealed when the tide goes out making it good for the kids and the dog to run around and let off some steam. No lifeguarding service and no facilities.
This quiet beach is a popular fishing spot and well worth a visit for a peaceful stroll. It’s also a great place to watch sand martins which nest in the cliffs from April to September. Barmston beach is six miles south of Bridlington and well worth a visit during summer.
Hornsea marks the end of the TransPennine Trail and is more of a classic seaside resort with a blue flag beach and an extensive stretch of sand and shingle. There are some nice gardens alongside a long promenade and plenty of parking with accessible town facilities accompany the beach.
An excellent beach for fossil hunters; Mappleton’s eroding cliffs reveal Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks including corals, molluscs ammonites and belemnites. Great place to discover a hidden treasure!
The traditional seaside resort is a family destination with a host of family friendly summer events to enjoy. If you climb the 144 steps to the top of Withernsea’s famous inland lighthouse – now a museum – you can take in breathtaking views of its long promenade and Blue Flag Beach.
Spurn Head Beach
The beach consists of a three-mile stretch of sand and shingle which runs around a narrow patch of land at the beginning of the Humber Estuary. It has excellent water quality and is a brilliant place for bird watching and fossil hunting.