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Discover the best Yorkshire beaches holiday cottages

Discover the best Yorkshire beaches

Julie Smith 18 June 2021

With rugged cliffs providing shelter to picturesque coastal coves, wide stretches of golden sand that are perfect for children to play on, and traditional fishing harbours that are filled with colourful boats, Yorkshire is a top destination for a memorable seaside holiday.

But where can you find a dog-friendly beach and which ones have the best facilities for families? To help you find a stretch of sand that is just right for your needs we have compiled a list of the best Yorkshire beaches so that you can have a magical getaway to this wonderful part of the world.     

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🏖️ Saltburn🏖️ Runswick Bay
🏖️ Staithes🏖️ Sandsend
🏖️ Whitby🏖️ Robin Hood's Bay
🏖️ Cayton Bay🏖️ Scarborough North Bay
🏖️ Scarborough South Bay🏖️ Filey
🏖️ Reighton🏖️ Flamborough
🏖️ Danes Dyke🏖️ Bridlington
🏖️ Spurn Point


Saltburn

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Saltburn

The first coastal destination on Yorkshire’s Cleveland Way walking route, Saltburn is an elegant seaside town with lots of reminders of its Victorian past, including its much-photographed original cliff tramway. The funicular railway will whisk you down 120 feet from the cliff-top town to the sandy beach below. There you can walk along a 19th-century pier, spend time playing with four-legged friends and try to catch a wave at one of Yorkshire’s top surfing hot spots. Lessons and hire are available from Saltburn Surf School, and after you’ve had fun splashing around you can enjoy fish and chips with a view at the town’s Seaview Restaurant

Saltburn plays host to an annual food festival each July and there is a good assortment of cafes, bars and restaurants to be found around the town. It’s also worth exploring Saltburn’s Italian gardens which feature colourful flower beds and a miniature railway. 

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Saltburn

Beach facts

  • Dogs: Allowed throughout the year but restricted to certain parts of the beach between May and September. 
  • Parking: Short stay and long stay car parks are available for Saltburn Beach. 
  • Lifeguard service: Yes.
  • Beach facilities: Cafes, shops, toilets, water sports, beach huts.

Runswick Bay

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Runswick Bay

Named ‘Beach of the Year’ by The Times in 2020, Runswick Bay is an idyllic horseshoe-shaped coastal cove that’s a perfect choice for couples looking to spend a peaceful day beside the sea. The bay is sheltered from the elements by surrounding cliffs which are dotted with charming red-roofed cottages, and the small sandy beach is framed by a series of rock pools.

There’s a dog-friendly pub at the top of the village and with traffic-free streets leading to the golden sand below, Runswick Bay is an ideal Yorkshire beach to visit with four-legged friends. 

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Runswick Bay

Beach facts

  • Dogs: There are no restrictions at any time of year.
  • Parking: A long stay car park is available a short walk from the beach.
  • Lifeguard service: Yes.
  • Beach facilities: Cafe, shop, toilets.

Staithes

Best Yorkshire beaches - Staithes

With colourful cottages on narrow alleyways leading down to a harbour filled with traditional coble rowing boats, Staithes is deservedly one of the most photographed spots on the Yorkshire coast and a top choice for budding artists. Steps lead down from the seafront to a small sandy beach with rock pools that kids will love to explore.  

Staithes was the setting for CBBC’s Old Jack’s Boat, and a beck that flows through the town adds to the charm of the place. Once a year the characterful cottages are transformed into miniature galleries as part of the Staithes Arts and Heritage Festival. 

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Staithes

Beach facts

  • Dogs: There are no restrictions at any time of year.
  • Parking: A car park is available on the cliff tops at Staithes - there is a fairly steep walk to the beach.
  • Lifeguard service: No.
  • Beach facilities: Cafe, shop, toilets.  

Sandsend

Best Yorkshire beaches - Sandsend

Sandsend is the closest village to Whitby and you can either walk right across the sand to this popular Yorkshire Coast town or head along the Cleveland Way clifftop path. Sandsend is much sleepier than its larger neighbour and the sandy beach here is a tranquil place to relax and unwind. 

You can wander along a handsome seafront promenade or head further into the village where a gentle stream runs through the village and is a perfect place for kids and dogs to paddle in. Sandsend also boasts an excellent 2 AA Rosette-rated restaurant, Estbek House, or for more casual dining you can eat at the beachfront Witsend Cafe which features its own dog-friendly walled garden.

Beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Sandsend

  • Dogs: Some restrictions are in place between May and September.
  • Parking: There’s a long stay car park just a short walk from the beach.
  • Lifeguard service: No.
  • Facilities: Cafe, shop, toilets.

Whitby

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Whitby

There are actually two beaches at Whitby, one at each side of the River Esk which runs through the North York Moors before flowing out to sea. On the west side of the river is the larger West Cliff beach, a golden stretch of sand that’s framed by colourful beach huts and where children can still enjoy traditional donkey rides during the peak summer months. 

The smaller Tate Hill beach lies on the east of the river and is accessed close to the 199 steps in the characterful old town section of Whitby. Tate Hill is a good option for dog owners as this small sheltered bay is dog-friendly all year round.

You’ll find lots of places to pick up a bucket and spade on Whitby’s Pier Road, which looks out over the harbour and is filled with amusement arcades, ice cream parlours and fish and chip shops. Discover ten of the best things to do in Whitby.

Beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Whitby

  • Dogs: No restrictions at Tate Hill beach; dogs are not permitted on West Cliff beach between May and September.
  • Parking: Various car parks available as well as a park and ride system for peak season.
  • Lifeguard service: Yes.
  • Facilities: Cafes, shops, toilets, water sports, boat rides, beach huts.

Robin Hood’s Bay

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Robin Hoods Bay

The maze of narrow alleyways at Robin Hood’s Bay were once used to smuggle contraband items through the village, but now the streets are filled with lovely independent shops, characterful 17th-century cottages and charming local cafes. It’s worth taking your time to explore the nooks and crannies of this picturesque bay as you make your way from the cliffs to the beach below as there are lots of places to call in along the way.

Robin Hood’s Bay is one of the most dog-friendly places around as there aren’t many places that don’t welcome four-legged friends. It’s worth seeing the 125-metre-long mosaic that stretches along the sea wall and tells the story of Robin Hood’s Bay, and you can pick up buckets and spades at Muir Lea Stores to explore rock pools and hunt for fossils on the beach. Find out more in our guide to Robin Hood’s Bay.  

Beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Robin Hoods Bay

  • Dogs: There are no restrictions at any time of year.
  • Parking: There is a car park at the top of the village, beware it is a very steep walk down to the beach.
  • Lifeguard service: No.
  • Facilities: Cafes, shops, toilets.

Cayton Bay

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Cayton Bay

Nestled between the popular seaside resorts of Scarborough and Filey, Cayton Bay is a more peaceful beach option with a wide sweeping swathe of sand that’s just right for a bracing walk, with or without a dog. One of the main attractions of Cayton Bay is its surf school and the high-quality water here is ideal for water sports. 

There’s no bustling village to accompany Cayton Bay, just a small cafe with toilet facilities, but with cliffs leading straight to the beach, it’s great for fossil hunting and birdwatching. 

Beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Robin Hoods Bay

  • Dogs: There are no restrictions at any time of year.
  • Parking: Free parking is available on the road and there is also a small car park at the surf school.
  • Lifeguard service: Yes.
  • Facilities: Cafes, shops, toilets.

Scarborough North Bay

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Scarborough

The quieter of two Scarborough beaches, North Bay is a long stretch of dog-friendly sand that’s lined with colourful beach huts and backed by rugged cliffs and an elegant promenade. Things to do in the North Bay area include visiting the Scarborough Sea Life Centre and exploring the oriental-themed Peasholm Park which is centred around a large boating lake. 

The miniature North Bay Railway runs between these two attractions and the little green steam trains are always popular with little ones. 

Beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Scarborough

  • Dogs: There are no restrictions at any time of year.
  • Parking: Several car parks are available in the North Bay area.
  • Lifeguard service: Yes.
  • Facilities: Beach huts, cafe, shop, toilets, water sports.

Scarborough South Bay

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Scarborough

Separated from North Bay by the imposing Scarborough Castle, South Bay is a classic British seaside resort that’s perennially popular with families thanks to an abundance of amusement arcades, ice cream parlours and gift shops selling buckets and spades for the beach. 

You can also still catch the original Victorian cliff lift down to the beach from Scarborough Spa, an entertainment venue with deckchairs on a sun court where you can enjoy daily musical performances in the summer months while looking out to sea.   

The beach itself is a large stretch of sand with traditional donkey rides in the summer months and boat rides available from the large harbour at the end of the bay. Discover some of the best things to do in Scarborough.

Beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Scarborough

  • Dogs: Restrictions are in place between May and September.
  • Parking: Several car parks are available in the North Bay area.
  • Lifeguard service: Yes.
  • Facilities: Beach huts, cafe, shop, toilets, water sports.

Filey

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Filey

Awarded 'Beach of the Year' by The Times in 2018, Filey is an elegant seaside town with Edwardian architecture, gorgeous gardens and a wide curve of golden sand to spread out and relax on. 

Follow the Seafront Sculpture Trail along the promenade and you’ll find an assortment of lovely tea rooms and cafes to call in along the way. It’s also worth walking along Filey’s historic Coble Landing where you can watch the traditional wooden fishing boats come in and browse a selection of seasonal stalls. 

The long stretch of sand at Filey is just right for flying a kite, and a range of water sports are also available if you fancy a more action-packed day at the beach.  

Beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Filey

  • Dogs: Restrictions are in place between May and September.
  • Parking: Car parks and free on-street parking is available.
  • Lifeguard service: Yes.
  • Facilities: Beach huts, cafe, shop, toilets, water sports.

Reighton

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Reighton

The water quality at this long sandy beach is excellent, making Reighton a top choice for sea swimming. It tends to be one of the quieter beaches along the Yorkshire Coast so you might even have the place to yourself out of the peak summer months. 

The flat sand here is always ideal for a long beach walk and you may well see some of the thousands of seabirds that nest annually at nearby RSPB Bempton Cliffs.   

Reighton beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Reighton

  • Dogs: There are no restrictions at any time of year.
  • Parking: The car park is a short walk from the beach. 
  • Lifeguard service: No.
  • Facilities: Cafe, shop, toilets.

Flamborough North Landing

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Flamborough

Flamborough is home to two beaches called North and South Landing, which lie on either side of the town’s distinctive chalk-white cliffs. North Landing is the better of the two beaches, with a pretty curved bay of soft sand and pebbles with various caves and rock pools to explore. 

A cafe is now housed in an old lifeboat station that’s just steps from the beach, and an assortment of wooden fishing boats lined up around it all adds to North Landing’s charm. Puffins can also regularly be seen on the cliffs at Flamborough so you may well be able to spot some while relaxing on the beach. 

Beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Flamborough

Dogs: There are no restrictions at any time of year.

Parking: There is a fairly steep walk to the beach from the nearest car park.

Lifeguard service: No.

Facilities: Cafe, shop, toilets.

Danes Dyke

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Danes Dyke

If you’re looking for a wilder, more natural beach that’s a little off the beaten track then Danes Dyke is the perfect option. The peaceful coastal spot between Flamborough and Bridlington was named as a nature reserve in 2002 and the sand and pebble beach is surrounded by beautiful woodland that’s home to squirrels and deer. 

The beach is backed by beautiful white cliffs and you can enjoy spectacular views from here over to Bridlington Bay. Children will also love exploring a series of rock pools at low tide that are teeming with fascinating marine life.

Beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Danes Dyke

  • Dogs: Danes Dyke is a nature reserve so dogs must be kept on leads.
  • Parking: You’ll need to follow a woodland trail from the car park at Danes Dyke to the beach below.
  • Lifeguard service: No.
  • Facilities: Cafe, shop, toilets.

Bridlington

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Bridlington

Bridlington is a traditional British seaside town with two beaches, separated by a bustling harbour that’s full of colourful boats. South Beach is the preferred beach for many as it’s a mile-long stretch of golden sand that’s backed by beach huts and the popular Princess Mary Promenade. 

It’s up to you whether you wander along the promenade, where there are several cafes to call in for refreshments, or rest your feet by catching a Bridlington Land Train and just enjoy the view. Other popular Bridlington attractions include Sewerby Hall, a cliff-top country house with award-winning gardens, and Bondville Model Village which features a miniature harbour, abbey, castle and train. 

Bridlington South beach facts

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Bridlington

  • Dogs: Restrictions are in place between May and September.
  • Parking: Car parks and free on-street parking is available.
  • Lifeguard service: Yes.
  • Facilities: Beach huts, cafe, shop, toilets, water sports.

Spurn Point

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Spurn Point

Spurn Point is a long, narrow peninsula that lies between the North Sea and the Humber Estuary, with sand and shingle beaches on both sides. The site is a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve and a wonderful spot for birdwatching, with four special hides and a discovery centre where you can learn more about Spurn Point’s protected landscape. 

The beaches here are a beautiful spot for a bracing ramble and it’s well worth walking the 3 miles to the end of the peninsula then climbing the 128 feet to the top of Spurn Lighthouse for a wonderful panoramic view of the coast. Alternatively, you can take a Spurn Safari tour across this unique landscape in a specially converted 4x4 truck.    

Important: The tide turns Spurn Point into an island peninsula so it’s important to check safe times to access the beach before travelling.

Best beaches in Yorkshire - Spurn Point

Beach facts

Dogs: Dogs are restricted to certain areas.

Parking: A car park is available at the Spurn Point Discovery Centre, and you can walk to the beach and nature reserve from here.

Lifeguard: No.

Facilities: The Discovery Centre includes a cafe and toilets.

Plan your getaway to the Yorkshire Coast

Yorkshire Coast - Whitby

If you fancy spending time at one of these beautiful beaches, there are lots of lovely Yorkshire Coast cottages that are just right for a memorable seaside getaway. From romantic retreats in Robin Hood's Bay to coastal cottages in Whitby, browse our full range of Yorkshire holiday homes to find your perfect base. 

For even more inspiration, read our ultimate guide to the Yorkshire Coast, and if you’re planning to bring your four-legged friend along with you, take a look at these dog-friendly coastal cottages.



 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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