The Yorkshire Coast is deservedly one of the top destinations for a UK staycation with scenic walks to enjoy along dramatic cliff-top paths, beautiful beaches where you’ll find fascinating rock pools amongst golden stretches of sand, and an assortment of seaside towns and villages that are just waiting to be explored.
Read our guide to Yorkshire’s seaside towns and villages and discover bustling resorts for fun-filled family holidays, pretty coastal coves that are perfect for a romantic getaway and lots of dog-friendly days out to enjoy with four-legged friends.
The popular North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby is probably best known for its literary connections to Dracula after Bram Stoker famously featured the climb of 199 steps to Whitby Abbey in his classic gothic novel. It’s well worth climbing the steps for yourself for a stunning view over Whitby Harbour and old town before exploring characterful cobbled streets that are filled with an assortment of independent shops. There are also many classic arcades, ice cream parlours and rock shops along Whitby’s main promenade.
A variety of boat trips are available from Whitby, ranging from a 30-minute round trip to nearby Sandsend to fishing trips and whale watching cruises. Distinctive boats to look out for include a replica of James Cook’s Endeavour and the Mary Ann Hepworth which is an authentic 1930s lifeboat.
- The twice-yearly Whitby Goth Weekend is one of the UK’s leading alternative music festivals and a celebration of goth culture with an array of amazing outfits on display.
- The Magpie Cafe in Whitby is one of the best places in Yorkshire for fresh fish and seafood with items on the menu ranging from classic fish and chips to a wonderful seafood platter.
- There’s a choice of two beaches at Whitby; the main stretch of sand is adorned with colourful beach huts while the smaller but more sheltered Tate Beach is dog-friendly all year round.
Stay nearby: Anchor Reach | Sleeps: 4 guests
Scarborough is another Yorkshire seaside town that’s the perfect mix of old and new with historic Victorian buildings such as Scarborough Spa and the Rotunda Museum sitting alongside modern attractions like Alpamare Water Park.
For a lively holiday with all the fun of the fair head to Scarborough’s South Bay where you’ll find a bustling beach and lots of amusement arcades. If you prefer a more traditional getaway, stick to the North Bay area where the quieter beach is perfect for rock pooling and you’ll find a miniature railway and the wonderful Peasholm Park.
- Look out over Scarborough’s North and South Bays from Scarborough Castle, an English Heritage site which sits atop a rocky promontory and comes with 16-acre grounds that are a haven for local wildlife.
- Visit Scarborough in the summer and you can watch a daily orchestral performance on the Scarborough Spa sun court before catching the original Victorian cliff lift down to the beach below.
- Scarborough Harbour is home to around 300 boats including traditional fishing vessels, passenger ships and speed boats such as the Wave Rider which will take on a fast-paced journey across the sea.
Stay nearby: The Shark | Sleeps: 6 guests + 1 dog
The long, curved swathe of sand at Filey is widely regarded as one of the best Yorkshire beaches and is backed by an elegant town with Edwardian buildings, and a collection of gorgeous Victorian gardens which are just right for a family picnic.
Crescent Gardens has a variety of seats and benches where you can sit amongst the fragrant flower borders, and a bandstand where you can listen to performances of some of Yorkshire’s finest brass bands during the summer months. Glen Gardens is a perfect spot for families as it features a children’s play area and wide-open spaces for ball games.
- Filey Brigg is a long, narrow peninsula which marks the endpoint of the Cleveland Way National Trail and is a great spot for watching winter wading birds and sealife - you may even catch a glimpse of a dolphin or whale if you are lucky.
- Coble Landing is a slipway that leads down to Filey Beach which is home to traditional wooden coble boats along with a range of seasonal stalls selling souvenirs and ice cream.
- The beach at Filey is dog friendly (although there are some restrictions in the peak summer months), and the section near Filey Brigg has a series of interesting rock pools that are great for exploring with little ones.
Stay nearby: The Crescent | Sleeps: 4 guests
Right at the top of North Yorkshire, Saltburn is the first seaside town on The Cleveland Way and you can follow the cliff-top paths from here all the way down to Filey.
It’s a stylish seaside town that’s become a bit of a foodie hotspot, with an annual food festival that celebrates local producers and a top-notch seafood restaurant, The Seaview, that featured on the BBC’s remarkable places to eat.
- One of the things that Saltburn is best known for is its funicular cliff railway which was originally built in Victorian times. Catching the vertical train at the top of the cliffs will save you a steep walk to the beach below.
- The sprawling Saltburn Valley Gardens include woodland walks, wildflowers and the colourful Italian Gardens. The gardens are also home to a Saltburn Miniature Railway and a play area to keep the kids happy.
- Saltburn is one of the best places on the Yorkshire Coast for water sports and you’ll regularly find surfers trying to catch a wave in the waters here. Hire and lessons are also both available from Saltburn Surf School.
Stay nearby: The Breaks | Sleeps: 12 guests + 4 dogs
Robin Hood’s Bay
Regularly named as one of the UK’s prettiest villages, Robin Hood's Bay is a coastal cove that seemingly clings to the side of a cliff with a maze of narrow streets that were once used for smuggling goods from the sea to the streets above.
The walk from the top of the cliffs to the beach below is definitely steep, but luckily there are lots of lovely shops, cafes, and pubs along the way that you can call in at to catch your breath.
- Learn more about the history of Robin Hood’s Bay on an after-dark ghost walk through the town. You’ll hear tales of smugglers and find out some of the folklore of this fascinating town.
- Robin Hood’s Bay is one of the most dog-friendly places in Yorkshire, with a beach that they can walk on all year round, and the vast majority of pubs, cafes and shops are happy to welcome your four-legged friends.
- Every December, Robin Hood’s Bay hosts a Victorian weekend which is one of the most popular Yorkshire Christmas events. Along with carol singing and vintage games, you can take a sneak peek around some of the period cottages and enjoy a magical lantern parade through the seaside village.
Stay nearby: Brigholme | Sleeps: 4 + 2 dogs
Just a short walk, or boat ride, from Whitby, is the quiet seaside village of Sandsend. There’s just one beach between the two resorts so it’s perfect for taking a long walk across the sand, especially as you can extend it to the cliff tops of the Cleveland Way for a scenic circular stroll.
Sandsend is a sleepy little place and there’s usually plenty of space on the beach to spread out and relax. It’s also worth heading away from the seafront and into the village where you’ll find a gentle stream that’s perfect for kids and dogs to paddle in.
- There’s a range of dining options to choose from in Sandsend, from the fine dining Estbek House Restaurant which holds two AA rosettes to the seafront Wits End Café which is dog friendly and has its own walled garden.
- If you fancy unwinding with a relaxing spa day at the Yorkshire Coast, we recommend heading to the Raithwaite Estate where you can enjoy luxurious treatments, a heated indoor pool and a restorative heat circuit.
- The dog-friendly beach at Sandsend is a good choice for fossil hunting and you can enjoy views across to Whitby Abbey as you hunt for hidden treasures.
Stay nearby: The Beach House - Sandsend | Sleeps: 6 guests
This peaceful horseshoe-shaped cove is a firm favourite amongst locals and was even named 'Beach of the year' by The Times in 2020. It’s one of the most picturesque Yorkshire seaside villages and was once a fishing harbour, but now has a much sleepier pace of life. Discover more pretty Yorkshire villages in our guide.
Much like at nearby Robin Hood's Bay, the houses here are almost a part of the cliffs, with most of the cottages at Runswick Bay having distinctive red roofs. Interesting buildings by the sea include the 19th-century Runswick Bay Lifeboat Station which is still in operation and a much-photographed thatched cottage that was once home to the village coastguard.
- The sandy beach at Runswick Bay is lovely and sheltered thanks to the surrounding cliffs. Look out for the Hob Holes, a series of small caves at the base of the cliffs which legend has it were the homes of hobgoblins.
- There are a number of scenic Yorkshire walks that start at Runswick Bay including routes to Staithes and Port Mulgrave. We recommend heading along the cliffs to Kettleness for wonderful views and a secluded beach complete with a waterfall.
- The calm waters of Runswick Bay are perfect for kayaking and stand up paddleboarding (SUP). Lessons and hire for both are available from Barefoot Kayak who is based in the village.
Stay nearby: Egton Cottage | Sleeps: 4 guests + 2 dogs
The picturesque harbour at Staithes with its colourful cottages and traditional wooden boats has been featured in countless postcards and paintings. Take a wander down winding cobbled streets that are filled with characterful fisherman’s cottages as you head down to the harbour and beach at the bottom of Staithes.
A beck runs right the way though Staithes and you can sit awhile and watch the boats come in before heading down some steps to the sandy beach below
- Staithes is not only a popular choice for artists, but once a year many of the town’s cottages are turned into miniature art galleries as part of the Staithes Festival.
- There’s a small, sheltered and secluded beach at Staithes where you can spend time rock pooling or building a sandcastle after exploring the harbour which was the setting for CBBC’s Old Jack’s Boat.
- The Cod & Lobster at Staithes is a popular place to stop for refreshments after a bracing circular walk to nearby Port Mulgrave where you can spot seabirds. We recommend tucking into their crab sandwiches as you look out to sea.
Stay nearby: Waverley House | Sleeps: 6 guests + 2 dogs
Bridlington is another Yorkshire seaside town that mixes old and new together with a characterful old part of town that’s full of period buildings, and a more bustling seafront area with colourful arcades and ice cream parlours.
There are two glorious stretches of sand at Bridlington, with the mile-long South Beach being particularly good. Not only is there lots of space on the sand but it’s backed by both beach huts and the popular Princess Mary Promenade where there is an assortment of cafes where you can call in for refreshments.
- You’ll find an array of independent shops and galleries in the Old Town which was transformed into Walmington-on-Sea for the 2016 Dad’s Army film, and there’s a special trail to follow so you can uncover all the historic treasures of this part of town. Find more Yorkshire film and TV locations in our guide.
- If you fancy wandering around a tinier version of a Yorkshire seaside town, Bondville Model Village in Bridlington has all the classic elements such as a harbour, abbey, colourful houses and fishing huts, but in miniature.
- Sewerby House and Gardens is a Yorkshire stately home near Bridlington which is well worth visiting. The best way to get there is on a Bridlington Land Train which will whisk you along the promenade and to this grand stately home.
Stay nearby: Greystones Cottage | Sleeps: 4 guests + 2 dogs
Nestled on a headland that juts out to sea between Filey and Bridlington is the seaside village of Flamborough. It’s best known for distinctive chalk white cliffs and a pair of historic lighthouses: a 17th-century structure that was never lit and a 19th-century lighthouse that still protects mariners to this day.
There’s a selection of dog-friendly beaches to choose from at Flamborough, including North Landing and South Landing which are on either side of the white cliffs.
- Just a short distance from Flamborough is RSPB Bempton Cliffs which is home to up to 500,000 seabirds between March and October each year. There are several viewpoints with binocular hire available to watch the birds which include puffins and guillemots.
- The South Landing beach at Flamborough is part of the Danes Dyke Nature Reserve, a stretch of nature-rich woodland with exotic trees and a selection of walking trails to follow.
- You can regularly watch seals resting on the grassy banks that surround Flamborough Head Lighthouse. There’s a visitor centre in the lighthouse and you can climb 119 steps to the top for stunning views over the surrounding coastline.
Stay nearby: Ye Old Rocket House | Sleeps: 4 guests + 2 dogs
Yorkshire seaside towns and villages map
Plan your visit to your favourite Yorkshire seaside towns and villages for your next getaway.
Stay at the Yorkshire Coast
If you have been inspired to visit some of these seaside towns and villages for yourself, you’ll find a range of cottages in places like Whitby, Scarborough, Sandsend and Robin Hood's Bay where you can rest your head after days of exploring.
Browse our full range of Yorkshire coast cottages, including family, romantic and dog-friendly options, to find the perfect base for your next getaway.
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.